Monday, July 07, 2008

Ultracart KILLS 1ShoppingCart



I have done EXTENSIVE research into different carts and have found Ultracart to be the big winner for a number of reasons listed below so I decided to share it with all, because all the gurus push 1ShoppingCart as they have affiliate deals with them, but in comparison it sucks!!

Ultracart beats 1ShoppingCart on so many levels it's crazy. Here are the major reasons why Ultracart is better (and no i am not affiliated with them or anything i just think they have an amazing product)


Scripts and embed tags on the checkout page!!!!! you can add video, or popups, or countdowntimers, or audio testemonials, or anything else you want to your checkout page! IF you dont realize how huge this is you need to read more!


No easy cancel! they have a feature named this which specificaly allows you to turn off all emails to recurring customers and make them call you to cancel their subscription.
This is huge because 1ShoppingCart sends every reccuring customer an email every month telling them how much you charge and how to cancel and you can't control it or even modify the copy!
We can argue ethics all we want but recurring works best when people forget about it and let it run for months on end, 1ShoppingCart effectively kills that! (this was the prime reason i wanted to leave 1ShoppingCart)
[Also their recurring billing system is an order of magnitude more flexible than 1ShoppingCart]


Full customization of the checkout process in 2 different ways:
A. design your own forms and just pass the data to Ultracart to verify!! TOTAL Flexibility
B. pay Ultracarts in house dev team $75/hour and they will customize the forms in your account for you! (this is what im doing, i like to have somebody i cna call and complain to if my tech stuff doesnt work and i dont have a full time web guy yet)


You can host the secure page on your own domain! this doesnt sound like a huge deal but it is. Through ultracart you can buy an SSL certificate, then when people check out with you they dont get sent to mcssl.com or ultracart.com or watever like with 1ShoppingCart, instead they stay on your site and simply checkout at secure.yoursite.com, now that may not sound big but i just think its an awesome thing for customers to never have to leave your environment!


Built in upselling system after the initial sale. Basically you set up your upsell items and the items that trigger them (so if somebody buys your dog book you can offer them dog soap)
then you can set up different paths to test (HUGE DEAL!) so u can offer htem upsell 1, 2 then 3 or split test it against offering 3, 1 then 2.
Easy useage for this "Priority order handling" give them the opportunity to pay you $4.95 to rush to fulfill their order before everybody elses = free money! but does it work better before or after youve asked them to buy the other upsells?!
The best part is this all happens AFTER they put their credit card info in and their order is set on a timer so even if they close the browser it goes through for the initial product and any upsells they choose after 45 min.
This feature alone is gonna save you countless hours manualy entering in upsell orders if you had to do it via a script!

There are a litany of other features but these are the big 5 that really got me to switch!

Oh yeah, and its cheaper!

54 comments:

Erwin said...

Yeah UltraCart is amazing...It's the closest thing to having a custom built cart you can get, plus it's so damn under priced compared to everything else ($29 a month vs. 1sc $59 to $99).

And trust me guys, we looked at EVERY cart out there, and I mean every cart. And nothing else comes close to this, if you're selling anything online seriously look into it.

Modjo said...

Fantastic review Peintros - once again. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

MasterSales said...

Peintros,

I agree: great review with pointed facts about the advantages and details of one cart over another, not just a fluff piece. Thanks.

Can we all have your (and the other experienced people here on webmastering and carts) on Fred Gleeck's Merchant site:

http://www.webmarketingmagic.com/

I think the big thing with Fred is the ability deliver and manage the digital delivery of products in addition to shopping cart. Not sure if this is enough benefit to cover the cost or if the functionality is equal to Ultracart. What do you all think? ...MS

Ajax said...

The question is: what does 1ShoppingCart offer that Ultracart doen't?

Sandro said...

Well, 1sc is older so sometimes instead of customizing the cart, you could buy something already made for you.

By the way, I think a good idea would be to give 1sc support or forum people answer this question - what does 1sc have that uc doesn't.

And Bobby - I'm thinking about number 3 - would it make customer reviews look kinda ugly?

Peintros said...

@Mastersales: Ultracart has digital product delivery built in as well. I dont sell digital products so I haven't mentioned it but it's in there!

