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VP-ASP Super User

304 Posts

Posted - July 18 2004 :  21:08:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have an improved Gift Registry for VP-ASP? I purchased the official VP-ASP Gift Registry, but since it reuses the entire shopping and checkout code, its pretty confusing to the customer. I plan to "customize" it to make it understandable, but before I go to that work, I thought I'd check to see if some of you have already done it.

VP-ASP New User

152 Posts

Posted - August 03 2004 :  13:06:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you find any? I also have a big big problem about it. It's

totally confusing! I think that the gift registry is totally unusable I personally consider it disfunctional because it doesn't meet the basic requirement of allowing a customer to successfully register WITHOUT confusing them. I end up with mad and impatient customers!

Can you imagine, they are already asked for shipping information in the

"Create Registry" page then they would have to do exactly the same

process after browsing and choosing their items in the registry as if

they are regular buyers of an item? And the most, over, super

confusing is that when they get redirected to the shpcustomer.asp

page, of course, my regular shipping methods are all there and they

would have to select a shipping method otherwise they won't get pass to

finalizing the "Create Gift Registry" page. My customers end up not

doing it because they say:

1. Why do I have to fill up this information again? It's redundant. I

already filled up my info in the first "Create Registry" page.

2. On the other hand, some patient people would fill up the

shopcustomer.asp but would end up gettng back to me and say, "I chose

express shipping method in my registry page but my friends ship them

ground. It didn't arrive on time for the event!"

*These users don't realize that on their receipt, regardless of

shipping method you pick, it gets disregarded because it "Gift Registry

Shipping Method of $0.00" setting takes over.

3. They all stop and cancel their gift registry transaction when they

see the shopcustomer.asp page because when they see the shipping

method, they think that there are charges involved and they just don't

want to do it - defeating the purpose of having somebody buy and ship

it for them. Although this is not the real case, but still this

shopcustomer.asp page confuse them a lot.

4. In short, the regular checkout page or shopcustomer.asp is NOT

necessary or NOT NEED to be involved in the gift registry at all since

all information is already provided on the first step.

*Please tell vpasp support about this so they would be aware of the

problem. Maybe they can find a solution to this without us redesigning

ourselves. I only need the basic gift registry design. As long as

it's simple, clear and functional. well techinically, the gift

registry is functional, don't get me wrong. It does what it's suppose

to do BUT it involves confusion and redundancy which are not very

helpful to me. If my customers are happy, I am happy. Like other

VPASP users, I am not a programmer and I just expect that the addon

will be helpful in my business and not attract confusion and bad

experience to my customers....

Any suggestions or help is much appreciated. Sorry I'm just frustrated

now. But afterall, I'd like to give credit for VPASP support because they do an excellent job overall. Thanks!

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VP-ASP Super User

304 Posts

Posted - August 03 2004 :  17:52:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Keng-

I understand your frustration well. The Gift Registry add-on is useless as purchased. It will only serve to discourage potential customers and scare them away rather than add value. Given the choice of using it as is, or not using it, I absolutly would not use it. I need to attract customers...not lose them.

I did ask Support about this. I had found a specific bug: items added to the gift registery are removed from inventory without actually being purchased! Of course this is really bad for anyone relying on the inventory feature and I have to wonder how other people didn't catch it before me. Support did provide the solution to this. However, there has been no official bug announcement or release about it, so how will other customers know? The solution is very easy and could be listed on a errata page, but its not. All bugs are kept quiet so all of us store owners have to each debug the same errors in the code. I can't turn on a single feature without testing it for hours to find the things that are confusing or don't work right. Then I spend many days fixing the things that aren't right. The gift registry is the worst so far, but I have quite a list of things that should have worked the first time, but didn't.

I have come to feel that VP-ASP is absolutely not meant to be used out of the box for real stores. Its meant as a development platform to help programmers build their own carts. Thats fine, but its not marketed that way, so many of us come into this thinking they are getting something they are not.

