I am thinking of switching to AmeriCommerce.com but would like to hear the experiences of anyone who has used it.
What is really attracting me is their "Sell Anywhere" capability that allows you to embed your BUY and CART buttons anywhere you have HTML access to. http://www.americommerce.com/features/sell-anywhere I want to be able to sell my items on my website (which is hosted elsewhere) as well as any blogs or social media pages I use in the future. This is the only place that seems to support this function. A few other ecommerce providers say it is technically possible, but won't support correcting any difficulties that arise from doing it.
I am familiar with Americommerce and we actually had them in our final three for the shopping cart platform we were going to recommend to members of our eCommerce training course. In the end, BigCommerce could do a little more and worked a little better for the large variety of websites of our members.
As you stated, the "Sell Anywhere" capability is one of the huge pluses of Americommerce as well as the ability to run multiple websites from one admin panel and even share the same inventory amongst them. We were very nervous about the fact that the software actually stored user's credit card information, which is a huge PCI compliance risk factor. We also found it harder to bulk update products and to manage product options and attributes than BigCommerce was.
Like I said, though, it was in our final three after we test drove more than a dozen platforms, so it certainly isn't horrible!
Thank you StoreCoach!
I plan to check out your service that assists ecommerce store owners.
We were very nervous about the fact that the software actually stored user's credit card information, which is a huge PCI compliance risk factor.
I did a little research, and all I could find that seemed relevant was this Sept 12, 2012 announcement from AmeriCommerce in their Release History section:
HOTFIX: SharedCart Now PCI Compliant Changed SharedCart to be PCI compliant and changed location of script includes to inside the head tag so IE will work right with it...
Did this change fix the "stored information" concern you mentioned?
That's right about the time we were testing it and making our final decision. As I recall, there was no way to fix the automatic storing of credit card information. You could make it so that various admin users could not view it but it was stored, nonetheless. I am not saying that you cannot pass PCI compliance because of this; I am saying that it makes it harder and maybe more expensive. Also, if a breach were to occur, you could definitely be sued (keeping in mind that you are a little fish and most lawyers will go after the bigger fish first - i.e. Americommerce).
It DOES make it more convenient for repeat customers to not have to enter their credit card information, but we just honestly did not feel comfortable having people's credit cards sitting in the system. If a computer was left unattended, anyone could get to the information (not to mention hackers). It also would be available to anyone who has access to the server at Americommerce - something we would have no control over.
There were other reasons - very limited template choices, packing slips that were hard to print and very awkward product options come to mind. In the end, we chose BigCommerce because it served the needs of the vast majority of our training course members better and they simply were a little more polished and offered better support. Incidentally, there ARE plugins like Merchpin for BigCommerce that allow you to put your website's products on virtually any platform.
In the end, everybody is in a different circumstance and has different levels of aptitude/experience. What is right for you may not be the right shopping cart for somebody else. The only way to know for sure is to "test drive" them. I guarantee you that none of them will be absolutely perfect. They all are missing features that another cart has. You just need to decide what features are the most important to you and settle on the shopping cart that is the closest fit to your needs.