AShop Commerce Review
Ashop is an eCommerce platform provider that was officially incorporated in 2004, but its history dates back to its real foundation in 2001. The company is based in Sydney and has an office in London and does all development in-house. While the company is relatively small (25+ employees), it has been growing an astounding 325 percent every year since 2004 and has become a popular choice for eCommerce software. Ashop won “Best Technology in Small Business” from My Business Awards. This is a strong platform that provides many advantages to a store owner online; however the service tiers may not be ideal for owners of very large or very small stores.
AShop Commerce ProsAshop Commerce was developed for everyday people requiring no programming knowledge. They include a very user friendly backend with many excellent features.
AShop Commerce ConsLimited to 10,000 products with no expansion available. Doesn’t deliver mobile-specific pages. Missing features that would help overall conversion rates.
Ashop has a lot of great features including a store setup wizard with more than 60 customizable themes and a real-time theme editor that doesn’t require knowledge of coding. You’re given extended CSS and HTML control if you want it, however, and you can also time release your design changes, which is a very cool feature that is great for seasonal theme transitions. You’re given a lot of product display options such as instant zoom, fancy thumbnails, multiple product images, and the ability to update your products in bulk. The shop interface doesn’t seem to be mobile ready, however, and customers cannot create wish lists, nor is there a one-page checkout.
Lots of store-management features are included to make your day-to-day managerial life less of a hassle. Not only can you customize the design of your website, but you can also upload products in bulk and keep your customers up to date automatically on your inventory with a backorder system. User accounts, inventory management features, and analytics are all available. You can sell physical goods or downloadable products online. In terms of security, there is fraud protection, an uptime guarantee, SSL certification, and more. There are no staff access controls.
Many marketing features are included such as product coupons, search engine optimization, and the ability to post customer reviews on your website. Social network features, direct social offers, and live chat are all part of the package, and you also have the option of promoting through an affiliate system. Gift wrapping and gift cards are included. We didn’t find a daily offers option however, nor did we find a loyalty program, email retention tools or up-selling or cross-selling options.
There are three pricing tiers for Ashop, and as with other eCommerce platforms, these are divided according to how many products you will have in your store. The Starter Account lets you have as many as 500 products in your store and costs $24.95 per month with no setup fee. If you sign up for a contract, the price drops to $16.95, which is a great deal. If however you don’t have 500 products and you operate a very small shop, you may find better deals elsewhere that don’t cost as much and don’t require a contract. The next step up is the Advance account for $69.96 per month; with a contract this type of membership costs $49.95 per month. You may sell up to 2,000 products with this type of account. The highest tier is Champion at $99.95 per month, or $69.96 per month with a contract. You may sell up to 10,000 products with this account.
If you operate a huge store (anything above 10,000 products), Ashop isn’t going to work for you. There don’t appear to be any higher tiers offered, so no option to sell unlimited products. You would be better served with a company that offers this feature, and you may find it at a lower price. Also note that some features aren’t included at the lower tiers, like mobile support. A mobile ready store is only available if you are part of either of the two expensive tiers; the same applies to live help. A 10-day free trial is available to preview the service before you commit to a package.
Customer service options are pretty thorough but there are a couple of drawbacks. While the company may be contacted via phone, email or live chat, 24/7 customer service is not available. There is also no company blog for updates. You will however find a user manual, FAQ page, knowledge base, forum for discussions with other users and administrators, and video tutorials.
Ashop has a lot of features for product display, marketing and shop design, and overall is a good option for most stores. If however your store is very large or very small, you may find the package inadequate. Smaller stores may find better pricing elsewhere, and larger stores that sell more than 10,000 products require more than Ashop currently offers. For other stores, however, Ashop has a lot to offer at a reasonable price. TopFiveAdvisor gives Ashop a 9/10.