8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2008 2:27 PM by Newsgroup_User

    Shopping Cart with a Twist

    Jean-Luc_ Level 1
      Hi,

      I've been searching the forums for days in order to find a solution, and I've been reading many free and commercial shopping cart/eCommerce solutions websites without a solution to my issue so far, and I hope sharing the problem with you here can lead to some solutions.

      The problem is easy: I'm offering intangible goods (software downloads) that the customer can purchase from the desktop (instead of from the website - the software is an eCommerce enabled installer).

      What I'd like to implement is a shopping cart solution, that permit the user having a typical "add to cart", "view cart" (with delete/add features - and eventually upsell/cross sell), and "checkout". Upon checkout (no customer login necessary), the customer is given a download link to download the files to the computer.

      All solutions I've found so far either are linked/tied to another solution to confirm payment/transaction (like PayPal's), or are "intangible goods" plugin to a broader large eCommerce solution (the kind that manages shipping / taxes etc...).

      In fact, what I'm looking after can be thought a little like a whish-list disguised as a shopping cart (disguised just to give the user the feeling of a shopping cart).

      If the solution can be based on a flat file instead of MySql it would be better (there are only a dozen files, not a 4000+ item catalogue).

      I'd appreciate any help about this,

      thanks in advance.

      Jean-Luc
        • 1. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Have you looked at sites that sell software?

          Find a software selling site that you like, and send them an email asking what they use
          • 2. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
            Jean-Luc_ Level 1
            Thank you for the answer John,

            I've been trying to find similar implementations, but no one has ever implemented this. So far, all the solutions I have found are either:

            1) tangible goods, with more or less support for taxes/shipping costs, payment back-end interface and templated based product catalogue browsing/product view

            2) intangible goods, with mandatory purchase back-end tied to PayPal IPN solution.

            What I'm trying to achieve is simpler than that: a typical button to add to cart, a way to review the cart, and when pressing checkout, it bypasses/does not display any payment/login option (although login might be usefull for later retrieval), and displays a list of download links for the files that were added to the cart.

            I'd prefer of course a flat file based solution (for the product links) with a session managed cart (no need for database if no login page).

            I've been reviewing all scripts published at www.hotscripts.com, I've done a number of google searches, I've been searching this forum, and so far, I'm yet to find a simple solution to this.

            It seems magento commerce could be enough configurable to do this, but they are in case 1) (they only support tangible goods).

            Jean-Luc
            • 3. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
              Level 7
              Jean-Luc_ wrote:
              > The problem is easy: I'm offering intangible goods (software downloads) that
              > the customer can purchase from the desktop (instead of from the website - the
              > software is an eCommerce enabled installer).

              Hang on, you want to make some software that the user installs, and once
              installs, uses the said software to buy more software?

              Steve
              • 4. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                http://www.terabyteunlimited.com

                May or may not do what you need... they have...

                Page for a free download of a demo program
                Page to pay and download unrestricted version
                Page to enter a code and download free updates

                Another one that I think does what you want is based on Microsoft allowing free downloads of software at the University where I work

                You may see the page at http://msdn03.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/Storefront.aspx?campus=wsu but you will not, of course, actually be able to DO anything without a campus login ID

                With a campus ID you may add items to a shopping cart, then download for free at the end

                So... you might check with the folks at the Microsoft Developer Network (the msdn03 in the address is for that program) to see how they developed their shopping cart and checkout process

                Other than that... just keep searching for places that sell software online
                • 5. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
                  Jean-Luc_ Level 1
                  Steve: the software installer is "wrapped" into an eCommerce enabled installer. The process is this: user download an installer, run the installer, the installer prompts for credit-card/personal information. Then the installer connects to a server to authenticate and upon success, it tells the user "success, I will unwrap the software installer to a location - the user chooses - and then it runs the product installer automatically from there.

                  So in essence, instead of having a user having to download a wrapped installer eveytime he would like to, I'd prefer put the user in a shopping cart logic (add to, modify, checkout). This can help increase sales (useage pattern of a shopping cart online), permit up/cross sell possibilities easily.

                  the only difference between a shopping cart and what I'd like to do, is that the checkout process "skips" the payment and displays the download links directly (either individual links per-products in the cart, or better yet a server-side created .zip file from the selected products in the cart).

                  John: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com is an example of software downloads directly on the product pages, while I'd like to have it in from a shopping cart (centralized) instead. Also, I can't use ASP and would much better like a PHP based solution.

                  Thank you all so far for your assistance on this one. It should be easy to implement I guess (for someone coding in PHP - I do C++ on Windows but not PHP on the Web), but all solutions are taylored to goods/shipping/online payment, although I sense it would be a matter of being able to deactivate payment option in the solution.

                  Jean-Luc
                  • 6. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
                    Level 7
                    > The process is this: user download an installer, run the installer, the
                    > installer prompts for credit-card/personal information.

                    I would never touch an application that does that in this day and age of
                    malware.

                    -Darrel


                    • 7. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
                      Jean-Luc_ Level 1
                      Yes I understand this. The products are distributed like this in a special niche market. The solution is widely accepted in this market (more info about the solution here: www.flight1.com )

                      Many customers are pleased with this solution in fact, as they have a reinstallable software they can burn on CD, instead of a time limited download that vanishes if the vendor disappear (they trust the eCommerce publisher more than the vendors in this market).

                      Jean-Luc
                      • 8. Re: Shopping Cart with a Twist
                        Level 7
                        On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 13:58:44 -0500, "darrel" <notreal@notreal.com>
                        wrote:

                        >> The process is this: user download an installer, run the installer, the
                        >> installer prompts for credit-card/personal information.
                        >
                        >I would never touch an application that does that in this day and age of
                        >malware.
                        >
                        >-Darrel
                        >

                        Isn't that how iTunes works?

                        Win
                        --
                        Win Day
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