When it comes to e-commerce platforms, there is much to be said for those that focus on the user experience. Online software cart providers need to be able to cater to the individual and small business owner looking to expand, yet at the same time have the capabilities to support online retailers who are currently experiencing growth, as well as those merchants who have already made it to the big time. 1ShoppingCart is a Canadian-based e-commerce software company that was founded in 1999 and now, according to their website serves more than 25,000 businesses globally.
1ShoppingCart provides an exciting array of features for its merchants which includes, but is far from limited to, professional templates for expert status appeal, product option flexibility, multiple view and image capability, built-in email segmenting features, social media and mobile integration, recurring and flexible payment facilities, and the ever-popular affiliate management and tracking system.
1ShoppingCart recently updated its pricing frame and provided some additional options to make themselves more competitive, particularly for beginner merchants. Plan types are as follows;
Standard: The getting started package, offers up to 50 products, custom domain and unlimited bandwidth.
Plus: With this plan, you get unlimited bandwidth, custom domain, and 2 GB of storage. This equates to supporting 500 products and 5K email marketing credits, 1 user license, digital products, mobile store and recurring billing.
Premium: As above, but supports unlimited products, 5 GB storage, 10K email credits, 5 user licenses and affiliate management capacity.
Ultimate: As above again, however this plan offers 10 GB storage, 25K email credits for marketing, and free domain and SSL.
Autoresponder: For those just wanting email marketing tools, this plan provides for unlimited email credits and 2,500 contacts.
There are no contracts for any of the plans, and each plan can be cancelled at any time
The following is a breakdown of what 1ShoppingCart charges per plan per month.
Standard: $19 + 1.5% transaction fee
Plus: $59 + 1.25% transaction fee
Premium: $99 + 1.0% transaction fee
Ultimate: $159 + 0.75% transaction fee
Accounts are free from set-up fees, and larger plans can be accommodated and priced by contacting the provider directly. The company also offers a 30 day free trial with all the trimmings, but you will be required to provide a credit card.
There are free templates along with a website builder to get your store started. Layouts can be customized to suit and instal easily, though they have received some criticism for lack of design. You can edit them if you know HTML and CSS, and they can also be changed using scripts and a text editor.
If the free themes on offer are not to your liking, you can purchase a premium template or, alternatively, design packages are available for a one-off fee for the following options;
Storefront Design ($999): custom store layout, header and background, choice of layouts with 1 or 2 columns, banner area on home page, and 1 concept and revision.
Custom Store Design ($1,999): you get the above plus custom home page, navigation and footer and 2 revisions
Custom Store Design Plus ($3,799): this package includes the above plus custom roller navigation and footer, up to 3 column layout, custom section and item pages, and up to 5 revisions.
1ShoppingCart has been criticized previously for its lack of allocation of SKU’s to products that have more than 2 options, for instance with sizes and colors. The platform will however allow showcase zooming along with unlimited photos.
It has advanced features for cross-selling, and you can manually add products and their details, or upload in bulk. Product updates happen in real time, and you can receive instant order alerts from your mobile device.
1ShoppingCart stores are optimized out of the box for search engine purposes. H1, titles and meta tags can be customized on each page and you can also create custom URL’s that are search engine friendly.
Customer enticement comes in the form of offers for coupon and orders discounts, along with free shipping. Built-in email broadcasts can be segregated to announce special promotions and sales. Customer attraction can be assisted with free submissions to The Find and Google Product Search, and merchants can control their own affiliate program with enticements that include ad copy, banners and promotional links.
The company has faced criticism from some areas that claim it is limited in its adaptation to social media. That said, customers are now able to share products and initiate unique promotions on blogs, Face Book, Pinterest and Twitter using share buttons for added customer connection.
If merchants are really struggling with their marketing efforts, 1ShoppingCart has a ‘Lifeline’ program in which you can hire their services to find your customers via organic and paid traffic, email marketing and call center phone and email support.
Mobile readiness is another area in which 1ShoppingCart has not been well reported, however the Standard, Plus, Premium and Ultimate plans are mobile store friendly allowing customers to shop from mobile devices. Merchants can also receive order alerts with the iPhone mobile notifier.
1ShoppingCart supports 50 different payment processors, including PayPal, Authorize.net, and TrustCommerce. You can process Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover Card, but there are costs incurred with this facility that they spell this out on their website.
1ShoppingCart is PCI-DSS certified with level 2 PCI-compliant servers to keep private data safe, and servers are protected with full security monitoring capabilities. A state of the art firewall is in place to protect from hackers and unwanted elements. Merchants can also control which administrators can access certain areas of the site.
For choosing 1ShoppingCart, customers are rewarded with a 128-bit SSL encrypted hosting. Server uptime is at 99% or more, and backups occur multiple times daily.
Customers can contact 1ShoppingCart by phone, email and a dedicated ticketing system, and there are a range of video tutorials for additional problem solving. Support teams are contactable within regular business hours, and customers on the Ultimate plan receive extended attention. The company lists its support hours by location on its customer support page.
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The Techie Mentor
1ShoppingCart has been in operation longer than many of its competitors currently in the e-commerce space, and with that experience comes the expertise to provide a very worthy product. The company is renowned for its cross and upsell capabilities, its training tutorials and, in particular, its affiliate program and resources.
1ShoppingCart does have its share of detractors, which is only natural, given that no e-commerce software can be expected to be all things to all people. In particular, the platform has been criticized for charging transaction fees when some of its competitors do not, and many in the market feel that its admin and user functionality is not as modern as it could be, thereby giving its stores an outdated look relative to other providers in the market.
Regardless of the where you are with your online store in terms of positioning and growth, 1ShoppingCart has the means to satisfy most merchant requirements. Its platform has an extensive list of easy to use features and, as always, you are encouraged to make use of the free trial offer to see if it is a good fit for your needs.
Tak advantage of 1ShoppingCart's 30 day free trial - no string attached and you can cancel anytime.