1ShoppingCart E-Commerce Review: Sales Toolkit for Bloggers
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Bloggers looking for an e-commerce solution have dozens of choices to consider. Not only are there numerous specific providers, but there’s a multitude of approaches to consider as well.
On one side of the virtual aisle, bloggers can pick from a wealth of plugins and extensions that integrate beautifully into an already-existing blog on the most popular content management systems (CMS), like WordPress. This helps you build an online store on your existing site, giving you a single point of presence on the web from which to manage your brand.
But sometimes it makes more sense to create a separate site for the e-commerce side of your business. For those cases, there are standalone solutions like 1ShoppingCart.
Is the independent approach right for your brand? As with many elements of digital businesses, it depends on your business model and goals.
Let’s take a closer look at 1Shopping Cart and its services so you can decide if is the best solution for you.
1ShoppingCart offers centralized e-commerce solutions for managing just about every part of the online retail portion of your business. From shopping carts to payment processing, and from email marketing to affiliate programs, 1ShoppingCart helps provide a comprehensive base of operations for e-commerce stores.
With over 3 million customers, the company was founded in 1999 by Rob Bell and is now based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, with an additional office in Oregon.
In 2006, 1ShoppingCart was acquired by Web.com, a public “do it for me” web design and digital marketing services company that includes other brands such as RenovationExperts.com, Web.com Search Agency, and Leads.com.
1ShoppingCart Plans and Features
1ShoppingCart operates on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis, offering a number of services to support its main e-commerce mission.
So, for example, you’ll find a shopping cart, as you’d expect, but also digital marketing support services, such as autoresponders, affiliate tracking systems, ad monitoring, coupon code support, digital delivery, and more.
Customers can choose from among three separate basic plans. All plans include a website builder, shopping cart, and payment processing, as well as digital download support, upsells, and email marketing. There are no setup fees, though you will pay a transaction fee, the exact percentage of which depends on the plan you select.
The plans differ on a few terms, most notably the number of products you can offer for sale. The basic, entry-level plan allows for 500 products, which is generally sufficient for most bloggers who are just starting to explore e-commerce models.
The mid-range plan contains all the features of the entry-level plan and adds access to premium store templates, a lower transaction fee, and the ability to offer an unlimited number of products in your store. In addition, you can take advantage of affiliate program management.
The top-level plan includes all the features listed above and adds a lower transaction fee, custom SSL certification, and a free domain name.
Add-On Services Bloggers Will Love
Bloggers will appreciate the integration of other support services, chief among them email marketing and autoresponder services. Email marketing is a crucial part of any comprehensive marketing plan for e-commerce sites. Having those tools built into your shopping cart backend is convenient for busy bloggers. You’ll be able to manage leads and prospects, create and send automated email messages, and more.
In addition, 1ShoppingCart offers affiliate program management tools. You can set up, manage, and run your affiliate marketing program for your store site to help increase sales and expand your customer base.
Of special importance to bloggers is the support 1ShoppingCart offers for digital downloads. Many bloggers begin their e-commerce adventures with e-books, courses, checklists, kits, and other types of digital products. So the ability to sell and manage downloads for those products is essential to bloggers.
The platform also offers support for recurring membership subscriptions to help diversify and expand your revenue streams. You can also accept a number of different types of payments, including accepting payment plans as well as donations.
1ShoppingCart provides most of the elements you’ll need for your e-commerce site, including access to a variety of payment processors.
In addition, your site will reassure customers that it’s safe to spend money on your e-commerce site through a secure, branded checkout process complete with safety assurance badges. You’ll also be able to offer discount and coupon codes to your customers.
The company’s e-commerce infrastructure complies fully with PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security standards to keep your customers’ sensitive data secure. Your site will be stored on servers in state-of-the-art data centers, protected by redundant backups and full security monitoring.
Users will enjoy a 99.9% uptime rate on their servers, with 128-bit SSL encryption and annual security audits performed by an outside provider. Your site will also be protected by a firewall and load balancing.
When problems arise — as they always do at some point, no matter how skilled the user or how robust the solution — you can take advantage of an impressively extensive library of support and tutorial documentation. Pretty much anything you’ll ever need to do on your site is covered in a video tutorial.
And if that doesn’t solve the problem, you can take advantage of one of 1ShoppingCart’s three support plans.
Only the entry level plan is included with your e-commerce plan, with no additional cost. However, it only includes telephone support, not live-chat. Email support is included but only Monday through Friday, and there’s a two-day turnaround time for requests.
The higher level plans include live chat support, as well as email support seven days a week with a 24-hour turnaround time for support inquiries. The top-level plan also includes setup and thirty minutes of remote “done-for-you” support each month, but you’ll pay for the privilege.
Is 1ShoppingCart Right for Your Blog?
1ShoppingCart is a solid choice for bloggers who want to expand into affiliate marketing and substantial product offerings. With its email marketing integration and other digital marketing services, it may not be a one-stop shop for e-commerce bloggers but it’s pretty close.
If you’d like or need call center capabilities, affiliate marketing management, and specialized, secure access for contractors and consultants, 1ShoppingCart is a great choice.
However, it may be more than beginning e-commerce impresarios need — or can afford. The company’s plans do seem to be more tailored towards bigger, more substantial business enterprises than new sites with a handful of digital products for sale.
But if you’ve got the budget, 1ShoppingCart will definitely provide room for your blogging business empire to grow.