VP-ASP Shopping Cart Software is an extremely deep, feature rich open source shopping cart built for the Microsoft IIS server platform. VP-ASP can be installed in a matter of minutes. The installation process is very slick, but you will still have to have a bit of technical knowledge to see it through as it is intended for business owners and webmasters with a moderate level of technical skill that are looking for a flexible platform that is relatively quick to roll out, and highly customizable. Also, it is one of the best value solutions around if you wish to take full control of your shopping cart software by hosting it entirely on your site but they also offer remote hosting options.
Before getting into every tiny detail of this e-commerce solution, let’s take a quick overview of the features its deluxe package offers:
- Option to add unlimited products, categories, and subcategories
- Supports downloadable and digital goods
- Generates detailed sales, stock, affiliate and many other reports
- Extensive credit card processing gateway support checks etc.
- Browser based administration of your store
- Automatic notification of sales and other activities
- Advanced order tracking- customer and merchant order tracking
- Affiliate program module – registration, commission reports, status review
- Supports discounts, coupons and gift certificates
- Full stock control
- Full documentation – Merchant only document plus a developer guide, install guide and Option Package guide
- International taxing capabilities
- US, Canada, and UK shipping modules included
- Full customization to suit any existing website
- Hyperlinks allow you to add to cart, search, login, display categories of product or a specific product and more
- VP-ASP can create your entire site – no other software necessary.
- Advanced security options
- Databases – Access, SQL Server, MYSQL
- Total control over product formatting
- Beautiful graphics for buttons and navigation
- Image upload for products and categories
- Excellent exporting functions
- Multiple currency support
Now let’s get down to the details of the features and functionalities VP-ASP deluxe package has to offer.
Elegant Administrative Interface
The administrative interface is well laid out and separated into logically organized sections. Unlike some shopping carts that guide you through the setup process with a wizard or step by step guide, VP-ASP puts you into the dashboard and lets you begin customizing the cart in any area you prefer.
Greater Product Control
VP-Cart gives you advanced product display options such as Automatic Extended Descriptions and Kit Configuration, built in integration for PayPal and UPS Real-Time, and order confirmation emails to merchant and customer. It also contains the Inventory Products Module, which allows you to accurately monitor stock. Also, Products, categories, and tables can be imported into the VP-Cart tables. Field matching for individual tables can be selected per table.
Image Asset Manager
The Image Asset Manager allows you to control your images on the server and easily use them in multiple pages through the powerful Content Management System.
Supports multiple languages and currencies
With the VP-ASP Cart, you can display your site in any language and display prices in any currency.
Enhanced Administration Features
The VP-Cart offers enhanced administrative features such as Search Term Recording, Low Stock Report, Products Sold Report and the ability to review past orders through the web-based administration console.
Customer and Quantity based pricing
Customer-based pricing allows you to apply different prices to different customers, so your wholesale and retail customers can pay different amounts. Quantity-Based Pricing allows you to apply discounts for bulk purchases.
A customer is given the option to buy one or more gift certificates, which can be used to pay for products in your shop. Gift certificates can be used multiple times until the amount is maxed out. As the merchant, you can create your own unique gift certificate message with a text editor, such as notepad. Recipients will receive messages from both the merchant and sender. You may specify the gift certificate’s validity, the maximum amount and option to activate manually or automatically. For manual activation, you must update the record after verification of payment has been made.
With VP-ASP deluxe pack, you can create as many coupons as desired. Discounts can be applied to a specific product, a category of products or all products. You may also specify the validity and the coupons usage limitation.
Payments for services
With VP-ASP, you can also use your shop to collect payments for non-product services, such as consulting and eBay auctions.
Enhanced Mailing Options
The standard VP-Cart bulk mailing facilities are enhanced to allow HTML formatted emails. Personalized bulk e-mail can be sent by merging information from the database with a mailing template that you create. At the end of an order, you can create a separate mailing list of recipients in addition to the normal customer and merchant emails. You are given the option to determine the number of emails that is to be released upon order completion. For example, you may send multiple emails to the sales department, shipping department and even your mobile phone. Emails can be customized to use different templates.
SMS Facilities features the ability to send SMS messages upon order completion. This may require customization to handle such SMS service.
Another important feature VP-ASP offers is mobile integration. It will create an online storefront optimized for smartphones and tablets so that your customers can shop on the go. In addition, it has an app to let you manage your store from your mobile device.
