Auctiva Commerce: Review


Thursday, 9 April 2009 at 6:26 am Pacific USA Time.

More than ever, our clients are asking us to design eCommerce websites or customize a skin for their shopping cart system. Yeah, we do that. :) We're doing our best to keep up with all the new ones, and lean them as fast as possible.

Today, I went to look at Auctiva Commerce. One of my clients gave me his Auctiva login. Right away, I found two pages. One had me choose from Auctiva's pre-made design templates/themes. The other was a place to drop my logo and whatever text I wanted at the top of every page of my store.

That was it. I've been poking around a lot of eCommerce systems right now, most recently epages.com and BuyItSellIt.com (while one of my staff perfects our Vendio Stores offering), and I am used to a clearly-marked area where I can put in our templates, style sheets, or at least move some modules around (drag and drop) to lay pages out how you want them. I think epages did that, and so does Amazon Stores (yeah, we can do those too).

I couldn't see anywhere a company like ours would be able to do the more extensive customisation or the innovations we like to get out there. So I went to www.auctivacommerce.com to poke around and see what I can learn.

Not much. I even watched their demo video. The website and video promise that AuctivaCommerce is "the most powerful and innovative eCommerce system available today." I completely disagree. Have you seen etailcomplete.com? That was probably one of the most powerful and innovative I've seen yet, but it's also the most expensive one I've seen since Intershop in the late 1990s. :)

Back to Auctiva. Here are some other things I noticed while poking around…

  • Their website says NOTHING about SEO. So this is clearly not a priority OR selling point!
  • OK, I just found that under "features" and then I had to click on "marketing," which was in the secondary navigation but not in the left-side navigation. That's a bit buried for something I think SHOULD BE a major factor when people are choosing which eCommerce software system to use. They claim that they send out product feeds and will create a sitemap.
  • I went to "features" and then "design." They say that choosing one of their themes will instantly add appeal. I'm sorry, but I saw some of their themes, and I stopped shopping on sites that look like that years ago. I think shoppers are savvy, and have raised their standards. You're going to have to do better if you want to claim to be the most powerful and innovative eCommere platform out there.
  • Their website links to NO active stores so you can see them in action. If there are links there, I can't find them. I really expected them on the home page, or somewhere dominant so I fall in love right away. :)
  • OK, I just found them on the "shop" page. Three stores were featured and linked. Two had identical backgrounds in different colours. All three had their logo on the top, and then the cookie-cutter layouts. 
  • I want to link you to some of these stores to show you how I feel they are below the standards many shoppers will have for where they do online shopping, but I don't have the heart to point these people out and complain about their eCommerce sites. Just know that in 2009, I think that we can do MUCH better when it comes to eCommerce design and usability.
  • The pricing page says they will take a percentage of your sales while saying, and I quote, "We don't subscribe to the "the more you make, the more we take" mentality. And,
    we never will." GUESS WHAT. If you take a percentage of sales, then the more the seller makes, the more you make. It's just simple math. Even if your percentage is tiered and gets lower as the seller sells more, you will still make more off a $10,000 month of sales than a $1,000 month of sales.

Verdict: This is some of the biggest marketing spin I've seen outside of Apple and their iWhatevers. :) The promises and superlatives here are mighty, but based on the HEAPS of eCommerce systems I've been checking out lately, I'm whatever-is-the-complete-opposite-of-unimpressed.

I hope Auctiva will tone down the marketing hype and tone up the features and offerings. After all, marketing hype doesn't help people make sales. The eCommerce system has to really be something that goes into search engines well AND is so easy and obvious to use that it HELPS make sales and helps there be fewer abandoned shopping carts.

If our clients want us to design for these stores, we'll certainly do everything we can to design and customise them! We'll support these Stores, if our clients want them.

My faves so far… in no particular order, Vendio Stores (nice drag-and-drop Add To Cart, among other things), BuyItSellIt.com, epages.com, and if you have the budget, etailcomplete.com.


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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

Comments Closed

3 Responses to “Auctiva Commerce: Review”

  1. Robin-Lynn says:

    I tried Auctiva, I found it to be a nightmare and not all it was cracked up to be. But than again still being a babe in the milk so’s to speak maybe I wasn’t working it right. I remember it took a long time for it to be removed from my ebay pages. It does look attractive but I wasn’t impressed maybe it’s because I didn’t invest cash in all the fancies.

  2. Shevon says:

    Auctiva commerce sucks big time – still have problems now they had when they started months ago, false promises and betrayal. Read the forums there from months ago and read the recent ones – not much have changed – still sucks

  3. Jennifer says:

    Sucks, sucks, sucks, that’s all I can say. If you value your time, don’t waste it with AC.