I have always placed great value on flexibility. Unfortunately when it comes to e-commence platforms, flexibility (especially with regards to the cart, checkout & payment process), is often something sorely lacking. I’ve found many SAAS platforms operate on a rather rigid cookie-cutter approach (everything engineered to work and function only their way) leaving one with little leeway to adapt to the specific needs of a business. As we all know, there are many unique and unusual businesses out there and oftentimes it’s handy, or even necessary, to be able to tailor a site’s functionality to an entity’s specific business model. This is where Lemonstand shines! To a very respectable degree the Lemonstand platform allows for the ability to customize and fine-tune a significant portion of the platform’s front-end functionality.
Like many other cloud-based e-commerce platforms out there, Lemonstand offers up a number of starter themes which provides one with all the essential elements to get a web store up and running quickly. Despite being highly functional, many of their themes may initially feel a bit lackluster. However, this is likely intentional - in the assumption that most of their clients will be taking advantage of what Lemonstand offers best - that aforementioned flexibility! You see, once one is fluent enough in their system, and the underlying TWIG templating engine, you’ll find its possible to do a lot to tweak a theme and hone how a site looks and behaves! In that way, developing with Lemonstand feels like a breath of fresh air.
From what I've gleaned, Lemonstand began life as a downloadable self-hosted e-commerce solution, but as is the trend in recent years, they have since migrated to a modern cloud-hosted system. Cloud-hosted platforms do offer several clear advantages, such as: ensuring all user/accounts are running off of the most recent and updated versions of their software, ease of update deployment (issues involving varying server configs are removed from the equation), security monitoring, and a host of other advantages.
Financially, new businesses or start-ups can ease in through a comparatively modest fixed/known pricing plan. The combination of fixed pricing tiers, with no bandwidth fees, no storage fees, and no gateway fees (beyond what the gateways themselves charge) goes a long way toward making things more manageable for young startups or small businesses operating on limited budgets. Lemonstand does have (as of late 2015) a cap of the number of orders per month, above which it is recommended to bump to the next existing plan. However, these plan caps appear to be scaled so that they should easily be offset though the higher sales volumes within the caps.
Overall, the Lemonstand cloud-hosted platform has proven extremely versatile and reliable. As an account holder, I have not yet experienced any system downtime. As a store owner, feedback from shoppers has been very positive with regards to their shopping and checkout experiences. Service wise, dealing with customer support has been very good. Overall, responses to applicable service requests have been met with knowledgable replies by staff members who clearly know their product and were willing to help. In general, I feel Lemonstand is offering a top quality product and service that one can be confident to only to improve over time!