Okay folks... I'm currently using a CMS system for the vast majority of the sites I build.
I have a simple setup for Ecommerce and use the PayPal cart for Cart and Payment.
The issue is, two of my Clients are doing rather well, an dare considering go up a level or two in the ecommerce game. They have both been sweet and stated they'd rather wait a bit and let me generate something for them rather than going else where.
Now, I have the functionality to create Custom tables/db/dbs that can be easily integrated into the site and CMS... but I'm not 100% certain that I am thinking things through thoroughly enough.
So if I oultine my thoughts, I'd appreciate and welcome comments, suggetsio9ns, hint's tips and even criticisms...(to make it clear - no, I don't want to use an existing system, I want to make it integral with my cms sites - no third part stuff okay).
So, as far as I can figure, taking a rather simplistic view of things...
Products, Shipping and Payment.
This is not counting on having User or Wholesaler accoutns etc. (hink that part is easier :) ).
Now, rather than making it overly simple, I need to consider things such as Stock etc.
This is a little confusing at first, as you could be selling tyres... you not only need the item information; such as name, price etc... but Options such as Dimensions, colours etc.
So, I'm thinking of a table that permits two main types of entries... Product Type and Product Options... sort of Parent with Child/Children.
Logic suggestions not only having the ability to state whether Parent or Child... but if Child, to tell it what the Parent is (otherwise thing would get confusing).
The other issue is how many options ??? some products may only have variants on a single aspect... size or colour.... others may have numerous options, size and colour and material etc.
How to handle that?
Additional ideas including being able to have "related items" (those of similar nature... should be handled by Categories and Sub-Categories etc... and "component items"... such as batteris for that type of remote control car
Further... should Products be able to Cross-Categories - some items may actually be in two or more Cats... so I would need to beable to permit multiple entires
This at first appears simple.... but how to distinguish between Parent, child, grandchild etc. categories? How far can you go - how far should you go.
Should I make this a combined table with the products... adding four options, Parent Cat, Child Cat, Parent Prod and Child Prod... or should I keep them as two seperate Tables?
This is the one that is killing me.
I can see numerous different methods for the prior sections - and several are more than viable...
But shipping is a night mare.
The UK's leading delivery is PArcel Force... and they now charge based not only on wight, but on Dimensions(H/W/D) too - so shipping charges are crippling many businesses - so it's important to get this right.
I need to be able to calculate shipping in several different manners...
Per first item and then per additional item
Per total weight
Per total Sum of money
A mix of any of the above...
PLUS- different destinations... UK-mainland, UK-non-mainland, Western/Eastern Europe, other parts of the world that usually cost a sodding fortune :)
So I need to beable to permit the clients to permit the users the different choices.... which some how I need to have a name/id for each choice, then a system for calculating the costs.
For some reason this is escaping me...
I've already decided to have cascading overides in place.... in the product you can specific Per Item, Per first and additional etc... (these should also be calculated on weight etc.)...
if these aren't selected, then it could default to the site defined (rather than item defined) system/s...
but how can I create a table that would permit all the various possibilites ?
OR do I simplify the whole procies... permit Item based or Site based... setup up destination options, and have a single table with references to destination and charge ranges based on weight/dimension?
UK - < 1 kg - < 0.5 sq M = £1.50
UK - < 1 kg - 0.5 to 1 sq M = £2.50
UK - < 1 kg - 1 to 2 sq M = £3.50
UK - 1 to 2 kg - <0.5 sq M = £2.50
UK - 1 to 2 kg - 0.5 to 1 sq M = £4.50
UK - 1 to 2 kg - 1 to 2 sq M = £6.50
? Am I making it to difficult ?
A simple bit of could will help total Item based seperately from site based then add the two together to get the total...
Of couse, the last is payment providers.
I need to find at least one strong alternative to PayPal ( after their recent screw up with JS on the billing page for certain CC's - one cliet lost over an estimated £600 due to people not being able to pay and going else where!)...
But who to use?
So - if you have followed all of that, don't think I'm to much of a moron, lunatic or over reaching - please lend some insight and support.