Ashop Commerce First Look Review

Lately I have noticed a growing number of comments complaining about BigCommerce‘s less than impressive support. It’s not a problem I have had but none the less I thought I would start 2012 by looking at alternatives to BigCommerce.

Ashop Commerce has been around for about a decade, has Australian roots and is priced competitively so it seemed like a great shopping cart for the “I hate BigCommerce” crowd.

Share the Love
Get Free Updates

Ashop Commerce features

  • Comprehensive SEO features and tools
  • B2B Wholesale Support
  • Supports Australia Post, FedEx, UPS, USPS
  • Supports al major payment processors including Paypal and Google Checkout.
  • Large collection of beautiful free themes see Ashop Commerce Templates
  • Built in newsletter system
  • Built in affiliate program
  • Built in customer support tickets
  • Digital Product delivery – including product key management
  • Language Editor to translate your entire store
  • Coming next month eBay integration to sell old stock on eBay automatically.

Whats missing from Ashop Commerce?

  • Daily Deals
  • Mail Chimp. Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor Integration
  • Product Bundling
  • Amazon Integration

Things I like about Ashop Commerce

Proper Wholesale customer support. Want to show wholesale customers one set of prices and everyone else another? Tick one box and you can – finally someone made it easy.

Support. They have enough support resources for their client base and offer multiple ways to get issues resolved fast. I got a phone call after 7pm on a Friday night – what more could you want?

Export your database as a database. Perfect for people that want to run their own reports and tools.

Unlimited bandwidth. Nothing confuses people more than plans with bandwidth limitations. It causes uncertainty and is a non-issue for 99% of shopping cart owners anyway.

Fair Price Structure. You can start from $16.95/month with $0 setup. If you want more features pay more. They call it MSaaS (Modular Software as a Service) – you will call it paying for only what you use – I know alot of people that will switch to Ashop just because of this.

Very clean interface, very easy to see most details and very easy to customise to suit. It looks and feels like a standard desktop application and recent changes have improved speed to the point it that it runs like one too.

The Australia version has Australian defaults. The USA version has USA defaults. I know this sounds like a very small details but it is attention to detail like this that makes using a shoping cart every day easier and more intuitive.

Things I would change if I could

I can not set a custom page title for product pages – I have some control, but I love SEO so I want more. Greedy? Yes probably but in a competitive market you need to be.

Images do not automatically resize to suit the design, you need to do this as an extra step. For some people this would be a bonus though so don’t necessarily put this in the con column.

The trial is only 10 days – it is full featured which is more than other carts but 10 days is a little short if you need more than one person to play with the cart and give it a proper evaluation.

The content area of the website is table based. This means very little to most business people but it makes it harder to apply fine detail level design changes. Not a show stopper, but hopefully they start cleaning it up during 2012.

Ashop Commerce Screenshots

Would I recommend Ashop Commerce?

Yes. Look for a complete review and a comparison between BigCommerce and Ashop Commerce in February but for the time being I would happy recommend Ashop Commerce. If it meets your requirements you will have a great time with this software, as always give the free trial a spin and see how good it is firsthand.

Comments

  1. Kurt says

    Ashop looks great. It’s nice to see an alternative to BigCommerce. Too bad they don’t have a licensed version. It’s also nice to see a non-php cart although saas clients probably don’t care about the coding\platform.

    (0)
  2. Nona says

    Hi Andrew,

    What are your thoughts on Vendder? Considering it because it charges $25/month + 0% Transaction Fee, whereas Shopify charges $30/month + 2% Transaction Fee.

    Thanks!

    (0)
      • Nona says

        Thanks. I’m leaning that way too partly because despite searching high & low, I couldn’t find any indepth user reviews too (just a few 2-3 liners, albeit positive).

        (0)
      • Nona says

        That said, what I’ve also been wondering is, is it worth using Shopify/any hosted solution if they don’t provide full payment service? I..e. Shopify does not provide merchant account, you have to get it yourself. So if starting with just paypal, am I missing anything by just putting up basic shop website with paypal buttons?

