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There are as yet no good standards in this field, no minimum feature set you can point to and say
"This will make a successful product" at any point in the market.
I personally prefer the toolkit style ecomm packages, that give you a great deal of freedom over layout and functionality on your site. Many small businesses prefer the easy to use, highly automated packages you seem to be interested in.
Its also necessary to bear in mind that the packages that have the most press exposure, are not always the best actual programs....
Basically, most people will recommend whatever they have had success with, which tend to be the packages they know quite well, and have learned to get the best out of. Just because someone else has made it work is no guarantee that you will be able to emulate their success, unfortunately.
if you are at all patient, or want the very best results in the end...erol is for you...
Good luck, hope that helps
Miva Merchant full licenses cost $595, but quite a few hosting companies offer Miva Merchant as part of their e-commerce hosting package.
As TallTroll mentioned, you'll likely get a wide variety of opinions and the "best" package is the one that fits your needs and budget.
Miva Merchant includes features such as product attributes and attribute templates (with separate prices for various attributes), inventory tracking, interface to a dozen or so payment modules, etc.
Most importantly to me, there are a number of very active producers of add-on modules, most of which are under $30 or so.
I keep saying, once the initial learning curve has been learned (just a couple of days), there is no other software (in every way) or tech support as great as Erol (www.erol.co.uk)
PLEASE NOTE that I have not relation with Erol other than being a super satisfied customer
All Erol stores are all framed right? A technique which makes a spider/robot's job that little bit harder... this is NOT a good thing.
I said in an earlier post that a trial wasn't available - it is. 2.5 is available as a trial. I encourage anyone to download both Actinic catalog *and* the Erol trial. Choose the one that works for you.