In January 2005, eBay Inc. purchased Kurant’s StoreSense, an online ecommerce provider. Using Kurant’s technology, eBay subsequently launched ProStores, an ecommerce solution for small to medium-sized merchants. ProStores has since signed up “tens of thousands” of online merchants. Julian Green is Director of ProStores, and we asked him a few questions about that company and about eBay.
PeC: Why should an ecommerce merchant use ProStores?
Green: ProStores combines the ecommerce knowledge, history and success of eBay Inc. with an award-winning product that had already been very successful in the marketplace. Regardless of a merchant’s experience and knowledge with building an online store, ProStores has tools for each comfort level. For those with limited knowledge of coding and general online store set-up, ProStores includes set-up wizards that guide a merchant through each process. For those with advanced knowledge, ProStores has a Macromedia Dreamweaver extension to allow for enhanced design capabilities. ProStores has an integration to easily list on eBay and it also integrates with Yahoo! Shopping, Froogle, Shopzilla/BizRate and Shopping.com.
PeC: Do you share your customer data with eBay or PayPal?
PeC: Does a ProStores’ merchant have to accept PayPal?
Green: No. ProStores merchants can configure their existing merchant accounts into their ProStores. ProStores, in fact, has partnerships with many of the payment gateways already. If ProStores’ merchants so choose, they can also easily accept payments through PayPal.
PeC: How much does a ProStores’ website cost?
Green: The Business Solution is the most popular ProStores offering. It costs $29.95 per month with a 0.5 percent transaction fee. The Advanced Solution is $74.95 per month and the Enterprise Solution is $249.95 per month. Both of these also have a 0.5 percent transaction fee. A basic level of ProStores is also available. It’s called ProStores Express and costs $6.95 a month with a 1.5 percent transaction fee.
PeC: Any eBay news you can pass along to us?
Green: Yes. At eBay Live! in early June, Entrepreneur magazine and ProStores will announce the six winners of the eBusiness Boost Challenge. The contest is designed to help entrepreneurs who aspire to sell on the Internet, or businesses that currently have a website and need help increasing online sales.
Each of six winners will receive:
- Full ProStores Design Services and up to 20 hours of Store Design Update services to assist in the set up of a ProStores Business Store,
- A one-year subscription to ProStores Business Store (a $29.95/monthly value),
- Up to 50 hours of ProStores consultation services during that one year period.