        (0)
        • Kurt says

          You can easily get your own merchant account from paypal. Some people think paypal only provides paypal type payment service. However, you can sign up for their website payments pro account which gives you a full merchant account so you can accept credit cards. Customers have no idea you’re using paypal to process credit cards just the same as if you had a merchant account through some other bank.

          (0)
  3. Kurt says

    I would never use shopping cart software that charges a transaction fee. There are too many platforms that don’t. Merchant fees are already enough. No need to have a cart eat away at your profits.

    (0)
    • Nona says

      I agree but depending on how big your biz (if you have staff to spread workload) is and how many other things you have to monitor/take care of, the convenience is tempting. Especially in the beginning.

      (0)
  4. Kurt says

    You can always use bigcommerce, magentogo, or the new lemonstandnow if you want a hosted solution that’s easy to get going. Those are hosted platforms without transaction fees. You just pay monthly. That’s how it should be.

    (0)
  5. Katie says

    Hi,

    I have been using Business catalyst for the last 2 years and I am done pulling my hair out. So I am comparing hosted providers and your reviews have been really helpful, thanks. I had never heard of Ashop till now. It looks good and I have now narrowed down my pick to BigCommerce, Ashop and Volusion. However, I will wait for your review of BigCommerce and Ashop- hope it’s not too far off!
    Thanks again,
    Katie

    (0)
    • says

      Is that a subtle hint to write a BigCommerce vs Ashop review Katie? What sort of shop are you planning to start (use the contact form if you want to keep it private) I will see how I can help you narrow it down.

      (0)
  6. Jeff says

    Ashop looks like the shopping cart I need, but they do not have multilanguage setting for my site, as I would be selling to visitors with different languages. Is there something comparable that has multi-language support?

    (0)
  7. Koldo says

    Hi,
    first of all, I´d like to say thank you to Andrew and so many people who contribute with their experience in these shopping cart reviews. I´ve been reading about 3dCart, BigCommerce, Pinnacle Cart, Volusion and AShop, all of them look good, all have good and not-so-good things but overall seem good products, one of them will be my shopping cart.
    Something that surprises me is I had not find any comment about “multilanguage support” until i read previous comment by Jeff and would like to have your opinion about this: I´m going to sell online from Spain, initially the store will be in spanish but I also want english. Yesterday I asked 3dCart support they told me they don´t support multilingual, Volusion support told me I could do that but had to do it myself (?).
    Main question: best shopping cart for bussiness located in spain?

    (0)
  8. says

    I completely agree that 10 days isn’t much time to fully test all the functions of a shopping cart service. As you said, there are a few important features missing, but so far Ashop is looking pretty good.

    (0)
  9. Bobbi says

    Thanks for the info…my brain hurts from comparing shopping carts to get the ‘perfect’ set of features..I am such a feature junkie like so many….Somehow after looking at Ashop, I found InstanteStore, and they look pretty awesome too…just thought I’d throw that in..if anyone has any experience with them will you post…the features seem amazing, but can find very little info as far as reviews, complaints, etc. but maybe that’s a good thing.. thanks!

    (0)
  10. John says

    Have a look at Shopify again….. I have been doing the rounds like everyone else posting on Andrew’s site, and it appears that Shopify are no longer charging their “Transaction Fee”. This will certainly make a big difference to quite a few people I guess as that seems to be the major reason to bash Shopify. I’m still torn though, function of BC, Australian background and likely ebay integration of AShop, and the pretty of Shopify. :-(

    (0)
  11. Autumn D says

    I have been testing the free trials of several different carts and can’t believe how complicated all of this can be. So far, I seem to prefer Core Commerce and Pinnacle Cart. Pinnacle Cart has a hosted and a licensed software which is awesome for keeping costs down and taking care of my business as it grows but Core Commerce has the most user-friendly store set-up, along with Big Commerce.
    Does anyone have opinions about these three?
    Also, everyone claims the best SEO… thoughts?
    Thanks!

