Ed Sturrock, Stefan Barlow and Charlie Cooper established AmeriCommerce in 2005. Whether you are looking to open one ecommerce outlet or multiple, the company has the tools to get your started selling your goods. Famous clients include huge companies such as Kellogg’s, USA Hockey and World Series of Poker. The company powers more than 5,000 retailers, which compared with other competitors such as Bigcommerce or Shopify this seems like a very small number. However, I still feel the company has something to offer for those looking to start their own online store.
The whole admin panel went through a major overhaul in August 2013, the new design is very nice and easy on the eyes, but more importantly it has made managing your business much easier as well. With this company you can create and run several stores from within the same control panel. Each can be individual from the other and can have its own unique design and products. You are given the same features whether you are operating one or a dozen storefronts. This feature is also really smart if you need to support different languages.
If you need help with setup, or you just don’t have time to create your own store then the company can help you get started. They offer several setup packages, these include catalogue setup, custom shipping methods setup as well as custom form creation.
AmeriCommerce Ease of Use
Getting started is relatively easy, the reason why I say relatively is because depending on the choices you make it can quickly become much more cumbersome. If you decide to use a pre-created theme then the setup wizard will help you get started in a few quick steps. If you are an experienced store builder, then the company also has some more advanced features for you. Instead of using a premade theme you could for example create your own themes and upload these to their server.
One negative I found with the login process is the fact that while login is very fast, if you click the login button on the homepage, then it doesn’t take you to your admin panel but instead to a general account dashboard. Honestly if you are just starting out and this is your first encounter with AmeriCommerce then this can be very confusing. What you need to do instead is access the dashboard through a URL specifically created for your account.
The company offers five different pricing tiers, with the cheapest plan, called steel, starting at just $24.95/month and the most expensive (platinum), costing $299 per month.
The cheapest plan allows users to add 100 products to their store and only offers 250 MB storage, while the most expensive allows for an unlimited number of products and comes with 5 GB. most competitors offer at least 1 GB space with their cheapest plan. None of the plans charge a setup fee; similarly none of them charge any transaction fees, which is a big plus compared with the other platforms out there. Furthermore all come with free shared SSL. As mentioned earlier in the review, AmeriCommerce allows you to manage multiple stores from the same dashboard, setting up an additional outlet costs $39 per month. If you read the fine print it also costs a $49 one-time setup fee.
If you are looking to micromanage your inventory then they offer everything you need, if you are just looking to run your store and add a few products then honestly you are bound to get confused with all the different choices. As you can see in the image below the company offers a plethora of different choices when it comes to inventory. You can decide whether inventory rules should apply to this product or not, you can enter how many units are available and how many are currently on order. Similar to other platforms such as CoreCommerce you can decide the maximum and minimum number of products anyone can purchase.
If you have already opened a store on a different platform then you can import your products with the CSV import/export feature. The number of features for customizing your products is really mind blowing, both in a good and a bad way.
AmeriCommerce Templates and Design
Many users would argue that the theme or design of your storefront is one of the most important aspects of your online presence. Unfortunately this is exactly where the company has their biggest weakness. The number of templates available really isn’t enough; there are exactly 52 themes available. While that might seem enough, many of the themes are just repeated with different colors. The company does offer a few good templates however, most of them really lack in design and layout.
One thing that makes the lack of themes a little more bearable is the fact that you can upload your own themes and then apply these to your store. This is similar to other companies, Shopify for instance also allows this.
AmeriCommerce SEO & Marketing
If you are looking to transfer your store from another company then these guys have a special built-in tool, that will protect your current Google rankings by simply directing old URLs to your new AmeriCommerce URL. One great marketing feature is the possibility to rewards repeat customers. You can easily motivate customers to purchase more products or receive bonus points for purchasing a certain product. You can even allow these points to be used a payment for future purchases. Similar to many competitors you can quickly start selling your products on Facebook using the Fb store theme that comes with every AmeriCommerce account.
The more payment methods you accept the more likely customers are to complete a purchase through your store. They integrate with more than 50 payment processors; they accept most local U.S. gateways such as Bank of America, Chase Paymentech, PayPal and Google Checkout, so it's a great options for US citizens who want to sell locally or internationally, but they don't have any options for international sellers who want to open up an online shop.
AmeriCommerce offers 99.9% uptime; they are constantly updating their servers and server utilization remains at or below 30%. The stores are hosted optimized Dell servers with Cisco hardware at Rackspace datacenter. The company makes sure to be PCI-compliance. Similar to other companies the company protects the admin panel with 128bit SSL security, and unlike CoreCommerce additional security cannot be purchased at an additional cost. If you want to grant employees access to parts of the admin panel without giving them full access then you can generate multiple login accounts each with a distinct password.
AmeriCommerce Customer Support
If you are looking for support then AmeriCommerce offers phone, email or you can submit a support ticket. Even though I am happy to see the company offers phone support, it quickly becomes frustrating when you need to keep an eye on their limited hours, support is only offered from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. CT. While this might not be a big problem for American clients it can quickly become an unnecessary burden for global clients. The company does state that email support is available 24/7 however sometimes the wait time for a response was more than 24 hours, so if you need support in a timely manner you really are stuck using the phone support.
They do offer live chat, however they are staffed with sales reps who are only there to help potential clients. It would have been great to see them offer live chat for support as well, especially with the restricted phone hours.
The ability to manage multiple stores from the same admin panel is a really big plus for some people. And the fact that you can administer different stores for different countries or markets all within the same dashboard really sets the company apart from their competitors. So if you're interested in these two features I strongly advice to sign up for their free trial, you've probably found the best platform for your needs. Otherwise, I would suggest to read the Shopify review and the Bigcommerce review before deciding which is the best fit for your needs, and take a look at the char for an overview of all reviewed platforms.
What do you think of AmeriCommerce? Let me know what's your opinion in the comments.