VP-ASP Cart is made by Rocksalt, an Australian company with over 10 years in the business. They are one of the pioneers of the shopping cart software and their product is now in its 7th version. My discovery of VP-ASP was all the way back in 2002. I searched the internet relentlessly for suitable software for me and when I found it, I felt it had what I needed.
Today, VP-ASP has changed a lot since 2002 but the essence of that product is still there.
My First Thoughts
Looking at today’s version, I can see why I chose VP-ASP so many years ago. You would have to do a lot of searching to find features like the ones on this one. Being a shopping cart software veteran, VP-ASP has had all the time it needs to upgrade and update its features and it shows today.
Setting Up & Managing Products
When you start setting up your VP-ASP, you may be a little confused by the multitude of features it offers. Don’t worry; they are there to offer you every possible feature you could possibly want so take the time to get acquainted with them. For instance, you have the choice for unloadable customer images, which I assume works for customizable goods. You can configure the number of RMA days by product if you want. There are also flexible payment options. It may seem confusing at first but this is pure advantage for e-commerce owners.
I must warn you though to look out for the default settings. Some are a bit peculiar but they are easy to turn off during set up. You just need to look out for them and choose what works best for you.
Payment, Shipping & Taxes
While PayPal is an available payment option, you can choose from hundreds of others! This is great for international customers if you know who you are targeting. You get three free payment options and if you need more, you will have to pay extra.
If you plan to make your customers pay for shipping, VP-ASP lets you choose if this payment is fixed, if it depends on weight, the number of items purchased and a whole range of other options and configurations. Again, if you’re new to e-commerce you may think you don’t need them but if you intend to grow, those features can come in really handy for you.
Tax modules are also available for download and you can choose how you want to configure them according to your product and other tax options.
Watch out for the default setting on VP-ASP on guest checkout. It is not allowed by default but I would advise you to turn it on because guest checkouts really increase your sales. The checkout option on VP-ASP is very simple and straightforward and helps your customers during their purchase.
Like everything with VP-ASP, there are tons of skins to choose from and you can purchase each one for around $95. While they give you lots of color options, they won’t change the way your template is displayed and so you will have to code that yourself. If you know a thing or two about HTML and CSS, then you can manage it yourself through the admin page.
Marketing is very important to your online store and VP-ASP allows for
- Quantity discounts,
- Group discounts,
- Coupon codes, and
- Customer discounts.
There are even more functions that you can use for your marketing which are quite useful because they can increase your sales. Some of these functions are:
- Cross selling and Upselling straight from the shopping cart
- Embedding videos directly into the product pages
- Supporting multi languages and currencies
- Purchasing Gift certificates
- Supporting Affiliate modules
While I haven’t found a newsletter option, I simply collect my customers emails addresses and export them to have my own mailing list.
The SEO Toolkit on VP-ASP needs to be paid for separately and costs around $195. This is a disadvantage for me because SEO should be a given as traffic from searches makes up the most sales for e-commerce store. Still, if you like all the features, then paying a little extra for this will be worth your while.
Security should be a major consideration for you just as it is for me. You’re dealing with money and sales and so while not many carts have this, VP-ASP is PCI compliant. They also take security very seriously and enforce an admin login that requires a double password. You can even purchase a security audit service for $295 if you think you need it.
I like to have lots of reports to see how my store is doing and also to be able to analyse what I’ve done right and where I’ve gone wrong. VP-ASP’s reports include:
- Stock (this is very handy)
- Search term (great to help you make new product choices)
- Recurring billing
You can also customize your own reports with their query tool and it has so many options that I wouldn’t advise you unless you have the time to tackle it.
VP-ASP offers a typical FAQ and even video tutorials to help you. Support is free up to a certain limit and once you’re used up your free points, you have to pay for additional support. Still, they are available round the clock and that’s a comfort.
It would take me a lot of time and a lot more pages to list every feature on VP-ASP. Suffice it to say that some of the most important features are:
- Drop shipping support
- Gift registry
- Loyalty points system
- Support for digital goods
- A blog (this is great for customer retention)
- And so much more!
VP-ASP is like no other shopping cart because of the multitude of features it offers you. While this is an advantage to some, it can be quite scary if you’re new. This is made a little more difficult because of the user interface which is not so easy unless you’re tech-savvy. If you really want to make use of so many features, then go ahead and try it and take the time to understand it while setting it up. Your hard work will pay off in the end.