GOOD ARTISTS COPY, GREAT ARTISTS STEAL

is a famous quote by Picasso and one that Steve Jobs used to talk about Apple’s competition. I couldn’t agree with him more, a lot of innovative products are created by taking ideas from inferior products that do not work, and making them better. You don’t innovate by copying, you innovate by stealing an idea and making it better.
 
For those that don’t know me, I am the founder of Shopping Cart Elite. Shopping Cart Elite creates innovative Commerce products that I am very proud of. Before Shopping Cart Elite, we developed our own shopping cart software for our retail website because all the shopping carts at the time sucked. The shopping cart we’ve built was good, but it wasn’t great. There were a lot of scenarios that we overlooked, and the only way to fix them was to completely re-write the whole shopping cart software. After we sold our retail company, in 2006, we decided to take our Shopping Cart and make it great. Before we started, we analyzed our competitors at the time, and they still all sucked. We moved forward, and developed a shopping cart that is now known as Shopping Cart Elite.
 
Over the next five years, we’ve spent tens of thousands of hours creating Shopping Cart Elite. We are passionate about what we build, and we made sure that our core software is carefully thought through for many complex scenarios that our clients can experience. Our competitors would announce similar features to us in their releases, and made them stand out on their beautiful websites. For example, three of our biggest competitors rolled out Mobile Commerce and Social Commerce in the same year. I had doubts that these companies can roll out such complex features so fast, and make them great. We started our mobile commerce project in 2011, we assigned an A player developer and an A player designer to the project and it took over a year to roll it out.
 
I knew that we were ahead of our competitors, but I wasn’t sure by how much. I was under the impression that our competitors were innovating the same as us, and they weren’t too far behind. I was wrong!
 
Big Commerce, one of our competitors created a section on their website for their clients to submit new feature requests (ideas.bigcommerce.com). I was very curious to see what kind of features their clients are demanding. I was excited to get some ideas for ourselves, and I also wanted to see how far ahead we really were. I took an hour at night, got a cup of hot tea, and started reading the requests.
 
I WAS BLOWN AWAY! Their customers were demanding the most basic features that you would expect shopping cart software to have. After an hour of reading all the requests, I was not able to get a single feature that we can use for ourselves. I was impressed that we covered all of those features in Shopping Cart Elite from the very beginning. It seemed like Big Commerce developed a prototype system, that they never used, and they expect it to work for real businesses. Some of the features their customers were requesting are so complex that in order for Big Commerce to roll them out, they would have to scratch their complete platform and rewrite it. 
 
Potential customers sometimes ask me, what is the difference between Shopping Cart Elite and Competitor X. Usually I will tell them about all the features that we have that Competitor X doesn’t even offer. After seeing the disaster of a product Big Commerce built, a company who claims to be the Top Dog in Shopping Carts with large global offices and hundreds of staff, I decided to take some screen shots of their client requests and showcase the true vaporware garbage that they sell to their clients.
 
GALLERY OF FAILURES - CLICK HERE
 
Usually I would say that you get what you pay for, but in reality Shopping Cart Elite’s $99/mo package gives you more resources, then the most expensive packages from our top competitors, and we actually have a great product that can truly help a business succeed. Our competitors partner with absolutely anyone and call them “App Partners” located in their “App Store”. They do it just so they can save time and not develop features natively into their own software. What you get is an inferior product with crappy integration and a hefty price tag. When you take all the “Apps Partners” from our competitors that you will need for your business and add it to the price of the shopping cart package, you will be paying thousands of dollars for absolute crap. They copy Apple’s look for their front end website, they copy Apple’s trademark names (such as App Store) to sound good, and they think they got a great product.

Shopping Cart Elite builds all the apps internally to make sure they are natively integrated, feature rich and affordable. We do partner with companies, but we do things a little differently from other shopping carts. We choose our partners carefully because we want to deliver a great experience to our customers while making sure that our customers pay an affordable price for the complete software bundle. For example, just the other day I saw our top three shopping cart competitors announcing a partnership with a company called re-joiner. Re-joiner seems like a great company that offers a feature for shopping cart abandonment. Instead of partnering with Re-joiner, I had Shopping Cart Elite develop this feature set as a native app inside the software, it took only one week, and we rolled it out to our customers at no charge. I understand partnering with someone where you can save half a year of development and ongoing maintenance. But why would you partner with a company that offers a feature that will take you one week to develop, when it will take the same time just to negotiate a deal. Why would you force your clients to pay an additional $99/mo for such a small feature? This is where the fundamental differences lay between us and our competitors, our competitors would rather make an additional profit from each customer by referring them to their “App Partner” rather than create that feature as a native app into their software for all their clients. Ask yourself, why are you paying them monthly? Didn’t they promise innovation through new software releases? They just don’t get it, by putting profits ahead of great products is what will drive them into the ground. These competitor shopping carts have been milking their customers for years. The Shopping Cart industry has seen nothing new or great in a decade, it has been a frozen period, a death to innovation. There have been no challengers, and that will change TODAY. Shopping Cart Elite will be the one that will give them a run for their money, and it will happen this coming year.  
 
If you’re sole decision for a software partner is a deceptive price, and you make your final decisions by judging a book by its cover, than you really have to sign up with any one of our shopping cart competitors to truly appreciate what Shopping Cart Elite brings to the table.
 
 
UPDATE 3/1/13:
A client sent me this email commenting on this post.
A few comments on your post of BigCommerce fails, from a user who is well-versed in its strengths and weaknesses. Their mobile does suck. You can create product bundles. You can create sales but there’s no standard image.  I created one that displays if the product is on sale.  The Inventory Fail is partially true. A merchant can control this but has to do it by product, manually. Their search does suck,  I integrated Nextopia which they said couldn’t be done. Took less than an hour.
 
One of the biggest differences of significance to me about Shopping Cart Elite vs Big Commerce is that when I asked David about features you don’t have yet (like a Google  Trusted Stores feed), he said you guys would do it.  At BigCommerce you post to a message board and pray.
 
For example, BC customers have asked for MAP pricing for years and it still doesn’t exist.  Also the captcha on the built-in product reviews doesn’t work and most merchants get tons of spam reviews. I disabled the built-in review system and went with Yotpo.  Those guys rock too!
 
UPDATE 3/19/13
BigCommerce CEO admits they don’t care about making a great product, they just care to marketing a crap product and shove it into everyones face. Here is the image
UPDATE 5/22/13
Customers admit that BigCommerce is a vaporware software. Here is the image
UPDATE 9/23/13
Still going on Image Proof Here
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