PDG Commerce Shopping Cart Software Review

PDG Commerce is an e-commerce shopping cart software by PDG Software designed to help merchants take their e-commerce business to a new level and boost their online revenues. With this software, users can get complete control over their website. It offers on-premise, online, and also mobile solutions for small to medium size businesses in a variety of industries. Mobile compatibility also allows you to access this software remotely through a mobile-optimized site. Plus, it is the only PCI-DSS certified shopping cart software designed to integrate directly with your QuickBooks (An Intuit Inc.’s set of software solutions designed to manage payroll, inventory, sales and other needs of a small business. The software's features include marketing tools, merchant services, product and supplies, training solutions) or QuickBooks Point of Sale software.

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Before getting down into the details of this shopping cart, let’s take a quick overview of its features.

  • Ability to Add Product Attributes
  • Affiliates Program
  • Flexible Content Management
  • Easy Customer Registration
  • Remarkable Customization and Design Features
  • Supports Digital Goods
  • Edit Product Order
  • Automatic Notifications via Emails
  • Low Stock Alerts
  • Multi-Store Support
  • One Page Checkout
  • Product Reviews
  • Sales and Inventory Reports
  • Search Engine Optimization Tools
  • Spreadsheet Database Upload
  • SSL Support
  • Supports Unlimited Products
  • Real-Time QuickBooks Synchronization
  • Numerous Options for Merchant Account/Payment Processing
  • Get Real-Time Shipping Costs from All Major Carriers
  • Multi-Platform Compatibility (Windows, Linux, and more)

Now let’s get down to the details of the features this shopping cart solution has to offer.

Different Levels of Access

With PDG Commerce, you can create accounts that can be used to access the Merchant Administrator. You can decide what access each account is granted. For example, you can create an account for your Merchant Administrator that can add and modify product information, but cannot access order information.

Better security with PCI PA-DSS Certification 

PDG Commerce is the only online shopping cart software recommended for new deployments to be certified by the PCI Security Standards Council as a PCI DSS certified payment application (PA-DSS). Choosing a PCI PA-DSS certified shopping cart greatly reduces the efforts and costs associated with obtaining merchant services (e.g. credit card processing) and significantly reduces the costs of obtaining and maintaining full PCI DSS compliance for your online business. Put simply, PDG Commerce helps protect your business from security compromises that could be costly and embarrassing to your business and its hard-earned reputation.

IP Blacklist

PDG Shopping Cart automatically logs the unique IP address of each and every order placed with your Web store. You can block annoying visitors from viewing your catalog or checking out. With this feature, you can specify any IP address or range of IP addresses, and those computers will not be able to view your catalog or purchase items from your site.

Additional Security Features

Merchants may host their PDG enabled website with their own preferred hosting provider, including most virtual/shared hosting environments. PDG’s products are fully SSL compatible to ensure safe and secure transmission of data to and from your customer's browser, as well as between your webstore and your QuickBooks application. Utilizing an SSL certificate ensures that all sensitive information entered by your customers and retrieved by you is encrypted to prevent unauthorized access while the information is transmitted. In addition, all PDG Software products are compatible with GPG encryption software, so that your email notifications and order log files are encrypted immediately as orders are placed.

Sharing Data with QuickBooks

As discussed earlier, PDG Shopping Cart comes with a QuickBooks integration utility. Using this utility, you can automatically import PDG Shopping Cart CSV files into QuickBooks. Auto-synchronization between QuickBooks or QuickBooks Point of Sale and PDG Commerce web store provides an amazingly simple way for QuickBooks merchants to sell their products and services online. Product information, inventory status, and pricing are all updated constantly from your QuickBooks application to your PDG enabled storefront. The Integration adds and verifies your customer’s information in QuickBooks, as well as enter any necessary product information, and import the transactions as Sales Receipts. Merchants can map data stored in QuickBooks to corresponding fields within PDG Commerce to display or enable searching within their storefront. They can add long descriptions, up-sell/cross-sell items, images, links to fact sheets and much, much more to make the shopping experience for end users simple and informative.

