The Simplest Store Package
The simplest store package
One of the main problems I have always faced as an Umbraco Developer (or .net developer in general) is to find Umbraco and nuget packages that are made to fit any kind of client requirements without having to change or tweak a lot of things, like a “1 size fits all”.
This is the classic case with most if not all E-Commerce packages that are available for Umbraco, and because the guys are trying to build something that has got everything and fits any kind of business plan or customer, we end up with complicated solutions with a lot of functionality that you wouldn’t necessarily use for all clients. The big problem being that clients (and their respective websites) require different functionality, options and features.
Take the classic example of two clients on different ends of the business scale, we’ve got Mr EBay and Mr Tom Shoes. Mr EBay wants his E-Commerce platform to have all the bells and whistles e.g. multinational shops with all the different VAT and Shipping options and millions of products with all different variations and all sorts. Now the “heavy weight” E-Commerce packages we have in Umbraco e.g. Merchello, Tea Commerce, uCommerce etc. would be perfect for Mr EBay (and I suggest using them for this scenario) except the small pain of setting and configuring them up initially.
Mr Tom Shoes however is a small business dude who you have managed to convince that he can turn his EBay shop into a small website and sell his shoes. All he wants is to put a price on a shoe page on his site and be notified somehow when someone has paid for them.
Now you can use the “heavy weight” packages for Mr Tom Shoes but other than the problem of the licences (which can be prohibitively expensive), you are going to have to strip down a lot of the rich functionality of these to allow these to work with Mr Tom Shoes websites, which to some extend you might not actually be able to as you would need to remove about 95% of the functionality available on these packages – bit of a waste!
This got me thinking, as much we all love working with big clients (Actually at Simon Antony, we like working with big and small clients) and most websites have got some E-Commerce solution of some kind, we are kind of stuck in a situation where all these small clients are not being catered for in favour of the big clients. Unfortunately more than half of the business in the world are these small business and we do need to build some solutions aimed at these markets. This is what gave birth to “The Simplest Store Package”.
So I sat down and after a lot of thinking, discovered that our problem with E-Commerce packages is they are too big and complex for small clients, so instead of trying to shoe horn these into very small websites, why not create a very simple E-Commerce package that can be made to fit any client scenario big or small.
The main thing with any E-Commerce solution is a dynamic shopping cart/basket that you can add products to and a way of setting up the product pages i.e. put a price on a page. So with that in mind I have worked on just exactly that and because Mr Tom Shoes isn’t going to understand all the hoo-ha of setting up products in some section so all he need to do is to create a normal product page and put a price on it, THAT IS IT.
The Package I made does exactly that, and has got the option to extend it as big n complex as you want. Currently out of the box you can add optional / none optional extras to a product and this can be extended depending on what Mr Tom Shoes or Mr EBay wants.
The checkout page is open to further development as initial you will not have a clue as to what Mr Tom Shoes or Mr EBay want to use to get his payments from could be PayPal, Stripe, World pay whatever this can be hooked onto the checkout page. So what we have now is an E-Commerce package that is fit for any scenario and any client, ladies and gentlemen I give you the simplest store package.