Yo!Kart is a software platform for multi-vendor stores. It allows someone to start a store where others can sell products in it. In exchange, the store owner gets a commision for each purchase.
Starting a multi-vendor store from scratch is a huge, costly undertaking. Yo!Kart has simplified the process and created the software for it. It allows startups to get up and running within a day, rather than several months or years.
Yo!Kart is developed by FATbit Technologies. They’ve been in business since 2004 and offer a wide variety of products and services. Their other products are also specialty products, like Yo!Kart, and focus on niches. Their services range from design and development to SEO and marketing. As a result, Yo!Kart is likely to be well supported into the future.
While exploring Yo!Kart, I was surprised how complete and feature rich it is. Just some of the features include:
- Multi-vendor, plus the option for vendors to have their own sub store
- Single checkout, even for a cart that has products from different vendors
- Automated order splitting between different vendors.
- Custom product fields, attributes, and filters
- Major payment gateways, along with the ability add custom payment gateways
- Fine-grained control over commissions, including per-product custom commission
- Configurable shipping
- Notification system, both emailing and site messaging
- Product review system
- Admin approval and management of all aspects of the site
- Excellent reporting system (e.g. sales, products, commission, users, etc)
- Built-in affiliate system
- User referral and reward points
- The ability to add custom pages
- FAQ management
- Discount management
- Easy to use email templates, along with customization tokens
- Site-wide SSL
- Database Backup & Restore
- Live chat integration with a third-party of your choice
And these aren’t all of the features. I just highlighted the significant ones that stood out to me. I was pleasantly surprised how complete of a product it is. And it’s not as if they just threw in a bunch of features. Everything was easy to use, understandable, and well thought out. Which brings me to ...
The User Experience and Design
Pleasant. That word sums up my initial experience with Yo!Kart.
Granted, I just took it out for a test drive and haven’t gotten a lot of usage with it, but the first experience was pleasant. I’ve seen a lot of bad design (both UX and visually), but Yo!Kart seems to have the best of both worlds.
It was easy to navigate, understandable, and simple to use, while the design was aesthetically pleasing and had an elegant feel to it. Wholistically, it displayed a lot of information to the user, yet didn’t overwhelm me. It hid the details from me until needed, at which point it was easy to drill down to the detail.
Here are two example. The side menu opened when click and expanded when a top category was selected:
Selecting category, vendor, and product for commissions was easy. I could start typing and it would filter the drop down:
All of it had a very modern, streamlined feel to it.
Yo!Kart’s team gets an “Excellent!” for their work.
Hosted version: $250/yr
Self-hosted version: $999
In my opinion, the price is a sweet deal for the user.
Developing something like Yo!Kart would be in the hundreds of thousands and at least a year to get right. Therefore, it seems like a small start-up cost and well worth the price tag.
Before this review, I was expecting to share a medium sized list of concerns. But, as you can see from my experience above, I really enjoyed Yo!Kart and am happy with it.
Yet, there is a primary drawback to Yo!Kart. It’s not Open Source.
The hosted version has vendor lock-in and doesn’t have a database export feature. The self-hosted version does have an export feature, but it also has partially encrypted code.
I did some digging, asking questions, and found out that the encrypted portion of their code is their proprietary framework that they use for their other products. They provide documentation of the functions built into the framework. An experienced programmer can use their framework API to modify and customize Yo!Kart.
Since it’s a framework and shouldn’t be modified anyway, I don’t mind it being encrypted for that reason. The issue arises though if the company were to fold, the code would go along with it (unless they open sourced it before folding).
Also, since the code is encrypted, it’s not entirely certain what it does and whether or not there might be privacy concerns. Although this is unlikely, it’s none-the-less still a possibility.
Yo!Kart is well designed, feature rich, and an excellent experience.
It would be a great choice for startups and small businesses, particularly for those:
- without a web development team
- and that don’t mind taking the risk of encrypted code and vendor lock-in
Even if you had a web development team, it would be hard to find a better all-around multi-vendor solution than Yo!Kart.
Over to You
Have you used Yo!Kart? What are your thoughts and experiences with it?