Opencart is a firm favourite of mine, I’ve used it for numerous projects over the past few years and now its almost fully supported via an integration to eSellerPro.
If you’re considering creating niche product websites and need to keep your core processes within eSellerPro and costs down, then using OpenCart could be the winning choice for you with this integration.
Why I like OpenCart so much:
- It will run on shared web hosting
- Themes are cheap & easily modified
- Most of the features you find in larger products like Magento are included
- Multiple “Web-Stores” is supported
- It just “works”
The three key features if you are considering OpenCart to power one or more websites from eSellerPro is firstly that it can run on shared web hosting. Unlike the Magento monster, this does not require massive amounts of resources to just run the site, it “just works” and shared web-hosting is generally cheap.
Secondly themes for OpenCart are generally really cheap, if you’re thinking you need to be paying +£2500 for a website, then we probably need a chat. You can put a OpenCart site live, with a custom SSL certificate for £250 or less.
Of course with the third key feature, that of being able to run multiple eCommerce websites from a single administration panel, the costs will decrease for each store as you add more web stores as you can use the SSL certificate on multiple checkouts.
This is combined with OpenCart’s simple to use interface, quality features out of the box and did I mention that OpenCart is free & open source?
Have a look at the default front end theme and also the administration panel in their demo site here http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=demonstration/demonstration
What Can the Integration can do?
The integration I have built to and from eSellerPro will allow you to perform the following tasks:
- Automatically send orders to eSellerPro
This is done on specific order statues, normally the status called “Processing” which can be changed per payment method and once sent to eSellerPro, you can despatch the order through your normal despatch processes.
Once an order has been sent, the order is then marked internally as “Sent to eSellerPro” so you can clearly see which orders have been sent and which ones have not.
- Order Updates
As the orders have been delivered into eSellerPro, they are processed through your normal despatch processes.When an OpenCart order is marked as shipped in eSellerPro, its marked as “Shipped” in OpenCart.
If a courier & tracking number has been added this is added to the order comments for your records and if an order is marked as cancelled in eSellerPro, the order is cancelled in OpenCart.
- Stock Updates
When a stock update is sent from eSellerPro, the stock, price and availability is updated in OpenCart accordingly. This also includes a sale price if you have put the item “on sale” in eSellerPro.
- Inventory Creation
Working through batches of up to +100 products at a time and where the specific criteria is met, the products are automatically imported into OpenCart.New products are added and existing products are updated, if you have sent a new category in the new products, the category is automatically created and added to the product. If the product has been set to be available on more than one websites (as OpenCart supports multiple web stores), it will be updated accordingly.
- Support for up to 10 OpenCart Sites
Using custom fields as check boxes, you can send your inventory to 10 OpenCart websites in a single installation. This can be increased to a higher number of stores if required.
Deep Integration to Existing Data
The whole idea behind the integration to OpenCart is that its seamless to and from eSellerPro, that means if any additional processing is required we do this in the connector module.
This allows you and your staff to process your inventory & orders as you normally would do through the eSellerPro interface. The inventory that is created in one or more OpenCart stores can be amended when it is sent from eSellerPro, so it really can be a two button click & forget solution.
To give you an idea of what can be achieved in the integration to OpenCart, I have listed a couple of examples:
- All custom field data can be processed in the integration.
Lets say for example you have some terms that you keep in a custom field for SEO purposes, these can be added to the keywords section on an inventory record.
- Priorities on Website Titles
You can have up to four different website titles sent from eSellerPro, working in your preferred order, products that are created using the website title first, if that’s blank (or maybe too short), then the alternative website title can be used and if that’s blank, the eBay listing title or the product title is used.
- Product URL’s
If you have a bespoke requirement for product URL’s, this can be accounted for in the integration, for example if you wish for the pages to end in “.html” or to combine in keywords from a custom field.
During testing the connector, I wanted to see what the limit was to how many products it could handle. I had only worked in batches of 10 products at a time and tried approximately 1250 products, they were loaded in under a minute and that was including stock updates that were a separate process!
What this Integration Cannot Do (yet)
While OpenCart supports variations, in much the same way as they are supported in Magento, they are not fully supported yet in the integration that I have built between eSellerPro & OpenCart.
variations can be created into OpenCart, but controlling stock on them has not been integrated as of yet and will require further development of the connector. This is because each variant is not assigned its own stock number and makes it tricky to control the stock on them.
If you require the use of variations in OpenCart, this can be done, but we’ll need to discuss your requirements first to ensure that this can be completed in a timely & cost effective fashion.
I’ve not investigated the multiple languages option of OpenCart as of yet. This does open up the potential to automatically translate the product data before its loaded into eSellerPro. If this is something you’d like to do, then it can be done, its just not been added yet.
How long does it take to Integrate OpenCart with eSellerPro?
Two weeks. That’s my standard reply to all integrations, new or existing.
The reason is simple, while the connector can be configured to your bespoke requirements, so far it has taken a couple of days for each client to add the extra data they need to add to power multiple OpenCart shops from within eSellerPro. Keeping it realistic, within two weeks you can have multiple OpenCart websites up and running with eSellerPro.
The connector supports multiple OpenCart web stores that are created from a single OpenCart installation. If you require separate connectors for separated OpenCart sites, this can be done will take a couple of days extra per site.
Can you help us with setting up OpenCart?
Yes, OpenCart is straight forwards and if require a hand setting up multiple web stores and an overview of the core functions in OpenCart I can help you as part of the integration process.
To run multiple multiple OpenCart sites from requires a specific function to be enabled by your web hosting provider. I can help ensure that you keep the costs low by choosing the right provider in the first place and not be charged extra (like HeartInternet for example whom charge £19.99) to manage multiple domains from a single hosting account, where as other providers bundle this in for free.
What is Needed to Integrate eSellerPro & OpenCart?
Ideally you’ll already be up and running with eSellerPro, this means that your product data should be quite clean and adding one or more websites is only a few edits or additions to your existing data.
It takes a couple of days end to end to get you up and running, within two weeks you can have one or more websites up and running.
Besides access to your website via FTP & a MySQL account (if you have no idea what these are, don’t worry I can guide you through the process) you’ll need to to ask eSellerPro to enable a specific feature to allow the integration to happen. This is normally straight forwards and completed within a day or two of opening a ticket with the right details and the feature also provided free by eSellerPro.
Would You Like to Know More?
If you have bespoke design requirements or need a current theme porting to your website platform of choice, while not a “web designer” myself, I work with trusted, experienced parties that also work in time frames of days and are equally affordable.
If you’re already using OpenCart, it can be integrated within a few days or if you have yet to descide, then email me (matt [at] lastdropofink.co.uk) or why not call me on 0117 230 2500 (24 Hrs) for a chat, anything is possible.
No obligation and absolutely no BS.