Online store tools review
So, you want to create your own online store or already have one, but you don’t know how to make it more convenient and attractive to your visitors. After all, they are the chief judges.
In this article you will find an overview of some of the most interesting, in my opinion, tools for creating an online e-shop.
1. Let’s begin with Goodsie. It’s perfect for those who are just starting their Internet sales or for those who want to part with their old store or make a “complete overhaul”. Goodsie is an online platform for the creation of the Internet shop, stylish and convenient enough. To create your site on this platform you won’t necessarily need any technical knowledge, formally – you won’t need to work with the code, just drag the desired elements and configure a visual scheme.
As for the visual design, you are provided with stylish minimalistic templates, which are quite suitable for the creation of the Internet store, popular among visitors.
Of course, the shop is not a shop, without the possibility to pay for the desired trinket directly from your computer. The platform provides the capability to use popular and reliable payment gateways as PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.Net, STRIPE, Google Wallet. The configuration of the payment system is not difficult at all, everything is extremely convenient.
What’s the most remarkable is that the platform is originally designed for viewing your site from mobile devices without any loss of functionality and with integration with Facebook as well.
For fans of Internet mailing – in Goodsie there is a tool for creating target e-mail campaigns. By simply selecting the items you can customize the marketing mailing list based on your clients’ purchase history, geographical location and other characteristics.
In addition, of course, you can track the activity of your customers, view statistics, and monitor the achievement of the goals.
On the picture, you can find the prices:
As a result, it is modern and comfortable platform that allows to create beautiful and convenient online store for people, who do not have special knowledge in the field of programming. It’s quickly and easily but with the content that you’re offered, for all the most delicious you’ll have to pay.
2. Another platform for the creation of the online store is Shopify. The fundamental difference here is price. The basic tariff is for $29 per month and you get 1 GB of storage, unlimited slots for products, round-the-clock support, the mobile version, and the loyalty system for clients. Sounds good, BUT you will have to pay 2% fee for each transaction. For $79 you’ll get 5 GB of storage, gift cards, professional reports, advanced recovery and recycle bin, and just 1% transaction fee. “Unlimited” package for $179 looks delicious – unlimited storage, configurable reports and statistics, sending a courier in real time. The trial period is 14 days, but you can start with $14 a month, so to say, for testing.
In general – Shopify is the platform, which you might not want to leave. It’s ideal if you want to start a beautiful and functional store, but you don’t want to pay much from the beginning. The platform will allow you to increase the functionality and capacity of the shop in accordance with its turnover of goods.
There are also loyalty system for attracting new customers, a good set of templates (both free and gorgeous for $80 – $ 180), support of the mobile version, custom SEO, connectivity of “electronic signature” ($49) and , the main thing for such a platform – the ability to export your current store from almost any platform and service.
In addition to those in Shopify you can buy a variety of applications that will make your store more convenient. There is something in this platform that resembles the step-by-step game MMORPG – you can start with no attachments, and then develop when you get the money from sales. It’s great for start and current users, because you won’t leave it.
3. In turn there is one more platform that gives you the opportunity to build your own online store – LemonStand. Everything is a bit more fun than in already considered platform Goodsie. Actually, the company’s motto is “You are in Paradise for developers”. Here you can change a lot. At first sight, it may seem that everything is complicated and confusing, but then the system begins to involve. On the forums, it is written that they have awesome support guys, literally, the fanatics of their business.
The design can be completely tuned, especially as compared with the other platforms; it provides you with the access to the code in a convenient form. The existence of SEO settings will please you, as it is the trump in the world of online store tools.
The platform does not charge for cash transactions, works with some of the best payment processros as PayPal, stripe, Braintree, UPS and allows you to link up any services that you are used to work with. The developers swear to have full compatibility of everything with everything and promise many modules that can be connected to expand the web site, like Google’s Products and PriceNavigator.
Concerning the prices, as in many other platforms you’re given a free trial period. Prices start from $69 a month. For this money, you will get 2,000 slots for products, 5 GB of storage and two accounts for the employees of the store. Next tariff is for $139 a month and contains 6000 slots for products, 10 GB of storage, and 10 accounts. Also there is the ability to conduct special offers, group purchasing and several shop windows. For $399 a month, you will get unlimited plan, including automatic recovery of the basket. All packages include SSL certificates, SEO, fully customizable design and unlimited product descriptions – pictures, categories etc.
