ShopSite is a complete ecommerce platform designed for small to medium-sized businesses that want to sell goods or services online. ShopSite is available in three versions, which all feature an easy-to-use interface, a web-based management tool, integrated payment processing options, and many other features. The software is available from select hosting providers or as a standalone product for the clients that have their own hosting equipment.

According to the company that sells ShopSite, clients can have their online store published in less than 15 minutes. Moreover, once the store is launched, clients will benefit from a bevy of features, ensuring that they won’t have to invest in additional add-ons or upgrades once the store develops. We’ve put these claims to the test and came back with this review.

ShopSite features

The three versions of ShopSite – Starter, Manager, and Pro – differ in scope and feature-richness. Nevertheless, all three editions include a common core feature-pack that will detail next. In addition to the core features, the Manager and Pro versions come with the advanced functions needed to run a large and complex web store.

According to the ShopSite website, all ShopSite versions give you access to the following important functionality:

  • Quick deployment and configuration (15 minutes)
  • Web-based administration
  • Sell up to 15 products (unlimited in Manager and Pro)
  • Up to 5 store pages (automatically generated, unlimited in Manager and Pro)
  • WYSIWYG HTML editor for editing product information
  • PayPal, Google Checkout, and credit card payment support
  • Tax and shipping rates calculation
  • Integration with the DOBA dropshipping service
  • Multiple store themes
  • Add order buttons to an existing site

ShopSite is excellent for merchants new to online shopping

After going through this feature-list we can conclude that ShopSite Starter is suitable for beginning merchants, for those who want to run a small virtual boutique, and for the users that don’t want to invest too much time or money in ecommerce. The 15 products limitation may not matter if you only occasionally sell a few items, if you sell services, or if you offer your own products for sale (handmade items, books, etc.) But if you depend on high volumes and a diverse product inventory, or if you plan to expand in the future, we strongly recommend going for the Manager version of ShopSite, which allows you to sell an unlimited catalog of products.

If you already have a website, you can make use of the order buttons creation tool provided by ShopSite, which lets you design and create “Add to Cart” buttons for your products. ShopSite will generate HTML code for each button, which you can easily integrate on your existing web properties. This way, you don’t have to create a web store from scratch, which can be difficult and expensive in many cases. By using the ShopSite order buttons, you will be able to take advantage of the potential of your existing website, especially if you have already worked hard to create a loyal following, to market your site, and to optimize it for search engines.

ShopSite’s integration with the DOBA service is ideal for the merchants that just start out with online retail, and don’t want the risk and hefty investment that come with creating an inventory. Dropshipping allows you to sell stuff that you don’t actually have in your inventory. When you get an order, the dropshipping partner (in this case DOBA) will ship the item from their own inventory. Creating a dropshipping-based online store with ShopSite is also a good idea if you don’t have any viable products of your own to sell. In this case, you can simply select the products that you want to sell from DOBA’s catalog and you can start your retail business immediately.

Overall, the functions and features included in the base ShopSite package may be just enough for many merchants, especially for beginning ones. Add to the equation the fact that ShopSite Starter comes at a relatively small price with no initial fee, and you get a simple, yet effective ecommerce solution at an affordable price.

Advanced functionality of ShopSite

ShopSite Manager and ShopSite Pro include many other features besides the core package, which make the two versions an excellent choice even for large and high-traffic online stores. The Manager edition lets you sell an unrestricted number of products, organized on an unlimited number of selling pages. Also, you have a shipping rate calculator module for the most popular shipping companies in the U.S., location-based tax calculation, Google Analytics integration, sale functionality, and custom templates.

In general, ShopSite Manager is a good option for mid-sized stores that have many products in inventory. With ShopSite Manager, you can provide a superior shopping experience for your prospective customers, thanks to the template customization options and the real-time taxes, fees, and rates calculation. You will also get better insight in the browsing habits of your website visitors, which you can analyze to remove bottlenecks and improve conversion rates.

The Pro version of ShopSite is targeted at large online stores with thousands of clients and large volumes of transactions. ShopSite Pro is also ideal for selling virtual products, such as ebooks, MP3 songs, and other digital content. Other features of ShopSite Pro that are not included in the cheaper versions are user accounts, coupons and gift certificates, a cross-selling mechanism, inventory tracking, and access to developer features.

Prices and availability

ShopSite is available through a network of hosting providers that offer ShopSite as part of their services. However, if you have your own server, you can use ShopSite without an intermediary (Manager and Pro versions only).

There are two ways to purchase ShopSite – by making an one-time payment or by paying a monthly licensing fee. Because ShopSite is sold through partners, which have a certain amount of freedom in selecting prices, we cannot provide you with a fixed price grid for ShopSite. However, the ShopSite website provides some suggested prices that you can use as a reference.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for an affordable ecommerce platform that gives you many features without too much complication, ShopSite may be a great choice for you. We can only recommend the Starter package to beginners and very small retailers. However, the superior versions are worthy options even for mature businesses, thanks to their abundance of features and ease of use.