GoDaddy is primarily known as a domain registrar. However, beyond registering and managing domain names they also offer a suite of tools to help beginners create their own websites. One of those tools is their e-commerce builder: GoCentral Online Store.
It’s designed to help beginner store owners get their sites up and running in under an hour. GoCentral Online Store is equipped with everything from inventory management to payment processing. Plus, it places a large focus on the mobile web, so your store will be able to meet potential customers where they’re at.
Below we take a look at what this e-commerce builder offers, and what kind of store owner it’s going to be best suited for.
- 1 Overall Features
- 2 Additional Add-Ons and Integrations
- 3 Mobile-First Use and Design
- 4 GoCentral Online Store Setup
- 5 Customizing Your Store’s Look
- 6 Hardware and Software
- 7 Payment Processing
- 8 3 Reasons to Use the GoCentral Online Store Builder
- 9 3 Reasons Not to Use the GoCentral Online Store Builder
- 10 In Closing
GoCentral’s e-commerce site builder is oriented towards beginners who want to build a site fast and start selling a handful of products. (Note though, that the platform has the capability to handle up to 1,500 products.) Even their feature set has been pared down so you’re left with only the essentials.
Below you’ll find a list of their most common features:
- Hosting and unlimited bandwidth are bundled
- Ability to list up to 1,500 products in your store
- Ability to ship anywhere in the world and calculate tax
- Create featured products
- Custom coupon codes for categories and cart totals
- Abandoned cart recovery option
- Smartphone-ready storefront
- A large selection of mobile-ready designs
- Credit card, PayPal, and Apple Pay are supported
- SSL certificate included.
This builder is equipped with basic SEO tools that let you optimize your pages and products for a better chance of ranking in the search engines. Their built-in optimizer will automatically scan your store and optimize it for Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This can be a huge time saver for those who don’t know the basics of search engine optimization.
Facebook can be a huge source for new customers for your business. This builder will automatically create a Facebook fan page, along with a buy now button to direct visitors back to your site. This is a big time saver. Of course, you’ll need to learn how to grow your fan page yourself.
There’s also the option to add Facebook sharing and other social media buttons to your site.
Email Marketing Integration
Finally, you’ll gain access to email marketing tools that will let you create custom emails for your list, based upon featured products from your store. With their email provider, you’ll be able to create, send, receive emails, and manage your list. It’s not as feature-heavy as other email marketing providers, but it’s a solid place to start.
Additional Add-Ons and Integrations
With this builder, you’re basically stuck with the existing set of features. There’s no app or plugin store that enables you to add more custom features to your site. However, there are a few extensions you might find valuable, which we highlight below:
- Google Analytics for site statistics and data
- Integration to your Etsy storefront
- Eventbrite integration to highlight live events
- Survey Monkey forms to gather information about your buyers.
Mobile-First Use and Design
The main focus of this e-commerce builder is an emphasis placed on the mobile web. For your customers there’s a streamlined mobile checkout that reduces any buyer friction and there’s Apple Pay integration for one-click payment. Your site will be responsive so it’ll look good and function across any device.
Finally, you can also make changes to your store and manage your inventory and orders right from your mobile phone. There’s no need to install any additional apps or software.
GoCentral Online Store Setup
Setting up your store is incredibly easy. Once you create an account you’ll be taken to their Getting Started Guide, which will walk you through the process step by step.
With the basics of your store setup, including your billing information and your preferred payment methods, you can start adding products to your store. This process is pretty straightforward and can be accessed from your admin navigation menu. You’ll be able to upload photos, enter your title and description, set prices, and change product variables.
The simplistic setup of their admin panel caters to beginners.
Customizing Your Store’s Look
You’ll have around 300 different templates you can choose from to build out your store. Most of them are industry specific, so you’ll end up with a professionally designed theme that’s targeted to your general market. The template you choose will also come pre-loaded with images and text blocks.
The editor is great for beginners and you’ll be able to change things like overall color scheme and font choice, add or delete widgets, insert your images, modify your header and footer, and add more pages to your site.
Currently, there’s no way to change the existing HTML and CSS of the site, so the overall customizations you can make will be limited.
Hardware and Software
To use this builder all you need is an up to date web browser, or smartphone. There’s no software you need to install to get your site up and running.
The two main methods for receiving payments from your customers will be through PayPal and Stipe. PayPal will be the default payment option from the start. Through Stripe you can also enable Apple Pay and set up credit card payments as well.
As with most transactions, there are built-in fees. For Stripe there’s a 2.9% + $.30 fee for every transaction, and for PayPal, you’ll have the same fee of 2.9% + $.30 per transaction.
3 Reasons to Use the GoCentral Online Store Builder
This beginner-friendly builder will help you launch your online store in the shortest amount of time possible. It might not have the right features to scale your store. But, it will be the right fit if you’re looking for any of the following.
Attractive Theme Selection
GoCentral Online Store offers over 300 different themes to choose from. If you’re not quite sure what you want your final store to look like, you’re guaranteed to find a theme that suits you. You can break down the theme selection process via categories, features, product types, and more. Plus, each theme is preloaded with relevant images and text blocks; you can keep the images if you like.
Intuitive and Easy to Use
GoCentral’s proposition, “start making sales in under an hour” definitely holds true. As soon as you sign up you’ll be directed to the theme editor, where you can start building your site. Just choose a theme, add your products, verify your payment method and you’re all set.
There’s even a mobile editor, so you can build your site and manage your inventory from your tablet or smartphone.
Dedicated and Helpful Support Staff
Finally, GoCentral Online Store has a very dedicated and helpful support team. The average wait time for phone support is under five minutes. You’ll find various support channels like phone support and live chat, along with their existing knowledge base and community forum. There’s even a dedicated support page for questions related to building out your online store.
3 Reasons Not to Use the GoCentral Online Store Builder
The GoCentral Online Store builder won’t be the perfect fit for every kind of store owner. They do a great job catering to the entry-level market but there are some limitations, as you’ll see below.
Customization Options Can Be Limited
The store template you end up choosing can be customized. For example, you can do things like add pages, change site colors and fonts, and even add various widgets. This style of setup is great for beginners, but more experienced site builders might find the customization options lacking. Overall, the theme you choose will end up looking very similar to the theme template, which can either be advantageous or disadvantageous.
Unable to Switch Out Themes
To continue with theme customization, one you pick a theme you’ll be locked into that theme. You can change out your existing theme for a new one, but you’ll lose any customizations you’ve made. This can be a huge headache if you do ever want to switch, or upgrade, your store’s theme.
Difficult to Build a Large-Scale E-commerce Store
This e-commerce builder is perfect for small-scale stores. However, if you’re trying to build something completely custom and demand a variety of features, then this isn’t the builder to help you get there. For example, you won’t be able to integrate with your own email marketing software, there are limited with payment gateways, the current number of integrations is almost nonexistent, and your customization options are limited.
Overall, this is a high-quality builder that’s geared towards the beginner market. If you’ve been selling products via Etsy or another marketplace and want to make the jump to running your own e-commerce store, then this would be a great option. Especially, if you have little to no technical knowledge.
Users looking to build a more advanced e-commerce store might want to look elsewhere. It’s perfect for speed and a up to 1,500 products, but if you demand advanced features and in-depth customization options, then this builder isn’t for you.