Loaded Commerce Series 7
Series 7 Core (the free n basic version) was recently released as a 'stable' product. To a certain extent it achieves this degree of stability because nearly half its add-on functionality is still being written.
For example, several modules that are included in the 6.5.x CE (free) version have their Series 7 equivalents projected for completion mid 2014. See the projected list here:
A quick review then of what Series 7 Core will bring to the table:
- Mobile responsive template - a must for 2013 - now you can sell stuff from a smaller screen
- Stronger code framework; using vQmod (as per OpenCart) - so it'll be extensible without breaking the core code
- Full online documentation for user, developer and template maker. Work has started on this at a high level. This is really good and a real change from the limited documentation provided by the company for series 6.
- The default template's checkout area is not easy to use, cluttered and needs some UX designer time
- The Admin is full of screen bling and limited functionality in some add-ons than in their 6.5.x counterparts
(eg USPS shipping module has no additional services configurable; basic text editor for products compared to the CK editor in 6.5.x)
- Some poor features that still don't work have been brought across from series 6 (eg Product Notifications)
- Some simple procedures have been made harder due to the Admin menus design, eg setting up Tax Rates, forum discussion here: http://loaded7.com/community/forums/topic/tax-setup/
I think it's a good start but there's just not enough on the bones to make it an easy to use product yet with good functionality, especially in comparison to a number of other free options, including prestashop and opencart.