Author Topic: How to take your online store to the next level  (Read 2600 times)

Offline Ollie

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How to take your online store to the next level
« on: August 14, 2016, 02:14:00 AM »
For those of us who love AbanteCart and all the features that it comes with, we may have settled on a particular design or look and may be satisfied with it. But the crucial questions are, "Are we listening to our customers and online visitors?", "What kind of feedback have they volunteered (if any)?", "Do we read their silence as a sign of approval?", "Do we normally ask for their input, comments and/or suggestions?", or "Do we assume we reached the pinnacle of web development and there's no more room for change?"

A good webmaster takes into account his/her audience's feedback, just like companies conduct satisfaction surveys to determine how customers like their products and/or services, and whether their needs are being met.

An area that's often neglected in web design (even by large corporations) is accessibility. Far too many websites are not accessible for those who are blind, deaf, or with other types of physical disabilities. There are plenty of resources online on this subject and, if this is something you never thought about, I strongly recommend you start doing. An accessible website makes it more inclusive and therefore more attractive. Nobody likes to be left out and people with disabilities are no exception! Recently, my company added a free extension to the Marketplace called "Accessible Cart". Check it out: http://marketplace.abantecart.com/accessible_cart

With that said, I would go a bit further to say that some of us may be stuck at some aspect of our website. Maybe we fell in love with the color scheme or the graphic elements or an image slider or whatever. It doesn't really matter what, there is always room for improvement. In 15 years in the assistive technology business (and close to 20 as a webmaster), I can't tell you how many times I changed my website and now with AbanteCart, I'm finally reaching a point of satisfaction. But this satisfaction came at a price (and a lot of time spent).

Every once in a while I read comments from fleeting visitors who come to this forum in hopes of finding the perfect shopping cart for free. Some are very demanding, others are plain rude. How can we expect a team of volunteers working on this wonderful project to give us a PERFECT shopping cart? There is no such thing. A sensible person would take what they were given for FREE, be thankful for the GIFT and help make it better. For me, this is the beauty of AbanteCart: the level of dedication of those involved. Of course, there are times we wait for an answer to a question that never comes, but hey this is a part of life. People are busy. Maybe we can dig in further and find the answer ourselves.

The Marketplace has wonderful extensions designed to enhance and extend the capabilities of AbanteCart stores. If you haven't bought an extension for a while (or never bought one), maybe it's about time to do so. When you buy an extension, you are encouraging its developer to create more extensions. If nobody buys, what's the point of making them anyway? To me, lauding OpenCart for the x number of extensions they have in comparison to AbanteCart (as I read in a post today) is totally unproductive. We can have as many extensions as they do - and as good as they are. It's entirely up to us, the AbanteCart community.

Finally, here's some food for thought on the issue of web design: Why would you settle with French fries when you can have gourmet food?

PS: I don't mean to be offensive to anyone with my French fries comment. I like FF but I love GF.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 12:35:56 PM by Ollie »
Assistive technologies for people with special needs:
https://assistech.com/store/

Offline Basara

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2016, 03:38:45 AM »
Thank you, Ollie

We really appreciate the effort you made for the AbanteCart project
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Offline eCommerce Core

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2016, 08:19:17 AM »
Very nice overview. Thank you. 

Every once in a while I read comments from fleeting visitors who come to this forum in hopes of finding the perfect shopping cart for free. Some are very demanding, others are plain rude. How can we expect a team of volunteers working on this wonderful project to give us a PERFECT shopping cart? There is no such thing. A sensible person would take what they were given for FREE, be thankful for the GIFT and help make it better. For me, this is the beauty of AbanteCart: the level of dedication of those involved. Of course, there are times we wait for an answer to a question that never comes, but hey this is a part of life. People are busy. Maybe we can dig in further and find the answer ourselves.

Well put.
I think PERFECT shopping cart, or in AbanteCart case eCommerce platform, is something different for everyone.
1. For business men, it will be free software with fast and cost efficient setup/maintenance that gives competitive advantage
2, For developers, it will be easy to install, customize and manage. This helps #1
3. For users, it will be easy to use.
4. etc.
I think AbanteCart covers a bit in every aspect of PERFECT :)

As for answering questions. We maintain forum as best as we can, and we encourage others to participate in forum help.

Also, these kind of words can be shared with other people outside AbanteCart community to help us grow.

“If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
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Offline abantecart

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 08:20:49 AM »
Nice words work better than money sometimes. Thank you  ;D
We need your help to build better free open source eCommerce platform for everyone.
See how you can help

Offline Ollie

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2016, 08:56:13 PM »
Thank you, Ollie

We really appreciate the effort you made for the AbanteCart project

You're welcome, Basara. You guys gave us so much. Thank YOU!!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 09:20:05 PM by Ollie »
Assistive technologies for people with special needs:
https://assistech.com/store/

Offline Ollie

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2016, 09:01:07 PM »
Very nice overview. Thank you. 

Well put.
I think PERFECT shopping cart, or in AbanteCart case eCommerce platform, is something different for everyone.

You're welcome, eCommerece Core. I hadn't thought about what "perfect" means to different users, and I totally agree with you! Thank you for sharing.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 09:14:36 PM by Ollie »
Assistive technologies for people with special needs:
https://assistech.com/store/

Offline Mike

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2016, 11:28:40 AM »
I just took a look at this extension and it specifies version 1.2

Can you please tell me if it works with the latest version of 1.2.8?

Offline Tiffansy

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Re: How to take your online store to the next level
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 06:59:22 AM »
Thank you, Ollie

We really appreciate the effort you made for the AbanteCart project

 

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