We looked for certain criteria when we reviewed the eCommerce software companies in our review. These included web-hosting tools, shopping cart and eCommerce tools, and back-office features. None of the companies in our review had any say in the results of testing.
Web Hosting Tools
All of the companies we reviewed offered web hosting in conjunction with an online store. We evaluated each platform and created an ease-of-use score based off our testers’ experiences building websites in each service. This score considered the types of editors available, such as HTML or CSS editors, as well as how easy it was to change text and images, add products, customize the templates, and complete other aspects of building and customizing a website. Volusion and Pinnacle Cart earned the highest ease-of-use scores in our comparison.
We made sure that each company in our review offers free templates that you can use when you sign up for an eCommerce plan. The number of templates available in products in our review varies from four to more than 100. Many companies also allow premium templates, which cost extra. CoreCommerce, Ashop and Pinnacle Cart do not offer premium templates but do offer to create custom templates for you for an additional cost.
Most of the eCommerce platforms in our review have different apps that you can install to help you get your store exactly where you need it to be for your business. For example, if you need to offer flash deals or special promotions, there may be a third-party app with which the platform integrates to make this possible on your website. These applications are often free, though they may sometimes cost extra depending on the software you’ve chosen and the app itself.
Cart & Checkout
We tested the cart and checkout process available from each service from the vantage point of the customer. In this score, we considered the number of steps it takes to complete checkout, the availability of guest checkout, the presence of a PayPal option, and the ease of use of shopping and checking out on a mobile device. Most of the products on our lineup earned high scores for this ease-of-use test.
We also considered services that integrate with online stores, like Amazon or eBay, and that can translate your store into languages other than English.
In our review, we also considered the helpfulness of the support available from each company. The support score we created considers the offerings of 24/7 support, live chat, an online support center, being welcomed and contacted by a real person, and other factors.
We looked for services with fraud detection to help protect you and your customers. We also considered a built-in POS system and available email accounts in association with your website when we ranked the services in our review.