Better Together 2.0 Plans

I’m finishing up Better Together 2.0.  The feature list is different from what I initially announced:

– add_cat_to_prod will be added as a supported linkage.

– category id handling will not change – it will remain as is (i.e. CAT means master category); I had considered a change here but decided against it.

– the cart will be sorted by price so that using the most expensive first item and the least expensive second item will be chosen (yielding the lowest discount). In practical terms, add_cat_to_cat(x, y, …) or add_prod_to_cat(x, y, …) will select the least expensive item matching category y, rather than the next category y item in product_id order as is currently done. This is the behavior most people expect since it’s the most common retail implementation of BOGO (“Discount applies to lowest priced item.”)

Selling with sweetness

Would it even be possible to be nicer than the Jonas Brothers? The latest piece in about the boys says that they select girlfriends on the basis of their niceness (smart move, btw).

What if niceness was part of your PR strategy? “Do business with me because I’m nicer than my competitors.” We’ve already seen the opposite strategy – rapper Akon claiming to be a felon when he wasn’t, for instance.  Please note that I do not endorse this strategy. 🙂

It is a truism that people like to do business with people they like.  So it’s probably worth doing a niceness audit of your business, and making sure you pass muster.

Nice store you have here …

… shame if something were to happen to it!

Merchants are yelping about yelp.   Not surprising – this sort of service is just ripe for abuse by shakedown artists.  What’s the remedy?  I think services like RatePoint, which focus on the positive and forces complainers to authenticate themselves and enter a sincere make-good negotiation are a good start.

Talking with E-junkie

I spent some time last week talking with Robin Kohli at, the makers of E-junkie and Fat Free Cart. They’re based in Tucson and have five people on staff.

TheCartBlog: So tell me about E-junkie.

E-junkie: Well, we’re a small company operating in the e-Commerce space with three offerings: BuckDrop, Fat Free Cart, and E-junkie (which is also called Fat Free Cart Pro). BuckDrop is just a small utility that allows people to collect donations on their websites. It’s free. Fat Free Cart and E-junkie are shopping cart packages. Fat Free Cart only allows you to sell tangible products; E-junkie allows you to sell digital goods and also has a lot of extra features.

TheCartBlog: Great! What’s the differentiator for E-junkie and Fat Free Cart?

E-junkie: One of the things we like best about it is that it can be used on sites where javascript is not allowed and it degrades gracefully for users who don’t have javascript enabled. Many AJAX based sites do not have a smooth user experience when the user disables javascript – and the conversion rate suffers.

TheCartBlog: And these are hosted services?

E-junkie: Yes. The fees are based on the size of your catalog. There are no fees related to sales volume.

TheCartBlog: What discounting models do you offer?

E-junkie: Discount based on dollars spent,  number of items in cart, free shipping, fixed amount or percentage off, coupons….

TheCartBlog: Great!  A full array.   For bolt-on shopping cart offering where you can build on top of something existing, it’s interesting to know where you’re getting deployed.  What are the numbers here?

E-junkie: Well, it used to be primarily stand-alone websites, but now we’re seeing a lot of deployment on BlogSpot and WordPress sites.  MySpace is also an important venue for us.

TheCartBlog: That’s great…and I’m sure your ability to operate in a no-Javaspace zone like MySpace is a real differentiator.

E-junkie: Absolutely.

TheCartBlog: Are all the products under active development?

E-junkie: FatFree cart is growing incrementally; we’re adding some Google features to it, but E-junkie is under active development right now.  We’re adding new features all the time.

TheCartBlog: And finally talk about the user profile and the support model.

E-junkie: We’re very merchant focused; merchants can use our products directly, although if they wish, they can engage someone from our developer community to do it for them.  Support is provided by email and through a customer forum.

E-junkie has been around since 2004; they are based in Tucson and have five people on staff.  They are currently serving over 3800 clients.  Thanks for your time, guys!