Technology should make our lives easier
• Variety of payment methods
• Large inventory available
• Simple set up and use
• Design and customization tools
• Not many marketing tools
• Certain features only available with higher-priced plans
Yahoo Merchant Solutions is a basic yet simple to use package for your ecommerce needs. Easy to manage and with a range of features included, Yahoo’s ecommerce offering is a good deal for beginners and more experienced sellers.
For a basic ecommerce package the Yahoo Merchant Solutions software ticks the right boxes. You get a set of store design tools and ready-made templates, all the shopping cart features, and a range of admin tools. The Yahoo Merchant Solutions software isn’t as complete as others on the market but it still represents a decent choice for an online store.
Not so much choice with the Yahoo Merchant Solutions software – pick from three plans. All offer up to a maximum of 50,000 products (which seems like a good deal when compared with other packages). The plan prices are based on expected monthly sales/ traffic. The Starter Plan is currently $29.96 a month, the Standard Plan is $74.96 a month and the Professional Plan is priced at $224.96 per month. There are differences between the features you get depending on the price you pay.
Yahoo Merchant Solutions makes it easy for you to design your store, providing a range of ready-built templates. One of the pros of this software package is the design wizard that takes you through the process of creating a site, and the tools to customize your store if you want something different. Use Dreamweaver or other HTML editing tools to create an impactful store with your own branding spin.
With Yahoo Merchant Solutions you can have up to 50,000 products in your inventory. With a range of customization opportunities you can order and categorize in terms of different colors, prices, sizes etc but there isn’t much in the way of a set of tools for image enhancement or advanced stock display features.
Stock control – The inventory management/ order-tracking feature that is often available in ecommerce software is only available with the two higher priced plans. Using this you can track orders in real time, allowing you to see the status of your products and keep an eye on orders, returns and exchanges. Integration with inventory management systems is also available with the two higher priced plans. The shopping cart features are pretty comprehensive, however, and you can customize your checkout page or pages, automatically calculate taxes and shipping, allow customers to create a “repeat” order form with their billing details and personal details ready-saved, and add tracking codes to important items. One other useful feature is the automatic printing of packing slips and automatically sent emails alerting customers to the status of their order.
Payments – Deal with payments via PayPal or another merchant account. The Yahoo Merchant Solutions program also integrates with other payment methods such as credit cards, money orders, and offline payments.
The upside to the Yahoo Merchant Solutions software is a package of affiliate programs, a tool to easily create discounts and offer coupon redemption, gift wrapping offered at checkout, cross-selling tools, and search engine optimization built in. The downside to the marketing offered with this software is no daily deals feature, no loyalty program, gift certificates are only offered for users of the higher-priced plans, and customers can’t look at your products side-by-side and compare them.
As with many features in the Yahoo Merchant Solutions software systems, the integration with reporting tools from Yahoo web analytics is not available with the basic plan. There are other reports you can use to review the web traffic to your site, however. But this ecommerce system is not the most comprehensive in terms of reporting and statistics.
The Yahoo Merchant Solutions package lacks a mobile optimization feature which is disappointing. Lack of mobile optimization means customers can’t browse your store on their mobile devices and you can’t update your store when you are away from your desk.
You can share your products on Facebook by using the Like button but you can’t set up an integrated Facebook store, unfortunately.
Security is strong with the Yahoo Merchant Solution package. You get a secure SSL system for customers to use for their purchases, and your data is held in multiple centers to guard against loss in the case of an emergency.
The whole package is easy to use, from set up to design to account management. There are a number of helpful wizards to use to guide you through the processes, and the admin area is well laid-out and easy to navigate.
Call on 24-hour toll-free telephone support or contact the Yahoo Merchant Solutions experts by email. The package also includes an online help centre with a list of tutorials and FAQs. If you meet the criteria for Qualified Merchant you get premium support from an account manager, but you need to be selling more than $500,000 worth of goods a year in order to be considered.
This ecommerce software has certain good features – good range of templates, good security, ease of use – but there are several features lacking that would have made the package one of the top choices. That said, you will be able to get a functioning store online quickly by using the package and the price is comparable with other plans.
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