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SellerDeck 2013 review

An e-commerce software good enough to compete against cloud offerings

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Our Verdict

For

  • Edit and design while offline
  • Choice of hosts
  • Hundreds of tweakable features
  • Competitive price
  • Good base of designers and developers.

Against

  • Complicated navigation of help
  • Slow 12 month update cycle
  • Interface complicated for new user.

SellerDeck is the new name for Actinic Desktop, an e-commerce package with more than 16 years heritage, and one of the few remaining not to have moved fully to the cloud.

Unlike many an e-commerce package, SellerDeck 2013 loads on to a PC and once you're happy with the solution, you then upload the settings to the web; either to your own servers, an internet host that supports SellerDeck, or to its own hosting service.

The benefit of this hybrid offline system is you can tweak and retweak your website without the need for a web connection, and without disturbing the live system. In the past this was a real benefit, but with 4G and the internet available nearly everywhere the benefits are no longer significant. However, if you want to design your site mid-Atlantic and have the options of self-hosting then SellerDeck 2013 is your best solution.

Installing the software is a straightforward procedure and takes just a few minutes to complete. A nice touch on the installation is that SellerDeck 2013 installs independently to any previous versions, so you're not immediately thrown into the new version. Additionally the service can be installed on your own website or using SellerDeck's Trial Hosting service and can be swapped over at a later date should you change your mind.

Once installed you then have a wealth of different options that fit into three separate categories, products, site design and business settings.

SellerDeck flexible product catalogue
There's flexibility in building a product catalogue

The Business Settings part of SellerDeck gives you a bewildering number of choices to define the way your ecommerce system behaves, to you and the customer. It allows you to alter your sites payment and security methods, decide what tax is paid, create terms and conditions pages, create and edit discounts and payment methods, and alter the back-end order processing details.

There are hundreds of different options available and you can tweak the site to a degree that you'll never get on any of the mainstream cloud solutions. Although most of this part of the product was straightforward and simple to use, there were some categories that weren't easily understood, and many options that were inexplicably greyed out, and we found it wasn't always immediately obvious how to find out why this was.