View from inside the viper

Free Templates/Skin from the Cart Viper Demo Site

clock October 6, 2014 14:33

cvdemo_homepage_exampleThe Cart Viper demo site was updated a while ago and we’ve had positive feedback from the DNN community. The site uses Twitter Bootstrap 3 and some razor scripts to demonstrate how easy it is to create great looking ecommerce sites using Cart Viper. With only a small amount of customization you can make a great looking ecommerce site which works great on mobile, tablet and desktop screens.

A number of people has asked us to release the skin and files we used to make the site. So in the blog post we are going to step through the process of how to install the files and give you some pointers where you can further customize the demo.

To get started we need to make a home page, store page, my account page and then just add the store admin page to the admin menu. Lets get started with making the changes!

Skin

The skin used on the demo site is a custom design we had created then we converted this to a DNN skin. The skin file just needs unzipped and then copied to the folder /portals/_default/skins

cvdemo_skinpath

We need to also copy over the containers these need to go into /portals/_default/containers

cvDemo_containerpath

Our skin contains a design used for the homepage and then a second design used for all the other pages in the site. The skin is design using Twitter Bootstrap 3 so we can then be responsive when viewing the site on a mobile device. It also means we can enable the responsive mode of Cart Viper to make all the store front responsive too.

In the Site Setting  - Appearance we set the skin to CVDemo - Main and we also set the container to the CVDemo - No Title container.

sitesettings_cvdemo

Pro Tip

Why buy a generic skin from the DNN Store when you can get a custom one cheaper? We got a custom made design using Twitter Bootstrap from a designer and then we just converted it to a skin ourselves all for less than the cost of an average skin on the store. Its a one off and designed to our requirements.

We posted the job on People Per Hour and found our designer on there. Its the fastest and cheapest way to get quality results.

The navigation menu used by the skin is a custom one we created using the DDR menu and a simple razor script. The script is located in the folder bootstrapNav inside the skin folder.
We are using some code to get all the top level categories in Cart Viper and then we output these into the menu. We also have hard coded a link to a contact page which is just a DNN page on the demo site.

On the home page of the site we define the skin to use for this page to the CVDemo - Home skin so that gives us the different look to the rest of the pages within the site.

Search and Mini Cart

At the top of every page we have the Search Input and Mini Cart control. These are not in fact Cart Viper modules, these are just two simple razor scripts that we have added to the header pane using the Razor Host Module which is part of the standard DNN install.

cvdemo_header

Firstly copy over all the /RazorHost files in download at the bottom of the page to the folder.
We’ll explain some more about all the files as we setup the home page of the site below.

/DesktopModules/RazorModules/RazorHost/Scripts

So just add two Razor Host modules to the pane at the top of the skin and then we just set one module to use the script CVSearchinput.cshtml and the other module to use CVMiniCart.cshtml. We have created a pane for each control namely searchInputPane and MiniCartPane and its those where you should place Razor Host modules.

cvdemo_minicart

We are also going to set both modules to display on all pages of our site, so that these two controls are available on every page.

Also if you look at the demo site, you’ll notice we have a link to the cart, wishlist and my account. This is done using the same idea. Just add a Razor Host module to the HeaderPane and define the script as CVHeaderLinks.cshtml then assign that module to all pages in the site.

Latest, Featured and Best Sellers

There are some other items we are going to add to the home page which give us some extra functionality when a customer first lands on the page.
We have a Latest items, Best Selling items and Featured items. All three of these are creating using Razor Host modules and three scripts we have wrote that pulls the products from Cart Viper.

cvdemo_homepage

Add three Razor Host modules to the home page then just set the scripts to use as

  • CVBestSellers.cshtml
  • CVFeaturedProducts.cshtml
  • CVHomePageLatest.cshtml

The products for each of the scripts comes from a category we have defined in the CV back office. We have a root category called _Meta which we have made sure in our other scripts is never rendered to the store front. We then have a sub category in there which maps products to the razor script.
It might sound complex but its very simple once you look at the razor scripts and the code we have written.

cvDemo_homepage_cat

CV Template

We have made a lot of changes to the templates used in Cart Viper and added some razor scripts into the folders that the templates use. To set up those you just need to turn on Portal Templates and Responsive in the Store Admin – Store Info page.

cvdemo_portalTemplates

Once these are set we can just copy over the files in the folder CV_ResponsiveTemplates into the folder /Portals/X/CVStore/ResponsiveTemplate 
Note X will be the portal ID of the portal you are using.