@Ajax: 1SC has a built in fully featured autoresponder, UC does not, they only have basic email newsletter service. I haven't investigated their email features thoroughly but you'll probably need another autoresponder if you go with UC.

@Sandro: I'm not sure what you are asking, how would a customized look and feel of the cart make customer reviews nasty?

sandro said...

@Peintros: My bad, i meant the 2nd one. If it is a trouble - to cancel the membership - some people are gonna get really upset.

Peintros said...

There is a difference between reminding them of the charge and offering a super easy way to cancel, and making them take the slight initiative to call you or log onto your website to cancel. Think about any subscriptions you have 99% and you dont even remember until you look at your credit card statement, then need to figure out the charge and find the company's contact info. That's just how it goes.

The added profit is worth a few annoyed customers.

Anonymous said...

" @Ajax: 1SC has a built in fully featured autoresponder, UC does not, they only have basic email newsletter service. I haven't investigated their email features thoroughly but you'll probably need another autoresponder if you go with UC. "

Would it be easy to integrate your customer list with Aweber?

Alexis Yolev said...

How is the affiliate system for ultracart? one of the reasons that i use 1sc is because of the affiliate management side of things and how it integrates with the shopping cart.

I don't think it's the best solution, but it's sort of become an industry standard and allows for tracking leads to sales and for affiliate purposes. There are times that 1sc is down and you have no way of tracking affiliates...

can the affiliate side be setup on your domain as well; or will it have to run through their domain as well like 1sc?

can it integrate with 3rd party autoresponders such as aweber, getresponse, constant contact, i contact etc.

Autoresponders
Out of curiosity what autoresponders are you guys using? i've used aweber and 1sc the most. Played around a little with arp3...

But have started to see some of the "gurus" using elabs.com aka emaillabs.com - stompernet, rich jerk, tellman knudson; bronto.com - rich schefren for a short period of time. Have you guys seen other autoresponders that are being used but not really being promoted by the gurus.

forgot to mention infusionsoft; but for most people starting out 5k and 300 to 400 per month isn't that viable a starting point.

Stephen said...

" 4) You can host the secure page on your own domain! this doesnt sound like a huge deal but it is. (...) just think its an awesome thing for customers to never have to leave your environment! "

Yeah..in the "Clickbank Success Report" ebook the guy explains how it hurts conversion when people have to leave your page and go to a different design and colors...snaps them out of their "buying trance" and you lose many of them. So this is a big deal indeed.

Thanks for sharing this stuff Peintros, very valuable.

Max said...

Had never heard of UltraCart until reading this review. Thanks for sharing - it could be exactly what I'm looking for.

Does anyone know if they have any limitations on what you can sell? eg. Viagra etc. ?

Niklas said...

Nice layout of the home page. All action items are above the fold. Plus the testimonial at the bottom rotates each time the page refreshes.

But man do they make finding the fees a pain in the butt!

Had to step through these pages to find the fees:

- site:ultracart.com fees
- faq
- http://www.ultracart.com/online-shopping-cart/pricing.html

$439.45 annually for small-time operator (50 or fewer products in cart). Ouch. Maybe software on your own server is cheaper(?) though not always with the same peace of mind that comes from independent 3rd parties. 3rd party software also saves you from some of the headaches that come from hosting your own cart: refunds, server errors, etc. Is a trade off. Save $$ or save headaches.

Peintros said...

In reverse order:

@Niklas - 1SC is 59.99/mo to start, you can do the math on which is cheaper The real thing though is that a 3rd party hosted site gives you the nice feeling of being able to call and bug someone if something doesn't work. And so far UC suport has been great. Call them or go on their site and hit the live chat box they are VERY helpful and they truly understand marketing.

Also: in reality who cares how much a cart costs? I know some are jsut starting out and every penny counts, but if thats the case use paypal or something, once you are making any money at all the cost of a cart is nothing in compared to all the money it helps bring in! Just the After Upsell feature will probably pay for my entire years use of the cart in a month or two! I would have had to pay a developer at least $500 to create a script for that, that got anywhere close to automating the process. My advice is don't look at the cents, look at the big dollars that should be coming in if you have the right tools!

