August 5, 2010, 5:15 PM

ProStores goes for a more user-friendly e-commerce platform

The new ProStores 10 lets merchandisers modify page layouts without altering software code.

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ProStores, which caters to retailers doing from about $250,000 to $5 million in web sales, launched an upgraded version of its e-commerce platform this week with site design features designed to make it easier for merchants to modify merchandising and advertising displays.

“We’re providing a more contemporary look and feel,” says Lin Shearer, head of marketing and revenue for ProStores.  “And we’re focusing on two key areas: Helping retailers convert more shoppers to buyers and increase average order value, and helping retailers save time.”

ProStores 10 has introduced several new features for customizing web pages, managing promotions, order and invoice management, product catalog management, and integrating with products listings on eBay.com. ProStores is a unit of eBay Inc.

ProStores is emphasizing Page Builder, a page customization tool, as one of the major features of its platform. Page Builder enables site operators to drag and drop content onto a web page without HTML or other software coding, providing product images and details, including information on whether items are in stock. Page Builder also lets merchants display multiple advertising banners, either simultaneously or in a rotation sequence, while making the ads display automatically according to scheduled promotions.

“The highlight of this is the flexibility of the platform for people who are not tech-savvy, but if a web designer knows software code, they can embed video, Flash, etc.,” Shearer says.

New order management and invoice adjustment features enable customer service reps to locate and modify orders and invoices to satisfy customer requests.

ProStores 10 is available in two versions. The Professional Basic version costs $29.95 per month plus a per-transaction fee equal to 0.5% of purchase value. The higher-end Professional Plus version has the same per-transaction fee and a monthly fee of $59.95. The latter version comes with unlimited data storage and the capability of processing wholesale as well as retail orders.

The ProStores e-commerce platform, which the company says is used by more than 35,000 merchants, stems from the former StoreSense e-commerce platform that eBay acquired in 2005 from Kurant Corp.

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