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Multiple stores in progress


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Ok I am thinking of putting a true multiple stores mod.

 

One admin = Many stores.

 

Each store will be unique in look if need be, with its own checkout and payment (this will work with worldpay dont know about other processors).

 

There will be one Main store which will hold all products the 'other' stores will be able to have all/some or none of the products.

 

The admin side will be controlled by admin with levels, so each store owner can log in and just add stuff which populate the main store and the stores own inventory.

 

The mailing list manager wil be accessible to each store owner so that he mail the people that sign upto his site, the main store will also collect ALL the emails from all the stores.

 

Any other things people need?

 

Also I havent exactly figured out the best way to do this, whether to set up a table in the database for each store and then assign permission to it for certain products, this could be a pain for very large stores though, so anyone got any ideas on how the technical side could accomplish this let me know. I know webmakerscorner had a similar thing so maybe if anyone knows how this worked could be a good starting point :)

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Paul,

One reason I am considering multiple stores is the shipping problem. Suppose you sell something light like DVDs that use the post and also something heavy that uses a courier service and also drop-shipping . I tried this all in the one store and couldn't find a way of getting it all to work together.

I'm not sure if this approach would help in that case if there is a master store, or all stores share shipping methods.

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Well the idea is if you want seperate shipping per store then thats fine. Each catalog would have its own files for the catalog so you would only need the shipping option for that store, the admin will be able to read all of them but only show what you want. However this might be further down teh line as i fear it will mean rewriting some of the checkout im not sure though.

 

couldnt you just install all the shipping methods you need and let the customer pick whats best for them? They will always pick the cheapes method which should be what you need them to use no? Or maybe use seperate price per product shipping, so you set the shipping? Would that be possible im sure one of the set price mods allows for use with zones too? I get round the problem by building the shipping cost into the product and offering free shipping!

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Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I have tried a number of different approaches. Free shipping would indeed work within the UK but not internationally as it would cost four times as much. The customer can choose either Store Pickup, Zone Rates or Special Delivery. The UK zones for the postal service include N. Ireland etc. Those for the courier don't.

 

I think that enabling different options for different stores is the approach most likely to solve this one.

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Hi there,

 

 

I have created a virtual mall system for osc, using a switching of tables approach. By doing it this way, the core code of osc is not changed at all. But by adding in tables specific to a store in the mall will allow for separation of the shops completely(contribution can be found in the other section).

 

The biggest problem I have found with this approach is the appending of the store ID to the URL which can not be changed and keeping it when using the search feature.

 

I have yet to look over this part of it, since thre client I am developing this for does not require the search feature. Another difficulty is if you have a significant amount of shops running, I found that phpMyAdmin is propbably not the best tool to work on the db, since it really slows down when you start to have 400-500 tables in the db.....

 

 

Also I havent exactly figured out the best way to do this, whether to set up a table in the database for each store and then assign permission to it for certain products, this could be a pain for very large stores though, so anyone got any ideas on how the technical side could accomplish this let me know.

 

 

The switching code is fairly straight forward as well as the appending code modifications....I use one admin for all shop owners, one catalog for all stores and they are currently under one domain name.....I believe it could be modified to use multiple domain names but I am not there yet....I would gage my project to be 95% done....

 

 

cheers

Peter McGrath

-----------------------------

See my Profile (click here) for more information and to contact me for professional osCommerce support that includes SEO development, custom development and security implementation

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I have a virtual store mod I was working on but due to school I had to put it on the shelf for awhile.

From what I developed so far and some analysis I did the problem areas seem to be easily resolved. From what I see several problem areas are the mail, shipping and payment. Major question - will shoppers be able to checkout centrally?

What I think might work:

For the shipping methods - a way to assign shipping methods based on store id is necessary. This could be done by central admin having an area where they designate the allowed shipping methods.

Payment method - the same scenario above would hold true for payment. However thare are some legal ramifications here. In some states the operator of the "mall" can be held responsible if the store owners fail to send ithe order and such.

The methods that hold true for payment will also hold true for things like discounts, coupons, etc.

Email - I figured that this area will also need to have store ids. Due to privacy regulations, if I have not bought from say store A, then they should not have access to my data. So there must be a way to log to the database where each shopper has bought from a store. That way only those store owners can email the customer. Newsletters and such gets a little trickier - not in terms of implementation but in terms of how many store wouldthe shopper be bombarded with newsletters from if they end up buying from a lot of mall stores. A solution would be a central newsletter.

Central (mall wide) checkout - if shopper can checkout centrally, the means purchase from many stores at once - then there will need to be a way for the order to then be broken down and displayed on a store basis. That is central admin sees it as one big order but each store only sees the items that pertain to their store. With a central checkout they could also choose shipping and pay for the order al at once as the order confirmation will show breakdown of items by store. This would require several central shipping methods and same for payment. THe advantage of this method is that if the user is buying from one store only - then they see all shipping and payment that the specific store offers. If they are shopping centrally, then they get shipping choices and payment choices only based on central options.

Each store should be able to decide if they want to allow central checkout or not.

 

Admin - this is fairly straightforward. Central admin can see everything. Store owners can see only the products they have control over.

I think there should be a product holding area just in case you are a mall owner who wants to approve the products before they are live in the store.

 

Paul (hotnuts21),

I have an article with a lot of this analyzed. Let me know if you are interested in seeing it.

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Yes, I would be interested in seeing the article.

 

To clear things up, this is NOT going to be like a mall, there are already some good mods that do this, the idea is not to visit a mall and see all the shops available. This will just a mod for standalone stores, with each store being its own seperate identity.

 

As for the checkout, all my stores use Worldpay and this allows many stores to use the checkout procedure branded how I wish, so each store would be branded seperately.

