iMergent Releases Version 5.0 of its StoresOnline Pro Software
by Heather Stewart
iMergent has released an “immensely upgraded” version of its StoresOnline Pro software, which some entrepreneurs in Utah have successfully used to create e-commerce Web sites. The upgrade is intended to make the software more user friendly and to offer a greater variety of design options.
“The vastly improved version of the StoresOnline Pro e-commerce software platform has been developed over the course of the past decade and now makes us even more competitive with higher-priced builders,” said StoresOnline President Brandon Lewis in a prepared statement.
Last year, the Texas Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against iMergent, claiming the company’s sales practices were fraudulent and that customers did not get the technical assistance they were promised, among other things. iMergent settled the lawsuit in November 2005 for about $450,000 without admitting guilt.
The company hosts free preview seminars in cities across the country that encourage people to attend a workshop. After attending the two-day training workshop, customers purchase a CD-ROM, which contains the StoresOnline Pro software license, a password and instructions allowing access to the company’s Web site, where all of the necessary software programs and tools to build an e-commerce site are located.
iMergent also offers Web site design and setup services for an additional charge. Customers can pay to have iMergent host the Web site on its server, or can host the site with another service.
Travis Klinger used the StoresOnline training and software to create several Web sites to sell goji berry plants and goji products. Klinger attended the two-day workshop and purchased the software before building his first site: www.timpanogosnursery.com.
“I felt kind of abandoned at first. They dumped so much information on us and we were expected to just go home and read it. It was a little bit overwhelming,” Klinger said. Looking back on the experience, Klinger said it was invaluable because now he has the ability to fix or alter any of his six Web sites without needing to pay a Web designer.
Park City resident Jerry Agee said his experience with iMergent has been positive. “They didn’t just sell me the package and disappear,” he said.
Agee attended a StoresOnline seminar in Los Angeles, where he purchased the software package. He initially created a Web site to sell low-carb products, but “the industry went away.” Now, he operates www.humanbeingproductions.com, which offers business development coaching and video equipment rentals, among other things.
Agee said the training workshop was “fantastic.” While he needed some technical assistance from StoresOnline to set up his first Web site, he was able to create his second site using the software on his own.
According to iMergent, the software upgrade offers user-friendly “drag and drop” features. It will allow merchants to research the sales potential of products; develop marketing strategies; build an e-commerce site to match the company’s theme and style; set up and run multiple merchant accounts; and host blogs. In addition, the company is offering 24-hour customer service help for the merchants.
The software release comes after a six-month delay in the filing of iMergent’s 2005 year-end report for the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company initiated a review of the way it reports revenue in the summer of 2005, leading to a revision of its financial statements from fiscal year 2002 forward. iMergent faced delisting from the American Stock Exchange for the delayed filings, but was able to release new earnings reports before AMEX took final action.
iMergent is currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance. The company has not commented on the reason for the investigation.
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