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AmeriCommerce Review

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AmeriCommerce Review

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Date Established
2005
Location
Beaumont, TX
Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz Hull is a writer for Merchant Maverick. In her two years with Merchant Maverick, she has tested and reviewed over 40 eCommerce platforms and published two ebooks on the topic of online selling. Liz has also been published in Startup Nation and Home Business Magazine Online. Liz has a BA in English and Spanish from George Fox University.



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11 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Susan Thibault

    We were with Americart for our shopping cart for many years and were very happy with the product and support team. The cart integrated seamlessly with our ecommerce site and was user-friendly to navigate and use, particularly since we are a mom and pop site without extensive IT experience and support. When SparkPay took over, we ran into several problems, mainly with getting the same shipping options to work with our site. However, the main problem was and remains the inability to have a drop-down list indicating whether UPS shipments are to a commercial or residential address (we were told by SparkPay that we had to choose one or the other, which is ludricrous; any ecommerce site that ships to both residential and business customers would agree with that); at a later date, we received an email saying that to have that shipping choice available on our site, it would cost extra. Also, we recently had a complaint from one of our business customers that at least twice she had a problem with getting the cart to accept an address she wanted a product shipped to. As she pointed out, if she is having a problem, there are probably other customers having the same problem, and we may be losing business because of it.We were very happy with Americart and wish it were still available. Unless the above issues are not satisfactorily corrected by SparkPay in the near future, it is highly likely that we will seek a new shopping cart provider.

    2

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      marc

      I have a fix that I use, to solve the Residential/Commercial issue. Yes, stupid that this simple offering isn’t a standard option.

      Simply create a Fedex account online, and use that information. So, you have your regular UPS Ground (rename it UPS Ground Residential) and also use Fedex Home Delivery (rename it UPS Ground Commercial, and set-up with the Fedex account info that you received).

      You’ll need to of course find the right modification for this Fedex Home Delivery rate (since it’s not the actual commercial rate), so that it somewhat matches your UPS Ground Commercial Rates (I’ve found a -33% reduction, from this Fedex Home Delivery online rate, works pretty close for me).

      Be sure you modify the Fedex Home Delivery rate, and make that shipping option visible, as when I did this, what initially threw me, was that some of the other Fedex options, even though should have been visible, didn’t work/show in the cart.

      Hope that helps.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

        Ken

        I moved from Bigcommerce to Sparkpay at the beginning of the year. So far it has been a positive experience and the best fit for my high volume business. Support has been very helpful to me so perhaps that has improved since the previous comments were left, but for me it has been much better than what I received with BC. There was a bit of a leaning curve going to this platform but in the long run their greater number of tools and functions should be a good value. There are a few really good platforms out there and for our needs Sparkpay fit the bill better than others. Sparkpay is also striving at helping those migrating (fleeing) Bigcommerce after BC raised rates 500%. I appreciated the built-in import tools designed to move my site content, orders, and customers. There were times I got stuck or needed help and their support came through for me. Granted they are only available Monday-Friday for general support but that wasn’t a big deal to me, compared to Bigcommerce who would routinely ignore requests. Overall I give Spark Pay 4.5 stars. No platform is perfect but this one so far has been stepping up to the plate for my company.

        5

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

          Ken

          Just an update after using this platform for a few months. So far it has been very good. The pros include: + Excellent uptime+ Responsive to support tickets and questions+ Easy to use once you get use to their UICons:- Buggy interface with shipping provider (ShipStation) when dealing with multiple microstores, but they are working on this. – Bandwidth issues (more about this below)- Lack of any user community to share tips or suggestions. They have a forum but few post and almost no one replies, so its a virtual ghost town. fIn regards to the bandwidth issue, this is something that can catch you off guard if not careful. I thought I was doing pretty good when suddenly my monthly totals spiked and I ended up with a small bandwidth overage charge. Turns out that some out of control spiders and crawlers were eating up bandwidth by scanning every image and page on an hourly basis. SparkPay does not filter or restrict any of these so it is up to you to monitor and block them. Luckily they have a tool to block by the IP or user agent, but some still find their way in. One such bandwidth abuser was Alltop.com (user agent Alltop/1) who is a site that is nothing more than an article farm of scanned content pulled from blogs and sites. They blatantly ignore your Robots.txt file directives so don’t even bother with that. I had to file a complaint with their host to finally rid them of the scans which were hammering my site every few minutes. Other offenders include the Chinese and Russian bots that had to be blocked, and I still find new ones once a week. My store falls into a slot where the Silver plan is more than enough of everything except the bandwidth which I border on every month. Overall, good platform for those wanting something all inclusive, or all of those who had to flee BigCommerce after they showed such disrespect for small/mid sized businesses.

          4

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Jim k.

