There are so many online shopping cart options for today’s entrepreneurs and business owners to choose from. Each week ShopTab features one online shopping cart, interviewing the featured cart’s developer to provide an opportunity to learn about why their cart may be right for your business.
This week ShopTab interviewed Phil Williams, the founder of Open Mind Commerce. Williams started the business back in 2004, but had been developing his own personal websites for about five years prior.
Open Mind Commerce is a subsidiary of its primary company Open Minded Solutions Ltd and was officially launched in October 2007. The company is based in Edinburgh, UK and operates from data centers located just outside of London and Reading. It if one of the UK’s leading shopping carts and has some cool features that really make it stick out.
Q: Why did you launch Open Mind Commerce?
A: Prior to the end of 2007 we were creating bespoke eCommerce sites for our clients on a per-store basis. These stores were tailored exactly to the clients’ needs and to fit their business profile. Although financially rewarding, these sites were taking up considerable manpower resources to develop and also to maintain so we made a decision to develop an eCommerce product that didn’t just have the features found in these premium designs but also were simply not found in competing products.
We also a saw a clear gap in the market for developing a UK centric system that allowed UK merchants to quickly roll out an online store without worrying about the system correctly about UK VAT rules and also not having the US-centric features found in many other commercial systems.
Q: What features or benefits make Open Mind Commerce stand out?
A: The biggest benefit of our system is that merchants really appreciate the simple to use interface of the store admin area. Web designers also love the fact that the entire system is white label allowing them to resell the solution to the own clients. Couple with the outstanding level of support every store owner receives, the overall package is very well received by our store owners.
Q: What are some of its weaknesses?
A: There aren’t many weaknesses to be found in the system but we have embarked on a re-development of OMC which will have a complete re-write of the underlying code base to address features that may be missing or could be enhanced. For example, although quick and easy to apply, the store templating system could be more flexible. The next major release will have what we believe to the most flexible templating system available allowing store owners to craft and tailor individual pages down to product level without relying on a global template design.
Q: How would your cart help an ecommerce merchant, versus the cart he or she is using now?
A: As we can import data from virtually any competing platform, moving to OMC is pain free and considering the feature set and ease of use along with our in house support team; the days of hassle associated with changing eCommerce providers are most certainly over!
Q: How many products will your eCommerce platform allow?
A: The system allows for unlimited products, categories and other associated data. The only limits are the hosting space which we are always happy to increase should the need arise.
Q: What is the cost for Open Mind Commerce’s service?
A: The initial license cost is £149 + vat and this includes hosting and support/upgrades to the software for twelve months. After the first year, hosting fees are just £60 + vat per year and store owners can purchase an additional twelve month block of support/upgrades for £50 + vat at any time.
Q: What are Open Mind Commerce’s future plans for development or additional features?
A: Well we can’t give too much away but as mentioned we are in the process of completely redeveloping the system and have codenamed this “The Novus Project” You can read more about this on our blog at http://blog.openmindcommerce.co.uk/
Q: How is support handled for Open Mind Commerce customers?
A: Support is via a local rate telephone number and email through our support helpdesk.
Q: Do you have any other comments about Open Mind Commerce for ShopTab readers?
A: Although we are a relative newcomer to the market, we have developed a robust application that will not just suit smaller stores owners but will also easily scale to the much larger retailers. That with our outstanding level of support and the ease of use of the software, we honestly believe we have one of the best commercial applications available today!
If you have any questions or feedback, we welcome you to contact us. You can email us, calls us on our toll-free numbers or chat to us online. We are here to help.
Check out Open Mind Commerce at http://www.openmindcommerce.co.uk/. If you are currently using Open Mind Commerce please share your experience below in the comments.
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