CoreCommerce Review 2017

Here is my CoreCommerce review that you can read for free. Read it to its entirety so that you can determine if their online store builder suits your business needs. I will keep it as detailed as possible and will include both the good (pros) and the bad (cons) about their platform. Lastly, I will keep this review updated to reflect the latest changes / upgrades.

In a world full of ecommerce store builders, choosing the right platform to use is difficult. Nowadays, these ecommerce store builders offer a lot of different tools and functions – and I will be the first to admit that things can get confusing.

In theory, you want a perfect solution that is capable of helping you create a professional and elegant store so that you can sell your products online.

And – that is when CoreCommerce comes into the equation.

But, how can you know if their ecommerce solution is right for your business? How do you know what will be the outcome of signing up for a service like this?

I will provide you with detailed information so that you can easily determine if CoreCommerce is for you.

Shall we get started?

What is CoreCommerce?

How can you determine if their service is for your business if you do not know what they do – right?

CoreCommerce is a complete and all-in-one ecommerce platform that offers a premium online store builder for a monthly fee. It is a hosted solution – this means that they take care of all the technical details and manage the web hosting for you.

Hosted ecommerce platforms offer a lot of advantages because they are easier to work with. In addition, you do not need any ecommerce experience / technical knowledge to use these types of online store builders.

CoreCommerce allows you to build and customize your online store, organize your products, accept credit card payments, interact with customers, and track and manage orders from a single, centralized location, their admin dashboard.

As mentioned above, their developers are responsible for future upgrades, security enhancements, etc.

Who is CoreCommerce for?

CoreCommerce is for anyone that is looking to build an online store and sell products online. Their online store builder is not free, so if that is what you are looking for, it is fair to say that CoreCommerce is not for you.

The platform is also a perfect fit for nonprofit organizations because of the reduced costs. All nonprofit agencies receive a 50% discount on all plans.

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Ease of use

While you do not need any ecommerce / technical experience to use CoreCommerce, I do have to point out that the dashboard is outdated and boring.

After you login to your account, you will be greeted by a setup wizard that will guide you through the configuration steps. This process is optional and can be skipped.

From the admin backend, you can complete all administrative tasks – add inventory, fulfill orders, publish content, view store statistics, and customize the store.

An area that stood out for me has to be option to drag and drop different elements without touching a single piece of code. For example, you can rearrange elements such as top sellers, new arrivals, etc.

The customer frontend is clean and user-friendly. Customers can browse through the store and add products to their cart with ease. Your customers will not have any problems navigating around the shop.

The admin interface is clunky and outdated. It needs a new design to improve user friendliness for the shop owner.

Template design options

Design matters. As a matter of fact, a store that offers a professional and elegant design builds trust and creditability. In addition, shoppers are more likely to place an order.

CoreCommerce offers 201 free ecommerce themes for your store. The themes can spruce up your store and you can change themes as often as you need to. While there is a large selection of free themes, only 16 are responsive across mobile devices.

CoreCommerce themes

You can customize each theme using html and css. You can also add widgets to the sidebar, add a homepage slider, and upload a custom store logo.

In addition, CoreCommerce offers a drag and drop editor that can help you with basic design and layout customizations. Content is added using a user friendly WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor.

While CoreCommerce performs well in the design area, I would like them to offer premium themes that are available for purchase or at least, the option to upload an external theme.

Overall, CoreCommerce offers a lot of user friendly design options that you will need to build a professional and elegant online shop.

SEO and marketing

Whether you are building a website or online store, it is the most important task to optimize your website / store for search engines. Similar to other ecommerce platforms, CoreCommerce offers integrated SEO features.

All content, category, and product pages have search engine friendly URLs. Furthermore, the platform offers integration with Google Analytics and Google sitemaps are automatically generated for you. Moreover, the company has implemented 301 redirects.

In addition, CoreCommerce offers several features for marketing your store. For instance, you can offer your customers different kinds of coupons, gift certificates, and bundle discounts.

Furthermore, you can easily implement customer gift registries, wish lists, and rewards programs. You can also show related products that might interest your customers and increase your conversions.

CoreCommerce review bannerInventory

Inventory management is one of the most integral parts of running an online shop. Without the proper tools, it is difficult to keep track of your inventory.

CoreCommerce offers many different ways of tracking and dealing with store inventory. For instance, you can enter available inventory when creating a product page and you can receive a notification once your inventory level falls at or below a certain level.

CoreCommerce inventory

Furthermore, you can set a minimum and maximum order quantity which is usually used for wholesale / bulk orders. In addition, you can enable the option so customers can only purchase products in multiple quantities (e.g. in units of 2, 4, 6, etc.).

Accepting payments

CoreCommerce offers over 50 different payment gateways that you can use to accept all type of payments on your store – such as PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Checkout, Authorize.net, etc. In other words, you can accept all major credit cards in many different countries.

CoreCommerce payments

One feature that stands out in particular is the option to set a minimum and maximum order amount for credit card payments. For instance, if you set a minimum order amount of $20, your customers will not have the option to pay with a credit card until they reach the threshold.

As with all payment processing services, there is a fee for completing each transaction. Certain payment gateways charge a monthly fee as well. That is why you should review all of the fees before using any payment gateway.

App store

As mentioned earlier, CoreCommerce offers a lot of ecommerce features that you can use free of charge. In addition, they offer an external app store so you can add more functions to your online store. These apps can help enhance your accounting, improve your marketing tactics, add more payment options, and integrate more shipping and fulfillment options.

CoreCommerce apps

The apps / widgets can automate a lot of the administrative tasks, so you can focus on other aspects of your business. For instance, you can install Intuit to help you with finances and tax returns, add Channel Manager to submit shopping feeds (products) to comparison engines, add Abandon Aid to recover lost sales, and add Endicia to print shipping labels for your orders.

