Ecommerce Software : 5 on 5
Monster Commerce Pro is increasing in popularity as an e-commerce option for serious e-merchants. The professional version retails for $99.95 per month (or $1,000 per year and a $99 set-up fee), provides 24/7 tech support, hosting (200MB disk space, 8GB bandwidth per month), product options, an editable storefront, and up to 60,000 product listings. Monster Commerce also boasts search engine friendliness of its shopping cart software. Some of our favorite features include integration with QuickBooks, integration with UPS, FedEx and USPS, and modestly flexible design tools.
GoEmerchant is another popular e-commerce solution used by many very serious online merchants. Pricing is modest ($59.95 for their Total Package - $500 annually) and reviews from users were that ease of use (both in installation and management) was a primary selection factor. Unlimited products can be added to a storefront and there is no limit on the number of transactions. GoEmerchant is also known as a payment processing solution, so merchants who select the services have access to a built-in payment gateway with very competitive rates. One of the complaints we heard about GoEmerchant, however, was that themed sites, which come bundled, were lacking some attractiveness.
osCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution available for free under the GNU General Public License which features impressive out-of-the-box functionality that allows store owners to develop and manage their online stores with minimum effort and with no virtually no overhead involved. The design and layout of osCommerce allows for easy changes and there is a robust backend for modifying structure and functionality. osCommerce is a little cumbersome to get accustomed with, but as an open source e-commerce solution that’s par for the course. If you’re just getting started, it’s probably best to opt for a commercial solution.
Zen Cart is another open source e-commerce solution used by thousands of online storefronts. Recommended for its unlimited category depth, multiple shopping and payment options and design-friendly XHTML template system, the latest version of Zen Cart (v1.3.7) is a powerful, reliable and stable alternative to many commercial solutions. Some of the reviewers were sold by the feature set which includes a newsletter manager, discount coupons, gift certificates, featured products and quantity discounts.
ShopSite Pro is an e-commerce application designed to meet the needs of most online merchants looking to build a professional online storefront. ShopSite Pro features site creation and management tools, secure shopping cart, real-time credit card authorization, a site search engine, detailed sales and traffic statistics, plus the ability to handle larger product databases (2000 products and above). ShopSite Pro can only be purchased through a select group of vendors and prices start at $1,295 for the license and between a $70-$125 monthly fee depending on the vendor.