Ebusiness in-a-box Solutions RevisitedBy Sherice Goff
As you maybe aware we reviewed ebusiness in a box solutions a while back. This article is a continuation of that review as the field of choice has grown to become even more confusing. We have tried to give you an insight to make choosing an in-the-box solution as easy as possible.
www.eCongo.com – eCongo – within its cryptic algebraic notations, eCongo delivers three different methods to create and maintain an online business. The first, e2A, is an administration package with several management tools, including global services such as currency, tax, and shipping calculators, along with options for adding newsletters, managing banner campaigns and collecting real-time statistics on merchants and customers. The second service, e2B details sales-tracking, inventory management and customer service. The third offering, e2C is a more beginner-oriented service, allowing you to publish your eBusiness in as little as five minutes. This includes store templates, easy customer registration, and a keyword search for product categories. eCongo provides free monthly hosting, design templates and item searches, however they charge a $39.95 per month fee for credit card validation and a 0.30 per transaction cost.
www.GoBizGo.com – GoBizGo – provides a user-friendly interface to build a site using over 100 stylized templates. Customizable with your business’ logo and graphics. One of the main features is the option to add an online catalog (available separately), which also integrates into eBay Auctions, allowing you to sell your products online. GoBizGo includes a search engine submission process, and an email manager to create mailing lists to keep your customers informed. You also have the option of incorporating your own domain name, or choosing a subdomain in the form of yourcompany.gobizgo.com. Starter membership limits your site to 2 pages, and limits your mailing list to 250 email addresses. It also displays banner ads at the bottom of your pages. Full membership costs $19.95/month which gives you 25 pages and up to 10,000 email addresses can be incorporated into your mailing list. The catalog option costs $20/month and lets you include up to 100 items.
www.iCat.com – iCat – iCat gives you two options to build an online storefront. The Web Store selection will guide you through the process of selling online by using a browser-based wizard interface. You select a template, upload your customized graphics, and input your product information. The Commerce Cart option gives you more control over the look and feel of your design and allows you to integrate iCat’s building and marketing tools within your existing website. You also have the ability to promote your sales, update product information, check order status and access your online order reports as often as you like. ICat charges $99.95/month for stores with up to 100 items, plus $40/month and a $195 set up charge for credit card validation. They also require 0.35 per transaction.
With so many choices directed at the eBusiness industry, it may be difficult to choose a complete commerce solution that can fit your needs and budget. I personally recommend BigStep.com as a starting point into your eCommerce venture. BigStep boasts an unlimited inventory, no monthly fees, and the lowest price for credit card transactions. They also provide design templates and helpful wizards to assist you in setting up your online store.
As a general reference guide, c|net Builder.com has put together a comparison chart of the top four contenders (Yahoo! Store, iCat Commerce Online, BigStep.com and eCongo) for the best e-commerce storefront provider. builder.com/reviews