Practical Ecommerce

Cart of the Week: OXID eShop

Practical eCommerce counts over 300 different shopping cart systems. In this ongoing “Cart of the Week” feature, we profile a specific cart, asking the cart’s owners and users about its strengths and weaknesses.

Here we profile OXID eShop by OXID eSales, a firm that offers open source and fee-based solutions. The firm’s headquarters is in Freiburg, Germany. We interviewed Roland Fesenmayr, CEO of OXID eSales, about the benefits of his company’s cart. We then asked merchant Karlheinz Stapp for an evaluation. Stapp uses OXID eShop for his online store, JML.

PeC: Please provide some general background on the cart.

Fesenmayr Fesenmayr: “OXID eSales provides open source, small-to-medium, and enterprise-level ecommerce software solutions, backed by a flexible range of support and licensing options.”

“There are currently three different OXID eShop solutions available. OXID eShop Community Edition (free), Professional Edition ($2,533) and Enterprise Edition ($16,539 for a singular license and $5,080 annually) are meant for on-premise installations.”

“For our open source product we have chosen a dual-licensing model. That means the Professional and Community editions are technically identical. The only difference is that the Community Edition is under GPL v3, while the Professional Edition and the Enterprise Edition are available under a more permissive business license.”

“The source code of the Community Edition can be downloaded from our website. For medium and large enterprises that have special requirements like rights and roles management, or who need full scalability or multi-client capability, we also offer Enterprise Edition under a proprietary license.”

PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

Fesenmayr: “Some of its strengths are complete functionality for B2C [business-to-consumer], B2B [business-to-business] and social commerce scenarios, as well as sophisticated, server resource-friendly performance. We offer search engine optimization based on the latest technological standards and high quality software, due to our development process with unit testing. We use a SOAP/CSV interface for integration of third party systems.“

PeC: What are some of its weaknesses?

Fesenmayr: “Only a few third-party modules have migrated to version 4.”

PeC: How specifically would using OXID eShop improve a merchant’s business?

Fesenmayr: “Merchants want a shopping cart that is easy to set up, easy to administer and easy on the wallet. OXID eShop meets all of these requirements. It is extremely user-friendly and easy to install, and it runs on modern servers without requiring expensive investment in hardware. It can be easily customized and modified to fit the merchant’s brand identity, and it comes with sophisticated administration functions that allow full customization of how it works. It is available under both open source and community licenses, allowing each merchant to choose the option that best fits their budget.“

“Other benefits include an integrated content management tool, support for multiple languages and currencies and support for multiple shops and sophisticated role management. Enterprise customers also benefit strongly from a broad community and our open development process that brings speed of innovation and improves software quality.“

PeC:: What plans to you have for future cart development?

Fesenmayr: “We want to expand our developer community.“

PeC: Any other thoughts for our readers?

Fesenmayr: “We strive for a system that will be appreciated by technicians as well as sales/marketing decision makers. This is still our mission.“

The View of a Customer

We also interviewed Karlheinz Stapp, vice president of JML GmbH, an online retailer based in Germany. Stapp primarily sells household appliances and tools on his site, JML, and is a user of the OXID eShop cart. Here is Stapp’s evaluation:

PeC: What are OXID eShop’s biggest strengths?

Stapp Stapp: “Their flexibility to install the system. It was very important for us that the transformation from our old shop system to the OXID system be easy, since we wanted do this job within three weeks. OXID eShop has full integration into our mail order system. The next very important point for us was that orders could be fully integrated into our backend system.”

“Also, the cart has prompt order processes. That means no delays between the order process and the backend system. We are able now to ship on the next day of the order. If the customer needs it, we can even dispatch his order the same day.“

“We needed an easy system to handle the permanent changes of products. Prices and new offers can be input by marketing people who have some knowledge using the software. For normal day-to-day business, I can confirm that the OXID eShop can be run by marketing users. Only the master data and the basic settings have to be administered by a programming guy.“

“We also like look and feel of the shop. We wanted to have the JML [brand] look and feel in our shop, and not to have a shop that looks the same as hundreds of other shops.”

PeC: What are some things it could improve?

Stapp: “We have only been working with the system for one month, so we are nearly fully satisfied at the moment. One issue for improvement is that the product presentation on the home page should be more flexible for price corrections. It should be more clear when a product price is reduced.”

PeC: How specifically would using OXID eShop improve a merchant’s business?

Stapp: “With the flexibility of the system and the easy handling, we are able to react daily to changing market forces.“

PeC: Do you plan to continue using the cart? Why or why not?

Stapp: “Yes, we plan to continue using the cart because we can do what we planned to do, and at the moment we have not even used the whole possibility of the OXID system.”

PeC: Any other thoughts on shopping carts for our readers?

Stapp: “For us it is also important that we can use the OXID system with additional platforms like eBay, Amazon.com and Yahoo!“

Brendan Gibbons
Brendan Gibbons
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