paGO - New Joomla e-commerce platform crafted with love and passion
Written by Andy Nathan
Joomla is a great platform to use for many of the website needs. The platform has cleaner code, smoother multi-lingual support, and quicker installations than other CMS systems. However, something has always been lacking in Joomla, a quality ecommerce solution that is easy for users to navigate, as well as quicker for developers to use when designing the ecommerce site.
That is why when Gev Balyan from Bang2Joom and Michael Pignataro from ‘corePHP’ met at CMS Expo in Chicago in 2013, they came together to create a better Joomla ecommerce platform crafted with love and passion.
What is paGO Commerce?
I sat down with Michael Pignataro from ‘corePHP’ to discuss the remarkable features of this Joomla extension. Here is what he had to say about this revolutionary new platform on Joomla.
"paGO Commerce is a new commerce solution built with the idea of providing developers and consumers an easy to use platform. From a developer’s perspective it’s filled with features and functionalities that allows them to do their job without jumping all over the place like most ecommerce systems. paGO’s unique product variation system provides specific SKUs( stock keeping unit, a code number, assigned to a single item of inventory), price, images, colors, and more for different product options."
For example, imagine having a t-shirt in three colors: black, white, and grey. Each version of the t-shirt has its own SKU, image, price, quantity and other distinctive product characteristics. Additionally, "paGO allows for easy inventory management. In addition to the individual media upload, our system allows you to upload multiple products at once", which is important because the system does not limit the number of products you have in your store.
"Essentially you can have a gazillion products. I know there are query limits and so forth for the way some of these monstrosities are built, but we’ve kept the queries very lean so you can have quite a variety. Basically it’s an enterprise app."
How does the checkout process work?
Next, when you look at ecommerce stores, you need to make sure that the checkout process is easy. This is where you make a living. Otherwise, why bother using the ecommerce system. So many ecommerce systems have a bulky checkout process. Bang2Joom and ‘corePHP’ did a lot of work on the front end design and back-end development for the paGO shopping cart to ensure a smooth checkout process.
"It’s a one page checkout. All the steps are on one page. To get to each step, you click continue and it stays on that page. There is no page load, and the user is not doing much work. It’s Ajax driven. The process is boom, boom, boom. Double check your order, enter your form of payment, shipping info, and checkout. For the payment gateways we have Authorize.net, Paypal, Payflow, etc. It doesn't integrate with Mail Chimp yet. That will be finished in a future version."
How do you place phone orders through the Pago Commerce System?
Equally as impressive as the shopping cart is the fact that orders can be taken on the phone as well as the website.
"Phone orders can be taken through the admin area. For example, say I run a jewelry shop and someone buys something online, cool. If someone calls in, they can take the order on the website. Instead of running two different systems for a brick and mortar and online business, you can run all orders through the same system. This avoids inventory problems, since you have a unified solution."
How do you help automate the ecommerce process?
“The other thing that we've made really simple is automated emails sent out to the users for different actions. For example, we have emails going out when an order is made, when something is pending, when you have a receipt, when you have a fraud notification, and for invoices. These are easy to customize. Most places are very difficult and they’re hard coded into the extension.”
What are some other ways to help the web developers with paGO?
"First, you have a currency converter on the front-end, so people can purchase in their own currency with up to real time currency conversions. Shoppers can change the currency to their currency of choice in the shopping cart.
Second, we have Fedex, UPS, USPS and custom shipping options. You can create shipping option per product or per category.
Third, the other thing that’s really good about this system is taxes. That is always the biggest problem ecommerce owners have - how taxes are managed. We have made it very simple. You create your class name, and create your rates for that class. You can make it a global class, or you can make it per category or per product as well. So a class name would be like state tax. State tax would only apply to certain zip codes. Then maybe you have a federal tax that you apply. Canada would be a good example. They have a straight tax they give out. In Quebec they’d have Quebec and the federal tax, so if someone orders in that area they get taxed twice. If you’re outside Quebec, you’d only pay federal tax."
Can you issue coupons for the ecommerce site? If so, how does that work?
"Coupons are integrated into the system. The beauty of it is that you can go through and customize the coupon for different offerings. You also can customize based on the users. You can make it available for only a specific category or product as well.
You can also have a starting price. Say for instance you only want the coupon to be available if they purchase $100 worth of products. Finally, you can put a time limit on the coupon. Most other Joomla ecommerce pages offer limited versions of this coupon.
We went a step further to give people a more robust choice when it comes to utilizing coupons, and allowing webmasters the freedom to utilize coupons as they see appropriate."
How much does this cost? Is it really free? “
"One of the things is that the product is free. We offer paid services and paid support on top of the free platform. People can pay for different packages that they want to get through us to support their paGO platform.
We’ll have training and consulting. We are offering different services, such as support, custom development, template development training, and consulting for paGO. Those are all paid services. So they’re not just getting a platform where they can set it up. They can hire corePHP and Bang2Joom to do the work for them."
Learning More about paGO Commerce
As paGO Commerce launches shortly on Joomla, it will revolutionize how ecommerce is done on the platform. Joomla has never had a sleek, easy to use ecommerce platform. That is ‘corePHP’ and Bang2Joom came together to create paGO Commerce. Learn more about paGO Commerce on paGo Commerce website