- Template overwritting,
- Implementation of Joomla Plugins for: payment, shipment, coupons, calculation rules, custom product fields, ...
- Simple installation and integration of other joomla extensions.
- 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: Paypal, Authorize.net, PayZen, Systempay, Moneybookers, Klarna, Heidelpay
- 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 (not by default)
- payment/shipment workflow
- order tracking for anonymous users
- 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
- hidden debugging tool
The 2.0.10+ is a security release, everyone using 2.0.8 or lower must update as soon as possible.
I was able to do all the tasks I needed with this component, but still wishing there was a simplified version - because there are so many options it's confusing for the administrator and, sometimes, even for the user.
I give it five stars because it would be unfair to rate less such an extensive work. But it's not perfect yet.
It allows you to configure an item price based on the customer groups.
I wish there is a better reporting tool such as listing all items with all the prices for the customer groups on 1 single page. This report helps me to review my pricing strategy. As of now, I have to open every single item and check the various customer groups for their pricing. It is not a big deal if you have less than 20 items. However, as you add more items, then it becomes an issue.
The other issue that I am still having with the latest release (1.0.13a) is with the paypal module. The paypal module works, except that virtue mart sends the purchase email to both me and the buyer right after they buyer clicks "confirm order" button, but before the buyer completes the paypal transaction.
Furthermore, order status is not updated even after paypal transaction is successful.
So here is the sequence:
1) buyer checks out, completing the registration, shipping address, etc.
2) on the last screen before the buyer is sent to paypal website, the buyer must click "confirm order".
3) the buyer clicks "confirm order".
4) (ISSUE #1). virtue mart will send email to the buyer and me (store owner) indicating that there is a new order, and update the virtue mart order database indicating this new order. This new order is marked as "pending". i.e waiting for paypal payment completion.
why does virtue mart sends the email before the payment is cleared ? It might give a false impression to the buyer that he had a successful order even before the buyer complete the paypal transaction. In my opinion, the email should be sent after step 6 below.
I know that this is not a major issue. Who would try to mess up my store by submiting order, but not paying... ?? LOL.
5) the buyer is directed to paypal website to complete the paypal payment.
6) after the buyer completes the paypal transaction, the buyer will be redirected back to my store.
7) (ISSUE #2) Even after paypal transaction is cleared (i.e. successfully charged the buyer's account and transfer the money to my paypal account), the order status in virtue mart database remains in "pending" state. I must manually set it to "confirmed" state.
This is a major issue if you have large number of purchase a day.
I hope I could get some help for issue 1 and 2 above. However, I have no luck getting some help/tips regarding the 2 issues above from virtue mart forum.
Overall, virtue mart works fine for me. My store is small, so I don't bother with the 2 issues above for now. I give 4 stars to virtue mart for all the other good features.
Note that I also have another online store using Zen Cart. I don't have the above 2 issues with Zen Cart. the only negative of zen cart is that zen cart does not work with joomla.
Someone mentioned that adding items is difficult--not true in the latest version at least, which can import/export csv.
The only real issue with VirtueMart is that it is a work in progress and thus missing some features that other free solutions like Zen Cart provide out of the box. I found many tweaks and mods in the growing forum but the fact there are that many of them spells the shortcomings of the core code. If you don't code, before you opt for VirtueMart, make sure it supports all or most of the features you need. The forum will not help you much if you can't code.
If you have some tweaking experience, you can indeed do a whole lot with VM as I found it to be quite flexible.
If you need multiple taxes, like I do in Quebec, Canada, where there is a tax on a tax, don't even bother trying VM. By law, we have to show both taxes and what was charged.
I wanted to have downloadable gift certificates. Can't do that either.
There were errors in the shipping calculations.
After seeing the Editor's Pick on this product, I was quite surprised as to the functioning (or lack thereof) of this product.
And there is almost no support in the forums.
Like I said, very disappointing.
Even though Joomla is my favorite CMS, I may go with a dedicated non-Joomla e-commerce package. I haven't been able to find a Joomla based system that works well for what I need.
Virtuemart is Great! Support is Dreadful! If you are a professional designer or a very good amateur designer you should use this component. I would have to recommend to newbees to stay away form this component.
This is a nice component with poor documentation - don't expect that you will be able to fully customize this easily, but it is a great project.
