Design & Development

Cart of the Week: CoreCommerce

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 Matt DeLong, president and CEO of CoreCommerce, developers of CoreCommerce shopping cart software. The company is based in
Franklin Tenn., and its software has been used to create between 12,000 and 13,000 web stores, according to DeLong.

We’ll also hear from a CoreCommerce customer, Timothy J. Burns, owner of Minnesota Workwear, a site that sells industrial work apparel.

PeC: Please provide some general background on the cart.

Matt DeLong

Matt DeLong

Matt DeLong: “The cart was first created in 2001 as a licensed product called digiSHOP, but in 2008, we adapted the digiSHOP PRO version and it became CoreCommerce.

“We wanted to give small businesses the same feature set that larger companies had access to, specifically power tools for small businesses.”

PeC: Is it hosted, licensed, or both?

DeLong: “CoreCommerce is a true SaaS (software as a service) product. We also offer the licensed cart, digiSHOP.”

PeC: How much does CoreCommerce cost?

DeLong: “$24.99 to $159.99 per month, depending on the number of products and your bandwidth requirements.”

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

DeLong: “We are PCI compliant as of October 7, 2009. We were audited by Chief Security Officers, LLC based in Scottsdale, Arizona. We actually had implemented most of the PCI-DSS best practices already, so the three month PCI audit was mostly pain free.”

PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

DeLong: “We pay close attention to our customer service ratings every week and implement customer suggestions into new features every two to three weeks. Our customers get dozens of new features that can help them grow well beyond ‘startup mode,’ and new features are implemented automatically–no patches to run or anything like that.

“We were one of the first to integrate with Google Checkout, Checkout by Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, SEO tools, third-party product feeds (like Shopzilla, Shopping.com, Google product search, Yahoo!, and Amazon). So our customers were some of the first merchants to leverage Google and Amazon’s customer base, and some of the first to use social marketing tools like Twitter and Facebook.”

PeC: What are some of its weaknesses?

DeLong: “It doesn’t have as many free templates as some other carts. We are working on that right now, actually.”

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

DeLong: “We will be releasing a mobile-optimized version of the front-end shopping cart in the next few months, as well as tons more free templates.”

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

DeLong: “Our clients tell us all the time that their revenues have increased 10 to 50 percent without spending any more money on marketing. Integration with the cart’s tools can open new doors, allowing merchants to ‘share’ their products with a friend on Facebook or Twitter. Broadcasting tools like this can increase traffic and help merchants make more money.”

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

DeLong: “Customer service and lots of new features are our primary focus, and we have thousands of customers who can back this up. If you are sick and tired of your online store not working for you, or if your ecommerce company is unresponsive, give us a try. Create a free trial account.”

A Customer’s View

Tim Burns owns Minnesota Workwear, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based online catalog that sells work apparel, such as scrubs, fire protective clothing, and coveralls. The site brings in approximately $1 million per year in gross revenue via CoreCommerce, and Burns provides his comments and opinions about the cart below.

PeC: How long has your company been using CoreCommerce?

Tim Burns

Tim Burns

Tim Burns: “We have been using it almost one year now. We were using a cart that did not fit our needs because it was really geared towards a specific industry that we didn’t serve. Although we were beginning to have some success with pay-per-click (PPC) ads, we felt we could really grow it more if we found a better system (cart).

“A web developer we had used suggested CoreCommerce and we tried the trial run. One of the things I was most excited about was the ability to control my own site. I did not want to be at the mercy of a web developer. The web is fast and dynamic. If I come up with an idea, or want to add or delete a product, I want to be able to make that change myself and not wait for some developer to fit us in and charge us. After seeing CoreCommerce, I knew we could do all of this without a developer.”

PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

Burns: “One of the biggest strengths is they don’t sit still. We had been with a web company that told us that their cart was basically ‘cooked’ or done as they called it. (Never tell me there will be no more features, especially in the online market.)

“CoreCommerce always seems to be coming out with new features, tweaks and upgrades. I love that. They also have free customer support with real people who want to help. That is huge. I have never had a bad experience with any of its customer service people.

“Additional CoreCommerce strengths are that it is Google friendly, it is easy to add products, and it syncs with QuickBooks.”

PeC: How could the cart improve?

Burns: “I would like to see more security features. We had a run of some fraudulent charges a while back that cost us some time and money. I would like to be made aware of more things that can be done to make things more secure. I would love to see more features having to do with the PPC aspect of our business.

“Also, we do a lot of [PPC] work with Google and Yahoo!, and more features geared towards them would be great.”

PeC: How would CoreCommerce improve another merchant’s business?

Burns: “It can really help people on many different levels of their business. If you just want to have an informative site you can do that very quickly–you don’t need to be a web guru to get a professional looking site up very fast. And the help they give you is terrific.

“Also, the price is competitive. And, for those of us that are really into it, there are a bunch of features and bells and whistles you can really have fun with and still get the help if you need it.”

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

Burns: “Absolutely. We have had an absolutely positive experience with CoreCommerce.”

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

Burns: “Whatever size your business is, this cart works. You can tell the CoreCommerce guys have a passion and drive for this because it shows. I would recommend these guys 110 percent. I just hope they don’t get bought out by some big company and have things change.”

Other CoreCommerce Sites

Kate Monteith

Kate Monteith

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