A Thumbnail Guide to 15 Shopping Carts

As security becomes more refined and customer prejudices are overcome and consumer confidence established, many developers and designers are finding their clients and employers want to explore ecommerce opportunities.

There’s a lot involved. The online buying and selling of products and services can demand expertise with in fields including electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, electronic data interchange (EDI), online transaction processing, client-side and server-side validation, mobile commerce, Internet marketing, automated-data collection systems, and inventory management systems.

It’s not surprising that the provision of ecommerce software itself drives an enthusiastic and sometimes aggressive market. Some long term providers have sustained themselves, some newer providers draw on new technology and smart marketing, and there are always one or two that are flavor of the month.

Let’s take a brief look at who’s doing what.

15 shopping carts

Here’s a quick guide to 15 of the most widely used ecommerce frameworks, platforms and solutions.

While they all come with amazing sets of features and options facilitating the easy creation of an online store, they do also each have particular strengths.

Have a look and find the one that suits your needs the best.

Magento

Magento is the undoubtedly the most popular and arguably the best open-source shopping cart framework, with advanced stats, customer groups’ management, a nice admin interface, and loads of payment gateways for seamless shopping experience.

Prestashop

This robust, professional open-source e-commerce framework comes with loads of features and an appealing admin interface that can be easily downloaded, installed and used free of cost. Prestashop on the back end comes with a fully-featured back-office application that can help manage your online business (including inventory, orders, shipping, and customers) in real-time. Here, you can easily send your customer’s payments directly to your commercial bank account using the latest security technology.

ZenCart

This open-source shopping cart is really easy to install, customise and manage install. Besides, it comes with a newsletter manager, discount coupons, gift certificates and all the basic features that make it a great ecommerce platform.

OpenCart

This is an extremely scalable and attractive e-commerce framework that will help you use multiple languages, accept multiple currencies, create an unlimited number of categories, sell an unlimited number of products, and choose from over 20 payment and 8 shipping methods. Besides it is user-friendly as well as SEO-friendly, which will help you gain prominence in the search engine.

BigCommerce

This framework allows the selling of products on Facebook and eBay, or on your own store. If you want to get the option of selling unlimited products on your website, you may opt for a Platinum Plan for $149.95/month. There is also a free 15-day trial option in case you wish to explore the possibilities with BigCommerce, before making the actual purchase.

Volusion

This all-in-one hosted e-commerce platform offers a fairly competitive pricing and 14-day free trial as well. It also offers value-added services like 24×7 support too.

Xcart

This PHP/MySQL template-based secure shopping cart software offers the flexibility for easy and unlimited design creation to suit your business specific features.

VirtueMart

This open source e-commerce solution designed to work alongside Joomla! integrates well with the CMS and takes advantage of the Ajax technology. This neat cart besides allowing customers to buy things makes them comfortable by letting them create an account, add addresses and access their order history. It also supports multiple currencies and languages, including unlimited products and categories.

Shopify

This framework that comes with reasonable pricing and a free trial allows you to create templates quickly from scratch for your own online store. It offers great features like safe shopping carts, e-commerce templates, plus web hosting.

osCommerce

This free e-commerce framework is easy to set up and run; and is extremely popular. However, it comes with a disadvantage that it is difficult to differentiate your store from the thousands of others out there in business.

Highwire

The USP of this free framework is that besides allowing you to set up your own store, it also allows using it for selling on eBay or Facebook. Moreover, with Highwire you can keep tabs on all your orders and payments from one centralized system.

WP eCommerce

This framework integrates well into WordPress and is mostly available for free with the possibility to extend functionalities with the Golden Cart solution.

UberCart

This framework is specifically designed for people selling things like event registrations, file downloads, website access passes and event tickets, instead of physical products. Ubercart requires to be integrated with Drupal; thus Drupal users will feel comfortable choosing the ideal modules and themes to customise their shop with this platform.

CubeCart

This framework integrates really well into all kinds of sites and looks very professional. While CubeCart 3 is free, CubeCart 4 – the premium platform, costs £110. Investing in CubeCart 4 is a good idea if you are planning long term use; however try with the third version first.

Spree

Spree, the open-source ecommerce framework uses the power of Ruby On Rails. Available with stunning default shop template and admin template, you can create a flexible and powerful shopping cart with Spree. Moreover, it has built-in Google Analytics integration and support over 50 payment gateways.

So, which is your favorite e-commerce framework? Did I leave it out of my list? Leave your comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

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  • Jeroen

    Drupal Commerce…

  • John

    UberCart? Spree? Guys, c’mon. Where is nopCommerce? It’s much more popular then most of these carts

  • Adam

    @john2 nopCommerce has only 1,877 stores https://meanpath.com/f/VmsjPs whereas Bigcommerce has 36,000 http://meanpathinc.bigcommerce.com

  • Anonymous

    Spree

  • Eddie

    Also, Don’t forget that if you have an ExpressionEngine CMS site, you can use BrilliantRetail.

  • Ronald

    Zencart has gotten way to complicated for noobs on upgrading, PrestaShop and Magento free version has no modules and they kill you on the cost of buying them. Opencart is the best hands down. Very easy install and upgrading process. it comes free out of the box with every module that you’ll need and it has a great Options feature.

    • Anonymous

      We’re about to publish a comparison of PrestaShop and OpenCart. It’ll be interesting to see if that matches your experience.

  • Ronald

    Thanks, I look forward to it and include the modules.

  • amberweb

    WooCommerce far is better than WP eCommerce for WordPress stores.