You have all the good intentions to grow your business, but you keep complaining that due to the lack of features or the fact that many of the features are not working the way they should is stopping your growth. The reason this is happening is because you keep using commodity shopping carts like Big Commerce, Volusion, 3Dcart, Shopify, etc. as if they are the only option in the market.
Let’s look at a real world example, let’s say you a professional street racer. You see all the fanatic ads about how fast the Honda Civic can be, and how many accessories you can buy for it. You figure, hey I’ll just buy the Honda Civic for 15k, I’ll buy an Air Intake, and maybe later I will upgrade it with a turbo. Sure the Honda Civic will go from 0-60 in 30 seconds to 0-60 in 10 seconds, but IT IS STILL A HONDA CIVIC.
When you pull up next to Corvette which can cost three times as much, the stock Corvette will annihilate your turbocharged Civic.
All the commodity Shopping Carts are equivalent to a Honda Civic, and all their app partners are equivalent to the accessories that you can put on the Honda Civic. By the time you finish buying all the accessories for your Honda Civic, you will pay twice as much as what the Corvette would've cost you.
OPEN YOUR EYES TO YOUR PROBLEMS
A decent size client called me last week who has been using Big Commerce platform for years. He has gotten to the point where he is no longer looking for a Honda Civic Shopping Cart, but trying to find which platform can solve his pain points that Big Commerce caused him to experience.
His complaints for Big Commerce are as follows:
- Discounts can only be per whole order, not per item. So if you have a flat rate discount, or item level percent discount you can’t use this shopping cart.
- There is no way to have multiple wholesale levels for different customers. (Even if there was a way, it would be useless because of the point I made above).
- Data is not QuickBooks friendly, even when they use their app partners. (You can put a turbo on a Civic, but it is still a Civic). The main issue is QuickBooks requires orders broken down by line items and BigCommerce just passes the total sum for the order which is useless for book keeping such as calculating taxes, shipping, etc.
- The sales reports and performance reports are so pathetic and inaccurate, that they need to email BigCommerce once per month to get that information from them.
- You are unable to change the order status language, when an order is just processing, BigCommerce is saying it is “Fulfilled”. So customers are confused why it is fulfilled with no tracking number and they bombard the phones with complaints. BigCommerce has no way to change that language and does not want to bother with it when the customer calls them.
- Inventory system does not support combo products, the client has three SKU that make up a part and BigCommerce will only support one SKU.
- There is no way to attach Sales Rep on an account to know what commission to pay out and who made the most sales each week.
- Setting up coupon codes is as basic as it gets, there is no option such as BUY X GET X at no charge, making themselves rather useless.
The list goes on and on, we get lists like these from hundreds of customers each month that are complaining about their pain points with their commodity shopping cart.
Commodity Shopping Carts make it sound convincing on paper. They say “We have Coupons, Inventory, Wholesale Levels, this and that”, but when it comes down to using these tools there are pure VAPORWARE.
It doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful business using commodity shopping carts, but it does mean that you will only grow to a certain point before you hit a brick wall right in your tracks. You will also experience extreme frustration, and even consider shutting down the company altogether.
You need to open your eyes that you got persuaded by compelling marketing that a commodity shopping cart is right for your business, when it is everything BUT.
HOW IS SHOPPING CART ELITE ABLE TO SOLVE ALL THE PAIN POINTS
To start, we didn’t wake up one day like the executives of the majority of commodity shopping carts, who never ran an ecommerce retail business in their life, and decided to start a Shopping Cart. We actually operated multimillion dollar ecommerce retail and wholesale business for five years (2001 – 2006). We were in business when commodity shopping cart just started going back to 1999, when Volusion just started. We decided to build our own shopping cart system in-house because of all the problems we’ve faced were unable to be solved by the commodity shopping carts.
Even today, they wouldn’t be able to solve our problems that we had back in 2006 because between 2001 and today, nothing changed with the commodity shopping carts. They keep adding lipstick (app partners and added value features) on a pig (commodity shopping cart) which will still leave them being a pig.
In 2006, we learned our lessons on what we could have done differently and better. We applied our experience and knowledge in building Shopping Cart Elite.
One of the things that we’ve learned is that we don’t know everything. Even though the solution is relevant for us today, it can all change tomorrow as we get bigger clients who require us to change the core. This happened in our own business as our company grew, we required more and more automation that we never even considered. We decided to build a flexible core infrastructure on Shopping Cart Elite that will allow us to make changes to the core without affecting the clients.
The idea we had was that if we need to make changes to the core of the software, we would be able to do the changes in the future, and migrate all clients to the new core without them being effected or even knowing what happened.
Changing the core of the software when you have 1000s of clients using it is equivalent to doing repairs on an airplane that is mid-flight traveling 600MPH. If you do something wrong, you will break the engine, and it will crash, killing everyone. I am not even kidding about it, changing the core of the software while having clients rely on it in production, and keeping everything in sync during migration is THAT BAD.
Of course, we have backups in the worst case scenario, but I am sure no one will be happy to have their website down for 24 hours, just to see no changes, and then repeat the process again in a week.
Shopping Cart Elite is known for doing weekly releases for new features instead of waiting one year like the commodity shopping carts. So if you need an enhancement to Shopping Cart Elite, we can roll it out every week because it doesn’t affect the core, it is just an enhancement.
As you know we haven’t done a release in over a month now because we found another flaw in the core infrastructure, and we had to start the repairs at 600MPH in mid-flight. The core problem we found was with Shipping, you can read about the enhancement here – Smart Shipping. We did all the modifications to roll this feature out, but we also had to test the old (25 million lines of code) features to make sure they work. The testing took as much time as it took writing the enhancement.
Every Shopping Cart Elite app was touched to address the new workflows, and we also improved Batch Shipping, Order Assignment UI and Performance, as well as more shipping related features.
Usually we pull the trigger to do a release every week, but we are unable to do this when we touch the core, and thus it is taking longer than usual. Not only do we have to test everything, but some of our API changed as well, and we have clients who are relying on using the APIs for their ERP system. The roll out needs to happen all at the same time, so we need to coordinate with the API clients.
BigCommerce and other commodity Shopping Carts will never enhance their Shopping Cart system to fit your business because they do not have the core infrastructure designed to make such enhancements. They would need to go back to the drawing board and start all over to make that happen which is not an option for them. They are all pouring money into marketing, and milking their clients.
They know this, and this is why they will remain commodity shopping carts. If they had another way they would not be wasting their time and money on support, they would not be listening to all the complaints and losing clients, what they would do is fix all the issues, but THEY CAN’T!
They would not be able to roll out API replacements, and coordinate with all their clients to transition because they are too large. Bigger is not better, some of their clients that hired consultants to do the integration, no longer have that relationships because those consultants are long gone. Changing the core of commodity shopping carts would be a tremendous nightmare for the company thus you should not expect any changes from them.
Shopping Cart Elite is not a commodity Shopping Cart, and we designed our core infrastructure to give you the flexibility to come to us and ask for any kind of automation feature that will help you scale, and WE WILL NEVER SAY NO OR IMPOSSIBLE, which is what you are used to hearing from your commodity shopping cart.
We will do whatever it takes to deliver on our promise to our clients, which is “Automate Everything in 30 Days” and create the “World’s Most Sophisticated eCommerce Solution”. If that requires us to change the core like we did this quarter, then be it. It will be done, and we will not stop until we reach the sophistication level that will allow you to focus on ADDED VALUE tasks to customers and nothing else.