The Crunch: Long known for its comprehensive e-commerce platform, CoreCommerce has found innovative strategies for serving new sets of customers. Through an à la carte shopping cart integration and hosted payments pages, CoreCommerce is providing valuable services for retailers who aren’t necessarily looking to overhaul their entire web presence. For entrepreneurs who are just entering the marketplace, CoreCommerce goes further, giving them an all-inclusive, mobile-ready platform that expedites their speed to market with template options and hundreds of integrations to handle everything from payments to shipping. Retailers of every size receive the full functionality of the platform, and, with a scalable pricing model, the CoreCommerce platform enables businesses to grow at their own pace.
Entrepreneurs are living in a golden age thanks to the proliferation of e-commerce platforms. Selling goods and services online once involved hiring teams of developers to build customized websites, which essentially meant only enterprise-level companies could compete in the online marketplace.
Now, thanks to all-inclusive e-commerce platforms like CoreCommerce, people can start businesses with professional capabilities and compete with much larger corporations without taking on massive risk.
While CoreCommerce isn’t the only e-commerce platform on the market, part of its unique value is that every tier of customer — from those just starting out to enterprise-level clients — receives the full functionality built into this mobile-responsive site builder.
“One key differentiator is when clients enroll in our platform, they get everything — gift certificates, inventory management — they get the whole product set,” said Michael Thompson, CEO at CoreCommerce. “Whether you’re paying $40 or $600 a month, you get access to all the functionality.”
The pricing model largely depends on the number of products a customer wishes to sell on their CoreCommerce site. This model allows for scalability as online merchants can easily upgrade to sites with additional storage that allows for the sale of more product.
Another strength of the platform is speed to market. With beautiful templates, dashboards, and integrations to manage every element of doing business online built into the service, the onboarding process is hassle-free. Michael told us starting an online store through CoreCommerce takes an average of a week, most of which is spent in the design phase. However, clients with existing site content who are migrating to CoreCommerce can be operational within a day or so, or clone an existing store and have a new one up in a couple hours.
“If a merchant has all their content ready, they can upload their products with the descriptions, photos, and the pricing, it’s pretty simple,” Michael said. “We have a wizard that walks them through the taxes, the payments, shipping options; a merchant enters their credentials for UPS, FedEx, or USPS, then enters their credit card merchant ID, and they’re up and running.”
A Complete Platform with Every Essential E-Commerce Integration
A lot of planning goes into running a successful e-commerce site. Those wanting to sell online have to deal with designing a website, finding a secure web host, creating a marketing strategy, and arranging for payment methods and inventory management. And all of that comes before fulfillment issues like calculating shipping costs and setting up delivery options.
CoreCommerce tries to ease these burdens with a platform that serves as a powerful partner, which allows entrepreneurs to focus on the aspects of business they’re most passionate about. After all, nobody starts a business because they want to stress out about the little things.
“We’ve always been a company that does everything for the client,” Michael said. “From design and hosting the website with a fully featured shopping cart, payments, taxes, shipping, and everything else someone needs to do business.”
For businesses that sell to consumers and B2B clients, CoreCommerce sites are equipped to display unique product prices depending on the shopper. After all, businesses buying larger quantities don’t expect to receive the same rates as an individual buying one product.
“They can set up different customer groups and unique pricing by customer login, so you can have your wholesale, retail, and VIP customer groups, as an example,” Michael said. “I think that’s pretty unique, especially when coupled with other extensive couponing and discount features.”
And since no online business is the same, CoreCommerce works with its partners to provide more than 100 third-party integrations to ensure every client gets what they need out of their site. CoreCommerce also supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and allows for a consumer to see a product in over 160 currencies, which is important because businesses benefit from reaching new customers by selling abroad.
CoreCommerce Innovations Include Hosted Payments Pages and a Mobile Administrative System
CoreCommerce has been around since 2001, but the SaaS-based company has found new strategies to provide unique value to customers. For instance, the company now offers an integration for companies that already have websites but want CoreCommerce’s shopping cart as an à la carte option.
“By now, many retailers already have an existing website and may be in love with the site but not the functionality of the cart,” Michael said. “So I went to the guys earlier this year and said, ‘Why make them change? Why don’t we become a shopping cart-only bolted onto a client’s existing website?’ We’ve got a couple of examples of that now that have been successful, and that’s allowed us to get into some larger merchants.”
CoreCommerce also offers hosted payments pages (HPP), which Michael said is ideal for professional services companies and charitable organizations to collect payments from customers where there is no need to calculate shipping costs, as you would with physical products.
A lot of other companies provide HPPs, but CoreCommerce stands out because it only takes about three minutes to set up and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
“I’ve looked at all the top credit card processing companies — the top 20 — and they all have a specification sheet or an API,” Michael said. “If you’re a merchant, you’ve got to take that API, download it, deliver it to your developer, and two weeks to a month later, pay a couple thousand dollars, and you’ll have a checkout page.
“With us, you log on, drag and drop fields onto a form, hit publish, and you have a customized checkout page with your buy button.”
One of the most recent innovations is an overhauled mobile-responsive administrative system. Now, CoreCommerce customers will be able to manage every aspect of their website on a tablet or smartphone, which is essential for solopreneurs who are constantly on the road.
“We’ve got a customer who sells wine online, and he travels to Napa Valley and Europe because he’s constantly buying product,” Michael said. “In the meantime, he needs to process orders so he can be out in a vineyard buying cases of wine and processing orders from his website right from his phone.”
Scalable Pricing Gives Businesses the Ability to Grow Online
Many of CoreCommerce’s innovations have occurred since a group of new investors, including Michael, joined in the company in December of 2015. Since then, the company has demonstrated a willingness to try new ideas that provide additional value and serve new sets of customers.
Hosted payments pages and shopping cart services are proof of this, but the majority of CoreCommerce’s customers are using the end-to-end hosted e-commerce platform the company is known for.
“Many of our clients are solopreneurs, but our average merchandise sales per customer is about $135,000 a year, so that’s kind of beyond a hobbyist,” Michael said.
The way the CoreCommerce platform is structured allows its retail customers to grow at their own pace and only pay for what they need at the time.
The base level of the service is fittingly named, “Pioneer,” because it’s ideal for those just blazing a trail into the online marketplace. From there, customers can work their way up to top tier, known as “Enterprise,” which allows for unlimited products, email addresses, bandwidth, and storage, as well as a semi-dedicated server. So there’s really no outgrowing the platform for those who see success.
Through it all, CoreCommerce and its comprehensive integrations serve as valuable partners to entrepreneurs and enterprises along their journey.