Best Ecommerce Software

by Jason Boom on November 12, 2010

The best ecommerce software will meet the needs of your individual shop and provide a good experience for your customers. I’ve worked with ecommerce software for a few years now. I’ve installed many packages and put into production quite a few different stores. Like computer operating systems, ecommerce software can be a nightmare after the initial honeymoon phase. Some stores need features not readily available in a base install of the software which makes for complications, adding those features to a live product site.

Of course, stores can evolve and that’s one of the necessary traits of a solid foundation — the ability to expand and add to the features. The stability of the store, support of an active community, and intuitive controls make up the majority of the rest of my focus when finding the best ecommerce software.

Best Ecommerce Software

I’ve listed my top five ecommerce store software for 2010 and into 2011. I do not have experience with every ecommerce software application out there, but have used these five with good results. I will list a few I do not like at the end, and give my reasons why. If the negative interests you more than the positive, then jump to the end.

Big Commerce Shopping Cart Solution

Sometimes a readymade cart comes along that can compete with the big players in the industry. This time it’s the Big Commerce shopping cart solution. Big Commerce offers a lot of neat out-of-the-box features like zoom capabilities on the product images, email marketing management, and mobile commerce connections. The features are big and extremely awesome.

Is Big Commerce right for your product? Probably. They offer custom templates and an interface that’s surprisingly simple to update with new designs.

BigCommerce makes it easy to sell online.
Click here to try it free!

Yahoo! Stores

one of the best ecommerce stores

Yahoo Store Price Plan

Sometimes its best to leave the backend development and maintenance to someone else. When I think of a readymade shopping cart solution I usually think of Yahoo! Stores. They’ve been around long enough to gain a solid reputation, but they also do things with a bit of ease. I helped someone create a store with over twenty items in one night. It was that simple.

I know some of you may be questioning this addition, but the reality is you can still point a domain to a Yahoo! Store. It’s still software you use, just not something you install on your server.

With all that said, I love the flexibility of their system. It’s easy to use, and simple for your customers too. That alone can make the sale. The only downside would be the percentage of the sale (it’s low) and the monthly fees.

An ecommerce solution like Yahoo! Stores also takes the burden of security off the individual store owner. While certificates and PCI compliance can be achieved without too much expense, it’s also a worry that most owners would rather not have.

35% off Yahoo! Merchant Solutions packages + no setup fee (save $50)

Fortune3 Ecommerce Solution

Fortune3 is an ecommerce solution that’s gaining recognition, especially among those who want to setup a store and not hassle with complicated procedures. Any store can be setup in one evening by using the offline wizard and or through the online interface. They also offer top notch customer support, so you won’t likely get stuck at a point where you cannot continue.

Currently Fortune3 offers several monthly payment schemes. The most inexpensive of which is a $29.95 a month fee and a single $39.95 setup charge. For that price customers can setup 30 products. Not a bad deal. Check them out if you want a ready-made shopping cart solution for your products.

Fortune3

ProStores Ecommerce Solution

Prostores is an Ebay company. They offer much the same as Yahoo Stores. They’re going to give most store owners the easy controls, themes, and massive amounts of products for a monthly fee. They also charge a transaction fee, but it does not amount to much.

It’s important to remember with the ready-made ecommerce stores that they offer their prices because they’re the ones maintaining the database and protecting the store from hack attempts. Part of the cost of a regular store would be the regular maintenance, upkeep of the software, and ensure the hackers stay at bay. With a readymade solution, you pay the little extra each month to have someone else do this for you. That’s why I think these solutions are so brilliant, especially for those just starting out in ecommerce.

ProStores – an eBay Company

Magento Ecommerce Software

Magento was a software package I loved from the beginning. Out of the box, the free version enables users to create products with multiple variations, track stock on those attributes, connect to various merchant accounts with a few tweaks here and there, and so many other features. The store even has the ability to segment different areas of your site, so you can run different templates in different areas. That’s a killer feature of any online shop.

Magento has many template sites that support it. The community develops and creates extensions to the base install. The main website has a very supportive forum. And the store itself feels very much like a mature product for only having been on the market for a few years. As time goes on, Magento will be heralded as the successor of osCommerce’s top spot among commercial sites.

Magento Ecommerce Software

osCommerce Ecommerce Software

We have to mention osCommerce. It’s been an old standby, but the latest 3.0 version actually improves on this open-source ecommerce solution and refines much of the code. While it’s still probably a year from being finished (didn’t it take them like 5 years to introduce it) they can’t be faulted for creating such an amazing foundation for the 2.2 version.

osCommerce is really a testament to strong community support. Without the developers and coders making the base install better and better, updating security holes, and fixing other issues, this software package would have been obsolete in 2001. Since the users create and advertise their addons through the main site, we give them a huge edge over other solutions.

But in reality, osCommerce has seen better days. Working with the ecommerce solution can be difficult and costly if the developer you use does not have experience with the framework. In that type of situation, it would be better to go with a newer framework like Magento.

osCommerce Open Source eCommerce Software

I mentioned that I have one ecommerce software package that I do not particularly like. This would be WP-ecommerce plugin developed by the people at GetShopped. While they do have a classy look, the underlying code for the plugin is rubbish. A single product with multiple variations has over 3,000 lines of code in the database. Support issues are not often handled, unless you pay. And upgrades cost money and often break.

About the author

Jason Boom Jason writes not only about himself in the third person, but also about marketing, site building, SEO, and other topics related to marketing online. He's been an avid fan of blogging since the early days of Blogger. You can connect with Jason (me) on Twitter and Google Plus.

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