The best shopping cart software can provide a seamless online shopping experience for customers, allowing them to order and pay for products directly from your website.
Shopping cart software is therefore essential when it comes to selling online, and is often a shorthand term for an e-commerce platform. However, there are a number of key choices you can make – set it all up yourself or pay for a ready-made solution. This guide will include both.
If you want to set up your own shopping cart software, you will need e-commerce web hosting to be able to manage your shopping website and be sure to add a credit card processing option to accept online payments. It’s not necessarily as hard as it sounds if you already have some experience working with websites and online servers.
However, many people will almost certainly prefer an out-of-the-box solution where everything is already provided. The positive, of course, is that everything is already set up for you to use. The trade-off is of course that it will definitely cost you more in the long run than if you were running your own site.
Even still, out-of-the-box solutions are a good way to try out e-commerce in the first place, without much financial outlay or risk.
So we will introduce some of the best shopping cart software to help you make decisions easier.
Shopify is a shopping cart solution originally developed in Canada. The initial concept for the business came from two young men who were looking to sell their snowboards online. Dissatisfied with the options offered at the time, Shopify was born. The platform has been widely praised for being code-free and indeed requires no knowledge of website coding to set up and use.
Shopify accepts all major credit cards and provides a fast checkout process through its own Shopify Pay or through Apple Pay. If you have your own payment gateway, Shopify works seamlessly with over 100 of the major players like Sage Payments and PayPal. Shopify Payments costs 2.9% to 2.4%, depending on the plan chosen, with additional transaction fees on top.
The software is currently available in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Ireland. Basic subscribers can upload any number of products, but Shopify only allows two employee accounts for store management.
Shopaccino offers some of the most versatile shopping cart software available today. The range of payment methods available is very versatile and includes VISA, Mastercard, PayPal, COD (cash on delivery) and bank transfer. The excellent interface can also calculate transaction tax automatically.
Shopaccino has an integrated shipping management module, which allows you to define the areas where your store can deliver and manage shipping costs. If your online store offers free shipping, the module can also implement it. Customers can also create a virtual “wish list” for products they might want in the future.
The store interface is simple and easy to use, allowing merchants to upload images and product information without any hassle. There are even Android and iOS versions of the software to let you manage products on the fly. Shopaccino also offers online support.
The software is free for 14 days after which you will need to subscribe to one of their paid plans. These vary depending on the amount of resources and number of users you need, and the range of features you require.
Ecwid promises to be the easy-to-add shopping cart solution that’s “as easy as adding a YouTube video.” It’s designed to be added to a variety of platforms, including WordPress, Weebly, Instagram, and Facebook sites. It is hugely popular with over 1.5 million sellers in 175 countries.
Ecwid supports over 50 languages and interfaces with over 40 payment gateways. This solution offers a high level of security, and the company boasts of being: “A PCI DSS validated Tier 1 service provider that is the benchmark for e-commerce solutions worldwide.” Powered by Amazon Web Services, it is also designed to be optimized for mobile platforms, including smartphones.
Notably, Ecwid offers a free tier that can host up to 10 products, which is great for getting started and testing the e-commerce waters. It also offers several paid tiers that can add Facebook Shop access, provide advanced SEO tools, sell digital goods, and offer a mobile point of sale.
Magento is a free and open source software solution for managing all aspects of virtual shopping carts. It is currently used in one form or another by nearly a quarter of a million merchants, including major corporations like Nike, Cisco Systems and Ford. Magento was initially developed in 2007 and the platform is now owned by Adobe.
The advantage of being open source is that Magento supports a large number of features and can be customized according to your store needs. The software supports accepting manual payment solutions such as checks and money orders out of the box. It is also preconfigured to work with a number of major payment gateways such as PayPal, SagePay and Authorize.net.
Unlike the other solutions reviewed so far, Magento can be hosted on your organization’s server, meaning you’re no longer dependent on a third party for shopping cart solutions. However, this means that you are responsible for the security of your server, for example by registering and installing SSL certificates.
However, Magento is not easy to setup, install and customize even if you are proficient in HTML and CSS because the template system is very user-unfriendly and requires advanced developer skills to generally customize the shopping cart platform of purchase. Therefore, although Magento may seem like a cheap option initially, expect to have to hire one or more web developers to manage your Magento platform.
Woocommerce is a free shopping cart plugin for WordPress, which allows you to install a fully functional e-commerce site on any WordPress installation.
Setup simply involves installing the plugin directly through WordPress, but while you can configure products and shipping rates, as well as shopping categories and most basic functionality, you’ll also need to install add-ons to provide full functionality. . Many of them are available directly from the Woocommerce website, although others may be sold on third-party websites.
There is a wide range of addons available, including payment processors such as Paypal, Sagepay and Stripe, as well as a wide selection of others to add different levels of functionality to your store. This can include everything from inventory management to inventory control. A number of integrations are also available, such as Mailchimp for email marketing and Xero for accounting.
Although addons tend to have a cost associated with them, that’s not too bad on its own, as most addons tend to be relatively inexpensive, measured in tens of dollars rather than hundreds of dollars. . Some have a one-time price, but others have annual renewal fees to maintain support and upgrades, but again, that’s minimal.
All in all, this makes Woocommerce not only very easy to set up and administer, but also very cheap to set up, making it one of the best contenders for anyone looking to get started easily in starting a business. online retail business, whether for physical or even digital products.