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nsCommerce Space Review
Technology should make our lives easier
• Reliable and secure
• Lots of marketing options
• Easy to use
• Bandwidth is charged and not unlimited
• Mobile version only available with Premium package
A comprehensive ecommerce package with all you need to design a storefront, manage your products and sell direct to customers. nsCommerceSpace offers good quality security as well as easy to use software.
The nsCommerceSpace package is offered by Network Solutions, an established company offering a range of web services including hosting, online security and domain name registration. It seems natural for a company like this to offer an ecommerce solution and nsCommerceSpace is that offering – everything you need to build and manage an online store. We looked at the features to see how nsCommerceSpace can work for your online business.
How do you get started with this software? There are three package plans to choose from at nsCommerceSpace. The Starter plan is $29.95 a month, offering 25 products, 1GB of storage space and 5GB of data transfer a month, plus five mailboxes. The Standard plan is $56.19 per month, with 300 products, 2GB storage and 10 GB data transfer, plus 50 mailboxes. The $115.95 per month Premium plan lets you sell up to 100,000p products and offers 5GB storage, 25GB data transfer a month, and 100 mailboxes. There is a set-up fee on each plan.
In addition, you can buy the Add-A-Store app which plus into your existing blog or website to turn it into a shopping cart. This is possibly the easiest way to get payment facilities onto your own site but you do lack the features in the main ecommerce solution.
One of the advantages of the nsCommerceSpace system is the discount you get for multiple stores – business owners with different brands can make savings on more than one online store.
Unfortunately nsCommerceSpace doesn’t give you as many template options to choose from as other providers. There are 13 templates which can be modified by switching colors or fonts but the designs aren’t top of the range. However the design process is easy to manage and you go through a step-by-step checklist to ensure all the elements of your site are in place. In addition, you can automatically generate a logo for your site that fits with the theme of the pre-designed template. You can customize your page as you have full HTML and CSS access – you may need a little bit of technical knowledge if you want to achieve a design that doesn’t look too basic, as the templates need quite a bit of customization to look impressive.
You do get a bit of choice over how you want your products to be displayed to the public. You can create different product variations and different categories in order to sell your goods, with up to five product classification levels. Other features in the nsCommerceSpace package include an unlimited number of photos attached to each product, with thumbnails and larger photos included, and the ability to sell downloadable and personalized products.
Inventory management – When you have an online store you need to know exactly when people purchase your products, at the time they buy them and not hours later when it may be too late. The nsCommerceSpace software reflects any changes in your inventory as they are made – whether that is a customer purchase or you making changes to your inventory. Customers can see which items are out of stock and which can be backordered.
Payments – nsCommerceSpace has a merchant account solution for accepting credit card payments, which is sold separately. You can also integrate your shopping cart with PayPal and Google Checkout. There are options for customers to pay by credit card offline, or via phone orders and in-store payments. For easier shipping, nsCommerceSpace offers a number of options to get your goods out of the door to customers.
With a number of marketing tools, nsCommerceSpace gives your site a better chance of being seen by customers. Offer discounts, coupons, free shipping and timed promotions, plus you can assign different price tiers for different customers (wholesale and retail etc). Offer gift certificates, highlight featured products, display recommended products for cross-selling and feature product reviews to get customers talking (and buying).
nsCommerceSpace is also search engine friendly in design, with optimized site code and an XML sitemap. There is no integrated email newsletter system but you can get a free trial of the email marketing Constant Contact package for your online marketing offers.
Take a quick look at all the stats that matter in one place on the nsCommerceSpace dashboard. Look at sales reports, profit reports, tax reports, and top selling products as well as reports on where your visitors are coming from. This nsCommerceSpace software is also linked with Google Analytics. Another way of finding out if you are on the right track is with feedback forms and customer surveys, which you can send out from the nsCommerceSpace admin area. However, QuickBooks is only available as an integration in the highest-priced package.
You are limited to adding Facebook “Like” buttons to your site as nsCommerceSpace doesn’t have any facility to sell direct on Facebook or to integrate a blog into your site.
The nsCommerceSpace mobile solution is only available on the Premium plan. There is an easy-to-use template but it is a shame that this is not available on the basic packages, as it is in many other ecommerce software offerings.
You can rest easy that your customers’ data, and your own data, is being kept secure while you are using the nsCommerceSpace software. There is 128-Bit SSL security and sites are PCI compliant. Servers are backed up every night and hosted at modern data centers complete with monitored security.
Ease of use
We found nsCommerceSpace reasonably easy to handle and it is definitely suitable for beginners, although you may need to have a bit more experience to customize a site to make it look as good as some other pre-designed templates. Customers will have no problem browsing and buying.
Help & support
There’s a phone help line and some FAQs on the website, plus you can submit a ticket for any technical fix that you need handling. Support is basic but good quality and you should get your questions answered.
If you want an ecommerce solution that is simple to set up, easy to manage and with all the features you won’t go wrong with nsCommerceSpace. However, the lack of a mobile optimized template across all package plans, and the lower standard of the pre-designed templates, make it less attractive that some other similarly priced ecommerce software solutions.
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