One of the most powerful and popular capabilities of a Joomla website is the ability to deliver robust ecommerce solutions. While there are a growing number of options for ecommerce in Joomla CMS, the pioneer and still the most popular shopping cart option is the Joomla Virtuemart shopping cart extension. It has been exciting to watch how a great basket of ideas has grown to become one of the most popular engines for ecommerce on the web.Small businesses like it because it is FREE to download, it is easy to implement and maintain and it is scalable to meet the needs of their business as it grows. Shoppers like it because it looks great, is intuitive to use and is secure for handling their transactions. Developers like it because there are many extensions, accounting systems integrations and it is open source code so they can deliver real world business results and be the hero. Let’s start with a quick overview of the core features and then I will get to some real exciting stuff that I like about this solution.Virtuemart release 1.1.4
Brief General Features
1 : Capable of using Secure Sockets Layer (https) Encryption (128-bit)
2 : Flexible Tax Models
3 : Shoppers can manage their User Accounts (registration required) Brief Product
1 : Powerful Web-Administration Interface
2 : Manages an unlimited Number of Products and Categories
3 : Can be used as a Shop or just as an
Online-Catalogue Administration Features
1 : Multiple Images and Files (like Spec Sheets and Flyers) per Product
2 : Product Attributes (like Size or Color) can be added to Product
3 : Product Types for Classification (like “Car”, “Motorbike” or “Music Album”)
1 : capable of live Credit Card Processing
2 : pre-defined Payment Gateways like authorize.net, PayPal, 2Checkout, eWay, Worldpay, PayMate and NoChex
3 : extend your Shop with other Payment Modules using the Payment Module API!
Virtuemart Extensions:In addition to the many core features there are many folks that have taken initiatives to build add-on’s and themes to enhance this Joomla extension with an even more rounded collection of capabilities for both look and feel of the shopping experience and functionality to serve niche markets.Templates:Virtuemart has been around for a while, has a pretty nice user interface and is overall very flexible for delivering a comfortable and astatically pleasing customer experience. However, I happen to like the surge of interest in developing template options for Virtuemart. I think one of the reasons many of the template design vendors have not jumped on board with template designs for Virtuemart has been that unless you deliver Virtuemart as part of the installation it can be difficult for the average non-technical user to install. I think this will only get better over time and since it has grown in popularity there is now a stronger business case for vendors to invest in this.
Payment Gateways:One of the biggies for setting up ecommerce is having a connection between your shopping cart and a payment gateway. Something I especially like is that connecting to PayPal with Virtuemart is a real no brainer. Just enter an email address for your PayPal accounting and you are mostly “DONE”. While Authorize.net is another popular gateway there are several others supported and since the Virtuemart framework is open source, well, you can build your own if needed. Small Business Management Solutions – Real world valueThe real power and value for your small business with the Joomla Website Design and Virtuemart combination is the ability to integrate Joomla and Virtemart with other accounting and Customer Relationship Management systems.Why we feel Joomla and Virtuemart are the best solution for small business ecommerce:As a Joomla Developer we have implemented sites for customer ranging from selling a single product to working with companies with huge databases of products. In this experience we have found the Joomla and Virtuemart solution to be very easy for our customers to configure and manage. It offers most of the functionality out of the box and if you use PayPal for your payment gateway it is about a easy as eating pumpkin pie to set up. We hope this overview is helpful and if you ever need configuration support custom coding or training on the Joomla Website Development or Virtuemart solution we would be happy to talk with you.