The multi-vendor shopping cart at Uvinum

by Albert Garcia

From the beginning we have been obsessed in Uvinum in order to provide our customers the best shopping experience possible. For us that means providing a safe, consistent, quick and easy process. With the new feature we’re launching today, we are definitely walkin’ in this direction, eliminating one of the main barriers that our customers had have until now: today it’s possible to purchase products from several stores in a single order.


The marketplace model offers many advantages when buying a product. For example, you can compare prices from multiple stores or find unusual products, all in one place.

However, sometimes it can lead to problems.

Many marketplaces choose the traditional affiliates model: once the customer has chosen the product to buy, the marketplace redirects him to the affiliate store to perform the checkout process there. This is the easiest option, from a trading point of view -no need to be very picky about the quality of catalog information, duplication or inconsistencies-, but possibly that’s the most complex from the buyer point of view. Even if you do the searching process, comparison and selection in the marketplace, the experience is not consistent and it crushes at the most critical moment: the purchase decision. This point was the first we decided to improve: from December 2010 we have our own sales platform, so you don’t need to leave Uvinum to buy the products you have selected. We got a consistent shopping experience.

From that moment, our efforts were focused on improving the ease and speed of the process. The first version of our platform run under a Open Source system, Magento, which although allowed us to make a quick transition, imposed us many limitations: too many steps in the buying process, difficulties to integrate with our content platform, loooooong daily catalog updates, and same on the prices importation processes … And that’s why we developed our own payment platform, besides applying on the road different usability enhancements throughout the buying process. The import process went down from about 2 hours to about 5-6 minutes, the buying process from 7 to only 2 steps, we integrated the payment gateway in our own page … The buying process is much faster since then.

Despite these improvements, many users have continued suffering a lack, basicly, in our marketplace model: until now it was not possible the simultaneous purchase of products from different stores. The solution to this point had been delayed, mainly by the technological limitations and the added complexity to communicate properly what happens when you buy products delivered by different stores. But -you’ll see over time- we are very stubborn in Uvinum, and we do not like loose ends, so this summer we got down to work.

From now it’s no longer necessary to keep different shopping carts at each shop, you’ll simply add to your cart the products you want to buy, and you will be reported about the cart for each product: which stores will send it to you, estimated delivery period, and the estimated shipping for the entire order. A single order, a single confirmation email.

Thanks to all those who share their opinions, ideas, suggestions and criticism, for sure you help us to improve Uvinum with each contribution, which is, as I said earlier, our obsession. And that’s not all. October will bring NEWS -in capital letters- … Stay tuned.

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