Powerful Marketing Tools 

From providing an unlimited number of products for each of your products to powerful up-selling and cross-selling tools, PDG Commerce allows you to demonstrate and market your products to achieve the highest possible conversion rates. With PDG Commerce, you can optimize your Pages for Search Engines with Unique Page Titles, Meta Content, Headers, and More. You can also display categories like “Best Sellers” and “What’s New” to boost up your sales.

Upsell/Cross-Selling Feature

An extremely powerful marketing tool, PDG Shopping Cart's ability to suggestively sell alternate and complementary products; e.g. if a customer selects the “standard” version of a product, you can recommend that they also consider the “pro” version. Simply specify related product in a product’s definition and PDG Shopping Cart will up-sell or recommend related products to your customers automatically.

Tiered Pricing Categories

You can offer different price points for various users, such as retail and wholesale customers. You can set flat percentage discounts for all items within your Web store, with the option of adjusting discounts for individual items. Customers are prompted to enter a discount code during the checkout process to receive their discount.

Discounts

With PDG Shopping Cart, you can run sales and promotions just like regular retail stores by establishing quantity discounts for each product, subtotal discounts based on the value of items in the user's basket at checkout, discounts based on users providing a discount code, or any combination of these three options.

Froogle Data Feed

You can create a Froogle (A Google service which allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors) data feed from your product database within your Merchant Administrator. Simply submit the data file to Froogle and your catalog will be available to anyone searching the Froogle site.

Yahoo Stores Data Feed

You can also create a Yahoo Stores data feed on your product database. Simply submit the data file to Yahoo Stores and your catalog will be available to anyone searching the Yahoo's e-commerce area.

Affiliate Tracking

PDG Shopping Cart includes a built-in affiliate tracking system that will notify you of where a customer's order originated. When a customer is directed to your Web store by clicking a link on an affiliate's site, it tracks that customer from start to finish and will log information indicating which affiliate referred the customer to your site. It is also compatible with numerous enhanced affiliate services to calculate affiliate commissions, allow affiliate to log in and view their referral history, and automate the process of signing up affiliates

Frequent Shopper Points Tracking

PGD Shopping Cart can track shopper points assigned to products and provide a summary of an order's total frequent shopper points. This allows customers to accumulate credit or points toward some future reward or incentive.

Design and Customization

PDG Software's solutions can be easily integrated into an existing website, or can be used to dynamically generate an entire storefront. Merchants can quickly download or create “Skins”, which are packages that can contain templates, graphical buttons, and style sheets. With Skins, you can quickly change the entire look and layout of your webstore. PDG Shopping Cart's Store Builder also generates customized store pages “on the go”, each designed to conform to the look-and-feel of your website.

In addition to your product catalog, you can also have pages with contact information and any other information you would like. The Store Builder feature is typically in place for merchants who want a quick and maintenance-free integration that will not require changes to Web pages as products are added and removed from their store. Navigation menus, company logos, backgrounds, fonts, CS sheets and more can be utilized on all dynamically generated pages to effortlessly blend the software into your website.

Powerful Product Search

Customers may search for products based on information you provide for each individual product. It can search the product's name, keywords field, and up to 10 “user defined” fields. In addition to standard keyword searches, the search feature also supports Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT), quoted strings, and allows for search within a specific product category and within a specific price range (greater than, less than, or equal to a particular price or within a specified range).

Multiple Product Selection for Customers

In instances where multiple products are listed on a single page, the shopping cart allows customers to add quantities of multiple items to their checkout bin with a single click instead of selecting each item individually and continuously clicking their “back” button.

Multiple Option Selection for Customers

For products with numerous options, users may add quantities of several variations from a single-page- without having to click back to the product each time; e.g., your customer could order two of the same shirts in both yellow and red without having to add them individually to the cart.

Shared Options

PDG Shopping Cart allows merchants to apply universal options for a set of products to prevent repetitive data entry. For products that have similar options, with only a few minor changes, the option can be copied to all products so that only the fields that change require entry. This feature prevents you from having to create a new set of options for each individual product.

