Based on Joomla MVC framework with all its advantage:
- Template overriding,
- Implementation of Joomla Plugins for: payment, shipment, coupons, calculation rules, custom product fields, ...
- Simple installation and integration of other joomla extensions.
- Joomla 2.5 ACL
- nested categories
- with meta tags for seo
- with description and media
- with meta tags for seo
- short and long description
- dimensions (weight, size)
- multiple media
- variants, attributes
- unlimited child products and derivated levels
- product pattern (Parent product used as pattern for child products)
- related products
- reviews and ratings
- pricing depending by shoppergroups
- price display depending by shoppergroups
- payment/shipment depending by shoppergroups
- customizable shopper input form
- input form depended on registration, checkout or shipment
- default Bill-to and Ship-to address
- default payment and shipment method
- stock warning
- virtual stock (ordered but not finally bought)
- various type of prices to display depended by shoppergroup
- prices adjusted by shopper choosen currency
- different currency format per currency
- unit price
- quantity based pricing
REAL MULTI CURRENCY
- auto updating rates
- add your own currencies for fixed currency rates
- default SEF/SEO integrated
- discounts based on time, category, shoppergroup, country, and state
- tax based on time, category, shoppergroup, country, and state
- discounts, tax per product and/or order
- discounts, tax have their own currencies (for duties)
- based on plugins, already onboard:PayPal, Paypal Pro, Paypal Express Checkout, Klarna and Klarna Checkout, Sofort Banking and Sofort iDeal, Skrill, Heidelpay, Authorize.net, (and a lot more in the net)
- minimal amount / maximal amount to use a payment
- transaction fees
- by countries
- by shopper groups
- based on plugins
- by shopper groups
- by countries
- guest checkout; completly anonymous checkout
- option to register at begin of checkout
- cart is an object, competly overridable by template
- cart is stored in the session
- multi-page checkout
- one page checkout
- payment/shipment workflow
- order tracking for anonymous users
- order editing
- pdf invoice, delivery note
- topten (most sold)
- native with joomla 1.7
- with extra joomla components (joomfish) for joomla 1.5
MARKETING PROMOTION AND TOOLS
- coupon handling
- recommend a product to friend link
- mail to shoppers who bought the product
- debugging tool
Two major cautions need to be given to anyone that wants to use VirtueMart.
1. You MUST NOT be a Joomla newbie
2. You MUST know php
VirtueMart has so many capabilities it is compelling to download and install. But, if you plan a major store, you will need to know php.
If you are considering VirtueMart because it is free, its not. It will cost you many hours and days. Their forum is filled with posts from many people pleading for help. Many receive "me to" replies and many with zero replies that are months old.
If you want VirtueMart, hire a consultant that has at least 10 stores in their portfolio (and go visit them first). It won't be free, but you will improve your probability of success. For me, I'm bagging VM - its too expensive.
1. There is no way to have multiple taxes configured, even though they have a multiple tax option. You can't have taxes based on shipping address for different cities. You can globally assign one tax rate to a state and not charge other states, but if you have to charge different tax rates within a state based on the shippers city, it is not possible.
2. Non-taxable items. They claim to be able to do this, which it can be done, but for some reason they have tied "non-taxable items" to the item weight. So if you don't want to charge tax on something then you don't put an item weight in the configuration. But then if the customer only orders that item that is non-taxable and has no weight, then the shipping module doesn't bring up the shipping options (like their UPS Shipping Module). Why would you tie "non-taxable items" to a shipping weight.
3. Customizable emails are virtually non-existent - unless you are a php guru. There are no templates for emails that are easy to manipulate. The initial email that a consumer receives on the order looks great. Subsequent emails are a simple text email that looks very elementary and as of the date of this review...the forums, the developers have provided no answers.
4. Before you use this extension, go register and get into the forums and look at the questions and see how many responses there are from actual developers vs. forum members.
There are other little things to that are annoyances, but are fairly easy to overcome. However, the items I have described are big, not just for me but for a lot of users. The tax thing is huge.
If you need a simple, out of the box (so to speak) solution with no complications for tax implications, no need for custom emails to your buyers, and just want to sell all items with one flat tax, then I would agree, this product is pretty easy to use.