@Max - I dont know their limitations, but im sure they could quickly answer that if you called them. I feel they are pretty liberal as long as you aren't breaking any laws.

@Stephen - Slight clarification neccessary: UC will allow you to theme (skin) their secure checkout page to look exactly like your own relatively easily but the page will live on their secure.ultracart.com server. The SSL option allows you to buy the ability to have: Secure.yourdomain.com so there is never any server change and it feels even more legit to your customers. especially for small operators this could be a big deal (i get plenty of people who worry about security on my site).

@Alexis Yolev - There is affiliate management built in. I have not dived into it yet though. I assume it is competantly executed as are the rest of ther functions but to what level im just not sure. Call or chat with them and ask. Once I use it I'll let you know.

As for autorespodners, I am using 1SC due to convenience. I may stick with them or I may switch to something else. I am still on the fence. I have seen the traffic tactics folks using icontact like barak obama! but i haven't delved into it. I'd love to hear any suggestions as to which autoresponder is the easiest to work with and has the best delivery rates. I may just stick with 1SC because my stuff is already set up there, but if there is a convincing alternative I would definetly be interested.

In general I had not heard of UC either, I was searching for weeks before I stumbled across it by checking out other merchant's carts and trying to figure out what they used. I think the company is run by developers who understand what marketers need but don't quite understand how to sell their own product. They have been around for over a decade though, so they are definitely legit!

Max said...

Just spoke to the guys at ultracart regarding what you can and can't sell:

Max: How about online pharmacies?

UltraCart: We assume no responsibility for the merchant's products, but there is no restriction to that kind of store.

Max: Great, sign me up.


Thanks for the review Peintros, I've spent hours researching carts myself and I never came across Ultracart. It's exactly what I need right now.

FYI, I did the big comparision with autoresponders a couple of years back, I decided to go with GetResponse for all my autoresponder needs and they're spot on, deliverability, flexibility and support are all top notch.

Ajax said...

@Max

" FYI, I did the big comparision with autoresponders a couple of years back, I decided to go with GetResponse for all my autoresponder needs and they're spot on, deliverability, flexibility and support are all top notch. "

GetResponse?! Not aweber?! I thought GetResponse wasn't a double opt-in.

Max said...

@Ajax

With Get Response you can set double opt-in or not, it's entirely your own choice. It's not always a good thing.

Peintros said...

@Max Thanks for the autoresponder suggestion! One question: does Getresponse make it easy to migrate people from your old autoresponder without making them opt in?

Also do you mind me asking what kind of volume you are doing? Im adding about 300 people a week and I havent even started really big ad spending so I need something that will scale well

Your advise is appreciated.

Could you give a quick run down of why GR beat out the other big players? I'm sure everybody would appreciate the info!

Stephen said...

@Ajax

" GetResponse?! Not aweber?! I thought GetResponse wasn't a double opt-in. "

Since when is double opt-in a good thing?

Miron said...

@Peintros

" @Max Thanks for the autoresponder suggestion! One question: does Getresponse make it easy to migrate people from your old autoresponder without making them opt in? "

When I switched from my home made list to getresponse, I worked out a deal with them that they tested part of my list (500 or so) and see what the complaints, if any where. They then allowed the rest of the list without requiring opt in. (total list size at that time was about 7k).

About someone who asked. The advantage of a double opt in is (in theory)
1. Better quality lead than single or no opt in
2. If you have the IP of the opt in, some email providers will accept your list without requiring that your list opt in again.

Hope this helps,

Miron

Peintros said...

Miron thanks for the tip I will contact them!

I'm single optin as well. I dont need that much of a quality differentiation in my initial list, i just want as many people as possible to see all of my messages!

Anonymous said...

WebMarketingMagic is a private-label 1SC.

Homer said...

there's one bug in 1sc that drives me crazy and it's been there for years AND THEY CAN"T?WON"T FIX IT!

when you create your 1sc account, you enter a primary domain.

since 1sc offers an AR with the cart, i set up a bunch or AR optin forms on my various sites (all different domains than the one i used to open my 1sc account)

if you go to one of my optin domains and just click Submit or fill in just a name and no email and then click Submit --- the damn thing redirects to 1sc.com.

form validation only works for the domain that you used to open your 1sc account.

that my friends i think sucks!

