Why We Built Comecero

We've been doing e-commerce for a long time.

Not long after computers started showing up in people's homes, geeks started creating handy little programs to make the computers more useful. Word processors, games, personal accounting, contact managers, databases and more. Some turned into huge commercial successes. Most continued as hobby projects, traded among computer enthusiasts through computer clubs, magazines and friend to friend.

In an attempt to generate a little revenue to support the ongoing development of these programs, some developers started introducing limitations into the products. The free version was typically limited in some way - either missing features or a limit on how long you could use it. If you wanted full access, you were prompted to mail a check to the author who would in turn mail you a code that could be entered to remove the program's limitations.

It all probably sounds familiar because this concept became the basis for how the vast majority of software is sold today. Try it, like it, buy it.

In the days of "buy now in one click" and "tap to buy", it's hard to imagine writing a check, stuffing it in an envelope, sending it across the country (or world) and hoping that within a few weeks a magic code would show up in your mailbox so you could carry on with whatever you were trying to do. The friction was high; of course, all but the most committed didn't buy - even if they wanted to.

In the early and mid 90s, a handful of people ventured out to solve this "problem". The web was growing fast - could an online service be built to allow a software developer to distribute products online by download with an easy way to instantly unlock the full version with a credit card? A mini-industry was born.

Still in college, this was the industry that got me involved in online commerce. My partners in Comecero tell a similar story - each of us competing in a rapidly growing industry working hard to improve our service and technology to attract software developers to sell their wares through our services.

At first, the problem we tried to solve was simple, although not necessarily easy: A way to have someone make payment through a website and then download a full version or registration code. As the industry grew, the needs became more complex. Customized order forms to match the developer's website. Multiple currencies and language localization. Fraud controls. Promotions & merchandising rules. Taxes. New payment methods. Analytics. Affiliates. Our customers were pushing us to move fast, and the industry worked hard to keep up, massively growing our technology platforms to deliver new functionality.

At first, most of our customers were asking for the same features. In time, our customers started to evolve from the proverbial guy in the garage to real (but still small) businesses, and finally into full blown software companies with teams of developers, accountants, marketers and managers. The requests for customization became increasingly diverse, unique, specific and niche. Our platforms were serving thousands of different companies and it was becoming difficult to wedge features in, especially when many of the features would only be used by a single customer.

Our customers were capable and technically savvy. It wasn't that their requests were difficult or unreasonable, but the way our platforms were built, it was hard to accommodate them all. Some ventured out to build their own solutions from the ground up, a massive undertaking - something they didn't want to do. Others used countless hacks and workarounds to try to make things work the way they needed. Others just went without.

There had to be a better way.

Comecero was built from the ground up with a primary purpose in mind: to provide businesses with a completely custom ecommerce solution without having to start from scratch. This is how we’ve done it.

Everything we do at Comecero starts with an API. For the non-nerds, what this means is everything Comecero offers can be mixed, re-mixed, customized, tweaked, changed, flipped around and integrated to meet your exact requirements. The API handles the complexities of commerce in the background for you so you can focus on your products, customer experience and unique business requirements.

On top of the API, we’ve developed a powerful set of open source tools, such as shopping carts, administrative control panels and customer management portals. These tools are highly customizable and are ready-to-use. They come packed with features, including easy customization in design and are multi-currency, multi-language, mobile ready and high performance. With just a few mouse clicks, you’ll be in business.

Because our tools are open source, they can be downloaded, extended, modified and re-launched to meet your exact specifications. If you have your own designers or developers, you’ll be impressed how rapidly they can implement your changes. These applications are remarkably simple to work with, even for the novice HTML jockey. And you’re not just working with a theme or template, you have full control. If you can dream it, you can do it.

And best of all, if you’re not prepared to cut a little code yourself – Comecero is ready to do it for you. Deploying custom code (we call them “apps”) on Comecero is built into our design so it can be done more quickly and with less expense than other options. Store builders and design agencies can build to suit with remarkable ease.

To keep things simple, we provide a secure, robust and PCI-compliant environment to host your custom applications. This gives you the best of both worlds: freedom to craft the solution your business needs without the burden of ongoing maintenance and compliance. We’ll keep your critical systems online, safe, and secure while you focus on growing a great business.

We give you access to the data necessary to make intelligent decisions. Have a great idea for an offer, promotion, shopping cart flow or landing page offer? Great – put it together and launch it. We’ll measure the performance and close rates of each change you make so you can sort the winners from the losers. We’ll even firehose this data into your Google Analytics account, turning it into a rich and powerful financial command center.

We know there’s a lot to consider and we don’t want to overwhelm you with details. You’re making a commitment to a critical part of your business. What we hope to convey is that Comecero is prepared to be your partner for the long haul. And we’re not just saying it – we believe our approach proves it. By choosing Comecero, you can rest assured that we’re ready to meet your needs both today and into the long and prosperous future.

You may think all of this comes with an extraordinarily high price tag. We’ve developed our platform with you in mind. Our pricing plans are simple, transparent and affordable for the mom ‘n pop and enterprise alike.

If you’ve found yourself considering building something from scratch, bouncing between providers and platforms and can’t find one that meets your needs – it’s time to take a closer look at Comecero. Get in touch with us and let's see how we can help.

David Halls
David Halls

Founder of Comecero, has been involved in e-commerce and technology for nearly two decades. A lover of technology, photography, travel & family.