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e-Commerce Comparison

All costs are one time fees per site
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e-Commerce Software STANDARD PRO ML
Pricing Structure
Software only pricing. Pricing Per Site

General Features

Pricing Model, discounts available. Per Site Per Site Per Site
Store management  Web Based Web Based  Web Based
Provides complete web site solution, including shopping cart, content management, customer management etc...
Unlimited Products Allowed
Designed for Stores with < 50 Products

Designed for Stores with < 1000 Products

Designed for Stores up to 250,000 Products
Host Types Supported Shared Server*
VPS Server
Dedicated Server
Shared Server*
VPS Server
Dedicated Server
Shared Server*
VPS Server
Dedicated Server
Unlimited number of Content/HTML (topic) pages
Unlimited dynamic data driven pages via XmlPackages  
*Source code available (either C# or VB.NET)    
Installation Locales Supported U.S. U.S. Worldwide
Database Schema Included
Databases Supported MS SQL 2000
MS SQL 2005/
2005 Express
MS SQL 2000
MS SQL 2005/
2005 Express
MS SQL 2000
MS SQL 2005/
2005 Express
Product Categorization Features      
Unlimited Number Categories & Departments: Have as many categories as you want
Categories and Departments can also be fully nested to any level desired (e.g. sub-categories, sub-departments)  
Supports cross-matrix of products by category and department. E.g. a product can be mapped to the shoe category, in the women's department  
Products can be mapped to more than one category or department  
Paged browsing for categories and sections: Keeps page size small, and optimizes user experience. Customers also have the option to "view all" on any page
Category, Department, and Manufacturer "names" can be renamed (e.g. "Brochures", "Products", "Car Parts", whatever you need that is appropriate for your unique store site products).  
Disable buy buttons for specific products  
Supports Wholesale Only Sites (Prices not shown to general site customers)    
PayPal Features      
PayPal Website Payments Pro  
PayPal Express Checkout  
PayPal (standard)
Shipping Features      
Calculate Shipping By Order Total
Calculate Shipping By Order Weight
Calculate Shipping By Order Weight & Zip code Zone  
Calculate Shipping By Order Total & Zip code Zone  
Calculate Shipping By Fixed Item Shipping Costs
Calculate Shipping By Fixed Percent of Order Total
Specify All Orders As Free Shipping
Use Real Time Rates  
Admin defined shipping methods (e.g. Ground, Next Day, 2nd Day, Priority, etc)
Real Time Shipping carriers can vary based on Domestic or International shipping address    
Filter Real Time Rates You Want To Allow For Users To Select  
Add Shipping & Handling Extra Fee To Orders  
Shipping Methods Verified Against User Addresses During Checkout (this avoids the ground shipping to Hawaii situations!)    
Shipping Tracking #'s e-mailed to Customers  
Support for Download Products  
Batch Shipping Order Printing/Tracking Integration with UPS WorldShip, Endicia for USPS, and FedEx Shipping Mgr.    
Multiple ship-to addresses per order (a customer on one order can ship some items to address A, and other items to address B)    
Mark Customer Levels/Profiles as free shipping (or tax exempt)    
Bulk Product Import Features      
From Xml File  
From Excel File    
Web Services Automation Interface (WSI). Allows automated import, export, data updates and synchronization.      
Event Notification callbacks to external Web Service which you register, on storefront events (e.g. new order created, customer created, etc).      
Gift Registry Features      
 Gift Registry Supported    
 Gift Registry Can Be Anonymous (gift registry owner name and address is hidden)    
 Gift Card Support (E-mail and Physical Gift Cards supported)    
Wish List Features      
Customer Add To Wish List Supported (Persists over Customer Visits also)  
MaxMind Integration      
Integration of invaluable industry leading MaxMind fraud prevention/scoring technologies. Requires separate service agreement with MaxMind.com.    
Multi-Lingual Features      
(Multi-Lingual) Store site can support dynamic run-time language switching. Customer can select store language at run-time. Store administrator controls allowed languages. Language packs sold separately.    
