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
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.
It became a little tricky when I was trying to add attributes and assign stocklevels via these attributes, (I'm setting up an online clothing store, so needed to have the system recognise how many small, medium, etc sizes were left when people ordered them) - BUT after hours of research, I found out how to do it (should have bookmarked the resource)
Today I began to test it and thought it must be very good. Finally, I realized that this component was disigned wrongly from the first line of code.
It requires to disable the registration system of Joomla, and can't use the registration of Community Builder.
Why it need a new registration system when everyone agree that CB must be the Core of Joomla?
Very bad idea. I will give up it even if there is no shopping cart component for Joomla.