Enhanced Shopping Experience
With VP-ASP deluxe pack, you can give your customers more features such as the ability to offer cross-selling products, buy one and get one free, and unlimited products and categories. You can even offer your customers the ability to make donations!
Product Reviews and Comments
Customers can view and make comments on any product. As the store owner, you may choose to be notified when a new review is posted. Review averages can be automatically displayed when a product is displayed.
Secure Downloads allows the delivery of digital products via hyperlinks and application of date and count limits.
This feature is ideal for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas wish lists and general events. Your customers can select items from your online store for family and friends to check out and purchase pre-selected items. They can modify the registry at any time by adding or deleting items and can also view which items have been bought and which remain and get notifications for each purchase.
The PIN number enhancement sends information to customers, such as PIN numbers or other information. It is used primarily to sell calling/phone cards on the Internet, but can be used to send other unique product details. At the end of an order, a PIN number is allocated to each product purchase and emailed to the customer and the PIN Number is then marked ‘used.’
The recurring billing facility adds the option to sell products, such as subscriptions, which require that you bill the customer on a periodic basis, such as weekly, monthly or yearly. Billings can be set up automatically when a customer purchases a product from the shop, or it can be manually created. Customers receive bills via email with a template that you create.
Points Rewards System
VP-Cart Rewards allow the merchant to offer a loyalty system. The customer accumulates points by buying goods at your store. At some point, the customer can redeem some or all of their points through the self-service customer admin system. Points can be used to purchase products or converted to gift certificates or discount coupons. The customer can select the number of points to be converted. An email is sent to both customer and merchant when a conversion is made. However, you have the full control to decide the type of reward, coupon or gift certificate and the conversion rate of points to currency. Only one type of reward is allowed in a shop. Also, for better security, Anti-hacker checks and order validation is pre-included in the pack.
Customers can select individual orders and have the complete invoice re-displayed. If you do not wish to have customers see previous orders, this feature can be turned off. Merchants can add comments to the order details which are displayed to the customer.
For repeat orders, the customers can restore an order made previously; then modify it, add additional items, delete items to create a new order.
With Order tracking, you can notify your customers about the status of their order (delivery or shipping) with order tracking messages that are sent via e-mail and also logged with the order so that they can be reviewed by the merchant and customer. Customers can request changes or information about their order. Messages can be hidden from customers and be directed to departments within the organization. Full database logging of all messages shows a complete “conversation” or status of the order.
Features for marketing and SEO
VP-ASP does offer the essential marketing features such as affiliate programs, social media integration, promotional campaigns, and upsell capability. The SEO Manager is an extremely powerful tool to assist you in marketing your site online. It includes Google Site Map Generator, Google Base Feed and a dynamic URL Rewriter for friendly URLs. All your products can be statically generated in plain HTML for better search engine indexing. You can also entice customers with daily deals and coupons, give them product comparisons and automated email purchase confirmations, and let them set up a gift registry as discussed above.
This feature allows you to associate sales with specific affiliates or distributors. VP-Cart locates and records which other sites a customer has visited before coming to your site. Affiliate processing provides detailed reports on the number of visits, number of sales, commission and automatic registration of the affiliate.
Advanced security features
SSL and Credit Card Encryption is supported in the VP-Cart Deluxe pack, providing a safer shopping experience for your customers. It is compatible with PCI Compliance requirements (The latest in security certification now being sought by banks, merchant providers, and consumers) and can be deployed as part of a certified system. You can program it to back up your online store and create access rules for employees to limit what parts of the shopping cart they can see and manipulate. It integrates with most payment gateways, but it does not provide in-house credit card processing or the ability to accept checks. Also, for better security, Anti-hacker checks and order validation are pre-included in the pack.
In this post, we reviewed the VP-ASP Deluxe pack which costs a whopping $795. But for the price, the software packs almost every conceivable feature to run an online store. If you have a low budget, you can opt for the Value pack which costs US $295 or the Plus pack for $495. Both these packs contain all the essential features to run an online store. However, the plus pack includes some additional features and functionalities that are quite useful. However, you can always upgrade to any package by paying the difference between the lower and higher package.
VP-ASP is not the right cart for every user but is a particularly good choice for intermediate to advanced webmasters. If you want to design your own store, you’ll need some familiarity with HTML. It’s a particularly appropriate choice for those that want a shopping cart to run on their own server hardware, or want the ability to edit the code for custom functionality. It also provides all the essential administrative features and most of the marketing and sales features needed for an effective online store.