Please take a look at the html template files and the scripts sub folder to learn more about how we are making the store front.

Category Menu

On the product details page we display a category submenu which lists any subcategories contained within the currently selected category.

cvdemo_subcategory

This again is a Razor Host module which we have added to the store page. The name of the script to use is CVCategorySubMenu.cshtml.

Going Further

We never intended to give the skins and files used on the demo site, so we recommend that you try out all the changes and make sure they match your requirements and you use the files as a jumping off point for customizing your store further. With that in mind we have a couple of ideas where you could extend the templates and design.

The navigation menu we use on the skin contains a hard coded link to a contact page, this could be changed to have some code which adds dynamicaly other pages defined within the portal.
You could just edit the razor script /Skins/CVDemo/bootstrapNav/CVNav.cshtml to do this.

On the product details template it would be good to add a related product selection, this could be as simple as using the name or keywords of the current product and doing a search against the catalogue for matching products then rendering those to the page.

On the cart page you could add some razor script to attempt to upsell some special offer item based on the contains of the cart.

Download

Download all the files for this blog post. CVDemo.zip (2.0Mb)



Action Handling

clock August 26, 2014 13:19

A recent project that we have worked on is the ecommerce store for Action Handling. Action Handling sell over 11,000 items online related to storage and handling of materials using Cart Viper as the ecommerce store.

We worked together with Sharon Ensbury to implement a complete solution for the client. Taking the designer’s mock-ups and converting these into the layout and functionality requirements for the store.
Responsive design was incorporated to allow browsers on tablets, mobile devices and laptops to browse and purchase from the store.

ah_home

The store features a lot of custom Razor generated features which we are especially proud of. This demonstrates the power of Cart Viper and the new Razor support we have implemented. Here are some of the features and templates we created for the project.

Mega Menu

Due to the vast number of items and categories we created a custom menu using a mega menu layout to allow customers to quickly locate the category. Driven from the data stored within Cart Viper and render to the page using a custom Razor script.

ah_megamenu

 

Category List

We replaced the standard category list view with a custom one, this allows the browser to switch between list and grid view as well as sorting.

This goes to demonstrate how easy it is to change the layout of standard Cart Viper templates with custom ones using the built in template and Razor support.

ah_catlist

 

Product Details

The standard product details page was replaced with a custom one which allows the customer to select the correct model from the range, view the specifications and watch any videos that are assigned to the product.

action_productdetails

Developing custom templates with Razor is fast and powerful giving you complete access to the data and DNN framework. The possibilities are endless to what you can achieve.

Testimonial

This is what the implementation partner had to say about our us and our product.

I looked at Cart Viper during the design stage of my material handling equipment website https://actionhandling.co.uk. I had used Cart Viper on a number of other e commerce websites but none of them were as complex as Action Handling. Action Handling has over 11,000 lifting and handling products and all of them have different variations and price structures. As well as all the usual product details we wanted to allow customers to download product pdfs and view videos for some products. We wanted to show product variations neatly in tables and wanted to easily update the product database when products and prices changed. We wanted customers to be able to pay via credit card or pay on account. We wanted to disable some functionality, change text, and add new functionality.

Before starting the project I downloaded all the leading DNN E Commerce stores and compared them in a table against all of my client requirements. Cart Viper looked as though they were the only store that would meet most of the requirements. If I had any doubts as to whether the product had any shortcomings I needn't have worried.   Cart Viper answered all my questions in a timely manner and filled me with confidence that I could make changes to the product templates and assured me that they would be there if I needed them to make any changes that were not straightforward.

We have ended up with a fantastic looking site and Mark McAvoy has been an absolute star ensuring that all the customer requirements were met and ensuring our responsive skin and Mega Menu was integrated with Cart Viper and everything works well on mobile, tablet and desktop computers.

As if that wasn't enough Mark has not just followed our instructions, if he thought something could be done in a better way he told us.

This was an extremely enjoyable project. Dee Jones Design was responsible for the design, Action Handling had their ideas of how the website would look and tested the functionality met their business model and processes, and Cart Viper were an important part of that team.

I would recommend Cart Viper to anyone considering adding a E Commerce functionality to a DNN website.