Anyway, I completely and strongly agree that Support is VERY good and are always very helpful. However, there is a limit to how much they can do with a product that is lacking. My issues with the the registry are the same as the ones you mentioned, plus more. For the brunt of it, Support said that fixing the immense confusion is considered "customization" and is therefore up to individual store owners. Of course, they are willing to do customization for you for a fee. I don't particularly want to pay them to fix problems in their own product.

I did find a developer on the forum who is planning work on the registry. They seemed to understand the problem well, and had many good ideas on what needs to be changed. I think they would do a very good job. You and I could perhaps collaborate...many specific things need to be fixed and we could share our solutions to each. Certainly we'll come up with more good ideas together than separate. I haven't yet had time to follow up with the developer or do any work myself. I had higher priority VP-ASP features to get working. However, I have customer's asking for the registry so I need to get it going soon.

Feel free to respond to the forum or email me directly.

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4263 Posts

Posted - August 03 2004 :  18:48:40  Show Profile  Visit support's Homepage  Reply with Quote
VP-ASP has hundreds of features and the combinations of all these features selected becomes a staggering number of choices. We get feedback all the time from customers regarding improvements that can be made to sub systems such as the Gift Registry and we welcome them.

When someone says something does dont't work right the first time, it typically means they would have made different design choices than VP-ASP developers. It does not mean there is a "bug".

Most changes to VP-ASP typically involve small changes to logic in very specific locations. Whether it is VP-ASP developers that have to make these changes come up all the time and we try to accomodate when we can sometimes free and sometimes as a site specific customization.

A small code change specific to a site is a lot easier than a general solution that requires a configuration option, changes to documentation, possibly language additions etc.

The advantage to VP-ASP is that it is open source, it is compartmentalized so that changes can be isolated to one or two files.

In the case of the Gift Registry specifically we have noted a number of requirements and added anumber of new features to VP-ASP 5.50 version including a range of new reports.

Howard Kadetz

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VP-ASP New User

152 Posts

Posted - August 04 2004 :  15:31:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Greatphoto,

Thanks for your response! I didn't know about "items added to the gift registery are removed from inventory without actually being purchased!". I have to check this myself and will ask support for the fix. That's a very good catch. I didn't notice this since my store is not fully opened yet. I invited few people to try my store before marketing them to the public and voila! those were just the quick obvious reactions I got from them. But I feel bad because it's like, "What else didn't we catch that we have to?" and it's not like we're the first vpasp customers... Information like this is very helpful to each other. I hope others will share also.

With regards to my original concern, VPASP support provided me quickly a fix on how not to include the shopcustomer.asp in the Gift Registry. I just haven't tried it. Most likely tonight I would. They also said that this fix will be provided in the 5.50 version.

Yes, I'm willing to collaborate with you as I go along and find out problems or fixes. You'll definitely hear from me. If there's anything I can also help u with let me know.

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VP-ASP New User

152 Posts

Posted - August 10 2004 :  08:16:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have some Gift Registry Suggestions. Anybody out there, I'd appreciate if you can please share with me your easy solution on this also. Other than what needed to be corrected above, I also found this to be a problem...

1. It's easy to delete an item from the registry but it's confusing to add an item. If a customer thought of viewing their "private items" by logging in to the system in the Gift registry section and wish to add, there is no obvious button to "Add" whereas there is one to "delete". Then the problem is that when they give up figuring out how to add an item and decided to buy it for themselves instead, the next item they choose to purchase will end up in their gift registry cart unless customer logout first then start shopping again.

2. It would be helpful if Merchant can control or limit the number of times a buyer can only create a registry. Sometimes, if they create their first registry and realized that they want to add more items but couldn't figure it out (due to lack of "Add" button) instead of trying to modify their existing ones, they just create registries over and over again. They could populate the site.

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. I think in the first place, the gift registry should be clear and easy to navigate. It really costs you to buy this addon and ending up programming yourself whereas it should be given already that it's useful and helpful to the store.

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Senior Member

United Kingdom
1898 Posts

Posted - August 10 2004 :  09:19:30  Show Profile  Visit devshb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
my 2 cents' worth is that it would be handy if there was a config option to rename "Gift Certificate" to "Vouchers", as it causes come confusion when also using the Gift-Registry or wishlists or coupons.

