Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an eCommerce website that looked like you spent $10,000 on it…yet only spend a hundredth of that?
The topic of eCommerce is increasingly relevant, and luckily, with its incredible growth, the process of owning and running a web store is becoming ever easier, with hosted DIY shopping carts eliminating some of the steps of getting started.
About a year ago we took a look at MadeFreshly, a ridiculously easy-to-use hosted shopping cart. It’s been a year since then, and I’m delighted to see that the MadeFreshly team has made several great improvements in that time.
#1 Ease of Use
Excellent user experience. MadeFreshly is definitely one the most intuitive eCommerce website builders I ever tested. It provides uncluttered interface, easy-to-use, inspiring editing environment and clear understanding of your site structure. Each option feels in reach. There are six basic sections each hiding more options. These sections are Dashboard, Orders, Products, Design, Marketing and Settings. It’s impossible to get lost there.
But benefits are never the full story. Similar to Pixpa, MadeFreshly supports neither WYSIWYG nor drag-and-drop when it comes to design settings. Such things like fonts, logo, colors, background image etc are configured through the control panel. In other words, you can’t see the preview of your changes on the same page. Neither can you see the preview in a new browser window. You have to save and publish changes first. Trial and error may be required to get the desired look.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Built with small business in mind, MadeFreshly offers a decent eCommerce feature set for creating web stores offering up to 500 products.
Products and categories. You can easily add and manage your products and categories, change product status from Live and Coming soon to Sold out and Hidden, turn on inventory tracking, add product options (size, color etc.), advanced description, duplicate products, select shipping type and more.
Orders. MadeFreshly lets you effectively monitor your orders. You can filter them by date and order status.
Promotion. MadeFreshly has a very impressive promo platform. If used wisely, it can help you improve your conversion rate. With just a few clicks you can create a discount (code-free or requiring promo codes), schedule the discount activation as well as set its expiration date. There are four discount types to choose from: Free shipping, Amount off, Buy ‘X’ Get ‘X’ Free, and Percentage off. You can also set discount rules, for instance ‘minimum price needed to activate discount’.
MadeFreshly supports four payment processors: PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net and Braintree.
There are 9 templates. They are all neat and modern. For my liking, they are very good. The bad news is that MadeFreshly severely restricts template customization. At best, you can change the background, add logo, favicon and adjust fonts.
For savvy users, there’s an advanced HTML editor. It is only available to Premium users.
#4 Customer Support
MadeFreshly offers live chat and email support directly through the control panel. It is VERY fast. It took them 2 minutes to answer my question online. Great job!
Their knowledge base isn’t extensive, since the builder itself is very simple.
MadeFreshly Test Website
#5 Pricing Policy
MadeFreshly has a free version that you can use as long you need – it never expires. Though it comes with many restrictions, it offers enough tools to put up a modern, effective web store. To get a more professional look (add a custom domain and get rid of the ad in the footer), you need to purchase a paid package. Your choice will mainly depend on the number of products you’re going to display. The lowest price version is $11.99 and lets you sell up to 30 products. The most expensive package lets you manage up to 500 products. For more details go to their Pricing page.
Limited number of products and pages. Design customization is inconvenient.
MadeFreshly Review: Conclusion
MadeFreshly is a lightweight shopping cart that was developed for small and medium businesses which plan to display and sell up to 500 products. As I see it, it’s a perfect solution for creative professionals who want to get their own website, with their own professional looking domain name and logotype.
The introductory video of MadeFreshly:
It’s a simple solution for small businesses who want to get their products online in short order at affordable price. For complex stores there are more sophisticated eCommerce platforms, such as Volusion, Shopify or uCoz E-Shop.