Footstep said...

@Ajax

" GetResponse?! Not aweber?! I thought GetResponse wasn't a double opt-in. "

ah the single vs. double opt-in debate continues... i'm single, for the record - just think - not everyone is tech savvy or is used to double opt-ins like we internet marketers are. so you just know there are people out there who fill in their info and ignore or get confused by the confirmation email with the weird link inside, or maybe it gets spam filtered, who knows - it's just another hurdle that could keep them off your list... for a cleaner list you sacrifice potential customers.

anyway... the reason for my post i'd almost forgotten. :D

aweber can be single opt-in, too. you can select it in your list settings. it's just double by default. :)

Anonymous said...

This topic is right on time. My partner was just asking me about a shopping cart with a good up sell feature. I had heard of 1shoppingcart, but not Ultra. I will definitely check it out.

Thanks for the info!

Tyler said...

i just finished watching guru mastermind week 3 and damn... they are pushing 1shopping cart big time. I was just about to sign up with them but your extensive review makes perfect sense to me, i think i'm gonna go with ultra instead......good looking out bro.

Ajax said...

@Tyler

" i just finished watching guru mastermind week 3 and damn... they are pushing 1shopping cart big time. "

You bet.. and that's because just about every guru out there, and his mother, has a private label version of 1ShoppingCart. It's the fad these days.

Miron said...

Keep on thing in mind. They push these things as an income source, NOT because it's the best.

It's an attempt to create an income stream after the initial sale of the course. So just because guru dejour saSy 1sc is great remember the important words

DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!!

Miron

Peintros said...

Once you're making real money infusionsoft.com DECIMATES Ultracart
but its $5000 to set up and $300 a month so you got to be making good money to afford it.

FYI the Nitro Marketing guys push their private label version of 1SC but they use infusion! (along with matt bacak and dan kennedy!)

CRYSTAL ROCK said...

@Peintros

" Once you're making real money infusionsoft.com DECIMATES Ultracart
but its $5000 to set up and $300 a month so you got to be making good money to afford it.

FYI the Nitro Marketing guys push their private label version of 1SC but they use infusion! (along with matt bacak and dan kennedy!) "


I've seen this a few times. A guru will promote 1shoppingcart, but they actually use something totally different, normally infusionsoft.

Miron said...

Funny thing about infusionsoft. Without exception, any email send by the guru's through infusionsoft email system goes into spam folder in both yahoo and hotmail.

Aweber doesn't. Go figure. I wonder if it's not the case of the emperor has no clothes. Because so and so has infusionsoft it must be better.

I wonder if they get a deal for that.

Miron

Bobby said...

Well, this Ultracart thing really looks great, but as a startup i think it's too expensive.

I can set up my own shopping cart with OsCommerce and customize this cart to look like I want it to look!
I have 1 basic version of the cart, and within 2-3 days, I can copy the basic version of the cart and implement a new design.

All you need to know is basic HTML/CSS skills, and Photoshop for designing!

Anonymous said...

Actually infusionsoft doesn't make a very good impression.

Emails that come from them end up in my spam.

Also Dan Kennedy uses on his website: 1shoppingcart and not infusion.

peintros said...

@Bobby

" Well, this Ultracart thing really looks great, but as a startup i think it's too expensive.

I can set up my own shopping cart with oScommerce and customize this cart to look like I want it to look!
I have 1 basic version of the cart, and within 2-3 days, I can copy the basic version of the cart and implement a new design.

All you need to know is basic HTML/CSS skills, and Photoshop for designing! "


Its $39 a month! if you are running anything close to a real business that should be NOTHING!If you think pennies youll only make pennies! Spend the money to make it!

bobby said...

Yeah, that's for sure the most time-saving and efficient way to get an online shopping cart for someone who isn't in designing and coding.

But if you could do it in a few days, I would do it this way and spend the saved money on ads!

Anonymous said...

UltraCart doesn't integrate with aMember, or have any way of helping you manage membership site accounts/billing, to my knowledge.