    (0)
  12. says

    I just checked out Core Commerce and will complete the trial. The price is competitive and the best is that they claim to to permit picture uploads from an iPad. I really need this feature. It’s my number one need as I’m on the move a lot and don’t always have access to a computer.

    (0)
  13. says

    Core Commerce insisted they did. EvEn the manager said they do. I was told to issue a ticket to find out how to upload a pic from iPad. Shouldn’t their support already know that? Anyway, Ashop, Big Commerce, Core Commerce, Americommerce, etc, do not permit uploads from an iPad! I need this because I use the iPad to take photos of products and people with hem, then would like to upload while on location or from out of town. I don’t want to drag a computer around, have transfer pics, then upload. Does anyone know a cart that is in the new century?

    (0)
  14. Sheri says

    In trying a free trial of Ashop, I found it very easy to use and customize, BUT have issues with their so called “real time shipping”. I thought real-time shipping would allow me to pull my rates with UPS. Nope. It only pulls full list rates. Sometimes shipping makes a difference as to whether or not a customer buys or not buys. If they are paying full list rates from UPS, they probably will not buy from me.

    Ashop states that maybe sometime in the future this may change. Will I wait? No.

    Still searching for my ideal site that has tiered pricing levels/groups, robust API login for shipping, and ways to customize the look and feel of my site (with widgets) without being locked into a specific template. Design must be super flexible.

    (0)
  15. Matt says

    HI Andrew

    I just read your article above which I thought was great

    Im looking at starting a site and the Ashop software is one Im interested in using

    You say : “Whats missing from Ashop Commerce?

    Daily Deals
    Mail Chimp. Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor Integration
    Product Bundling
    Amazon Integration

    Is this still the case ??

    Would love to hear from you

    Kind regards

    Matt

    (0)
  16. Matt says

    Hi Andrew

    I am looking at Ashop as a solution for a flash sales site

    Can you define each of the elements below so I know what you mean by them…..

    You say:

    Whats missing from Ashop Commerce?

    Daily Deals
    Mail Chimp. Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor Integration
    Product Bundling
    Amazon Integration

    Many thanks

    Matt

    (0)
    • says

      Marketing tools built into the software to allow for special sales and promotions to be easily run

      Mailchimp (or Constant Contact) Integration mean the software can be used easily with email marketing software to collect customer addresses email marketing (newsletters etc) – it can be done, just manually

      Product Bundling – being able to sell multiple products as a unit – sometimes at a discount – useful for many types of retailers, not an issue for others

      Amazon Integration – you can easily sell the products in your store on amazon – usually at the click of a button

      (0)
  17. Matt says

    Thanks Andrew

    So if I was looking at launching a flash sales site, with daily offers/emails, across a number of product categories, then Ashop may not be very suitable….. ???

    (0)
  18. Lin H. says

    There are some serious flaws with Ashop that are not apparent until you’ve gone through a store setup and tried using their support.

    They boast 24/7 but within the month long period that I was using Ashop their support was gone on three separate occasions for several days. No phone, no email, no chat. Gone.

    When they do a software update it is without warning. If your store breaks then tough. And my store broke. I wasn’t live yet but if I had been my front page would have been missing and a group of my products would have their photos and descriptions mixed with other products.

    Before purchasing it’s difficult for anyone to fully assess the features until digging in. If you ask support if Ashop can do…they will probably say yes. The bad news is that those yesses are really nos. Unfortunate if you are counting on a feature. They’ll always come back and tell you they can custom code for a fee.

    If you have more than 100 products go elsewhere; Ashop is not set up to handle a lot of products. If you have a few products with multiple variations that need details, go elsewhere.

    It would be good before purchasing or even wasting your time on the free trial to visit their ashop community forum (just google that phrase).

    (0)
  19. says

    I evaluated Ashop and Pinnacle Cart and asked a lot of questions of BigCommerce, Magento, and Volusion. There just doesn’t seem to be a decent solution out there.

    For now I’m sticking with my present, flawed, website and building a WordPress site on the side. My plan is to buy WooCommerce, a subscription to lynda.com, and when I’ve gone as far as I can, hire a developer to build one-off modules.

