ContentShelf is an honest ecommerce solution for small business with all the basic options needed to create a simple store. I used it a while ago to sell my cartoon illustrations and some drawing lessons and it was ok. It may not have all the features other similar services are providing, but it does offer two interesting options that are quite rare in the wonderful world of ecommerce solutions ...
Upon creating an account with ContentShelf, you can select one of the four following options: the Premium one ($14 for 25 products, 1 GB of storage space and 50 GB of bandwidth), the Premium Plus ($29 for 100 products, 5 GB of storage space and 100 GB of bandwidth), the Enterprise option ($44 for unlimited products, 10 GB of storage space and 200 GB of bandwidth) or the White Label alternative ($99 for unlimited products + discount storage and bandwidth).
The Premium Plus option offers Live Audio + Video streaming while the Enterprise also gives the vendor the possibility to create multiple stores. Additional storage can be purchase for just $2 per GB (per month) and additional bandwidth is charge $0.15 per GB.
The While Label plan can be configure with your own domain name and you can add your own components as well as benefit from more customizable options. A one-time set up fee is also required.
This simple ecommerce solution for small business offers two intriguing options that are rarely found in other similar services. First, content is uploaded separately from products. The biggest advantage is that you can create several products using similar content without uploading all files numerous times.
For instance, if you want to create bundles of cartoon images, all you need to do is create a product and associate all the content (the illustrations) you want with this product using the control panel. You can even add bonuses to various products without the need to create another product for this additional content.
The second interesting feature is the subscription option. Using the same tools, you can create simple subscription packages that can be updated as often as needed. Customers only need to create an account to have access to all content.
This is a wonderful feature if you are selling applications or e-books that are updated regularly. You can decide how long subscribers can have access to all files and set renewal dates. However, this platform is not intended to create blogs or websites with premium content.
Like most similar tools, this ecommerce solution for small business offers a simple dashboard that is easy to navigate. You can easily create coupons, read all statistics about your store or get help whenever needed. Most can use more features, but all the basic elements to create an online store are there.
I contacted support with a few questions and one particular issue and the owner of the platform answered quickly and provided all the help needed to satisfied my needs.
Unfortunately, this platform is filled with a few annoying issues that made me switch to another provider. First, the checkout page is too long. Some changes were made recently to make it simpler, but in my case, I like to redirect customers who are buying my cartoon illustrations straight to Paypal for a shorter and smoother experience rather than having to fill in a long checkout page. This can also be an issue for converting visitors into customers.
The store layout also feels quite outdated. You can modify colors and play with a few other aspects of the store, but that's about it. This platform lacks the flexibility others are offering, which is kind of sad considering the fact that creating products is so easy and adding subscriptions is possible.
It's hard to recommend this simple ecommerce solution for small business with all the flexible options available on the internet. The fact that you can create products using content that is uploaded separately is a nice advantage, but this great feature can easily be overcome by offering more storage space, which is the case for competitors like Ecwid.
However, the subscription option is really an interesting alternative if you are delivering products that are updated often. Like I said in this review, you won't be able to create a platform and offer premium content (like a blog) to subscribers, but for huge files that needs frequent updates, this is definitely a good option.
January 17: Small Business Web Hosting Services
January 16: SBI Online Tools Are All You Need To Succeed!
January 08: Going Beyond the Drawing Lessons!