That's a huge downfall for me, and even though 1ShoppingCart isn't perfect, it KILLS UltraCart if you have a membership website.

Anonymous said...

If you want to use its recurring billing feature, do you need to have a subscription to Authorize.net ARB service or something similar?

Peintros said...

Nope it auto sends the fresh charge based on the recurring schedule.

Anonymous said...

I've been using Ultracart for almost two years and have been very dissatisfied with them. There are frequent site outages where my customers can't get into the cart at all, or else they get all the way into the buying process, filling out all their information and clicking on Finalize Order -- and then Ultracart goes down and I receive an irate email from the customer.

When their site does go down, merchants have no idea what's happening because there is no Status page or Blog page that keeps you updated on what's going on. Most of their outages occur on the weekends, when no one is there. And you can NEVER reach them by phone.

I've been searching for another cart for some time now, as I'm definitely not happy with Ultracart.

Anonymous said...

It is possible to turn off Customer Notifications for Recurring Transactions with 1SC it's located in the Orders Setup Page within your 1Shoppingcart account page...

Anonymous said...

I looked closely at 1shoppingcart, and in the end, this is what I sent to them:

I am ready to buy a new e-commerce solution. Right now. Tonight ! !

Based on an existing site, I have assembled a set of essential capabilities that aren't offered by my current hosting company, and QuickBooks integration is critical. I came across something that said your product should be considered on that basis, so I spent an hour checking you out (at www.marketerschoice.com).

For reference, Network Solutions' offering got close to what I wanted, but they came up short on software delivery, which is a pending need and seems to be one of your core strengths. Meaning, I was a very motivated buyer after just a couple of minutes of looking. I was absolutely yours to lose. Big loss of points for no FedEx support and no support for my current card processor, QuickBooks Merchant Services. But I found something buried in your site that said you do support FedEx after all (you really should put that on your feature list), and maybe I can switch merchant accounts. Ok, I think, these are still the guys. And then I decided to look closely at your references to see what your product looks like in the real world.

And an hour later, I wouldn't consider you if you were free. Of 21 "Customer Reviews," at least half either don't resolve at all, or go to domain parking pages. Here's a hint -- dead people aren't good character references. But it gets worse. At least two or three of your references appear to be running competitive products (like Cartmanager.net). Something worse than a dead character reference is a live one who says they gave up on you. The remainder? They apparently aren't doing any e-commerce at all. That's like giving out names for character references who have never even heard of you.

But the worst of all is your very first reference -- Obviously YOU. Suggestion, get a second phone line so your "reference" at least has a different phone number.

21 "Testimonials," and not a single one is a credible independent reference with anything positive to say about you. And when you have to masquerade as someone else so it looks like someone has something good to say about you, it's real hard to take you seriously,

You are amazing.

-- Doug


PS: You have a multitude of faces, don't you? I got to you from a review that said 1shoppingcart.com, but linked to marketerschoice.com. Different website, but different companies? Ok, but incredible coincidence that the last 7 digits of your 888 number match "their" 705 number, and they use your e-mail address, isn't it? So I decided to look at a couple of 1shoppingcart.com "Case Studies." I sell software, so let's look at MaximumSoftware.com. Hmmm. Seems their e-commerce provider is now Plimus.com. And case study #2 is running their own code. You do seem to have a hard time keeping customers.
---------------------

I'm still open. UltraCart looks ok, but no 24/7 tech support is a little scary. Network Solutions looks real good, and for $1000 one-time, PDG has a viable solution for my needs.

Linda Abraham said...

Peintros,

I am a current 1shoppingcart customer and considering switching to UltraCart. Did you end up switching? What do you think now, after several months of use? Did you find it reliable or is it plagued by outages and down time? Is tech support easy or difficult to reach?

Are you as enthusiastic and satisfied today as you were when you wrote this post? Anyone else who uses Ultracart want to share their experience?

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Beware of Ultracart! Experience outweighs research, and from extensive experience using UC I can say you should look elsewhere. Many areas of the system are buggy and do not work or are missing key functionality (affiliate system, shipping bugs, buysafe integration, shipping calculations, weak coupon module, inability to backup your system, poorly designed screen customizations etc. etc.

