ShopSite – A Third Party eCommerce Alternative

As an eCommerce web developing company, we often find ourself working with a lot of 3rd party eCommerce software, whether it is a plugin for…
  • Joel Holtzman
  • Magento Development Lead
  • March 15, 2013 Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

As an eCommerce web developing company, we often find ourself working with a lot of 3rd party eCommerce software, whether it is a plugin for WordPress or something as large scale as Magento. Each of our clients has a particular need and sometimes, despite preferring to work with those two solutions, we adapt to other 3rd party services or software. In a recent project for a big international company, we worked with ShopSite, which was a pleasant experience and we would have no hesitation recommending ShopSite to a client if they do not want to head towards Magento. Here are a few things that ShopSite can offer your business should you want to learn more:

Multiple Packages To Choose From

ShopSite offers different monthly plan packages that fit different business needs. You can start off with a free trial, hosted on their server, and then upgrade to one of their 3 plans. This is useful if you just want to get started with something basic and feel you will have room to grow but do not want to be tied down to an expensive commitment while starting out. Please note, some packages offer more services than others so pay close attention to what is available with the starter package compared to the “Manager” and “Pro” packages.

Multiple Payment Methods Accepted

You can accept credit cards and checks through a variety of payment providers such as Paypal, Google Wallet, Authorize.net and Worldpay. This process is automated for you as all you would have to do is set up the configuration information and ShopSite will take care of the rest for you.

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Real Time UPS/Fedex/USPS Shipping Quotes

From address validation (UPS) to real time shipping quotes of all major shipping providers, you can rest assured that your store is charging the proper amount for all orders without having to worry about installing modules or plugins to do this for you. This is all handled by the ShopSite software so all you have to do is set up the configuration and let it do all the work for you.

Flexible API

With one client, I was able to take products from a WordPress database, generate an XML file of the products and, using a server automation tool called ‘Cron’, send that xml file into the Shopsite product database. This way the shopping cart is ready to recognize your products from your website, should you have the need to use a separate database to display products on your site (This is the case if you have a WordPress site, for example, where you show the products on your blog and then send them to the shop site shopping cart when they check out. The ability to automate importing your products into ShopSite is incredibly useful and, thanks to the API, is easy to manage.

The same can be send for downloading orders or sending out order information because ShopSite offers a suite of tools that can automate the process of sending you, or even a warehouse should the need arrive, a summary of each order in XML form. There is a lot of power with this service to say the least thanks to a well thought out API system that gives developers plenty of power to maximize your website’s full potential.

A Wide Variety of Useful Business Tools

With ShopSite, you have the ability to create packing slips, receive Google Analytics integration, you can search orders, download them in XML form and even receive a QuickBooks tab-delimited format for your future reference. While each unique membership level will determine what features are available to you, most of them come with any package. To learn more, you can visit their feature checklist and see for yourself what is available with the most basic package and what is exclusively available to their ‘Pro Package’.

Summary:

If you are considering a low maintenance solution to hosting an E-Commerce website, or want something that can integrate with a 3rd party software and have the means, or willingness to invest in such a solution, that allows you to automate one product database with another, ShopSite is a wonderful option to consider. Take a look at their website and weigh the pros and cons of having a service like this compared to a standard software package in Magento. Should you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can integrate an existing product database with ShopSite, feel free to ask us.

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