    If someone out there has 1000+ products, lots of different products needing a lot of photos and descriptions and is HAPPY with their ecommerce solution I would love to hear of it.

    (0)
  20. Steve says

    Just left Ashop after being with them for years. It used to be good, but the product has slowly had more and more functionality removed from it and the support is the worst i have come across in any organisation in my entire life. Just lived through their upgrade to version 4, an absolute joke, left many of their customers on their knees as the checkout didn’t function for a week and is still back to front. We had a drop in sales of 50% and Ashop refused to put back functionality that they had missed out from the previous version. Absolutely don’t touch these guys with a barge pole! Score out of 10 ….. ZERO!

    (0)
  21. MrD says

    WARNING _ WARNING – WARNING – WARNING
    I am an Ashop customer, have been for 8 years and have stuck with them though many a bad upgrade and reductions in functionality. During the version 4 release back at the beginning of August i decided i had had enough and decided i could no longer stand by and be quite regards the mess that the software and support was in, despite being warned by other customers that Ashop could be quite nasty if stood up to. I didn’t believe it but then on the 19th of September i received the following from Ashop: -
    ———————————————————
    Dear Mr ######
    NOTICE OF TERMINATION
    It is with regret that we feel that our mutual working relationship has broken down to such an extent that we have now to give you notice of our intention to terminate our Agreement. Therefore we hereby give 45 days notice that we shall discontinue all of our services with you and your company. This means store# 3710 will be closed by 4th November 2013.
    Please take this email as statement of the official notice of termination period as stated in our terms and conditions paragraph 6 -6.2
    With regards
    Ashop Commerce
    Yunus Atalan
    ————————————————————————-
    Seriously folks, if they can do this to a customer of 8 years, who had spent time, energy and money in creating a store that had rank and loyalty, then believe me when i say that they will do this to anybody who dares to question them.
    I now have to try and move my store to a new platform so that i do not miss the Christmas sales period … worst of it is, i cant even download my data from Ashop because it is still failing … as it has been since the August upgrade to version 4.

    (0)
    • Lewis says

      Unbelievable! I heard about this when i was running trial with Ashop and i can tell you i quickly ended my trial. You just cant do this to your customers Ashop, nobody in their right mind would place their business in your hands after this. Truly Unbelievable!

      (0)
  22. Nikki says

    Just thought i would add my two penny’s worth. I to am leaving Ashop. Have been with them for just over a year and at first it was ok, but as you business grows you begin to realize that Ashops software lacks a lot af basic functionality that other platforms have. And to be quite frank, Ashop is not what you would call a customer friendly company. They say that they are, but i have been in Contact with MrD and the way that they have treated him is nothing but appalling. It isn’t right that a company can hold “Closing your shop” over your head in attempt to keep you quite so that the truth about how poor you are is kept hidden. So, i’m off and i have a feeling i will not be the last. And to anybody thinking of signing up with Ashop ….. think again!

    (0)
  23. John says

    I have just moved from Ashop to BigCommerce and it is like a breath of fresh air. Take note Ashop, their support staff have been trained on the software, are polite, courteous and actually try to help! Take note Ashop, their software works, they have a one page checkout and have every single add one you could ever possibly want! Some of the add ons have additional charges … but hey, they work Ashop, they work.

    All this said and done, good luck with Version 5 Ashop, don’t forget to test it, and should it be released in the same state that version 4 was, then remember, IGNORE YOUR CUSTOMERS AT YOUR PERIL!

    (0)
  24. Anna says

    I to have left! Ashop have become a company that are not fit to run another companies eCommerce website, they truly do not have the knowledge or actually care about whether you are successful or not and in my eyes that is not only a bad situation to be in but it is also a very short sighted view for Ashop to take. I to am now with BigCommerce and as a previous poster said, it is like a breath of fresh air after the stink of Ashop. To anybody looking at signing up with Ashop, i really would take a look elsewhere as this company will not be good for your businesses well being.

    (0)

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>