I represent a large bunch of interested users who have been looking for specific open source e-commerce functionality for a while now, but we have not been able to find a solution that provides it. I wrote some articles a while back about the lack of this functionality and I know that some development teams claimed to be working on it, but I don't know if anyone has cracked it yet. I will outline the functionality below, but my question is essentially - are there any plans for Joomla (or any Joomla Extensions) to support this type of functionality in the future and is so, when? I've already emailed a similar question to the OSC development team.
The functionality in question is what I refer to as multi-site, multi-store. To summarise:
Specifically I want to have a single install/codebase which enables me to create sites on the fly (probably as subdomains) for clients, each subsite presenting it’s own front end (templates, shopping cart, taxes, products etc.) to consumers and backend (admin GUI, catalog, configuration items etc.) to vendors. I see the role of a central site as an aggregator (acting as a virtual shopping mall if you will for each subsite), but it’s important to me (and the clients) that they are also accessible as individual shops in their own right. The idea of the single codebase/install is that it cuts down dramitically on support effort, and therefore costs. It also means I could get a dedicated server for all subdomains and just do the whole hosting thing simply, instead of having to setup seperate hosting contracts for each client.
In this multi-site, multi-store scenario each seller can maintain their own 'store' via a common backend - so I'm assuming seperate tables would be required in the database. Each 'buyer' can access the stores either on their specific domain names (e.g. store.domain.com) or via the main / central store domain.com site. Shipping, taxes etc. should be configurable per store and it should also be possible for the aggregator site to take a percentage of of all transctions as an admin fee.
The service provided by the aggregator is a combination of hosting, SEO and support, but the sellers maintain their own stores and deal directly with their clients (e.g. shipping etc.). Where they benefit is by being part of a virtual online shopping mall and the resulting SEO.
I am checking in with all of the major e-commerce open source solutions on the market and their respective development teams to see if anyone is going to address this and I will be publishing the results of this analysis on my website for interested parties.
Can you clarify for me please if there are any OSC modules or extensions that provides this type of functionality please? Thank you.