I built mine from scratch in VB.NET and it works very similar to KB. Mine will save Coleman Nicole and the customer a ton of money in the long run due to the shopping cart isn’t taking 3% of the money every transaction, only the merchant account is. If you have ANY questions regarding the process, PM me.
We use Cultivate (http://www.cultivatesystems.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and have been very happy with their product and service. Especially with transitioning from our spreadsheet of info (names and addresses) to a web-based database.
It’s been awhile so my information is out of date but remember to consider whether you want a hosted solution or software you install on your servers and what backend features you want. By backend I don’t mean the transaction stuff, but, for example, allocation management, shipping rules, etc. Also, are you after a way to manage mailing list allocations, online direct sales or both? If mailing list, do you want the emails to originate out of the system or does it hook to an email marketing service?
I ask all of this because shopping carts are trivial to do and there are good ones out there for anything from free to a couple of hundred dollars - but they don’t do mailing list and allocation management nor do they encode shipping rules - they’re more or less basic online stores. There are much more sophisticated solutions out there, some hosted and some not, but they’re not free. Even Brandon’s solution raises issues - VB.NET might present hosting issues if the site’s on a Linux server and who do you call if there’s an issue? I’m not casting aspersions on Brandon - but self-hosting vs hosted, off the shelf vs custom… those come with tradeoffs and the time to think them through is upfront.
Might want to look at http://www.vin65.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; too. I’ve talked to Andrew there and he’s a nice guy and a straight shooter.
Rick, those are some real questions that I have been trying to sort through. It seems like there are endless options with this.
I would like to have an allocation management system setup in say 4 years. At this point, my production is so low that I will be able to oversee the first two-three vintages with a bought/didn’t buy key in. Also, I just need a secure way for potential clients to log in with their unique passcode and order wine safely, while keeping track of inventory.
frankly, doing a basic allocation management system wouldn’t be that hard - it’s pretty straightforward from a logic standpoint. It’s the hooks to other processes that can be an issue. For example, if I get offered 6 bottles of something and take them all that needs to be passed to an ordering system (or the order system needs to be part of the allocation system). If I take 3 of the 6 bottles initially you need the logic to say “OK, his other 3 bottles are his until X, then they free up and I can make an offer to others with those bottles” etc. Likewise, you need to hook this to an email system, etc.
More to the point, I’d recommend thinking through your needs clearly before deciding on something that suits others. A really quick example… are you doing this for a US audience only or for a European one? If the latter, you need to consider internationalization and currencies issues. If not, not.
my needs are simple. Much of that is simplicity.
Thanks for the example, that helps to see some of the shootoff options.
As for audience: I will be releasing basically 60% (outside of one wine which is 30%) to the U.S. The rest of the countries will use a totally different system (less modern). So, the online system will only be for U.S.
I use them. It is affordable, and they are very responsive when I run into problems. A lot of those problems stem from my own technological lameness, but there are also a lot that involve glitches on their end. They are constantly adding new and improved features that I haven’t done enough to take advantage of, but the pace of their evolution may have something to do with the incidence of glitches.
Yes, I believe that with WineWeb you can do all those sorts of club and allocation management things. I only wish I had the need to have explored the allocation matter further, but for now that is uncharted territory for me. They do take a percentage – max 2% or $10, and often lower. The formula is complex but pretty reasonable based the nature of your transactions and the sort of month you are having. Here is the relevant page http://www.wineweb.com/services/eCommercePricing.cfm