AmeriCommerce was founded in 2005 by three entrepreneurs. Their team has since grown to nearly 30 employees between their two offices in the US. Although AmeriCommerce has been around for quite some time, they’re growth isn’t as fast as competitors like Bigcommerce and Shopify – though their platform has been making continuous improvements. AmeriCommerce has over 5,000 active online stores, including some of their showcase sites: My Princess Academy , Shop Inspired Living, and Dilettante Chocolates.
AmeriCommerce is best know for it’s multi-storefront option which lets merchants run multiple online stores all from one backend.
Multi-store fronts is the biggest win for AmeriCommerce! It’s one of the only platforms that offers multiple storefront options. Example: You can operate a bunch of different websites from one dashboard.
But AmeriCommerce has tons of other great built-in features.
I especially like their AddTo Cart link generator which lets you generate code to embed a product anywhere you want (other website, blog, wherever) – although, I do prefer Shopify’s “Widget.”
I also like this platforms extensive reporting, and it’s in-depth user permissions editor which is great if you have a bunch of people managing your ecommerce store.
AmeriCommerce Ease of Use
Setting up an online store with AmeriCommerce is fairly easy. If you want to open up a quick and simple shop, it won’t take you long at all. I would say it’s easier than osCommerce, Magento, and LemonStand, but more difficult than Shopify and Bigcommerce.
The backend of AmeriCommerce has improved lately, but it’s still pretty ugly. Whoever came up with orange, green, and black should reconsider their decision. In general, the admin panel is pretty difficult to navigate, and it’s not very intuitive.
AmeriCommerce offers 5 different pricing plans. They range in price from $24.95 – $299 per month.
No plans come with unlimited bandwidth, so you’ll need to be cognizant of how much traffic your site gets.
I ran across a comment about AmeriCommerce’s bandwidth fees, and think it’s relevant to include here:
I choose americommerce because of the price and features they promised unfortunately, I am paying my monthly subscription plus on demand fees,even though my store is small with not too much traffic,I end up paying on demand fees every month. The slow page loading is a big problem this not only take a lot of my time when creating a listing but also a lot of bandwidth making my monthly bill even bigger! Communication is great but most of the times in stead of helping you they want to fix the problem and charge you for it. Sometimes they don’t know what they are doing or they just don’t care (one time they tried to fixed some corrupted files and they end up deleting inventory on all my products!). I been with americommerce for 2 years and already looking for another venues.(Source, November 2011)
Their most popular plan is $99 per month, and will give you up to 5,000 products, 15GB of bandwidth, 2GB of storage, and no setup or transaction fees. If you’re excited about the multi-storefront feature that I mentioned above, you can add additional stores for $39/month for all plans + bandwidth. AmeriCommerce offers a free 14-day trial.
AmeriCommerce Templates & Design
Personally, I don’t love any of the +25 free themes that AmeriCommerce offers. Keep in mind though, it’s more of a subjective thing. To me, they remind me of popular sites 5 years ago. Theyr’e all pretty basic and not very stylish.
Having said that, everything is customizable, so you can tinker around and make the most out of their themes. I really enjoyed using their ‘live design’ editor which has a drag and drop / point and click interface to make modifying design easy and fun.
AmeriCommerce offers a robust product management system. This is definitely one of their strong suits. It’s powerful, flexible, and will do pretty much anything you want it to.
AmeriCommerce’s extensive product variant options stood out as a highlight for me. You can control anything you want – variants are fully customizable. The discount engine is pretty standard. You can have unlimited categories, product groups, attributes, and variants…. So I really can’t complain about their inventory management. Again though…. I’m not a fan of their backend, so even though it’s a powerful system, it’s just not very pleasant working away with the orange, green, and black (sorry – last time I’ll mention their color scheme)
AmeriCommerce SEO & Marketing
This ecommerce platform has good SEO functions. It has all the basics you’ll want, including custom meta descriptions for products.
Their popular multi-store function has many upsides, but can potentially (and quite likely) wreak HAVOC on your SEO if done incorrectly. So I would advise anyone who is planning on opening multiple stores selling the same product to be very careful – otherwise Google may punish you badly.
I don’t like that they don’t integrate with any 3rd party email companies. No MailChimp, Madmimi, or campaign monitor… you’re stuck with their system, which will really annoy some people. One great thing about their email system however, is they offer drip emailing which is a powerful marketing tool.
Kind of a downfall. They do have most of the major payment gateways, but it seems very USA oriented. AmeriCommerce (like their name suggests) is an American company and they focus almost entirely on the American market.
As far as merchant services goes, they have partnered with Authorize.net and will encourage you to use them. It will cost an additional $14.95/mo plus a 1.98% transaction fee plus $0.28 per transaction. That’ll come with a gateway and merchant account.
AmeriCommerce Security & Uptime
Very reliable. In fact AmeriCommerce is undoubtedly one of the most secure shopping carts available.
Every store uses a shared SSL certificate, and the platform is PCI-Compliant. They offer dedicated SSL certificates if you prefer.
AmeriCommerce Customer Support
Hit or miss. They don’t really tell you much about customer support in their websites feature tour, or on the pricing and signup page. So, all plans do some with support, but they offer a few different tiers.
Like all ecommerce software, you can submit a support ticket 24/7, but their phone support is only available Monday – Friday 9-5 (Central Time Zone…. annoying)
You can try solving your problem using their knowledgebase or forum, but neither of which are very rich. I would rank their support below average compared to the other platforms I have reviewed.
Here is a comment I found on another review site:
I have to say that I love Americommerce features and design flexibility. Their customer support is, however, the worst. After spending about 80 hours of labor time building out a new site within 4 days, I have been waiting 4 days for them to make the site live. Their network techs have limited technical knowledge, are slow to respond, and generally unapologetic in their behavior. I would say they rank as one of the worst experiences I have had in over a dozen years doing business on the net. (Source, September 2012)
Okay – I know there’s some negativity in my AmeriCommerce review, but it really is a good platform. I had a very good experience building an online store using their system. It’s true that I don’t like their backend, documentation, and their customer support is criticized on a few of the review sites out there, but their multi-storefront feature is beyond awesome, and I really like their product management.