No wait… it was actually LiveCart.
Ed. Note 9/8/11: LiveCart made me a liar. Turns out its broken, the community is non-existent, and the documentation is incomplete. After struggling with PHP error after error for hours yesterday, I’ve given it up and my search for an eCC compatible shopping cart continues. I remain impressed by Opencart though, and I’m hoping like hell that I get Quickbooks integration through consolibyte. I found them through the Opencart forums and their web connector is in beta. Here’s hopin’!
But not because it’s the best. Its just the only one that actually works with eCC and Quickbooks. The reason? Variations.
Variations are everything
Quickbooks gives all items (the QB name for products) a unique item number. Variations on a product (like size and color) also get an item number. So if I am selling widgets, I would go into Quickbooks and add a new item called Widget, and Quickbooks would assign Widget item number 1. I have all different kinds of widgets so I’d leave the inventory amount at 0. Now I have to add a style (QB’s word for variations) for each kind of widget I’m selling. I have large widgets and small widgets and they come in green or red. So I add a style for each combo, large red, small red, large green, and small green.
When I save and look at the list of all my items, I find that I now have an entry for Widget with no styles, and an entry for each widget combination. Large red widgets are item number 2, small red widgets are item number 3, and so on. Quickbooks treats every variation as a unique product, which makes a lot of sense when you think about how hard it would be to track inventory otherwise. Unfortunately of the three carts I tested (Opencart, Livecart, and Prestashop), Livecart is the only only that works like this. And this is essential. So Livecart it is!
But Opencart was soooo good!
If Quickbooks integration wasn’t an issue, the winner would be Opencart by a mile. It’s really nice to use. The admin area (and the frontend while we’re at it) was super fast and just beautiful. Adding products and variations was a breeze. The workflow was so smooth and well thought out. Everything just made so much sense! I can’t say that about Livecart or Prestashop, which are both pretty slopping in comparison.
Code-wise Opencart was a big stand-out as well. No smarty templating to deal with, the code is clean, and the directory structure makes sense. Themeing is straight forward. All in all an exemplary MVC application. If only I could use it!