1&1 eShop review
Several web hosts offer an e-commerce solution as an extra service in their hosting package – at an additional cost. These are normally web-based and enable you to select from a variety of templates for your design. The next step is that you either manually enter the product information one item at a time or you can import a batch of data from something such as a CSV or XML file. In this feature we’ve chosen 1&1’s offering, called eShop.
The first thing you’ll notice when using eShop, which is entirely web-based, is its sheer comprehensiveness. For example, it allows customised shipping calculations and has a full order-tracking capability.
Setting up your shop is a simple six-step wizard, after which you have the more laborious job of entering all your products. The options for payment methods are limited but adequate, with PayPal, Protx and WorldPay being offered as IPSPs, plus invoice and payment on delivery options. There’s also a comprehensive set of options for configuring shipping, which should cover all but the most complicated scenarios.
Yet another useful feature is that you can preview your online shop before you “publish” it to the live area, so hopefully you’ll catch any errors. The end result won’t be to everyone’s taste though – it would be nice to have more control over the design and the words used on the site.
1&1 also provides several marketing tools to help with the promotion of your store, such as promotional techniques including search-engine optimisation, Google AdWords tracking and building a Google sitemap for your site.
Our main criticism is that it’s labour-intensive. Clicking between multiple screens to set things up and maintaining the shop seems old-fashioned. That criticism aside, 1&1 eShop offers a very good route to having you own web shop, and at prices from £5 exc VAT a month, it’s an inexpensive route to making money on the internet.