Open an Online Store in Minutes: The Ultimate Micro-ISV Tool

I have just reviewed a very interesting web based tool making it a snap for those folks who wish to sell products on the web that don’t want to spend time trying to design a web site and hook up all the moving parts required to have an operating store.

There is an open source .NET based project called Commerce Starter Kit that attempts to solve this problem in a different approach. It provides a free download that is basically an web application that you host. While providing a bit more flexibility and customization, it still requires a bit of work to get up an running not to mention monthly hosting fees.

Shopify is free to build a store and sell products in. It only charges a 3% commission on each sell up to $10,000, above $10,000 the commission drops to 2%. You must also sign up and provide authentication details to a payment gateway (PayPal or Authorize.net). Your store comes with out of the box templates and allows for complete customization. They even provide a tool to work on your custom design offline with no need to setup databases for the dynamic stuff.

One feature that I would like to see added would be the option to change the workflow a bit for downloadable software and license key management. It is setup right now to handle the typical workflow of buying a tangible product that is shipped and would be a bit clunky to handle the retail of software packages that could be downloaded and license keys sent in email as is typical with many applications sold by micro-ISVs on the Internet.