Solid and consistent development behind this project, but limited or non-existent user documentation.
Overall, an excellent addition to the Joomla world - much needed and much appreciated by myself and others seeking rapid implementations.
I donated - did you??
If you are a newbie or don't have extensive web skills, you can set up an easy to use and easy to maintain small cart system with this component with no problems. It works well with PayPal, so if you want to get running quickly and cheaply, this is the best I have found.
Advanced developers can also get a lot out of this - solid framework for future development and growth - I hope this project continues to get support and grow.
If you are a designer you will be frustrated by the lack of integrated styles and the fact that there is poorly written HTML littered throughout this project.
If you already have a cart "design" in mind, stick with something with greater flexibility on the design side.
My problem is the shopping cart will not reset if you try to remove an item. So if a user is logged in and wants to remove an item from their cart they are SOL. try another extension and save yourself alot of frustration.
After umpteen attempts, reading the documentation (which is WOEFULLY outdated) at the store site AND on VM's own site, I have to say that it hasn't been worth the time.
There are few explanations as to what information or format a field is looking for. For example, the UOM (Unit of Measure) - it would seem pretty simple, but it does not necessarily use the standard two letter UOM that most of us are accustomed to. I had "EA" for each in a listing,and it was not recognized! Even the admin asked me what it stood for. Um, "each". It wanted the word "pound" spelled out. I would have never done that, esp since the items I sell are not weight-related.
I had to invent nine diff shipping rates to accommodate multiple item discounts for just this one item. I'll have to create fake weights for other listings to use anything different. Amazing - very poorly thought out on the shipping mods. If you ship via UPS, FedEx or DHL, you'll probably be okay. If you use UPSP shipping and have smaller items that take first class, good luck!
There are many diff options to choose from on the shipping, with NOTHING explained as to what they trigger. You have to peck and hunt, experiment, change types, try again, ad infinitum.
My store host admin was able to get my additional shipping to finally ad up correctly, but then the tax was off! It asks for 3 decimal points, but only calculates based on two decimal places, and does NOT round up. So, our .xyz tax rate only calcs as .xy, and the z doesn't enter in to the picture at all, causing tax calcs to be off. Even if I round "y" up to the next number, then I am overcharging my customers.... it just doesn't make sense!
The VM boards are full of unanswered questions and surly responses from the few moderators that are still there. They seem to take offense that someone would need help! As often happens, the people who use it every day forget that the rest of us do NOT use it daily (until we downloaded it), and many things are not clear at all! They even state that they don't have the time to monitor the boards and answer all the questions, so try to find something already posted. Um, ok.
There needs to be walk-through documention on the CURRENT version on how to configure for USPS, etc etc. If they are going to put in so many options, they need to be explained, as well as how to adjust them for your usage.
While their intentions are great, and they've created a great piece of software, users still need to know how to customize it to their needs, and that is a shot in the dark at best! A few things in the latest version have a blue circle with an "I" in it - presumably standing for information. If you mouse over it, it tells a little bit about it, but not very helpful still, and doesn't EXPLAIN what the options do! Ugh - but they are at least on the right track. Every item should have an explanation as to how to customize it.
Take that UOM deal - I've dealt with software modules for years, and have not seen one that wanted the full word spelled out! Why don't they just give a drop-down list to choose from, instead of making you guess what they need? Since my "EA" was not recognized, I need to know what they have to have....
So far, it has taken WAYYYYYYYY too much time for little in return. My site is still not able to open for business, since the charges don't calc right still, and tax is off. I've stopped uploading product, since I might have to just change sites and start over. I'm looking for something permanent and had hoped I would not have to learn to program a cart to use this one. Well, I guess I do! And if I have to learn how to configure a cart, I'd rather spend my time with one like OSComm or Zencart. VM is too scattered!
Overall, I have over ten yrs experience in HTML coding, and I find this cart to be glutted with overkill, and lacking in the basics. Perhaps it is because the developer isn't familiar with USPS mail systems? I don't really know. But had I known how backwards the shopping cart really was, I think I would have chosen another store host! I went with this one, because supposedly everything was integrated and ready for the small seller to set up shop.
Yeah right. Plan ahead - I might have it figured out after Christmas, and be ready for holiday sales 2008.
