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NVC Community Online Store - Pan's musings...An informal discussion...

I got this feedback the other day from our first user of the new feedback forms. And it got me thinking...

"Why doesn't CNVC have a shopping cart? I order a hundred books a year, and I end up using because you don't have a shopping cart. With all the improvements, why not? I've been told that hidden somewhere I haven't found, in the middle of some page is a link to Puddle Press and they have a shopping cart, but when I use your web site, I'm supposed to call and write a check and mail it? Nope."

I liked that feedback, in part because I have proposed that very thing. The book store coordinator likes the idea. And the idea is being given serious consideration.

Already the sale of materials on the site, which is done by phone, is an important part of the income we get from activity other than Marshall. We could make it more fun for everybody with a up to date shopping cart.

In  our current survey, we were also given feedback expressing a desire that we not compete with other members of our NVC community. That got me thinking about how many people in our community provide wonderful tools that really help people learn NVC. How can CNVC help them?

I really like inclusion and want to support all members of the NVC community.

I also really that kind of thinking that can see "both, and".

I was really having fun with all these thoughts. Got to feeling really excited!  SUPPORT!

What if we provided a way to provide all those products in a single unified cart on our site that is already getting over 11,000 unique visitors a month. We could let each provider manage their own products and orders so we don't burden our staff person. And of course all the providers would continue with whatever they are currently doing. We could be both consolidated and distrubuted at the same time. Seems like a win all the way around.

And I found a low cost solution that is an extension to a product I have been using for many years, X-Cart PRO. It is based on o-ecommerce, an open source product and has been greatly simplified by the Russian programmers behind the product. 

X-Cart Pro is an advanced edition of X-Cart Gold software designed to be operated in multi-vendor mode (though it has the ability to operate in single-vendor mode as well). X-Cart Pro allows multiple product providers (vendors) to share a single store for selling their products. Each provider manages his own products, which can include e-books and downlodable videos and audios as well as hard goods, orders, taxes, etc and is able to set their own shipping rates for pre-defined shipping methods independently of other providers. However the store has a joint catalog and a common checkout point, so the customer needs to place only one order. Customers see it like a single shop with different products, and they can purchase products from different providers at a time, and will get a notification from each provider they've bought products from. Respectively, each provider will get orders for his products only.

In summary X-Cart Pro extends features of X-Cart Gold by adding specific functionalities:

  • Unlimited number of isolated provider/seller accounts
  • Sellers/providers can edit only products belonging to them
  • Different providers/sellers can set their own shipping rates for pre-defined shipping methods
  • Admin account is separated from provider/seller accounts
  • Independent tax settings for providers/sellers
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Shopping Cart

Pan:  I agree with your comments on a shopping cart and I have to respectfully say that CNVC really needs to update how it markets and promotes its products.  After all internet shopping carts have been around for 7 or 8 years and CNVC still does not have one and is only now talking about getting one.

Also, there are many marketing opportunities that CNVC is simply not taking any advantage of.  I run a e-mail list group which has many members that are interested in NVC and I asked Puddle Dancer if that had an affiliate program and they said no.  Also, I don't see any use of videos on the CNVC site, another marketing method that has been around for years.

I would like as many people as possible to learn about NVC and I feel disappointed that CNVC is so far behind the times in terms of web technology.

Moving forward.

Thanks for your comments. I will be talking with the Board of Directors about this tomorrow at the in-person meeting. I have talked with Miguel, the manager of the book store and he would like to see this take place as well. Stay tuned!
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