How to Build a Full-Fledged Online Store in the Cloud: CloudCart Review

How to Build a Full-Fledged Online Store in the Cloud: CloudCart Review

As many of you know, I run my fare share of blogs. I really don’t have time to mess around with design, coding and maintenance issues. Dealing with all the back-end, behind-the-scenes technical mumbo jumbo that’s involved with building a website isn’t something I enjoy and so I like to find managed or semi-managed solutions to make the most efficient use of my time and patience.

When something goes wrong, I don’t want to be stuck holding the bag, which is why when it came time to launch my latest venture, a modest eCommerce storefront, I decided to give CloudCart a go and see if they could manage to impress me for at least a month. Even when a company has a bullet-proof reputation, I always look to do a free trial run before pulling out my credit card.

CloudCart screenshot

Shopify might seem like the smart and safe move in this case. They’ve been around for years and by most accounts, their customers are always incredibly happy with them. The dilemma for me was of course, budget. Both platforms offer similar base packages and pricing, but Shopify has become way too big for their britches, giving themselves not just a commission on every sale your store makes, but also adding an additional $0.30 transaction fee on every sale made too.

When you’re paying out-of-pocket for a monthly subscription, and a considerable amount at that, the last thing you want is more fees on top of fees.

CloudCart: No Hidden Fees, Yet Just as Feature-Rich as the Competition

CloudCart doesn’t charge any per-transaction fees or commissions. The price listed on their site for the package selected is exactly what you pay. No extras.

They take care of all the aggravating, time consuming technical stuff that goes into building an online store totally out of the equation (If you’ve ever tried installing and navigating your way through the Magento dashboard, you know what I’m talking about!) Managing an open source or worse, paid solution that I have to provide all the hosting, SSL certificates, site maintenance, updates and more just doesn’t work for me.

CloudCart Admin Panel screenshot

CloudCart’s Unique Features

There are a lot of features offered by this fully-hosted SaaS:

  • Free professional mobile-friendly templates to use for your store, with the company’s promise to deliver at least 3 new themes every month.
  • Create an unlimited amount of pages with their adaptable, easy-to-use CMS.
  • Top-notch modern security features including a 256-bit shared SSL certificate with every account, and PCI-DSS compliance to ensure the ultimate in data security for you and all your customers.
  • Unlimited bandwidth with CDN’s located in over 55 locations – sites hosted on CloudCart load really fast!
  • Use your own domain name or buy one from them at a promotional price for the first year.
  • Customizable cart reporting, so you always know what’s going on with your conversions as well as all abandoned sales.
  • Other reporting features include: Orders, Sales (day-to-day, month-to-month, etc.), Best-Selling, Worst-Selling, Top Customers, Low Inventory, Out of Stock and Tax Reporting.
  • Automatic abandoned order recovery emails sent from CloudCart to the customer, encouraging them to come back and make a purchase (such an excellent feature that most SaaS providers are including these days – love it!)
  • Shopping cart supports up to 50 currencies and currently supports 10 of the most popular third party payment gateways, with more to follow in the future.
  • On-site blog integration with the ability to enable comments.
  • Easy import tool available for moving to CloudCart from another hosted SaaS storefront.
  • Fully integrated SEO features built in and ready to use including: auto-generated sitemap, customizable URLs, robots.txt management, easy product tag management, and simple Google Analytics integration.
  • Customizable social media widgets included (if my count is correct, they have somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 account widgets to include on your site.)
  • Multiple product management features – organize by brands, sale items or by category.
  • Manage all your email marketing and keep in touch with customers from your CloudCart dashboard.
  • 24/7 support including online and phone support 365 days a year with a bunch of tech-geek types who can get your issue fixed fast, the CloudCart forums where you can ask questions, FAQs, and eCommerce professionals available to critique your site and help make you as successful as possible.
  • Start your store with no design or web administration knowledge – they take care of all the details and the CMS is among the easiest software you’ll ever learn to use.

I imagine I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the features CloudCart offers. Even still, they’re an up-and-comer in the industry and I’m glad to have got in when I did. One of the best features offered is the lack of hidden pricing and added transaction fees and sales commissions. This offers a new eCommerce store owner a real advantage when it comes to getting their online business off the ground, running smoothly and most important – generating massive profits!

With their easy migration features and 30 day free trial, you have nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time. Check out what they have to offer and start your free 30 day trial right now. If you’re anything like me, you won’t regret it!

SMB Authors

This article is one of the excellent contributions from small business owners, decision makers and professionals.