4. Let’s consider the Shop Plugin for the WorldPress next.
This paid plugin extends the functionality of your online store. It is not bad, it resembles WooComerce, but in order to get the most complete functionality you’ll have to buy a couple official add-ons or to experiment with unofficial plugins.
However, what can you get for your money?
Unlike similar free plugins, Shop includes some of the advantages and special features, like built-in subscription for your clients. All this you can get for $55 for a version for one web site and $299 for a development version that will allow you to set and get support for unlimited number of sites. You can use free demo version for preview. Both packages support automatic updates, but the development version includes API guide and some useful advantages.
Add-ons may cost from $25 to $125 each, so you need to spend $200 – $300 to buy more or less good set and perhaps a payment processor. For example, Amazon payments or Authorize.Net are $45 each.
There are several themes on shopplugin.net, prepared specifically for the installation of the plugin. The price varies from zero to $80. These themes are not numerous, but this plugin has good compatibility with basic WordPress themes.
The total price including the cost of the main plugins, add-ons and themes will be about $350 on average.
The development team focuses on the security of the online store created with the Shop Plugin in their descriptions of the product. In addition, such interesting things like promises of unprecedented speed of working with databases and a set of templates for a quick start attract attention.
By itself, the plugin is not bad, all the things that you have not found in the basic package of WooCommerce, you will find here, but, of course, you should remember that all add-ons are not free. The presence of stitched codes, widgets, and a pretty nice system of configuration make it certain tool for creating an Internet shop on the basis of WordPress, maybe not the best one, but very worthy and strong.
The lack of the design is the only one thing that deserves individual comments. Of course, it is good that the plugin is integrated in the basic theme of the WordPress, but with the other themes, excluding those that are displayed on ShopPlugin.net some problems can occur. It pleases that you get a good (as stated on the website) developer support.
5. Now let’s talk about those who do not sell dresses or teapots, those who set up a creative product. You write music, books, shot video, or you provide templates of tough three-dimensional effects or toys? Now, in order to sell your creativity it is not necessary to create targeted online store, you can just buy an account in SendOwl (former DigitalDelivery).
So, the service gives you the opportunity to add to your web site, button ”buy now” and provides the safe “delivery” of your virtual content to the buyer. Everything is as simple as possible: 3 packages (formally 4, but basic, for $9/month, looks so dull that it gives the impression that the manufacturers have left it out of politeness or to get to the sample of the cheapest prices):
– For $15 a month: 30 virtual products, the PDF signature, management to your taste, 3 GB of storage and confirmation of the authorship.
– For $24 a month: 100 slots for your products, added subscription to the newsletter and 2 GB more.
– For $39 a month: 250 slots for your products, 3 subscriptions and 15 GB of storage.
All packages have trial period, if you do not like it, you’ll get a refund.
The usage is as convenient as possible. Large buttons, a good design, maximum simplicity of the configuration. In general – a great favorable “iceberg” is hidden under a simple and unpretentious interface, it is a powerful tool for those who want to earn money for his or her work, but does not want to engage in “boring” sales.
SendOwl guarantees the security of your files, and gives your customers links that are limited in time so that no one else could download your product without payment.
By the way, a very interesting feature is Multilanguage. Users will be automatically get the page in their own language.
Now about the payments.
The service integrates your accounts on PayPal, Stripe, PayMill, Authorize.net or SagePay, that is to say you get the money directly to your account without any fees and delays. In addition, as in the other “human” tools for e-shop the service provides you with statistics and reports for planning and improvement of sales.
6. Finally, we review Capptain – software development kit, which allows you to establish relationships with your customers. What do you get with this tool? Capptain gives you comprehensive information about your customers – whether it is a website or a mobile app – the system works on all operating systems and on all platforms.
The solution combines the functions of the analytics and webcasting, which means that you can respond to users’ behavior in a matter of seconds and take care of them, increasing the clients’ trust to your product.
You can configure many things such as notifications of errors and breakdowns, customer support during these breakdowns, private webcasting, greetings and announcements of novelties. Using Capptain you can increase the conversion of advertising by following the statistics of the users and their interests. All this can be obtained free of charge up to 100 users.
There are also much more interesting packages – with the possibility of segmenting users, view full statistics in real time, setting goals and reports. To determine the price you should contact the Capptain team or to form the requests while creating an account. It is the ideal solution for marketing specialists and managers – as if you get a “magic eye”, it is also a good assistant for advanced online store creators – you can plan the development of your site and increase sales.
Well, now you can create an online store that will be ready for severe competition in the Internet market. This review covers not all but enough for the development tools. Good luck to you, see you at your store!