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I like to see what clients face when starting up or migrating current business to the net. So recently I set up a Cosmetics Store in an effort to try every shopping cart on the market today.

I chose cosmetics because the concept required me to make use of most every function that software would need to have today. Styles, colors, it's all necessary with this kind of product, so that forced me to really dig in and look for a lot of features.

Boy did my eyes open to a quagmire of confusion. ... and the spam.. oh my gosh the spam that ensued after signing up for the trials.

To be fair, after clicking a littany of unsubscribes (and blocking those that did not unsubscribe me) most of the offerings were fine for a standard group of stores; Books, DVDs, Lawnmowers and Footballs. But the issues started when I needed more enhanced features.

The one on my list that became a problem was color swatches.

This is a cosmetics store, so an important features on the table was the ability to have a swatch of every color and shade of eye shadow, foundation, mascara etc is vital to the stores ability to sell.

To my surprise, not one of the usual suspects was able to provide me with this feature. I thought it was a simple thing but I was wrong.

One had a similar feature, but it required me to submit the product 20+ times, once in each color - but I needed the product once and then a selection of shades at checkout.

I was shocked. I really did think this was a commonly needed feature. T-Shirts in colors? Shoes in styles? None of this is unique so I was left wondering what the masses are doing.

I wrote to each provider asking for any direction and what I got back was lacking in understanding of the feature. And more spam.

Stores don't have the choice to throw their hands up and walk away. I had to find something that would fit this bill. My solution was to go outside the box; I looked around at some offerings that fit into Joomla or Wordpress. Yep it's a little more complex but then it turns out so was the need for swatches.

I again tried several offerings, and there certainly were a few contenders.

What I chose though, was a fabulous and super simple cart that installs in Joomla. WOW what a gorgeous site it produced.

I picked it because the software let me place my products anywhere on any page RATHER than having to input them all to create a run of the mill grid that shopping cart houses pushed me into.

What came of the excercise was one of the most unique and gorgeous stores I ever did see.

Take a look at jocool Cosmetics.

If you like how this software looks, here is the entire store recipe. It was this simple:

Joomla CMS (install using your cPanel with a click) 
Simple Caddy Shopping Component (installs in Joomla)
RS Media Photograph Component (installs in Joomla)
PayPal account for checkout

That's it.

Remember, always use the most current software versions and always update when required. And if you want help with something that requires similar features.. hit me up at the Help Desk. I'm happy to share my knowledge :)