Just be careful in your choice...paying a lot for ultracart when other good systems are out there...you may regret. Take a serious look at the free and open source carts out there.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Ultracart user only because it's a nuisance trying to switch to another cart. But I would never choose them again. I have lost count of the number of customers who email me to complain that they were all ready to buy, clicked the Buy button, then....nothing. The UC secure site doesn't answer. Lost customer. They are also VERY pushy with their ads for add-on services -- persistently shoving them in front of your face when you log-on to your Admin page. Nope, I would never recommend them to anyone.

Paul said...

Many thanks for the review.. really helpful. I'm planning on getting a merchant account so will probably go with Ultracart now instead of 1SC.

Mike Brian said...

There are some new and great offerings, such as Infusionsoft and ZoomCartPro (okay not new). How do they compare to Ultacart?

Also, is it better to get a CRM solution with a built in eCommerce solutions (such as the two above) or go with a stand alone IM based CRM (CLP or Sendpepper) for example?

Any help would be much appreciated. I'm almost ready to pull the trigger but need some advice. I found with an autoresponder you really don't know the system until after you've signed up and spent time getting it working. By then problems and support issues surface but you're kind of committed. Then when you're happy they go and change the terms, e.g. Getresponse. Again, any advice would be helpful. Cheers..

Anonymous said...

Has anyone used the CMS for Ultracart? I'm starting a site, and I'm looking for website setup shortcuts.

[SS] Steve Shepherd said...

@Mike Ultracart integrates with Sendpepper so you get the best of both worlds.

I am just trying to see if my customers can easily reorder previous purchases.

I sell liquid fertiiser for farmers so this is the combo i am looking at ultracart and sendpepper.

Benjamin said...

Thanks for all the info

Anonymous said...

We use Ultracart and the integrate with a bunch of different vendors but their development strategy is pretty shoddy. HTML receipts? No. Customer profiles really don't exist. There isn't a way to a customer to cancel and order they just placed and there isn't a RMA tool. The guys are good people but they keep upping the price structure. Online chat support is basically gone.

Is Ultracart good? Yes! The best option, probably not.

osaga said...

UltraCart is very hard to use because it was built by programmers who did not have regular end users in mind. I know because I am a programmer and have employees that find it hard to use and I don't blame them. It's completely none intuitive.

Along with this they have very poor customer service. It took them 3 weeks to respond to me for critical support which I needed and emailed them that I needed very badly. In the end I got the company president to help me (Jonathan) and he was very curt and did not apologize to me. I am glad to finally be getting rid of them. There are much better options out there.

Mark said...

I used 1 Shopping Cart for 2 years .. Their $99. a month business
package. Totally unreliable, a lot of down time. I went through all
1SC's growing pains. They were great supposedly, when they first
launched the service. The original owner. 1SC was his baby.
Now they've probably on their 4th (or more) owner. At one point,
1SC had only one guy in tech support who was oblivious to all the
problems. Total denial. Total waste of time.

Pissed off my customers. Lost MY customers with their downtimes.
They promised decent video tutorials for those 2 year, but just an
incomplete online manual.

Their current owner could be better now, but I'd never give this
company another buck. Yea, the big honcho internet marketers make
a killing off their lists with privately branded versions. It looks appealing.
But I can lose business on my own, I don't have to pay a company like
1SC to gum up all my hard work.

Scott See said...

I also moved from 1ShoppingCart to UltraCart. When I left 1ShoppingCart, their system would only accept state sales tax to two decimal points. Well, in California, sales tax often requires three decimal points, 7.875% for example. Somehow support at 1ShoppingCart couldn't understand because the US Dollar only has pennies, not tenths of pennies. They didn't get that 0.005% of a two thousand dollar order is $10, which we'd either be over charging or undercharging. I tried over and over to explain this to them. I gave up and moved to UltraCart, which is FAR superior.

Scott See
www.lucky-tiger-products.com

Anonymous said...

I've used Ultracart for years and can confirm that it's the best shopping cart out there, packed full of features and great support. I also love their 1-click upsell feature and recurring billing system.

Go to http://www.ultra-cart.com if you're thinking about signing up because they give you a free 60 day trial there instead of 30 days at the regular site (no credit card required).