As discussed above, some apps / widgets are free and some are paid. You can choose which app you need and you can install it whenever you feel like your business needs it. If you do not find any use out of the apps, you do not have to use / buy any of them. You have full control over that.

These apps are there to help you further certain business functions. They will streamline your business to save you time, so you can focus on other parts of your business.

Mobile ecommerce

An online store builder is not complete without mobile ecommerce features. Did you know that the number of shoppers that use a mobile device to do their shopping online increased every year?

Only a handful of their themes are responsive. Responsive themes automatically adjust to the appropriate size that is best suited for the specific device to give your customers a pleasant shopping experience.

Mobile ecommerce is automatically set up, so you do not need to adjust any settings to take advantage of the benefits.

The checkout pages are optimized for mobile devices. You will also be able to manage your store using a mobile or tablet device.

Hosting for your store

As mentioned above, CoreCommerce is a hosted ecommerce platform, so web hosting is included in every plan. I do recommend purchasing a custom domain name to brand your business – NameCheap is the best place to purchase a domain name.

Their hosting is optimized for ecommerce stores. The speed of your store will truly reflect that. The hosting servers guarantee an uptime of 99.99%, so you will rarely ever have worry about downtime.

Is my store secure?

The security of your store is an important consideration when choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business. Thankfully, CoreCommerce takes security to the next level by offering you a free shared 256-bit encryption SSL certificate, firewall protection, and automatic admin logout which prevents unauthorized access to your account.

In addition, the CoreCommerce platform is PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant.

Backup and export options for your store

All plans include daily backups of your entire store and automatic updates to reflect any future upgrades / features added to the platform. Furthermore, you have the option to import / export products in bulk using an excel spreadsheet.

Support and resources

CoreCommerce offers phone and chat support Monday through Friday from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Central Standard Time. The company offers 24/7 email support only.

They also have a comprehensive knowledge base that you can access when support is not available. You can find a lot of the answers to your questions here – usually much quicker when compared to contacting support. In addition, they offer a free 30-minute onboarding session with a member of their customer success team where you can get help setting up your store.

After reaching out to the support team on several occasions, I can truly say that the team is competent and ready to help with any problem you might come across. The support team was eager to answer my questions prior to signing up and help clarify a few issues I had after signing up.

The only downside is the fact that they do not offer 24/7 support. I am not a big fan of having only email support on weekends. Weekends are usually busy and things can go wrong, especially around the holidays. I would like to see them implement some type of support on weekends.

CoreCommerce pricing

CoreCommerce offers five different monthly plans, the cheapest costing $40 a month and the most expensive costing $600 a month. The cheapest plan comes with a rather restricted offer of allowing you to sell 300 products at a time and use 4 GB of bandwidth.

Unless you sign up for the Premier plan costing $200 a month, your products will be limited. With the exception of their cheapest plan, their remaining plans offer unlimited store bandwidth. If you sign up for their cheapest plan and use more than 2 GB of bandwidth in a single month, you will be charged $9 for each additional GB.

CoreCommerce plans

Furthermore, with the exception of the Enterprise plan, the remaining plans have a restriction on storage space. If you have a lot of products and plan on using multiple images for each product, I would recommend selecting a larger plan to avoid limitations down the road.

One thing that I do like about CoreCommerce is the fact that they do not charge any transaction fees, no matter which plan you sign up for.

There is a 10% discount that is applied to all annual plans. In addition, nonprofit organizations receive a 50% discount on all plans.

CoreCommerce offers a 15-day free trial where you will have enough time to try their ecommerce platform. If their platform does not suit the needs of your business, you can always walk away before committing to one of their plans.

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Pros of using CoreCommerce for ecommerce

  • All ecommerce features are offered with every plan.
  • The platform does not charge transaction fees and you are free to use any plan and payment processing service.
  • The platform offers flexible shipping from major carriers including UPS, USPS, FedEx, and Australia Post.
  • With a number of tutorials and other helpful resources, you can get your store up and running within hours.
  • The customer front end and store checkout pages are user friendly.
  • Inventory management is the strongest function of CoreCommerce. You have complete control over a lot of inventory options.
  • The platform offers over 200 free ecommerce themes that you can use for your online shop.
  • They platform offers complete integration with over 50 different payment processors, including its own processor.

Cons of using CoreCommerce for ecommerce

  • CoreCommerce cost is relatively high when compared to other leading ecommerce platforms.
  • The admin interface is outdated and it is difficult to find certain features.
  • With the exception of the Enterprise plan, storage space is limited on the remaining plans.
  • While there is a mass selection of free ecommerce themes, only a handful are truly responsive.

CoreCommerce Review – Conclusion and recommendation

In conclusion, I feel that CoreCommerce is a strong ecommerce platform to help you create a professional online store. Specifically, I am impressed with three unique things:

  1. Themes – with a mass selection of free ecommerce themes, your online store will look professional. This will build trust and credibility with your customers and is known to increase sales.
  2. No transaction fees – whether you sign up for the cheapest or most expensive plan, you will not be charged any transaction fees. In addition, you are free to use any payment processing service.
  3. Discounts – the company applies a 10% discount on all annual plans and offers 50% discount to all nonprofit organizations.

In order to have a successful online shop, you need a strong ecommerce platform that is both capable and flexible to support your business needs. So if you need an online store builder that is easy to use but flexible enough for more complex stores, you might want to look at CoreCommerce.

CoreCommerce offers a 15-day free trial that you can use to try the platform on your own. If you find that the platform is not good for your business, you can walk away without any financial loss to you.

What do you think about CoreCommerce? Feel free to share your experience by posting a comment in the comments section below, which is dedicated to CoreCommerce reviews.

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