(Multi-Currency). Customer can select store currency to view at run-time. Allowed currencies are under control of store administrator. Support for various leading exchange rate feed suppliers will be supported (via XmlPackages). Sign-up for some exchange rate feeds is optional, through 3rd parties, and they may have fees associated with them (e.g. xe.com, x-rates.com, etc).    
 Store developer/admin has full control over all store site strings used (e.g. prompt used for SKU, Product, Color, Size, shopping cart, etc). Every string used in the storefront can be edited.    
Search Engine Features      
EVERY product, category, and department page can have their own custom search engine meta tags (title, keywords, description, no script blocks, etc)...  
Static Product & Category Pages: Designed to allow search engines to fully crawl and index EVERY product & category page in  your store. This can have a dramatic increase in site traffic from search engines.  
Google Xml Site Maps Supported: a direct Google search engine submission method sanctioned by Google  
Yahoo! Xml Site Maps Supported: a direct Yahoo! search engine submission method sanctioned by Yahoo!  
Fully dynamic page titles, and search engine meta-tags  
Google Analytics (Urchin) Site Metrics & E-Commerce Tracking Compatible
Product Capabilities & Features      
Support for 3 images sizes: icon, medium, large
Auto Image Resizing    
Supports multiple images per product (icon, medium, and large)  
Support for swatch color image changing  
Automatic image watermarking for protection    
Image Galleries Supported  
Restrict product quantities to preset values (e.g. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, ...)  
Enforce product minimum order quantities (i.e. must order at least 10, etc).  
Recurring products can have varying intervals (days, weeks, months, years)  
Subscription based products & content access  
Downloadable products supported, with automatic e-mail to customer with download instructions  
Text options on products (e.g. require initials for monogrammed products, require text name for product customization, etc)  
Support for sizes & colors. All color/size site "prompts" can be customized in admin site, so you could rename those two options to have completely different meaning.  
Multiple Attributes Per Product (e.g. Size/Color)
Inventory By Attribute (e.g. Size/Color)
Price can vary by size/color option chosen  
Prices can vary by customer or customer level (group)  
Handles multi-store pricing on one database      
Connect multiple web sites to one database. Show different products and prices on each site.      
Price can vary by attribute      
Sort products in any order desired (you can force popular products to the top of the pages)  
Fully dynamic site map (optimized for search engines)  
Second tree-form dynamic site map (optimized for users)    
Support for simple products (e.g. a book) or products with variants
Unlimited number of variants per each product
Each variant can have a different price
Each variant can have different attributes (e.g. size, color, etc)
Each variant can require a text option input (e.g. monogram)  
Each variant can have a separate SKU modifier, and price, description, etc
Tell store to locate product pictures by ID (icon, medium, large)
Tell store to locate product pictures by SKU (icon, medium, large)  
Tell store to use Image Filename Override for pictures (icon, medium, large)    
Support for sale prices
Vary product prices for each customer level (e.g. wholesale/retail)
Phone Order Entry Module  
Product Descriptions can include HTML formatting: We know that having complete control over each product description is important, and no two products are alike. You can use the administration site to enter product descriptions, or even link to fully custom external product description HTML files. Additionally, each product can have an inline or pop-up "specifications" window, providing more detail to the customer, without distracting them from making a purchase
Support for Kits (build to order products). Kits can have dynamic pricing and component selection (e.g. build your own PC) and more specification as to what items can be added, whether they are required, etc... Kit Items cannot be ordered separately

