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SunShop from TurnKey WebTools is a fully installable ecommerce solution that can have you up and running with an online store in no time. The feature set is good enough so you won't be left wanting for much, but we did feel that there could be a few extra tricks added to the mix. However, given that a year's worth of free hosting is included in the purchase price, the whole bundle seems like quite a good deal.
Installable solutions are always a bit more tricky to set up than their fully hosted counterparts, but to SunShop's credit the installer is as painless as possible. We wouldn't recommend attempting it unless you have at least a bit of technical knowledge, but if you do it's worth a go if just to avoid the installation fee for getting someone else to do it. Once installed you can easily configure your store and import products from a spreadsheet if you happen to have them stored somewhere. This makes it really easy to migrate from another solution if you had set up shop elsewhere previously.
Your whole SunShop store is controlled from a central admin console that gives you access to all the different features on offer. It's here you can choose to set up any of the more than sixty payment modules that allow your customers to pay through any number of different gateways. You can also configure your store to pull in real-time shipping costs from a number of major shipping providers. There is plenty to get to grips with, but we didn't feel overwhelmed at any time as the admin console is laid out well and quite intuitive to use.
SunShop generates your store in a search engine friendly manner, which means that your site should come fairly high in the search rankings. Everything is fully optimized and a compliant sitemap is also generated to allow search engines to catalogue your site correctly. One aspect noticeably lacking in the marketing area, however, is the ability to send out newsletters to previous customers. In fact we couldn't find any feature to enable to allow customers to sign up for an account with the store. It can be very useful to have lists of your customers for promoting new products or offers so this could be a major issue for many people.
SunShop is competitively priced when the free first year's hosting is taken into account. However, be aware that you might become dependent on their hosting once your store starts ramping up sales. It's not impossible to move, but it can be time consuming. All round we feel a few features are lacking, but there is still plenty to power a decent store here. Why not check out our top ten list to make sure you are making the right decision.
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