Sharon Ensbury

 

We are ready to work with you on your ecommerce project, we have the product and we have the skills to make a winning solution.



Cart Viper 3.2.0 Released

clock July 30, 2014 11:56
by author nigel

We are happy to announce version 3.2.0 of Cart Viper the DNN ecommerce solution is now released , this version is packed full of new features:

  • Include order details in the export orders to CSV file.
  • Admin view additional orders by same customer.
  • Template the "add to cart" confirmation message.
  • Stripe payment gateway support.
  • Epay payment gateway support.
  • Replace existing Silverlight product image upload control with a jQuery version.
  • Allow wildcard searching.
  • When logging in on the "my account" page send the user straight to start of the checkout.
  • Razor support in the email templates.
  • Allow customers to store addresses in an address book to use for future orders.
  • Allow admin to add additional order statuses.
  • Various other minor enhancements and bug fixes.

As always Cart Viper comes with a free 14 day trial and a full road map for the future!



Cart Viper Offers Affordable Peace Of Mind

clock March 7, 2014 11:50
by author nigel

With online sales now accounting for a larger than ever percentage of an organisations total sales it stands to reason that every step possible needs to be taken to ensure ecommerce sites are fully functional 24/7.

Cart Viper understands these concerns and have a number of support packages in place to give you the peace of mind knowing that there will be a member of our team on hand to answer any questions or resolve any issues you may have.

We offer a number of paid support offers to suite every budget and organisation type:

Standard Support

  • Access to support forums 
  • Email contact with developers
  • All emails and posts will be replied to in a prompt fashion during UK business hours Monday - Friday (8am - 6pm GMT) excluding UK public holidays. 
  • Priority will be given to standard support customers over community support customers. 
  • Hot fixes released for bugs.

Enterprise Support

  • Access to support forums.
  • Direct email contact with developers.
  • All emails and posts will be replied to in a prompt fashion during UK business hours (8am - 6pm GMT) 7 days a week excluding UK public holidays. 
  • Priority will be given to enterprise support customers over community and standard support customers. 
  • Hot fixes released for bugs 
  • Discounted rates on all custom development work.

Use coupon code SUPPORT to receive a 25% discount on all our support packages, so don’t delay as this offer is only valid until 30th April 2014!



You Voted We Coded

clock March 6, 2014 11:46

Its just under a week since we released the new version of Cart Viper (Version 3.1) and we’ve already had some very positive feedback from our customers.

We just wanted to say a thank you to all the people that voted for the various features on our road map. We had a total of nine items that received votes, of which 8 items are now available in the Cart Viper 3.1.

The eight items which received votes and are now part of Cart Viper are

  1. Predictive search
  2. Quick install
  3. Support order PDF generation spanning multiple pages
  4. Full payment via Coupon support
  5. Store category Menu now supports Razor
  6. Store Owners can see the audit log for an order
  7. Hide categories with zero products
  8. Admins can now delete a cancelled order

The ninth item that was voted for (support for the Stripe Payment Gateway), was after the deadline for new features. We’ve moved this feature into the roadmap for version 3.2.

We do listen to our customers and you shape our direction and product enhancements. The road map has been updated again with planned features for version 3.2 and 3.3. We need your votes!

If there is a feature you would like to see then contact us and we can add it to the list.



Cart Viper 3.1.0 Released

clock February 28, 2014 15:43

We are pleased to announce that the latest release of Cart Viper 3.1.0 is now available. This release contains new features, improvements and bug fixes that build upon our existing module.

The highlights of this release are

  • Razor Support – We now have built-in support for using Razor files in the templates. You can now easily perform advanced customisations of the store using your own snippets. We’ll be creating some examples using Razor other the coming weeks.

  • Predictive Search – As the site visitor types into the search field we suggest terms based on the content of the index.
    search

  • Category Menu – The category menu in Cart Viper can now be rendered with a Razor script, so you can output the catalogue categories however you like and use custom jQuery plugins for example to style the menu.

  • Cloud Digital Downloads – Store digital download files in the cloud and give paying customers secure access to download the file directly from Amazon S3 or Azure.

  • Medium Trust Support – We have restored support for medium trust sites.

  • Speed Improvements – The store will run even quicker in this latest release. We have managed to improve the performance even further.

We have a free 14 day trial available to all. http://www.cartviper.com/free-trial

If you are an existing customer then you can download the latest release from the free trial page.

