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8 November 2007 Near Future Roadmap

We often receive questions regarding upcoming functionality additions, so we're providing a rough road-map of the near future LiveCart releases within this blog post.

Not all of the features mentioned will be included in the LiveCart core package, but rather provided as add-ons. We're planning to keep LiveCart core light (and affordable) and allow to install only the functionality you actually need. This way would never have to pay for functionality you do not use.

Of course, it doesn't mean that there won't be additions to LiveCart core package as well. Generally, if most store owners could make use of a feature (for example, sales reports or data import), it will be included in the core package. Other features, especially larger and more sophisticated ones (like affiliate program support) that most users will not use, will be distributed as plugins. Most of the plugins will be free of charge.

AJAX-ified store fronted!

As you might have noticed, LiveCart makes heavy use of AJAX in the admin backend to provide the outstandingly smooth workflow. So far we have been reluctant to use much AJAX in frontend for multiple reasons – the main of them being that relatively small number of stores will actually use them; it makes customization more difficult and different stores would have different ideas on which parts should be AJAX-ified. We will attempt to resolve this by releasing a separate add-on for installing the frontend AJAX features, with several options, that will allow to tweak the usage of AJAX features to your liking.

Nice looking themes

Currently LiveCart ships only with its default theme, which, although minimalistic and very easy to use for customizing and building your nice looking theme upon, is not terribly eye-catching. We will start publishing new (and free!) themes very soon.

Importing Products

One of the most important things that haven't yet been implemented, is product importing. This is a very important feature for those store owners that use other shopping cart programs and are looking to make the switch to LiveCart. And of course, the importing would be a great help in those cases when a product database is available in Excel or any other database or database-like format.

We're looking forward to offer database conversion tools from as many as possible of the most popular shopping cart programs as possible, as well as CSV/XLS importing. We expect to to provide integrations for two popular shopping cart programs already by the next release.

Reports

Sales reports, aggregations, analysis, store page view statistics – everything that would help you understand better on what exactly is going on in your store and how things could be made even better.

Nice looking 3D charts is a must as well, so we'll definitely have them too ;)

Payment and shipping calculator modules

A feature of which, there's never enough. There are always more payment systems to support and shipping rate calculators to integrate. New integrations will be provided within almost every release.

Discounts and custom pricing

Another often requested feature is the ability to set custom pricing to different user groups, provide quantity discounts or pricing based on more complex rules. We're looking forward to provide a truly flexible solution, that should be able to implement almost every business rule that one could come up with.

Campaign management

For those stores that rely heavily on online advertising, the knowledge on which sources of advertising perform the best, is invaluable. We're planning to implement a campaign tracking tool that would provide detailed performance, ROI statistics and analysis for all of your online advertising.

Shipping automation

Most likely the first addition that will improve the shipping automation process will be shipping labels printer, which should appear within the next couple of updates. Obviously, there will be more than that and we will arrange our priority list based on your feedback.

Accounting integration

Although LiveCart allows to export its data (orders, products and users) to a CSV file, which can further be imported into any other software, we're looking forward to provide ready-made integration solutions with the most widely used accounting programs, like QuickBooks, etc.

Gift certificates

This feature is also in our short term roadmap and should become available soon.

And more!

This was only a small part of our near future plans. There are going to be many more pleasant surprises.

Of course, your feedback is very important to us, so if you have any ideas on how LiveCart could be improved, we'll be more than happy to hear them!