I have lots of good things to say also. I am just being candid about the issues.
Based on that, and the fact that I have made some money from it, how could it possibly be worth less than 5 stars? As someone else said, I'd give it 6 if I could.
I would like to see the forums become more community focused rather than so many expecting pro support (and getting frustrated when it doesn't happen). Other than that the forums are well thought out, and an effective way to find solutions to common problems.
The VirtueMart Forum is a better place to ask for help than here, and I've found a lot of help by post questions directly in Google.
In response to a couple of previous posts I offer the following...
1) "Can't have products with no shipping, Really? by domdeez, September 2, 2008"
Actually you can do this. You'll have to create a Shipping Rate List, starting with 0 (zero) weight at $0.00. So for that I would put "Highest Weight 0.010, Lowest Weight 0.00. Then put 0 (zero) weight for your product.
2) "Not compatible with Community Builder by paul.shane, August 17, 2008"
Did you try the VirtueMart plugin for Community Builder? http://www.e-motion.com.au/open-source/virtuemart-plugin-for-community-builder.html
Now my site is live for selling ebook and subscription. I don't agree with previous comment which said VM doesn't work with no shipping, in fact it does work for my site. The most important thing is to dig well both the manual and the forum. Almost all answers for a beginner are already there. In order to get a free stuff running well, we have to be willing to do that.
Also, my CB just works fine with VM. I think the reason every extension has their own user database is because Joomla default user management doesn't have flexibility to add more fields such address, phone, etc. Some users just want to install CB only, some are VM only, some are FB only, etc. Why does a user who wants to have shopping cart only have to install CB too, or vice versa?
Besides there are already some sort of micro integrations among them. You just need to dig it up in their forums.
I don't need anything very complicated just to sell community event tickets, but I cannot support dual user databases for 12,000 residents.
This was not an easy decision to make however, I have come to this conclusion:
If you want a serious E-Commerce Shopping Cart Do NOT bother with VirtueMart. You will spend MUCH too MUCH time simply working the bugs out of it BEFORE you'll be able to start actually using it.
I have spent countless hours performing "hacks", "tweaks" you name it... just to get this cart to work right. The final straw hit when I decided to update my version to the newest version. I have run into so MANY problems simply trying to do this that I have decided to find something else. I'm an online seller... Not a computer programmer and this has become way too much of a struggle to keep this cart going.
Integrates easily with Joomla! Has nice presentation capabilities.
Too many bugs that are too complicated to fix for the average computer user. No real support for this software.
I honestly gave this Cart more time, effort and attention than it's worth. If you want a practical, functional E-Commerce application I strongly suggest that you look for something else.
There it is.
Now on the other side, it's not perfect.
Some things that I find fault with; have to do with the silliest annoyances, such as clients thinking they could pull off using VM on a cheapo oversold shared hosting account. If you plan on using VM with SEF/SEO components (a must!) than think about upgrading your server to at-least a semi dedicated server... period -- shop around.
Also, you must use the 1.1 or better version, anything less and you would be just cheating yourself. If you are that guy or gal--using something older; you need to update now!!
If not for the security updates (that are maintained quickly, unlike x, zen or oscommmerce) but for the extra features and performance gains that seem to get better with each update.
Otherwise, While I like some of the other carts available.. I'm betting on VM over some of these newer and fancier systems that cost my clients 3-5x as much in development costs.
In an nutshell, VM works out of the box with features comparable, if not better than other carts... and better yet its built on Joomla! 1.x and 1.5.
Right now, I have a client that wants to do a streaming pay per video app... yep there's VM. God bless, (or praise whomever) I can pay my rent this month.
But, be realistic.
with the new auto update feature that has have been implemented in 1.2? (please check) any custom jobs may require a developers touch.
whatever. donate or be cursed to failure.
I have, and will drink less coffee next time.
P.S If you decide to take advantage of the free help that is often offered in the forums:
It would help to mention:
what version of joomla
version of os - win or linux
version of VM
I can't go with other Joomla shopping cart solutions because not only they lack of community support but also some are too costly.
Hope version 1.1.2 can be released soon (with as few bugs as possible). Thank you.