Some other storefronts are charging nearly $1200 for adding a "build kit" feature on their storefronts...shame on them!

Support for Packs. A pack is a product with a fixed price that can hold up to N other arbitrary products. When the pack is full, it can be added to the cart and purchased. Pack items are products themselves, which could be ordered separately  
Password Protected Products: Only allow registered customers to view certain portions of your store, expands capability of Customer Levels even further  
Disable buy buttons by product  
 Set Site to Wholesale Only (Prices not shown to general site customers)    
Inventory Features      
Inventory Tracking  
ERP class inventory tracking: FIFO, LIFO, Average Costing, Inventory Tracking, Multi-Warehouse, Drop-Ship, etc.      
Limit orders to quantity on hand inventory, or allow customers to place orders for items out of stock (admin configurable)  
Back-ordered product handling & order management      
Order Splitting and Editing (including split shipments from multiple warehouses)      
Inventory can go "negative"      
Manage Inventory by variant or attribute (e.g. size, color, etc)
Show inventory on hand status on product page to customer (optional)  
Coupon Features      
Order Based Coupons (apply to entire order)
Product Specific Coupons (apply to only specified product)    
Coupon discounts by amount or percent
Coupons can offer free shipping
Coupons can offer tax exception
Coupons have start date  

Coupons have expiration date
Coupons can be marked as use once per customer, use once by only one customer, use N times, etc.  
Coupons requires minimum order amount before it is valid  
Coupons can be excluded from sale products  
Customer specific coupons  
Skinning & Page Layout Customization      
Free Skins Included 2 2 5
You Can Design Custom Skins
Completely customize the layout & appearance of any category, section, manufacturer, or product page using XmlPackages (XML/XSL rendering engine)  
User defined skin replacement tokens, topic tokens, AppConfig tokens, etc. (e.g. skin Regular Expression token parser)  
Initially design skins in Dreamweaver or FrontPage
Web form controls can be used within skin template user control    
Integrated support for ComponentArt horizontal menu, vertical menu, site map, and tree view navigational controls  
Skin Based UI Customization: Store site styles and web design can be completely customized by external HTML skin template and style sheets. See some of our sample client sites to see how different each store can look
Change skins in real-time. You can conceivably have 100+ skins for a single store if you need to.
You can link to the cart "pages" from your existing site pages, or use the storefront to run your entire site
Add page header/footer HTML blocks to cart page, and all checkout and order confirmation pages, to provide special notes/text specific to your store or business  
Use custom receipt formats & templates  
Use custom "your order has shipped" e-mail formats and templates  
Automatic e-mail notification to customer with receipt  
Receipt can be fully customized  
PDF Receipts Supported      
Automatic e-mail notification to store admin of new order received  
Notification to Cell Phone of new order received  
Mini-Cart (optional small box on every page showing cart summary contents and checkout link)  
Customer Accounts      
Customer can view Order History  
Customer has address book  
Customer one click re-order any prior order    
Integrated .NET Forms Authentication  
Multiple billing/shipping addresses per customer (similar to Amazon.com style checkout)  
Recurring orders (e.g. for auto ship products, monthly subscription fees, monthly service type products, etc)  
Skip account creation on checkout (Anonymous Checkout)    
"One Page" Checkout    
Payment Methods Supported (types of payment)      
Credit Cards: Accept Credit Cards in Real Time: Cards can be processed & verified in real-time, or you can delay processing until a later time
Check By Mail
e-Checks (Authorize.net and Itransact gateways)
Purchase Order  
PayPal Express Checkout (see below for PayPal website Payments PRO)  
Request For Quote  
MicroPay (this is also referred to as a Purse). Customer can put money in an account, and then purchase against it, or add to their balance  
 Gift Cards    

Support for Verified By Visa/MasterCard Secure initiatives. Now, you can have the same fraud protection available to all retail stores. Eliminate your fraud liability. Guaranteed Payments. Reduce chargebacks by up to 70%. These authentication initiatives make Internet commerce safe and secure, for both buyers and sellers. Integrates directly with your Authorize.net, Verisign, Paymentech, or CyberSource payment gateways. Integration is seamless into the storefront for merchants, and easy to use for consumers.Requires separate service from Cardinal Commerce.

Payment Gateways Supported      
MANUAL Gateway (just collects order & payment information for offline processing)
3DSI EC-Linx      
ACH Payments      
Bank Of America      
Central Payments  
Cardia Services (Norway)  

