The granddaddy of online commerce is widely recognized to be eBay, who single-handedly gave credibility to the world of online shopping. For those who want to go beyond simply putting a few items up on an auction site though, eBay also offers ProStores, one of the best shopping cart solutions on the market today.
In addition to the shopping cart itself, ProStores delivers tools for creating an attractive web site as well as a hosting solution that eliminates many of the administrative headaches of running your own secure server. Although it does offer convenient and attractive templates, you can also incorporate an existing web site with ProStores, while still taking advantage of the convenient management features.
The ProStores system makes it easy to create a web site with simple design tools and a set of attractive templates. The ProStores Business version lets you sell up to 10,000 products and also delivers a good set of marketing tools. This in itself makes the system quite valuable, as many other eCommerce tools completely ignore this area. ProStores includes marketing tools such as search engine optimization and submission facilities, as well as the ability to set up email marketing campaigns and affiliate programs.
Reporting features are excellent with ProStores, with several different reports available for managing every detail of your online store. Alternately, you can download your data directly into a spreadsheet or accounting package.
And what about shipping? This, too, must be incorporated into the shopping cart for best use, and ProStores is compatible with both UPS and FedEx. In the area of security, ProStores includes all of the necessary tools for secure transactions, including SSL encryption, and requiring customers to enter their CVV2 code as well as credit card number.
Needless to say, it also integrates with the eBay auction site, letting you place products directly on eBay in addition to on your eCommerce site.
ProStores offers many sophisticated features, but you do not need to have professional IT skills to use it. No installation is required, and it includes plenty of wizards to help you get your online store up and running.
ProStores is a complete solution for online eCommerce, which offers much more functionality to eBay vendors than is available directly from the eBay site. However, it is useful for online merchants of all kinds, both on and off of eBay. The monthly fee varies depending on the level of service purchased, and users must also pay a small percentage of sales fee.