Cart Viper is ecommerce module for the DNN Platform which turns your CMS website into a revenue generating source. With simple setup its easy to start selling with plenty of advanced features to help turn your browsers into paying customers.



Lowering Cart Abandonment Rates

clock January 28, 2014 14:03
by author nigel

One key area that owners of ecommerce stores need to be focus on is lowering cart abandonment rates, this means lowering the percentage of users who assemble a cart on your store but ultimately fail to complete the checkout process.

This is a hugely frustrating problem for store owners as the customer has found and engaged with your store but ultimately backed out at the last moment leaving the store owner with no sale to show for their hard work in SEO and marketing.

A recent study by Econsultancy / Toluna found that 25.6% of users surveyed would abandon their cart if they were forced to register for an account with the website:

 

When setting up an ecommerce store the owner will typically disable anonymous checkout forcing the user to create an account because:

  • Create a relationship between customer and store.
  • Easier to communicate any shipping / order issues to customer.
  • Customer more likely to engage with store in future (products reviews, purchase related products, etc).
  • Join store email list.

However adding this additional barrier to checkout is not always the best long term strategy for your store, simply because customers do not like creating an account with a store they may only shop with occasionally.

With that in mind Cart Viper the dnn ecommerce module has a number of settings that allow you to tailor the checkout experience to suite your needs:

  • Disable anonymous checkout – user must register for an account before being allowed to checkout.
  • Allow anonymous checkout – user can checkout without registering for an account.
  • Auto-create user account – user can checkout without registering for an account, but Cart Viper will automatically create them a user account once their order has been placed and email them the login details.

As you can see Cart Viper has every option covered and is the most feature rich ecommerce module available for DNN, please take the free 14 day trial or contact us to discuss how Cart Viper could work for your ecommerce project.



Printers, Game Consoles and Cart Viper

clock January 27, 2014 15:32

888713_86088876What do printers, mobile phones, video game consoles and razor have in common? They all use the razor blade business model, selling a commodity cheap to generate revenue on complementary products.

The initial cost of purchasing a new printer is tiny compared to the cost of purchasing ink or toner over the life time of the printer.
Its a tried and tested model that works, so long as the original product isn’t modified to cut the manufacturer out of the loop with purchasing the complementary product. If you start using refilled ink or toner the manufacturer loses out on the revenue and its no longer a great deal for them.

So what does any of this have to do with Cart Viper?
Well a common question we get asked is what is our upgrade policy for Cart Viper. Simple, its the opposite of the razor blade model. If you purchase a license you get free lifetime upgrades.

That’s correct, purchase a license and you’ll get access to every release we create in the future. Not just bug fixes, but new features as they become available. All for the single one off license cost.
We have an active road-map of new features, a frequent release cycle and great support, so let us help you with your next ecommerce project.

Ask our competitors about what their upgrade policy is, are they following the razor blade model?



Competition Time!

clock January 20, 2014 10:03
by author nigel

Here at Cart Viper the dnn shoping cart we have written a series of posts highlighting some on the innovative sites we have been working on over the last year. Now its time to see what the community have been up to.

So to that end we are holding a competition for community members to submit their Cart Viper sites with the aim to find the best example of some of the great features Cart Viper has.

As a prize we are offering the winner the choice of 1 of our premium add on licenses so they can unlock even more of the great features of Cart Viper!

  • Cart Viper events.
  • Cart Viper mobile store.
  • Catalog workflow and version history.
  • Product localization.

Maybe you developed a skin object , used the new responsive templates or another of the many features we support to take your site to the next level. To enter post your site URL in the comments and a brief description of why you think your site should win our competition.

Deadline for submissions is the 31st January 2014 with the winner selected by us and announced on the 3rd February 2014!

1390233615_cube-6x6



Shape The Direction of Cart Viper

clock November 4, 2013 13:16

Today we have launched a new feature on the Cart Viper website. We are committed to listen to our customers and we have now made it easier for you to help shape the direction of Cart Viper.

The new road map page allows you to view, vote and comment on tickets which we are working on for future releases.
Do we have a task which is important to you? We want to see your votes and hear your comments.

Cart Viper - Road Map

We’ll be adding more road map details over the coming days

Cart Viper is an ecommerce module for DNN which provides you with the ability to sell anything online, With features you would expect to find in a product costing ten times the price.



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