Chase Paymentech  
DPI Link      
ECX QuickCommerce
eWay (Australia)  
eSelectPlus (Moneris, US Version)  
Google Checkout  
Fast Transact      
FirstData / Card Service Int.      
IATS TicketMaster (Non Profit Gateway)  
Innovative Merchant Services (QuickBooks QBMS)  
Intellipay ExpertLink      
Linkpoint Select API  
Merchant Anywhere  
Merchant Partners      
MPCS Weblink      
Network Merchants      
NOVA Viaklix  
Optimal Payments      
Paymentech (Now Chase Paymentech)  
Payments Gateway      
PayPal Website Payments Pro  
PayPal Express Checkout  
Payready Link      
Pinnacle Payments  
Planet Payment      
ProtX (U.K. Stores Only)  
QuickBooks Merchant Services (Innovative)  
QuickBooks (Batch Non Real Time)
Requires optional QuickBooks Windows Exporter Client Utility, $199
TransFirst eLink      
Transaction Central (i.e. Merchant Anywhere) Gateway Supported  
USA ePay (certified)  
Verisign Payflo Pro (Now part of PayPal)
Viaklix (NOVA)  
Worldpay Junior  
YourPay Gateway (This gateway is the same as Linkpoint and can be difficult to install, as they use very outdated COM interface technology!)  
German Market Gateways: S-InternetKasse, and TeleCash are supported via our reseller in Germany  
Transaction Features      
Integrates with your own merchant account.
Store can be set to authorize only, or auth-capture credit card mode. You can then capture payment at shipment if desired  
Void & Refund supported  
Partial Refund and Add-Hoc Charges Supported    
Mark Transactions As Fraud    
Ban Fraud Users from Site    
Support for recurring orders/payments (auto-ship products)  
Support for CV2 (credit card security code) entry and checking (fraud prevention)  
Address Verification codes reported to administrator with order  
Credit card numbers never displayed on site, but remembered for user in an encrypted state (shown as ****1111 on site). Storage can be disabled by both store admin and customers if the choose.
Disable storing of credit cards if desired (we recommend that you don't store credit cards on your site...it is almost never needed anymore)
Don't require account signup on checkout (e.g. skip registration on checkout or anon checkout)    
Hide all references to "shipping" (e.g. useful for software, or download sites)      
Force billing address to be the same as shipping address  
Set a minimum order total threshold for proceed to checkout  
Automatically create drop-ship and special order/purchase order to vendor      
Multi-level pricing list    
Additional Features      
Customer Subscriptions for protected content  
Mini-Cart display, so add to cart action leaves user on same page, and updates mini-cart display in left or right column of page  
Password Protected HTML Pages (password protected topics)  
General Site Disclaimer Message (Agree Before Entering) supported    
Can set a minimum order total threshold for proceed to checkout  
Can set minimum order product quantities before allowing checkout  
Order options supported (e.g. gift wrapping, ship in unmarked box, etc). Additionally, each order option can have a price associated with it. User can optionally select order options during checkout.  
Order & Customer & Product Export to Xml  
Customer e-mail lists to XML (i.e. produce list of all registered customer e-mails for your mailing manager)  
Product & Site Photo Galleries: Create  photo galleries of products, activities or other important corporate or store fun events. Showing prospective customers more than just a "store facade" is VITAL in creating brand loyalty  
Recent Products Page  
Best-Seller Products Page  
Shopping cart can persist over visits
Shopping cart can be told to age in N days  
Built in support for the most common display formats: grid, table expanded, table condensed, simple form, right variant bars, and you can completely customize the product pages by altering the output code HTML
Catalog Only Sites (e.g. turn buy buttons off)

Support for Informational Catalog Only Sites: A simple configuration setting removes all "buy" buttons from the site, in effect turning your site into an informational site, still complete with categories, subcategories, sections, product info, product photos, etc


Store News Items Supported (editable via Admin Site): Add real-time news announcements, and items to the site. Inform customers about important new items, or promotions

