Practical Ecommerce

Cart of the Week: DesignCart

There are more than 500 online shopping carts. And each week we feature one, interviewing both the cart’s developer and a customer. “Cart of the Week” is not a review or an evaluation, but rather an opportunity to learn about a shopping cart from the people who build it and use it.

This week, we’ll hear from Justin Hill, vice president of business development for CartManager International, a software development company based in Orem, Utah. CartManager has developed several ecommerce solutions, including this week’s featured online cart, DesignCart, which serves roughly 10,000 users.

We’ll also hear from a DesignCart customer, Steve Taylor, CEO of Noah’s List and Noah’s Classifieds. The companies are based in Phoenix, Ariz., and sell products and services related to classified advertising.

Practical eCommerce: Please provide some general background on the cart.

Justin Hill

Justin Hill

Justin Hill: “DesignCart was founded in 2002 with a commitment to provide industry-leading ecommerce technology and service, and to assist businesses that use the cart to be increasingly more effective and profitable.”

PEC: Is it hosted, licensed, or both?

Hill: “Hosted.”

PEC: How much does DesignCart cost?

Hill: “It is $18 per month for the base service with unlimited ‘Add to Cart’ buttons using the button builder. The catalog version of the cart ranges from $24.95 to $99.95 per month.”

PEC: What is your company doing to become PCI compliant?

Hill: “Our shopping cart is PCI DSS certified and has been for the previous four years. Our PCI DSS auditor is Ambiron Trustwave.” (Editor’s Note: CartManager International is named on Visa’s global list of PCI DSS validated service providers.)

ListenListen to Justin Hill of DesignCart discuss the beginnings of the company, and offer suggestions to ecommerce merchants.

PEC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

Hill: “Notable features include real-time shipping support for UPS, FedEx and U.S. Postal Service; customizable headers and footers; and an electronic software download feature for soft-good sales and fulfillment. In addition, we take pride in servicing our cart merchants by providing toll-free phone and email support.”

PEC: What are some of its weaknesses?

Hill: “While the shopping cart is compatible with most third-party affiliate programs, it does not currently offer an internal affiliate program.”

PEC: What plans do you have for future cart development?

Hill: “Our shopping cart is constantly evolving, and we currently have a full development schedule with several items (such as the affiliate program) scheduled for later this year.”

PEC: How would your cart help an ecommerce merchant, versus the cart he or she is using now?

Hill: “The most notable benefit a merchant would receive is the commitment to security our shopping cart service has made by being PCI DSS certified rather than just focusing on being generally compliant.

“A more rare feature of our cart is that, if a merchant is looking for a new feature or enhancement, we are willing to do custom programming projects to help accommodate the different needs of our cart merchants.

“Moreover, the ease of implementing our shopping cart is of immense benefit to merchants who have made the switch from other shopping cart providers.”

PEC: Any other thoughts for our readers, who are mainly ecommerce merchants?

Hill: “Now that merchant service providers and gateways are requiring merchants to provide proof that they are using PCI DSS compliant software, the cart’s PCI DSS certification is more valuable than ever.”

A Customer’s View

Steve Taylor is CEO of Noah’s List and Noah’s Classifieds. The two companies take in approximately $3 million in sales each year via DesignCart, and Taylor provides his comments and opinions about the cart below.

PEC: How long has your company been using DesignCart?

Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor: “We started out originally with a CartManager cart in 1999, but we have been using CartManager’s DesignCart for several years now because it integrates better with our site design and it is PCI compliant.”

PEC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

Taylor: “The PCI compliance, as well as the flexibility of design, speed, reliability, and the electric download—all the same reasons we choose the cart.”

PEC: How could the cart improve?

Taylor: “At this point, it is has more capabilities than we need. I don’t know if there is room for improvement. I would have to run across a need and ask the DesignCart team to add it. I think they would.”

PEC: How would DesignCart improve another merchant’s business?

Taylor: “I think having the PCI certification would help any merchant, based on all the new Visa and MasterCard compliance rules. Also, the support is really good, which is key to any business. And, building the ‘Buy’ buttons can be done fast if changes are needed.”

PEC: Do you plan on continuing to use the cart?

Taylor: “We plan a long term use of DesignCart, as it works well with our license key server for the classifieds software we sell and support.”

PEC: Any other thoughts for our readers concerning the cart?

Taylor: “If you have tried other carts and you still need more features with really good support and PCI compliance, DesignCart does it.”

Other DesignCart Sites

Kate Monteith
Kate Monteith
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