I'd suggest renaming "Gift Certificates" to "[mysite] Vouchers", and renaming Gift-Registry to something else (not sure what though!), and renaming wishlists to "favorites".

But, as support quite rightly pointed out; these things can be implemented/tweaked/renamed in a million different ways, so no solution will please everyone, and it is open source so these things can be done relatively easily by someone who develops vpasp carts.

And then there's coupons too! As per support's posting; zillions of options; the best thing to do is probably to pick which of those is the closest match to what you want to end up with, and then just customise it to your own requirements.

Simon Barnaby
[email protected]
Web Design, Online Marketing and VPASP addons
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VP-ASP New User

152 Posts

Posted - August 10 2004 :  10:38:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Devshb,

I agree, your renaming make sense and I am considering of implementing it. Thanks so much!

In reference to my suggestions above, those should already be given with the basic gift registry product. I just don't want to put away the money I spent on it. I am not trying to make the gift registry pretty or anything more advance. Just like Greatphoto said above, "I have come to feel that VP-ASP is absolutely not meant to be used out of the box for real stores. Its meant as a development platform to help programmers build their own carts. Thats fine, but its not marketed that way, so many of us come into this thinking they are getting something they are not." and that is the problem. So far, everything else works for me as a non-programmer except for the Gift Certificate." This is so true about the Gift Certificates... If I have to do it again, I would think twice about getting the gift certificate addon.

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VP-ASP Super User

304 Posts

Posted - October 24 2004 :  11:23:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Howard wrote:


In the case of the Gift Registry specifically we have noted a number of requirements and added anumber of new features to VP-ASP 5.50 version including a range of new reports.

Keng, or others-

Have you had a chance to try out the Gift Registry in VP-ASP 5.50? If so, how is it? Is it clearer to use than the VP-ASP 5.0 version?

I have not yet had time to make any improvements to the gift registry, so I still have it disabled on my site. I sorely need it, but just haven't had the time to devote to it. I have downloaded VP-ASP 5.5, but haven't yet tackled converting my site to run with it.

So, I'm trying to decide the best course of action for me to get the registry enabled on my site: upgrade to 5.5, make mods myself in 5.0, hire out the work, or perhaps one of the resellers has their improvements to it ready for sale now. What has been your experience so far?

I'll also be checking with the reseller I was talking with before to see if they tackled the project in the past 2+ months that I've been out of contact.

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VP-ASP New User

152 Posts

Posted - October 24 2004 :  14:29:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Greatphoto,

My gift registry is enabled in my site using version 5.5. I would say that all my complaints above have been addressed in 5.5 *except* that it's still not "user friendly" to add an item as it is easy to delete an item.

I would say that the gift registry in 5.5 is "good enough" but then again, the Gift Registry is the least popular in my site so I don't have crazy experiences yet. I have tested it myself, though.

I would suggest to upgrade to 5.5 because regardless you have 5.0 or 5.5 the gift registry is still not "pretty" in terms of its function. It's ok for the sake that you have it but if it's something that you highly rely on to make business, you will have to MOD because it's still not very "likeable". I hope my response make sense.

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Lori Titus
VP-ASP New User

126 Posts

Posted - November 28 2004 :  08:52:50  Show Profile  Visit Lori Titus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your comments, guys. I was considering purchasing this module, but decided against it. There is no point in getting it if it is not user friendly. Maybe with mods, you say, but I have only a few days left before the new site goes live, so I will pass for now. Maybe the next version.

The Internet's #1 supplier of honey and beeswax.
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VP-ASP Super User

304 Posts

Posted - May 29 2006 :  19:05:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've now had some time to try out the version 5.50 Gift Registry and it is just as bad as version 5.0. The core function is there, but the user interface is so baffling that it is unusable without lots of mods.

Does anyone know if version 6.0 has significant improvements?

Edited by - greatphoto on May 29 2006 19:24:27
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