Password protected topic (html content) pages  
Order notes can be entered by customer with special instructions  
Each cart item can also have notes entered by the customer    
Shopping "cart" can be renamed (e.g. Shopping Bag)  
Can require customer to agree to Terms and Conditions block (user defined) before proceeding with payment  
Support for subscription products. Each product can add N months to a customer subscription. Administration control panel allows override of subscription expiration date  
External Product HTML description files supported (e.g. product descriptions can be stored in external HTML files)
External Product Specifications/Details Supported (e.g. product "specs" can be stored in external PDF or HTML file, and linked into product page)
Hide products, categories or departments (publish or un-publish capability)
Integrated Product Search
Advanced Product Search Page (by category, section, manufacturer, price range, SKU, etc)  
Export to QuickBooks.
Requires optional QuickBooks Windows Exporter Client Utility, $199
Import data from ML to Interprise Suite      
Quantity discounts on products (tiered Pricing)  
E-Mail Product To A Friend: Product pages can be e-mailed to friends by site visitors  
Tax Features      
Apply Tax by State
Apply Tax by ZipCode  
Apply Tax by Country    
Tax can be applied to shipping costs  
Individual Products can be marked Taxable or tax-exempt
Customer Levels can be tax-exempt (e.g. wholesale)  
Unlimited  Tax Classes (e.g. Goods, Services, Alcohol, etc)  
Pricing Feed Support Features      
Froogle Feed (now called GoogleBase) Supported -w- automatic generation and FTP upload to your Froogle account  
Add other product feeds (e.g. ShopZilla, shopper.com, etc)  
Upsell Product Features      
Related Products: Entice additional sales by listing related products/accessories on each product page  
Show Upsell Products Directly On Cart Page    
Product prices can be set to "Call for Price'  
Product prices can be hidden until product added to cart  
Products can require that other products are added to the cart (e.g. Product X requires Product Y)  
Affiliate Tracking Features      
Affiliate sign-up/account pages provided in store and admin site  
Customers can be tracked to affiliates  
Orders can be tracked to affiliates  
Commission can vary by affiliate product ordered category or manually pre-overwritten      
Products visible on the site can be filtered by affiliate source id  

Real-Time skin changing based on URL/invocation/affiliate id

Affiliate Commission Calculations & Reports      
Automated Affiliated Payments      
Customer Level Features      
Unlimited number of customer levels (e.g. wholesale, retail, or gold, silver, platinum, etc..)  
Customers can be tracked to customer levels  
Customer levels can have special product pricing, can offer percent discounts, free shipping, tax exception, etc.  
Products visible on the site can be filtered by customer level  
Support for negotiated pricing (by customer, account, one-off pricing, etc)      
Support for category level discount      
Operational Features      
Easy Store Management Web Web Web
Once installed, all operational store tasks can be performed via easy to use control panel (e.g. no need to know databases, etc)
Handles Back-Ordered Products      
Does not require any special components on the server (Gateway COM objects may be needed)
You can configure products, prices, taxes, shipping, news items, etc all from the administration site (or smart client in the case of IS version)
SQL Database initialization script provided
Automatic database installation   via provided SQL Script via provided SQL Script via provided SQL Script
Automatic database upgrades for new versions via provided SQL Script via provided SQL Script via provided SQL Script
Customer Service Web Administration: Comprehensive administrative reports, including revenue trends & graphs, visitor trends & graphs, customer order percentages, affiliate revenue reports, tax reports, etc. You can also search for order by almost any customer record criteria to assist with customer support calls

Administration Customer, order, traffic, reports:

  1. Tax Reports by Month/State

  2. Total Customers by Date/Trend

  3. Customer to Purchase Stats (% of visitors that convert, etc)

Flexible Report Writer (generate any report, e.g. profit/loss, reports by product, by category, etc)      
Built In Customer Mailing Manager: Send e-mails or HTML newsletters to registered customers. Design your newsletter in FrontPage or DreamWeaver and send to registered customers, or send to only customer with orders
Fully integrated CRM!!      
Customer can define multiple billing/shipping addresses and select during checkout  
Remember me option for returning users
Order History Pages: Customers can get their prior order histories, check order status, etc all online
Shopping Cart items can persist over time (even months if desired). Great for return customers, who later wanted to order a product, but forgot which one they wanted
Customer can view all their prior orders
Administrators can edit customer profiles, delete customers, update their address books, billing information, etc.
Administrator can edit/enter service notes visible by customer regarding order status, special notes, etc  
Product Ratings & Reviews      
Customers can review & rate products (if enabled)  
User Polls (find out what your customers are thinking!)  
Administrator can moderate comments  
Profanity checking provided on comment entry  
Security Features      

PABP VISA/MasterCard Certified

PABP certification indicates adherence to strict security policy and procedural guidelines outlined by VISA/MasterCard to help ensure PCI compliance in your installation. We have worked with one of the best independent VISA/MasterCard approved auditing firms for our certification.

PABP release fully tested in PCI compliant environment for VISA/MasterCard Certification

Supports SSL Encryption for secure ordering. Cart automatically switches into secure mode appropriately. Supports any brand SSL certificate. (Contact your hosting company for certificates). Dedicated SSL certificate required.

