Sunday, April 29, 2007

Doing some demo shopping.

I know I’m always talking about the shop I used to manage, but you’ll just have to get used to it. It was a big part of my life for seventeen years, which equates to number of years it took me to grow up – and that was a pretty important time too!
We used to have a program called Chreos for our data base and debtors and creditors and POS. (Point of sale to those who aren’t familiar with the abbreviation.) It was a good program and overall had few areas I’d complain about. By the time we started using it, it had been well and truly tested by other shops in the same business as us, and a lot of things had been ironed out.
However, at that time it wasn’t usable for direct online selling, and this was something we looked at fairly seriously a couple of times. It would have meant quite a change to the way we processed our data, but it would have been worth it.
I’ve just been playing with some shopping cart software which does all the things I’d like to have done in the shop. Ashop.com.au has some demo models online and I’ve just ordered myself a couple of scooters, some helmets of various sizes (you never know, my head might grow or shrink) and some roller blades. Bill came to something like $2,000AU, but that was okay, because at the end of your playing you were reminded that this was just a demo – and not to call to make your order!
It was easy to register as a customer (almost as easy as sending the items to your shopping cart by merely clicking on them), and though there’s a spelling error on the address info page (‘biling’ instead of ‘billing’) I was happy to overlook that because of the ease of usage. You’re even offered the chance to pay by PayPal, which isn’t something you find everywhere. The demo is so lifelike it even took me as far as asking for my PayPal address, by which time I thought it was wise to get out of there, just in case the program had decided to stop playing demo and get into the real thing.
For some reason I couldn’t access the Admin demos using Firefox, but that’s okay. When I get a minute I’ll give it a try on IE7.
Did I mention the price? That looked very enticing to me. For a small business, it's around $99 per month. Pretty good value, I'd say.
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