The shipping & shipping charge system is fine if you only trade within your own country, or if you use "block weight" charging via couriers such as DHL, FedEx etc.
However it would be an absolute nightmare to attempt to configure it for use with the post office if you are in a global and competitive small shipments market. Why-oh-why do developers not consult with their posdt office before beginning to write the code?
Postal rates globally are based around 10-gram, 20-gram, or part-ounce weight increments for base-cost calculation, then the applicable weight is applied to a country + service schedule of prices.
As an example
-- most post offices offer 4 basic international services - Sea Mail, Economy Air, Airmail, EMS - the names may vary but they are essentially the same service types with similar delivery lead times. Each of those also usually has two price groups - small package (for under 2 Kg) and regular (for over 2Kg) = a minimum of 8 basic services.
-- each service type has different geo-zones - for example Sea Mail from here has 11 zones, Economy has 15, Airmail has 6, and EMS has 13 - the countries in any one zone for any one service are rarely the same group as for the same numbered zone by another service (e.g. there is no Airmail to the Falkland Islands from here, and no Sea Mail to Afghanistan)
Having applied the base cost by weight and service to the geo-zones, the optional services need added. A short list of options that have fixed prices per package regardless of service or destination include -
- Insured Delivery
- Registered Delivery
- Expedited Handling
- Addressee Receipt Return (A/R)
- Online Tracking (available as an option in some countries)
- Escorted Transit (e.g. air passenger courier)
and so on.
The problem is, I have never seen any shipping module cover these options (there is an osCommerce one for gift wrapping which can be duplicated and renamed for each of the above options, thus building the options list at shipping selection in checkout, but it gets buggy as your list grows if you hack it that way).
All of the above relates only to post office services (before adding in named couriers) and you can imagine the admin configuration gets massive quite quickly. So far, I've only found that osCommerce can handle it effectively by using tax zones as geo-zones for shipping, and tweaking and duplicating the shipping_zones module to make one module for each service, with the php file hacked to set the number of geo-zones for each service. It is stable if you do that.
Hopefully the authors of this extension will take the time to address the shortfalls in their shipping functions and bring VirtueMart up to a level where it is a true competitor to osCommerce - it would be so much nicer to not have to mess with bridges between the Joomla and osCommerce.
This feature just does not work and the support/doc about this is unexistent. So unless you are a good programmer, avoid virtue mart at all cost for even basic business with downloadable files.
The customer experience is even worse, they have to fill unecessary fields (you can remove a few, but not all of them, unless you go deeper in the code, otherwise you get bugs and no support). And the paypal redirection does not work well for languages.
The sales work fine though, but if you are into making a shop for downloadables, virtue mart is far from the best solution.
The problem is learning how to configure it to your particular needs. The documentation and online support is woefully inadequate. The forum badly needs a team of heroes to respond to the many unanswered questions (questions that ought to be answered in FAQs or docs).
To make matters worse, the virtuemart.net website has been agonizingly slow lately.
If you're looking for an example of third-party Joomla extensions that could benefit from going commercial, you need look no farther than VirtueMart.
They both have Excellent Forums to get help!
This is an all win combination!
To Joomla, Virtuemart, and the Community of users on the forum;
1. the integration with Joomla allow to have an unique presentation+shop website, that looks better and easier for customers
2. highly customizable, a lot of features, for different types of shops: support for downloadable items, credit card/paypal payment, discounts and coupons management....
3. very active community at virtuemart.net, most problems are resolved in forum, and also many hacks/plugins were developed
4. easily programmable for PHP developers, to customize and expand the component
5. great development team, the next versions will be very improved with a lot of new features
...and so on...
There are two key issues that (unfortunately) forced me to choose another option. I didn't want to because this cart IS so very promising with tons of potential.
1. There needs to be an allowance for more than one product image. Of course a merchant can always find a way to creatively do this, not a big problem, really.
2. This one is big -- to me :)-- The user registration at checkout forces the customer to leave the site, and then confirm their registration after they have shopped and gone half way though the checkout process. I think the entire point in having a seamless solution like this is so that it's seamless. I personally like the registration process but a simple continue checkout button, allowing them to complete the order and get their info afterward would help with cart/sale abandonment.
It's a good free feature and I do see the longterm potential.