VirtueMart is an open source e-commerce solution for the Joomla Content Management System (CMS). It was first created in 2009 by Sören Eberhardt-Biermann, who created a side branch of the stand-alone phpShop e-commerce suite. This offshoot became what is now known as VirtueMart.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE USE OF VIRTUEMART
To use VirtueMart, you need Joomla. This e-commerce solution is not available as a stand-alone product or with another CMS such as Drupal or WordPress.
VirtueMart can be used in two different modes: shopping cart and catalogue.
The shopping cart mode provides you with everything you need to run a complete online store: a product catalogue, a shopping cart and complete workflows for checkout / payment processing.
The catalogue mode, however, is only intended to draw attention to your products; your customers cannot make purchases directly from the catalogue.
VIRTUEMART KEY FEATURES
VirtueMart strives to be a complete, user-friendly e-commerce system for both beginners and experts. It is an extension for the Joomla platform, but VirtueMart itself is expandable. Here is a list of the features you get from VirtueMart, based on how they are organized in the configuration menu of the software:
In addition to the typical product management features you would expect from an e-commerce tool with a catalogue function (such as simple product editing, lists and categorization), you can create custom fields so that you can easily fill in the desired details and share them with your customers. You can also edit taxes and calculation rules so that users see prices excluding VAT, including sales tax, etc., depending on where they are located.
VirtueMart includes many different features designed to make it easy for both you and your customers to find what you are looking for. You can list your products and arrange them as you like. VirtueMart makes it very easy to create as many categories as you want and categorize your products accordingly. If all these options seem overwhelming, you can use the parent products to create cloned underlying product listings.
INTEGRATED PRODUCT REVIEWS
A major attraction of online shopping is being able to see product reviews. Research shows that 88% of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase. VirtueMart makes it easy for people to leave reviews and reviews about the items you sell.
To help you manage your stock, you have robust back-end tools to keep track of what items you have in stock, items you have sold and items you have ordered but haven’t received yet. However, these features are not just for physical products; you can easily manage a store with digital downloads using the same tools.
ORDERS AND SHOPPERS
The backend-tools you get at VirtueMart also include the possibility to process coupons for product discounts, order management and customer management. In particular, the shopper management tool allows you to segment your customers – you can retain groups of customers and then, using the policy/rules functions, you can show shopper groups different prices, tax rates, shipping costs, and so on.
Finally, VirtueMart tracks data and provides reporting functions so that you can automatically generate data for tax purposes.
In order to keep customers informed about the status of orders, VirtueMart is supplied with a total of six standard order statuses, as listed below.
- In anticipation
- Confirmed by customer
The statuses In process and Sent and Sent cannot be changed, but site owners can add or change any number of statuses they choose between the two.
VirtueMart offers a range of functions under Manufacturers, which you can associate with products and provide a website, contact person and descriptive information. The use of these functions is strictly optional, but it is an easy way to enter information once and fill it out multiple times for different products.
In the Store section, you can change the display details for your store, including the name, primary currency (and any secondary currencies you accept), photos / company logos, terms of service, and so on. You can also change the payment methods you accept, as well as the shipping methods you want to offer your customers.
You will also have access to plug-ins that allow you to easily integrate your shipping workflow into your online store.
CUSTOMIZABLE CART & CHECKOUT PROCESS
The shopping cart and checkout process can be fully customized. In addition to the traditional multi-step process requiring user registration, you can implement a guest checkout or one-click checkout option. Support for SSL certificates ensures that your customers’ data remains secure. As a product targeting a global audience (or stores targeting a global audience), you can set the countries you serve, as well as the currency you accept.
Your customers can provide their details using the forms provided. Form input fields vary depending on whether the user registers, checks out, or sets their shipping options. They can certainly choose a registration-free checkout process, but registered users can access an address book, set their default billing and shipping addresses, and save their payment information for later use.
If necessary, you can manage your orders manually, including changing status, offering refunds, and so on.
VirtueMart can be used in a number of languages, so if you are targeting a global audience, this may be a good option for you. However, as open source software, the languages supported depend on the availability of a translator who is willing to take on the project. You can add additional support for languages other than English by installing VirtueMart extension packages.
The Tools section contains the features that developers need to set up their shops. As an open source product, you can modify any part of the software suite, including the underlying code.
This is the part where you would do this, although you can certainly use VirtueMart as it is. In addition, some of the features available here allow you to perform in-depth troubleshooting and make important changes to your installation without undoing and reinstalling it.
In the Extensions Store you will find plug-ins, components, modules and templates for use with your VirtueMart implementation. If you ever notice that VirtueMart’s standard feature set does not contain something you are looking for, you are likely to find an extension that adds functionality to your store.
VIRTUEMART ESSENTIALS EXTENSION
One of the most popular extensions for VirtueMart is their Essentials package, which allows users to create a wish list, compare products and use Quick View with the click of a button. Site owners can also use this extension to generate reports on wish lists.
PRICES AND PAYMENTS
The price tools allow you to implement dynamic pricing, allowing you to charge different groups of customers at different prices. You can also use the dynamic calculator to offer discounts based on time, product category, store group, country or state. This calculator can also be used for tax and import duty / customs fees.
VirtueMart has a global focus, allowing you to display prices and execute transactions in many different currencies.
To accept payments from your customers, VirtueMart integrates with PayPal, Amazon Payments and several global banks, and also offers a COD option.
To ensure that your store is found by as many people as possible, VirtueMart comes with built-in SEO features that allow you to set the metadata for your product pages. This includes the ability to add microdata and rich snippets.