            Bandwidth billing is deceptive.I started with the lowest plan. After a few months I started getting billed for extra bandwidth each month. (The billing is very sneaky. They won’t tell you how much bandwidth you used, but just bill you $40) So, I switched to a higher bandwidth plan because it’s less expensive to pay for bandwidth up front. Now I had more bandwidth then I had ever used before. The very next month? More bandwidth charges! Mysteriously, my bandwidth use had doubled in the next month even though my page views for those 2 months were only up slightly.My site hasn’t changed at all in this time. Zero edits.I have the same traffic patterns among pages.Over 8 months, my page views have doubled, but for some reason I’m paying for 4x the bandwidth.

            1

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

              Laurie H.

              While you have done a good job of describing the features that AmeriCommerce offers, I don’t think you have given sufficient weight to the EXTREMELY POOR SUPPORT. I spent 10 months waiting for them to port a shopping cart over from AmeriCart. Communication from them was non-existent. Promises were made that were never kept. That client eventually gave up and went with a different solution. Now I’m on hold again with my very last AmeriCommerce client. The shopping cart isn’t working correctly because of a screw up on their part and its been a week and with feedback. If you have months to wait, you may eventually get something done. I don’t have that kind of time.

              1

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                Stephanie

                Haven’t seen an updated review, am I missing it somewhere? Would like to know what the verdict is in 2015 🙂

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Erik Robie

                  Stephanie,

                  The review has been updated. Thanks for the inquiry!

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                    Brian Gluck

                    I’ve been using Americommerce since 2008 and have seen it constantly being enhanced throughout the years. I’ve been beta testing the new admin and comparing it to the previous 2 iterations, I can honestly say it is “amazing”. The time to perform administrative tasks in the admin is reduced significantly by virtue of the new ‘flow’ as well as the speed in which the new interface loads.I agree with your statements about the included free themes which may be an initial setback, however they offer a solid foundation to further customize/refine instead of starting from scratch.Hopefully we will see some premium themes offered in the future.

                    5

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                      Justin McCullough

                      Hi Amad and Merchant Maverick team,

                      Thanks for such a complete and thoughtful review of AmeriCommerce. I think you did an excellent job touching on all the points (both good and bad) and you’re readers should find it helpful.

                      I thought I’d offer a few points of feedback and clarity.

                      – Authorize.net is indeed a partner but we also have our own AmeriCommerce Merchant Services which is less expensive and typically a good fit for many of our merchants. We support more than 50 payment gateways so it’s not usually an issue supporting the processor of your choice. And, I think your site offers tons of helpful information on merchants.

                      – You’re right, our Admin can be hard on the eyes and some people have found it confusing since we offer a lot of tools and settings for multiplestores and advanced options (unlike shopify and others).

                      – The Admin is being redesigned for a better and more intuitive user experience. It is NOT hard on the eyes and much easier to move around. Plus it’s designed to be responsive for tablets and mobile devices. The new admin will be available by Summer 2013.

                      – Our themes are dated and utilitarian in nature. Historically, we have always attracted power users, mature internet retailers which tend to have the resources and budget to theme their sites with a custom look and feel. This is an area we want to address with more themes. We offer affordable custom web design too, but understand it’s helpful to have more theme options than we currently do.

                      – Customer Service. What can I say here… Yes. We’ve got to increase our window of availability for international users and even weekend warriors trying to work on their sites during non-business hours. All I can say is that we thank all our customers for their patience as we are growing and continuing to improve. Extended hours and weekend support is coming and we are continually improving our support systems and response times. We are very serious about improving the customer experience with our company and expect to see big changes here over time.

                      For what it’s worth, I must admit we tend to be an awesome fit for mature retailers who have specific needs and are already online. We help a lot of people re-platform to us from the smaller simple stores because they end up needing advanced capabilities and tooling they just didn’t know they needed when they first started. This does put completely new store owners at a disadvantage and we hope to be able to improve their experience to get started selling online.

                      Thanks again for your review of AmeriCommerce.

                      And awesome job managing this site – it’s a great service to people trying to navigate how ecommerce works and get helpful and honest feedback.

                      Cheers!
                      Justin McCullough
                      AmeriCommerce
                      @mccJustin

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                        Amad E.

                        Justin,

                        Thank you for the kind words and the extra details about AmeriCommerce.

                        We were hesitant about publishing the review initially because we knew that you’re planning on rolling out a new version of AmeriCommerce in the Summer.

                        We ultimately decided to run with it, but we’re definitely keeping an eye out for the new software. Once it’s live, we’ll revisit AmeriCommerce and update the review accordingly.

                        Thanks again Justin. Best of luck to you and AmeriCommerce. Let’s keep in touch.

                        -Amad

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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