Importing and Exporting Product Information

You can import and/or export product information directly from the Merchant Administrator. When importing, you can choose to completely update your current product database, just import new products, or modify existing product definitions.

Maximums and Minimums per Product

You can specify a minimum or maximum quantity allowed for the purchase of an item, on a per item basis. If you have a promotional special, use this feature to limit the purchase of that item to a certain number of units.

Rich HTML Emails

PDG Shopping Cart offers you the ability to send Emails in HTML designed templates. The HTML Email templates work just like the other PDG Shopping Cart templates. You can control the complete look of your customer and vendor notification emails, including complete control of any table layout as well as what specific information is included in each email.

Soft goods and Digital Files Support

If you want to sell downloadable electronic files such as e-books, software, or movies in your store, then the PDG Shopping Cart’s soft goods feature is designed just for you! Merchants can control how long user downloads are available and how many times the customer may download.

Sales Tax

PDG Shopping Cart allows you to set up multiple tax rules to accommodate customers in numerous jurisdictions (counties, city, ZIP code, state/province, and country). Users may specify the tax percentage, a taxable price for each product, the sales tax label and whether shipping and handling charges should be taxed to accommodate tax requirements that may vary from state to state.

Customized Zones for Sales Tax and Shipping

You can also specify ‘Zones' for your sales tax and shipping rules, in addition to setting these rules up by country, state, province, and postal code. You define each of your Zones as groups of countries, states, provinces, or postal codes, and then specify your sales tax and shipping rules to them.

Other Integrated Services and Features 

With PDG Software, you can choose between numerous real-time credit card and check processing gateways (including Intuit Payments/QuickBooks Merchant Services or other gateways, such as Authorize.net), set up real-time shipping options for UPS, USPS and FedEx rate calculation, sell digital downloads/electronic soft goods securely in real-time, suggestively recommend other products (up-selling and cross-selling) and much more. So there is no need to buy extraneous “modules” or “plug-ins when you have the PDG shopping cart with you.

Compatibility with the UPS Online® Tools and USPS Web Tools

All PDG Software products include UPS Online® Tracking and UPS Online® Rates & Service Selection Tools. You can setup the shopping cart to have dialogues with the UPS website that provide your customers with real-time shipping costs for all shipping services offered by UPS. Also, integration with the UPS Ship API allows you to obtain accurate rates for shipments with a variety of options, including non-standard package dimensions, different package pick-up options, Saturday delivery, and more.

It also offers merchants the ability to utilize US Postal System's Web Tools through which, real-time rate quotes can be provided for individual services, or you can offer your customers the option of viewing a comparison of all available services.

Technical Support

PDG's in-house development and technical support staff are consistently recognized and praised as the best. They offer 90-Days of unlimited toll-free technical support with most purchases from PDG Software, including assistance with performing the set-up of the QuickBooks and QuickBooks Point of Sale integration, basic settings within the software and incorporating your preferred design into the software.

Pricing

PDG Software's solutions were designed to accommodate the needs of any size business, with affordable pricing for lifetime licenses. Pricing for PDG Commerce ranges from $599.00-1,799.00 and includes a lifetime license to operate the software, comprehensive integration, technical support assistance and many features found only within PDG Software products.

It is available in the following Packages:

  • Commerce V5 Lite costing $599
  • Commerce V5 Pro costing $999
  • Commerce V5 Gold costing $1399
  • Commerce V5 Platinum costing $1799

PDG also offers a 30-day fully functional, no costs evaluation of PDG Commerce. To make the process easier, PDG also offers free installation of the software and evaluation license. PDG Software’s customer support is available during the free evaluation, as well as after the purchase has been completed.

Conclusion

As a standalone shopping cart solution, PDG Commerce is a very well-rounded package and it is search engine friendly which is a great bonus. Its out-of-box status and the fact that there are no monthly fees (aside from running it on your own server or getting hosting) are sure to please many web developers and business owners. However, it should be noted that it may be difficult for beginners to use this cart because of its out-of-the-box status. You may want to get a professional company to build your cart if you are not that familiar with web design and development.

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