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Americart is a pretty typical hosted shopping cart solution that provides the basics, but doesn't go much beyond the call of duty. It allows you to create a store full of products that you can then sell from anywhere on the web just by providing a link to the hosted shopping cart service. The basics seem to work fine, but in our opinion Americart is missing some of the features that could make it a much better service.
One of the better points about Americart is that it is very quick and very easy to get set up to sell products online. By simply adapting one of the demo stores you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. However the basic checkout forms aren't very attractive so you will probably want to spend some time with the editor to make them fit in with the look of your store as far as possible. The editor allows you to make changes without having to know any coding languages, but for any drastic changes you might have to dip into the code.
Adding products to Americart is again very easy, but the administration console isn't the fastest or best looking we have ever seen. You get a lot of control over the prices of the products in your store and can specify detailed options, such as larger sizes, as being more expensive. Managing orders isn't quite as easy as we would like though and doesn't feel as intuitive as it does with some other similar tools. There is no integration with shipping services either so you would have to manage this yourself when it comes to fulfilling orders. There is a shipping calculator included, which can show prices on your store, but it doesn't get real-time quotes as similar features from other services do.
Americart provides some integration with affiliate marketing programs and Google Ad words, but you can't generate extensive reports like a more fully featured solution would allow. That said, affiliate tracking is very easy to set up and just requires you to enter your tracking ID once to track all sales. These can be tracked from anywhere just by using the HTML link generator tool then copying and pasting the links anywhere on the web. This means you can link to your products from any web site or a number of different front end stores and get directly to the Americart checkout.
Americart is a fairly basic solution, but is quite cheap when compared with similar services, especially if you opt for an annual plan. The unlimited products and bandwidth sweeten the deal somewhat, but we can't help but feel if you are serious about selling online you will want more features than Americart has to offer. However, if you are just starting out and looking for a cheap deal then Americart may be for you.
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