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ShopSite or Volusion?

     
7:20 pm on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been with Yahoo for over a year but I've been looking at these two solutions for a new store that I plan on doing. Can anyone comment on either of these solutions? Is one better or worse than the other? I'd like to be able to:

1. Completely customize the look of my site (not be stuck with a template)
2. Have an SEO friendly URL structure i.e. www.mysite.com/keywords.html
3. Be able to 301 redirect on the page level via .htaccess
4. Shopping engine feed compatibility. Can I easily export a feed to the popular shopping search engines i.e. froogle, shopzilla, shopping.com etc.
5. Is it compatible with Stone Edge or any other popular order processing software?
6. Price - i'd like to keep my set up costs under a few thousand dollars considering that I will handle all of the graphic design.
7. Site Search - I'd like to have a good site search
8. Customer reviews would be critical to this site so I would like something that has this feature built in.

12:32 am on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Shopsite can do all of that except I'm not sure about:
"3. Be able to 301 redirect on the page level via .htaccess"

Shopsite's own product search is fairly weak. Some stores use 3rd party search.

Shopsite has some ready made templates but you can build your own look.

They have a customer review module, I believe.

Stoneedge is VERY well supported by Shopsite.

Overall, an excellent product with great support.

5:07 pm on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I purchased stone edge and spent a lot on setting it up and even traveled to training classes with them only to find out "from them" that I had wasted 1000's on thier product since it wouldn't do what it was supposed to for a "drop ship" business.

I hear it works great if you inventory though.

After trashing that I went with "write it once" which actually did everything stone edge said it would but didn't for only $300.

it is listed in the shopsite 3rd party add ons at the shopsite homepage

6:31 pm on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We don't use Stoneedge but I've heard nothing but raves about it. We plan on using it at some point
to handle our direct shipments, plus some drop-shipping.

Stoneedge claims to handle drop-shipping with ease. In what way did it fall short for you?

9:09 pm on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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it won't work for non-inventory items in quickbooks

plus it wouldn't do any of the dropship functions that we expected

[edited by: lorax at 8:46 pm (utc) on Oct. 20, 2006]
[edit reason] removed inflammatory language [/edit]

8:56 am on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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anybody tried opencart?

[edited by: lorax at 2:15 pm (utc) on Sep. 27, 2006]
[edit reason] no URLs please [/edit]

2:16 pm on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been working on a customer's Volusion based store, so I'll throw my $0.02 in...

Volusion offers hosted packages with pricing based on number of items in store, or for $10K(US) you can get the source. My answers here, (except for my answer about pricing), are in regards to their shared hosting package(s).

1. Completely customize the look of my site (not be stuck with a template)

Volusion is customizable, although not 100%.. some features of the software are "mandatory" and limit me being able to say you can "completely customize it"... but you can create just about any look you want.

2. Have an SEO friendly URL structure i.e. www.mysite.com/keywords.html

Again, close, but not 100% --- Volusion has built in "SEO friendly" options that allow you to present the (default) .ASP pages as .HTM, but the URL's end up looking like:

www.example.tld/Stuff-We-Sell/22.htm

(product category names are translated to hyphenated paths and product pages use the database product ID number for a page name).. As you suggest by your question, I too would prefer being able to use /stuff-we-sell/product_xyz.htm

3. Be able to 301 redirect on the page level via .htaccess

Nope, can't use your own .htaccess file.

4. Shopping engine feed compatibility. Can I easily export a feed to the popular shopping search engines i.e. froogle, shopzilla, shopping.com etc.

(I haven't used the feature, but their docs say "...Export feeds to third party shopping marketplaces - including Froogle, Shopping.com, BizRate, Dealtime / Epinions / Shopping.com, Yahoo Shopping, NexTag, PriceGrabber, etc..."

5. Is it compatible with Stone Edge or any other popular order processing software?

It has decent internal order processing, shipping, tracking, etc.. If you are looking specifically for intefration with Stone Edge, some users have posted SQL hacks to export orders from Volusion to SE. (again, I haven't done it, so I can't say if it works or how well).

6. Price - i'd like to keep my set up costs under a few thousand dollars considering that I will handle all of the graphic design.

(Hosted) Volsion starts at $57/mo (100 products), then goes to $77, (250 prod.), $97 (1000 prod), and $197 for unlimited number of products. Next they offer it on a dedicated server (at RackSpace) for $350-$500, and the source code version (if you want to host it yourself, modify it, etc) is $9,995.00

7. Site Search - I'd like to have a good site search

It does have a decent built in search function and ability to build a "Knowlege Base" of info for your customers, link .PDF files for spec sheets, instructions, etc.. to each product

8. Customer reviews would be critical to this site so I would like something that has this feature built in.

The software does have customer review features built in.

Hope this helps.

4:27 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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powerchuter - I've been using StoneEdge Order Manager for one year and it sends my drop ship e-mails (and sometimes faxes) to my supplier with ease. Now, I don't know what kind of integratation you were looking for, but their system works good for me. I haven't used their fulfillment feature, but there is supposed to be a text file and XML based system to submit order information to third-parties.

[edited by: lorax at 8:48 pm (utc) on Oct. 20, 2006]
[edit reason] removed request for specifics [/edit]

5:17 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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powerchuter -

I'm sorry that the Stone Edge Order Manager did not work out for you. I don't mind if you want to discuss some shortcoming of the program or some ways that it did not work for you. No program is perfect or the perfect solution for all users. <snipped>

- Barney Stone, President
Stone Edge Technologies, Inc.

[edited by: lorax at 8:50 pm (utc) on Oct. 20, 2006]
[edit reason] removed inflammatory language [/edit]

9:01 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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lexipixel - thanks for your post about volusion. Good stuff.

[edited by: lorax at 8:50 pm (utc) on Oct. 20, 2006]
[edit reason] removed inflammatory language [/edit]

10:56 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm also searching for the 'right' shopping cart. Shopsite looks ok, so does Volution. It's hard to compare features since they don't lay them out the way their competitors do. So far, Nexternal interests me, but they charge a percentage of your sales, starting at 3%, going down to .5%. They do have a customer rating feature. Has anyone else looked at Nexternal?

I don't have first-hand experience, but from the forums I've been through I've heard nothing but praise for Stone edge.