1ShoppingCart: A Review of 1ShoppingCart, and a discount/promo code for 1 ShoppingCart's services
What Norton Utilities is to maintaining a hard drive, 1ShoppingCart is to running an ecommerce business: a suite of all-inclusive programs designed to do everything that's necessary for the task.
Side note: Go to www.ZShoppingCart.com for a thirty-day trial for only $3.95.
Founded in January 2000 in Eugene, Oregon, One Shopping Cart's major component is the shopping cart software, designed to plug into a new or existing website and allow businesses to sell up to 10,000 products of their own.
This also includes an option for automatic ebook delivery/digital product downloads.
1ShoppingCart calculates shipping and sales tax, allows coupons and discounts, prints invoices and packing slips, and sends customers an email receipt while notifying the seller and his drop-shipper. It also contains a database for affiliates and existing and prospective customers for broadcast emailing, all with high data security fully certified by Visa.
An additional level of ecommerce utility is provided by 1ShoppingCart's Internet marketing tools. Their autoresponder facility harvests email subscribers via online forms, scores emails for spam prior to sending, broadcasts emails and newsletters, and automatically identifies undeliverable ones.
Other marketing tools include ad effectiveness tracking, a pop-up wizard, affiliate tracking software capable of handling multiple sales programs (though 1ShoppingCart's affiliate module can take a little time to learn), up-sell and cross-sell modules ("Would you like fries with that?"), and a questionnaire facility for market research.
This is a powerful ecommerce software suite, and coupled with a credit card acceptance account (also available through 1ShoppingCart), it's basically a "business in a box" all you do is supply the product and the marketing to make the tool sell your stuff for you.
As would be expected, 1ShoppingCart software is available in several tiers with layered pricing. Startups can go with a basic package with just the shopping cart (at $34 per month), while more mature businesses, or those wanting to build a larger Internet store can add in 1SC's marketing tools for $59. A fully developed ecommerce site can use the entire package at $99 (which is what I have personally - two different accounts at the $99 level). If your business specializes in information products and informaiton distribution exclusively, and you don't see growing your business to include having affiliates, then you can restrict your purchase to just the autoresponder package at $29 per month.
1ShoppingCart offers discounts for annual contracts (Save money by paying for a year in advance). There is no charge for setup and online support (in comparison with some other online shopping cart services). 1ShoppingCart's support includes great video tutorials, a user's guide, searchable knowledge base, and live telephone support within working hours.
Which brings me to the major complaint subscribers have against 1ShoppingCart: those working hours.
Ecommerce websites don't shut down at 8:00 P.M. on Friday nights (EST), as 1ShoppingCart's service department does. Should a problem arise over the weekend, if the owner can't manage her own patches or otherwise solve it herself, then she has no option but to wait for the 1ShoppingCart service department to open at 10:00 A.M. (EST) on Monday, thereby losing several days of business. If she has a discount or other limited time offer going, she stands to lose a substantial amount of commerce over such a time.
Other challenges mentioned by users include a need for fluency in HTML or PHP for programming some of 1ShoppingCart's features, including the "buy" button beside a product, surely one of the more important features within the program. One user described integrating 1ShoppingCart with Paypal as a "hair pulling" experience and complained of the autoresponder's tendency to generate false positives from online signup forms.
I didn't have that problem personally, but I do know a little bit about HTML and PHP.
Allegedly, there was also an incident in spring 2007 when the affiliate tracking program was not functioning properly, leading to an unknown number of affiliates not being paid for sales they made.
However, as any good mechanic knows, it's easiest to work with tools that are designed to work together, rather than purchasing different tools from different places and juggling them to fit. This analogy perfectly describes what 1ShoppingCart offers.
And even though there can be bugs within the various modules, and a bit of a learning curve from time to time, taken together, the whole package of 1ShoppingCart offers an excellent solution for web commerce sites, and the $3.95 offer for a thirty-day trial, available through www.ZShoppingCart.com, is an excellent initial investment, to find out if this ecommerce shopping engine is going to fit the needs you have when building your Internet business.