In today’s tech oriented lifestyle, we assume that internet is the lifeline for almost every kind of business. We all use internet for different activities. Every single company who wishes to introduce their stuff over a large group of customers, does it through internet. Some 10 years back, most of the online buyers & sellers were probably not aware of the system working behind internet. It is E-commerce. It won’t be wrong if we say that ecommerce is the right arm of internet while shopping cart being the soul of ecommerce on the other hand.
A Shopping cart is a web based software which lets buyers to purchase different products from internet. It provides a catalog of different items containing their details such as product information, pricing. You can select any/all of the items, pay the required amount through online payment systems such as Paypal, Google Checkout, Credit cards etc. The item(s) ordered by you reaches you in the specified amount of time. In this way, a shopping cart removes several limitations & allows the buyers to choose from a much larger variety of products irrespective of their geographical location.
Similar to the above process, sellers can sell their products online with shopping cart. Shopping cart allows them to run online stores & hence they can target their products to a much larger audience with no restrictions of land or place.
Today we will be reviewing some of the most popular & highly usable open source as well as affordable shopping cart softwares that can be put to use on your website within no time. Following is the data of some of the shopping carts:
1. Interspire: It is a new breed of ecommerce software, as the company says it. According to the company, the Interspire shopping cart is designed while keeping the store owner in mind. It is loaded with tons of useful features & provides a fully customizable interface in both front as well as back ends, requiring no HTML or server side editing at all. Some features of the control panel are Ajax based which further enhance the layout & ease of use, while simultaneously decreasing the time it takes to reload the pages when you will be working with your online store.
Interspire comes integrated with some of the popular payment & shipping providers like PayPal, Google Checkout, VISA, MasterCard etc. This online shopping cart also has built-in tools for marketing & business intelligence such as Google Adwords, Email Marketer & Traffic Analysis tools providing every update about the new visitors through maps, charts & graphs.
Features at a Glance
- PHP/MySQL Based
- Beautiful Store Designs
- Drag & drop design mode
- Easy Shipping & Payment method
- Built-In Inventory Tracking
- Sell Physical & Digital Items
- Extensive Use of AJAX
Price: $295 / single license (Starter Edition)
2. CS-Cart: It is another online Shopping Cart software which is also PHP/ MySQL based. The code of CS-Cart is highly optimized to handle big stores comprising a large array of products.
The layout of CS-Cart is based on the PHP Smarty Template Engine that allows changing the look-and-feel of the store in the least possible time. CS-Cart comes fully integrated with more than 50 payment service providers including the popular ones like PayPal, Google Checkout, 2CO, HSBC etc.
Some salient features of this Shopping Cart software:
- Extensive Use of AJAX
- One-Page Checkout – Fast & User Friendly
- Automatic Inventory Tracking
- Online Promotion Options: Includes Bonuses, gifts once the customer fulfills your defined criteria.
- Gift Certificates
- Return Mania
- Affiliate System
- Flexible Tax Rate
- Gift Registry
- Integrated with a number of overseas courier services like DHL, US Postal Service, DHL, Intershipper etc.
Price: $265 / single license
3. SunShop: is another easy-to-use online shopping cart system that is easily installable & configurable over a web browser & has all the features of a common shopping cart. Sunshop is supported by all major platforms such as Unix, Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, MacOS X, Sun OS etc. It is also compatible with various online money transfer & shipping services such as Paypal, Google CheckOut, Real-time USPS, UPS, Australia Post, InterShipper, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post. Another notable point in Sunshop is that 98% of its code is open source based, which means regular updates & bug fixes.
Price: $249.99 / single license
4. Zen Cart: It is an open source shopping cart system which is freely distributed under the GNU General Public License. It offers a powerful set of ecommerce solution while simultaneously preserving the user friendiness. Zen Cart supports a large array of features, including multiple payment, shipping & tax options. It allows configuring virtually unlimited number of products in different currencies & languages.
5. X-CART: It is another PHP/MySQL based ecommerce shopping cart solution that focuses on providing “optimal solution for most ecommerce projects”. According to the company that sells this ecommerce solution, most of the shopping cart softwares available so far do not fit in some or the other requirements. As such, there is no universal ecommerce shopping system that can fulfil every requirement of every online business owner. X-Cart is said to overcome this difficulty by a flexible & easy to use/ modify ecommerce system.
- PHP/MySQL Based.
- Template System is based on PHP Smarty Templates.
- W3C XHTML 1.0 compliance
- Easily customizable source code
- Easy Web-Based Installation
It is compatible with PayPal, Google CheckOut, 2CO, UPS Ready, FedEx, WorldPay, DHL, Canada Post, Australia Post, United States Postal Service, Intershipper.
Price: $229.00 / single license
6. Lite Commerce: is another PHP/MySQL based shopping cart that offers scalable ecommerce solutions for store owners, designers & web developers as well. It has an extensive list of available add-ons, many of which are open source based & free. Lite Commerce ecommerce solution is suitable to support high-end ecommerce solutions.
Some Salient Features:
- Web Based Administrative Interface
- Built-In Administrative Features
- Built-In Template Editor
- Editable Cart Look in HTML
- Downloadable Templates – For modification at your local system using WYSIWYG editors like dreamweaver.
- 97% kernel code in open source
- Open Source Add-On Support
- Robust Object Oriented Code
- Cryptographic Data Protection
- SSL Encryption
- Template Code Wrapping
Price: $166.00 / single license.
7. Magento: Magento is a free, open source ecommerce solution which was judged as “The Best New Open Source Project” at the 2008 Sourceforge Community Choice Awards Winners.The ecommerce solution offered by Magento clearly reflect the edge of open source products over the features services offered by other licensed softwares.
- Product Comparisons & Reviews
- Allows controlling multiple websites from a single Administration menu with the ability to restrict the information access.
- Easy Integration with third party Applications using the Web Services API.
- One Click Upgrades
- Multiple Currency support
- Flexible Pricing rules with coupons
- Shipping to multiple addresses in one order
- Multiple Images per product/ Zoom-In Capability
- Over 50 Payment Extensions.
8. Pinnacle Cart: Is another PHP Based Shopping Cart that has a high focus on Search Engine Marketting & User Interface, alongwith the other features. It runs on UNIX, Linux or FreeBSD platforms, however not supported by Windows presently.
Web Based Admin
Easy-To-Use, customizable product pages with WYSIWYG Editors
One Page Checkout
Easily customizable discount coupons/packages
Search Engine Friendly URL
Auto site Map Generation
Batch Image Uploading
Import Products from any database/ text file
Large Payment/Shipping Gateway Support