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I am looking for some advice if anyone can help please.

I have a potential project coming up that I would like to use EE CMS for with the addition of an e-commerce add-on, either CartThrob v2 or Store v2.

I have previously used both add-ons so I don't mind which one I use, however the project brief has a few areas that I am unsure of the best approach to build. Please see below:

  1. Recently viewed products
  2. Product search filter (e.g. by size and or colour)
  3. Request a quote (for items that are not for sale due to complex variations, customer would add to a basket still but then send off for an email quote. Possibly using CT Wishlist?)
  4. Powerful site search for searching content as well as products again with filters
  5. Provide category gallery or list view with sortable column headers
  6. Dynamically created pdf datasheet, taking the products tabbed description/content and providing the customer with a link on the fly using the HTML/CSS

Any thoughts on how to provide the above 6 items with either add-on would be appreciated. Looking through on first glance maybe CartThrob would be the best bet with it's wishlist add-on for the quote aspect?

Thanks, Wes

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  • I think this is probably a bit much to ask in a single question. Things like "powerful site search" could be a whole question on their own, and aren't even related to ecommerce specifically. See How to ask. Note that SE is based around the idea of upvoting good answers, and the voting system breaks down if you ask many different questions at once. – Adrian Macneil Mar 6 '14 at 0:16
  • Could you provide an update to this, or mark one of the answers as accepted if it helped? – Mutual May 26 '14 at 15:35
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Recently Viewed Products

As far as I'm aware neither platform does this directly, but because both store product information in ExpressionEngine channels you could use a plugin such as http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/recently-viewed-entries to achieve this.

Product search filter & Powerful site search for searching content as well as products again with filters

You'd probably have better luck with something like Super Search or Low Search using categories to filter products.

Request a quote

Exp:resso Store v1 had a quotation add-on (http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/store-quotations) but it's been discontinued.

I think you might struggle to pull this off elegantly in the basket and sounds like it could be a complicated user experience. Could it be simplifed so if they press "add to basket" on a product that needs a quotation they fill out the form on that page?

If so you could set a field in the product channel (maybe a P&T Switch) that lets you display either an "add to cart" button or a "request a quotation" button as appropriate.

Provide category gallery or list view with sortable column headers

This is more of a UI issue than an add-on one. You could use URL Segments or cookies to remember the user's preferred sorting options and use if statements or Switchee to modify how the product category pages look. Either platform will be fine.

The last time I used CartThrob is was a bit of pain to do sorting because of how they stored data. Exp:resso Store have a really nice search tag that makes this really easy: https://exp-resso.com/docs/search_tag.html

PDF Datasheet

This could be created on either platform by having a template that generates the datasheet in HTML and then use something like http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/shine-pdf to convert it into a PDF.

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  • Thanks Andrew for the detailed answers. The recently viewed entries add-on looks discontinued unfortunately, otherwise that could have worked. The PDF datasheet, views and search suggestions all make sense so thank you for those. I think the 2 grey areas remain the 'recently viewed products' and 'request a quote' features. The CT wishlist add-on I thought could be an option for the quotes but will need further investigation. – Wes Mar 5 '14 at 17:01
  • Just found a potential add-on for the viewed products here: devot-ee.com/add-ons/lasting-impressions – Wes Mar 5 '14 at 17:15

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