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By Kevin Wood
Former web developer, now technical writer and poet.
When you're creating an online store, selecting the right platform isn't a decision you should rush into. If you're just starting the research phase, then you're probably a little overwhelmed with the sheer number of options available. Luckily, not every shopping cart and e-commerce application is going to be the right fit for your needs.
1ShoppingCart has been around for over 15 years, which makes it one of the longest running shopping carts out there. Below we profile the main features of 1ShoppingCart and examine who will be best served by it, so you can make the best decision for your new site.
1ShoppingCart has been around since 1999, and is based out of Ontario, Canada. In 2006 it was acquired by Web.com, but still retains the same feature set and dedication to customer support.
At it's core it's an e-commerce application that provides a robust set of features to help you run an online store.
Overall, 1ShoppingCart has a fairly large set of features and offers a few different plans that cater to different user needs. Overall, they're a bit higher priced than most other builders. But, this might be offset by their extensive trial period, which allows you to thoroughly test the software before buying.
No matter which plan you choose you'll have unlimited bandwidth, which will help you ensure your store remains online when your traffic levels increase. Your store will also have the ability to host anywhere from 500 to an unlimited number of products.
They try to cater to both complete beginners, who are looking to start their very first e-commerce store, as well as intermediate store owners who want to build out a high-volume store.
If you're interested, you can view a detailed breakdown of the various packages they're currently offering on their website. The overall feature list is quite extensive and varies on a per-package basis.
The number of products you can add to your store will change based upon the plan you've chosen. The lowest level limits the number of products to 500, which should be enough for most e-commerce store owners. The higher level plans let you create and manage an unlimited number of products.
For every plan there's also a built-in shipping calculator, so you and your customers will be able to see the associated shipping costs per item or order.
Having numerous payment options is important and 1ShoppingCart excels here. Currently, 1ShoppingCart offers support for over 50 payment gateways, including PayPal, Simplify Commerce by MasterCard, and much more. However, there is a lack of common payment gateways like Stripe, Amazon Payments, and Google Checkout, which is a little strange. You can view the entire list of supported payment gateways on their site.
On top of integrating your store with various payment options, you'll also have the ability to offer discounts and coupons to your customers.
All plans give you access to a set of templates to build your e-commerce store. The most basic plan is equipped with their standard template selection, while the more advanced plans give you access to their premium templates. The themes do look a little dated and aren't quite up to the standard of other e-commerce builders. However, all of their templates are mobile-friendly, so your store will function properly no matter the screen size it's viewed upon.
You can customize the look of your store with a WYSIWYG editor, or even edit the HTML and CSS files yourself if you're comfortable with that.
Beyond the features highlighted above, this tool is equipped with additional features that make it stand out from other shopping carts and e-commerce builders out there. Typically, you'll have to pay a much higher price to access features like these.
1ShoppingCart truly shines with their email marketing add-ons. Sadly, most e-commerce builders don't place a focus on the power of email for running a successful store. The tools offered here are very extensive and let you manage your contacts, create contact groups, send automated email, and much more.
Selling affiliate products is a common online business model. 1ShoppingCart makes this easy by letting you create and run an affiliate program for your store. That way people can become affiliates for your store and earn a commission for each sale they refer to your store.
Finally, 1ShoppingCart is set up to sell a wide range of products, from digital downloads, to recurring membership subscriptions, to services, and physical products. There are also various payment options, like the ability to pay in payments, make donations, and more.
It's fairly easy to use to build your site. Plus, they offer a long trial period, so you can test the tool before investing. The backend of the tool is a little dated and not as intuitive as other beginner-oriented builders, but it does get the job done.
If you do get stuck they offer an extensive training library. So, where the tool lacks in intuitive ability, it makes up for with its software walk-throughs.
If you know your way around HTML and CSS, then you'll be able to more readily customize your site and upgrade its appearance. But, otherwise, you'll be using their WYSIWYG editor.
1ShoppingCart is probably best suited for mid-sized businesses that need features like call center integration, affiliate programs, email auto-responders, and ad tracking. The starter package might be a little steep for beginners, and you can find more intrusive and modern tools for less. If you're a larger company you could probably find a higher quality e-commerce builder for the price you end up paying monthly.
1ShoppingCart is a standard e-commerce platform. They're fairly priced and let you build a functional site. They truly shine in their additional features like email marketing, product features, and affiliate tools, so if those services are a must-have then they're worth checking out. If you can do without those features, you'll be able to find a cheaper entry-level option that will help you build a more modern-looking storefront.
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