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.
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.