E-Commerce Solutions

Karen Y. Larkin

Only a few years ago people who wanted to launch e-commerce sites needed to have extensive programming skills-or hire someone who did. Sometimes it took more resources and expertise to develop the site and keep it running than to manage the core business. Today, those obstacles have been replaced with a plethora of high quality off-the-shelf e-commerce packages. Selling goods and services online has never been easier!

Volusion

Volusion is a good value for almost any size business. It's rich in technological features and affordable price point makes it attainable for almost everyone.

Features

Some of its most popular e-commerce features include:

  • More than 120 professionally designed site building templates
  • Zoom in feature for product photography
  • Vast options available for colors, sizes and styles
  • Side-by-side product comparisons
  • One-page checkout
  • Inventory management
  • Daily deals
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools
  • Consumer product ratings
  • Email marketing
  • Integrated Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube posting platforms
  • Site design options for notebooks and mobile phones

The system's primary drawback is limited storage space.

Pricing

Plans range from $15 to $195 per month.

Shopify

Shopify's greatest advantage may be its ease-of-use, but it is also a powerful and feature-packed e-commerce solution.

Features

Popular features include:

  • More than 100 highly customizable design templates
  • Dozens of applications, including social media and email integration
  • Data-rich customer profiles
  • User groups to facilitate customer forums
  • Easily adapts sites to notebook and mobile devices
  • Full-featured blogging platform
  • More than 70 secure payment gateways to choose from
  • Automated shipping rate calculation
  • Fast host servers with unlimited bandwidth
  • Automated sales reporting
  • E-commerce training and 24/7 support

One negative is that the product limits the number of products a category can contain, but it compensates by allowing unlimited categories.

Pricing

Plans range from $29 to $179 per month.

Shopping Cart Elite

Shopping Cart Elite offers vast capabilities, containing roughly 1,000 features.

Features

Perhaps the package's greatest strength is its search engine optimization package. A few of its more unique features include:

  • The ability to push your products into the listings of partners like PriceGrabber, Sears, eBay, Amazon, and others
  • Data back-ups every 15 minutes
  • Up-selling options
  • Product bundling capabilities

The one feature this product is missing is side-by-side product comparison.

Pricing

This solution is also pricey, and the pricing structure (pages 47-49) is a bit challenging to decipher. Packages range from $99 to $499 per month, but they are not all inclusive. Some of the plug-ins are as high as $299 per month, and add-on support packages go up to $999 per month.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is the technological force behind more than $1.5 billion in transactions, for more than 34,000 e-commerce stores.

Features

The program is rich in features, including:

  • High resolution product images with zoom in features
  • More than 60 payment gateways
  • Integration with drop shippers
  • Unlimited product options
  • Supports downloadable products
  • Inventory management
  • Built in SEO

While the program offers currency conversions, it does not contain multilingual capabilities.

Pricing

Plans range from $24.95 to $299.95 per month

Yahoo! Small Business Merchant Solutions

Yahoo! Small Business Merchant Solutions is an intuitive e-commerce product for beginners, and it has the staying power to grow with you.

Features

Even though Yahoo! Merchant is a basic e-commerce option, it is not without helpful features:

  • More than 380 customizable website design templates, geared toward a variety of businesses
  • Works well with popular third-party applications, including Dreamweaver and any HTML editing tools
  • Supports an inventory of up to 50,000 products
  • SEO wizards and tools

This product's limiting factor is its lack of marketing tools.

Pricing

The cost of the package is $29.96 per month.

CoreCommerce

CoreCommerce is another basic, easy-to-use solution for beginners.

Features

The primary strengths of CoreCommerce include:

  • More than 250 website design templates to professionally showcase your products
  • Integrates with social media, helping you to get your products in front of a broader audience
  • Powerful security options

On the downside:

  • The product contains no SEO tools, nor does it submit your site to search engines.
  • The base package limits your inventory size.
  • It does not contain a tool for product comparison.

Pricing

Package pricing ranges from $24.99 to $159.99 per month and a 15-day free trial is available.

Get Started Today

Each of these e-commerce solutions is solid and reputable. All offer help and support, security features, payment gateways, detailed reporting, shopping carts, payment gateways, assistance with site design. Select the option that works best for your business and you'll be on your way to building a successful e-commerce enterprise.

E-Commerce Solutions