 

Basically for my needs I want to have the main store that has everything on it, but all my suppliers can have there own little store which only sells there products or maybe there products and a few more. They log into the main admin and upload procucts which go into a waiting area, I then approve the products which go live on the main store and respective store.

 

When an order is received either the supplier ships it, or I ship it if its an internal store. Store owners can log into the store and depending on there level of security they can have supplier access or just store owner acccess, this will determine what they can see and do.

 

This would also work well for affiliates who gerenate a lot, you could give them a branded store and in the admin they could have access to sales reports, newsletter, etc.

 

At least that was my initial plan and might need building upon to suit everyone.

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With our business model, we drop-ship 80% of items sold from various vendor locations. The remaining 20% we ship from our own warehouse.

 

Our wants:

1. Real-time UPS shipping for each "store" or vendor location.

2. Customer orders that are pending and modifiable, requiring approval before being finalized (for use with items that must be trucked and the shipping cost figured by hand).

3. Password protected login to an order retrieval area where each vendor can retrieve the orders they are to fulfill.

 

Is there anything out there that already accomplishes these?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello there!

 

Just found your contrib something similar to what you described here, gosh...

 

Thats a very important contrib. I fail to understand why osC developers do not work in this area. Atleast the osC developers MUST include your contrib in their main installation. So during the installation, one cal click to install one store or a mall.

 

I would be very happy if you can inform when this mode will be available. Or atleast if it is possible to send a snapshot.

 

Would really appreaciate. I was wondering what if I install the old alpha version of yours, would I be able to use with the new. I really need to go live soon.

#

Thanks

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Hi!

 

I am already working on it. However is is very different than the solution available.

 

I am working on Vendors/Affiliates system, like that of a Departmental stores who would look for Sales Agents and work with Distributors.

 

Further, I am thinking of converting my work with that of Postnuke - WITHOUT IT BEING POSTNUKE COMPLAINT - to simply share the user database for authentication.

 

So my work my not be useful to anyone here!

 

Lets hope that someone brings out a Real Mall Version.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Ok I am thinking of putting a true multiple stores mod.

 

One admin = Many stores.

 

Each store will be unique in look if need be, with its own checkout and payment (this will work with worldpay dont know about other processors).

 

There will be one Main store which will hold all products the 'other' stores will be able to have all/some or none of the products.

 

The admin side will be controlled by admin with levels, so each store owner can log in and just add stuff which populate the main store and the stores own inventory.

 

The mailing list manager wil be accessible to each store owner so that he mail the people that sign upto his site, the main store will also collect ALL the emails from all the stores.

 

Any other things people need?

 

Also I havent exactly figured out the best way to do this, whether to set up a table in the database for each store and then assign permission to it for certain products, this could be a pain for very large stores though, so anyone got any ideas on how the technical side could accomplish this let me know. I know webmakerscorner had a similar thing so maybe if anyone knows how this worked could be a good starting point :)

Hello friend .

Please let me know that will this store have different admins and each mini store owner will enjoy freedom of action or will he be dependant upon main admin to upload pictures and products etc.

Secondly will every one get his own payment or will it be one merchant account only.

I think if you make the manufacturer name unique and product categories could be same/shared but system recognizing each product and taking each product to its respective pay system or merchant then it is very ideal store.

I think most people are waiting for such store where they could sublet it to many manufacturers producing similar items like flat screen tv is one category but manufacturers could be sony,toshiba,national etc etc.

Please reply .

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The store will have one true admin, although there will probably be an area where the supplier can update his own products.

 

I have been looking into the payment side of things, and there is a problem.

 

Basically, if you dont own the product, so you are selling your own products and those of your sub stores/suppliers whatever, if you then pass the payment onto the individual store owner, you are acting as a 3rd party processor (ie you are taking payments for other people) and most IMA's like worldpays will not let you do this. So each store will probably have to use there own IMA. This is easy to do with worldpay, i dont know about others.

 

HTH

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The key to seperate payment (as a quick fix) is to create a reference to the stores configuration table in both configure.php and database_tables. With the correct mods, the entire store will appear as a seperate entity with appropriate products etc (see sample . novaserve . ns . ca ).

 

The problem as I have found is that there needs to be some heavy modification in checkout_process and classes/order.php that can deliver the noticeds to the seperate stores through a single checkout. Currently, with my best efforts, I have only been able to get the final store to appear as the seller.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, to all who are interested I have created a multi-stores contribution that you can checkout and let me know what else you need. It updates quite a few files. But the basis is this:

 

1 customer/password/address_book system

1 product & categories system

- you define which categories you want to show up on which store

- you define which products you want to show up on which store

(both under Admin-> Catalog-> Categories / Products)

 

Multiple stores system

- Stores can be on different servers (as long as they have all have access to the same mySQL db)

- Stores DO NOT share shopping carts

- Store where customer registered at is saved

- Store where order was placed is saved and store logo is dynamic for invoice & packingslip

- Seperate configuration (shipping & payment modules) for each store via a different configuration table for each store.

 

 

One thing that I am still looking into doing is to offering the ability at the admin side of things to control which store you want to configure at any one time. As it is right now each store has it's own admin for shipping, payment, reports, etc. but all admins can be updated to display all stores orders & control which products & categories are displayed on which store. I just personally need the all the orders displayed as once I set up my shipping & payment options & store config.. that usually just stays put.

 

Get it here.

 

I am really anxious in seeing what people think. Check it out.

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This is basically what I have been working on

 

But now you have one finished and set up, I will download and play and see if there is anything that I had that I can share with you. Doestn seem worth both of us working on seperate issues of the same thing!!

 

Thanks for saving me some work too :D

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