There are more than 350 online shopping carts. And each week we feature one, interviewing both the cart’s developer and a customer. “Cart of the Week” is not a review or an evaluation, but rather an opportunity to learn about a shopping cart from the people who build it and use it.
This week, we’ll hear from Temi Odurinde, general manager of Velnet UK, Ltd., the developers of Boss Cart, an ecommerce platform based in London, England. According to Odurinde, the cart’s user base includes roughly 10,000 merchants.
We’ll also hear from a Boss Cart user, Kevin Blake, the director and owner of Camping Online.
PeC: Please provide some general background on the cart.
Temi Odurinde: “We actually started by developing a software called bespoke ecommerce solutions for small businesses. Solutions were being developed specifically for each customer, meaning he or she would bear the full development cost, and the charges for patches and updates.
“We received quite a few inquiries for ready-made shopping carts, and we used to refer such inquiries to other vendors. But about two or three years ago, we decided to create our own, off-the-shelf solution; Boss Cart.”
PeC: Is the cart hosted or licensed?
Odurinde: “Boss Cart is licensed with partially open source code. We have no plans for hosted solutions at the moment. Users have the freedom to host their shop with the hosting company of their choice.”
PeC: How much does Boss Cart cost?
Odurinde: “Boss Cart out-of-the box costs a one-time fee of £199 [$330 USD). This includes updates, patches and unlimited support via our support desk.”
PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?
Odurinde: “Customer feedback about what they like most about Boss Cart includes its versatility and the fact that all the components you need to run an online shop–the various marketing modules, the SEO friendly features, integration with various payment gateways–comes as part of the package, and you do not need to pay separately for any add-ons.
“Basically, if enough users ask for a feature that does not currently exist in Boss Cart, we just add it at no additional charge.”
PeC: What are some of its weaknesses?
Odurinde: “Some customers would like us to integrate our reporting tools with their back-end applications, such as Sage [a popular accounting software in the UK] and other proprietary back-end software. We have that on our to-do list.
“Another thing is, we keep getting requests for integration with some obscure payment gateways we have never heard of, particularly from India and Pakistan, so we feel we are too Europe- and North America-centric at the moment, and we need to improve on that.
“We also think we should translate Boss Cart to some of the popular languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese and German.”
PeC: What plans do you have for future cart development?
Odurinde: “We plan to expand the number of payment gateways we support. We are also working on improving our digital goods module to better support merchants selling downloadable goods.”
PeC: How would your cart help an ecommerce merchant, versus the cart he or she is using now?
Odurinde: “It really depends on the cart the merchant is using at the moment. Merchants using carts that are inferior to Boss Cart will benefit tremendously from its versatility, user friendliness, search engine friendliness and the various advanced catalog management tools.”
PeC: Any other thoughts for our readers, who are mainly ecommerce merchants?
Odurinde: “Invest in third party security certification. There are quite a few shoppers out there who are still skeptical about buying online, and certification goes a long way to boosting a shopper’s confidence in online shops.”
A Customer’s View
Boss Cart user, Kevin Blake, is the director and owner of Camping Online, an ecommerce store based in Derbyshire, England. The store sells camping and caravan equipment and accessories, grossing approximately £1 million GBP [$1,658,106 USD] in annual revenue.
PeC: How long has your company been using the cart?
Kevin Blake: “We’ve been using Boss Cart for approximately one year. We were using a different version last year, and it was custom made, but we changed to Boss Cart as we wanted an up-to-date version that would help us move forward with the times.”
PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?
Blake: “It has a very simple dashboard to use. It is easy to alter prices when there are price increases, and it is very simple and quick to upload new products and images.”
PeC: How could the cart improve?
Blake: “Whenever there is anything that needs improvement, we use the Boss Cart support and they usually update or change things to suit our needs within 24 hours. But, at present, nothing needs to improve. It’s running just the way I like it.”
PeC: How would Boss Cart improve another merchant’s business?
Blake: “What is good about this cart is you can have quite a few payment methods, like PayPal, Sage Pay [a UK payment processing service] and more if you require, which would encourage the customer to spend with you.”
PeC: Do you plan on continuing to use the cart?
Blake: “Yes, for many years.”
PeC: Any other thoughts for our readers concerning the cart?
Blake: “I would highly recommend this cart as it’s simple and easy to use, and would be ideal for a novice or a professional.”