Medium Trust Hosted Servers fully supported

IP Address Tracking: For safety and auditing, IP addresses are logged (PABP)
AVS (Address Verification) reporting from gateways in all orders
Integrated MaxMind Geolocation Fraud Detection Metrics (optional)  
Require periodic password changes (PABP)
Password Salting + Hashing (PABP)
Store Admin can lock out any customer account for security/fraud reasons (PABP)
Any order can be marked as fraud for later forensics (PABP)
CAPTCHA Image login protection (protects against automated BOT login attacks  (PABP)
Comprehensive 1 Year Aged Read Only Security Log built into admin site. Viewable only by admin Super User. (PABP)
Give individual admin operations permissions to view full credit cards or not (PABP)
Allow Customers to individually select if they want their credit card information stored (overrides by store admin possible) (PABP)
All Password Change Operations Logged (PABP)
RegEx AppConfig control over strength of passwords required for store logins and admin logins (PABP)
Support for dynamic encryption key changes via admin site (PABP)
Store Admin specified encryption salting so every order record contains a separate encryption key (PABP)
Encrypted database connection strings in web.config files (PABP)
Secured password protected Store Administrator Control Panel


Integrated .net security roles and support  

Independent Security Audits Performed. Assessment included checks for:

  • Secure Coding Practices and Encryption
  • Validating parameter length that could lead to a Buffer Overflow
  • Various Buffer Overflows
  • Cookie manipulation / Cookie Poisoning
  • SQL Injections
  • Cross Site Scripting Attacks
  • Mis-Configured Servers
  • Man In The Middle Attacks using a Web Proxy
  • SSL Version Hacking
Notification Features      
Order receipts automatically e-mailed to customer
Distributor Pic Lists  automatically e-mailed to Distributors for Drop Shipping    
Customizable Receipt Formats: Customize the format and layout of your store receipts by using a simple HTML template  
E-mail notification sent to store Administrator when new order arrives  
Cell-Phone SMS Messages sent to store Administrator when new order arrives. Stop wondering  how your site is doing while you are at the gym, at  lunch or on vacation...don't miss that big next-day shipping order again! You can even customize notifications  with an order amount threshold, if you only want to be notified when an order exceeds a certain dollar amount  
"Order Has Shipped" e-mail notifications sent to customers with tracking numbers  
"Order Has Download Items" e-mail notifications sent to customers for orders with download components. This e-mail can be sent on time of payment clearance or delayed  
Delayed Downloads (gives you time to verify buyer before sending download files)  
System Requirements      
Databases Supported MS-SQL MS-SQL MS-SQL
Asp.net 2.0
Asp.net 3.0 Compatible
Windows XP PRO (development platforms only)
Windows Server 2000/2003 for production servers
IIS 5/6/7 for development or production supported
Visual Studio 2005 Fully Supported
SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2005 Express Supported
FAST SQL option on queries (increased db performance)  
Web Server Farm Compatible  
Support for SQL Server locale different than Web Server Locale (important for international sites on U.S. hosting company servers)    
Support for non U.S. locales (e.g. en-GB, sv-SE, etc). Support for foreign date-time formats (non US locales)  
Built in page and data caching (optionally enabled)  

* Source code option is $599 and requires signing of our source license agreement, indicating you will not redistribute source. If you choose to obtain full source, no product returns are allowed under any circumstance.


Free tech support for 30 days.
Annual support & upgrades contract available. Provides all product updates for 12 months.

If your store requires specialized or unique features not found in our general release, please contact us if you need custom development.

Windows NT Server 2000 or 2003 for production sites.
Windows XP Professional can be used for development sites. Windows XP Home can also be used for development sites, but it is not recommended or supported.

rowsers: Microsoft IE v6.0+, Mozilla FireFox v1.5+, Opera v9.0+
Asp.net 2.0
No special server controls are required.

Databases Supported: (SQL 2005 recommended)
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 / 2005
Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2005 Express

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 (Required for developers to edit code. Not required to deploy or run the storefront. Also not required to skin the storefront!)

Can be installed on dedicated Server, Shared Server or VPS.