5 Best Shopping Cart Software to start an eCommerce Business

By June 27, 2018Marketing

Looking to go beyond the horizons of Brick & Mortar stores? Absolutely a fantastic idea! But embarking on digital selling is easier said than done. At the very outset, you have to take an important decision – Do you want to sell products on your own website or on Amazon?

No doubt, you can sell your products through existing platforms such as Amazon, eBay etc. But hey, Amazon and eBay are product-centric. They aren’t seller-centric. And this fact is a no-brainer- Competition on Amazon, eBay etc., is obsessive and intense. For all intents and purposes, the thrill of building your own online store and doing business is inexpressible. And here’s another reason to start your own eCommerce site – You need not pay any commission to renowned international marketplaces.

Now that you have genuine reasons to start your own eCommerce business, let’s look at the best shopping cart software.

#1: PrestaShop

This international shopping cart solution is programmed in PHP. Across the world, it’s used by more than 270000 shops. Its user interface is perfectly intuitive. You can download the software for free but pay for its web hosting. If you aren’t cautious and diligent enough, you might end up paying a fortune for its hosting and set-up.

This e-commerce software is backed by a community of 800,000 members. They are doing their very best to keep Prestashop exclusive to open source e-commerce community. Thanks to their efforts, this shopping cart software is available in as many as 65 languages.

Other noteworthy features:

  • More than 50 world-class payment processors
  • More than 5000 modules and themes
  • Designer guides
  • E-commerce analytics
  • SEO and mobile commerce

PrestaShop is ideal for medium and large businesses. It’s not recommended for small businesses. If you need many add-ons, this shopping cart solution can become expensive. If you don’t have technical expertise, you may have a tough time!

#2: OpenCart

OpenCart is one of the best shopping cart software. It’s free to download and highly customizable. Just like PrestaShop, it’s programmed in PHP and has a huge pool of community members. Thanks to their monumental efforts, OpenCart has more than 13000 extensions. The latest version is OpenCart Cloud. But it’s not perfect. There are quite a few bugs and the development team is working on them.

OpenCart’s dashboard is clean and systematic. There are interesting features such as the discount engine, sales reports and analytics, multi-language and multi-currency support etc. You can easily customize your products and incorporate category meta tags.

Other noteworthy features:

  • Beautiful themes
  • Error logging module and unlimited listings
  • Backup and restoration tools
  • Accounting and marketing
  • Product review and rating

OpenCart is free to download and upgrade. But you cannot use it without a web hosting, SSL certificate, and a domain name. You should spend some significant money. Also, customer support is limited. While there are numerous integrations, most of them aren’t free.

If you are a small/midsize business, OpenCart is for you.

#3: Magento

On Magento, the user experience is simply top notch. Many proponents of this shopping cart solution vouch for its bundle of features such as scalability, high-level security, great resource library etc. The fact that many popular brands use Magento speaks volumes about its popularity. Customer support is exemplary. There are various resources such as an informational blog, knowledge base, chatting forums etc.

Other noteworthy features:

  • More than 9000 plug-ins
  • Open source
  • SEO and Social commerce extensions
  • Catalog and product management
  • Private sales
  • Robust inventory management
  • Seamless checkout and multiple payment gateways

If you are a beginner, it’s likely to find Magento not at all easy to use. Its Community edition is available for free. But it has its own set of limitations. The Enterprise edition is expensive. Customization and set-up are complicated. This shopping cart solution is best suited for corporate stores.

#4: BigCommerce

Keen on making BIG money in e-commerce business? BigCommerce will surely assist you in your endeavors. It’s a SaaS (Software as a Solution) shopping cart solution. In other words, you don’t own the software. You are required to pay a monthly fee to use it.

This platform can be used for selling both physical and digital goods. And unlike Magento, BigCommerce caters to non-tech savvy people as well. If you have little or zero expertise in HTML and CSS, it makes no difference!

BigCommerce has advanced features such as automated image optimization, integration with powerful email services such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, etc. Content management and product review functionalities are robust. There is a wide range of professional reporting tools as well.

Other noteworthy features:

  • Multiple payment gateways
  • 7 free themes and 120 paid themes
  • Shopping cart abandoner
  • Great drop shipping support
  • The straightforward and intuitive user interface

There are limits imposed on annual sales. If you exceed them, it’s mandatory to upgrade to expensive monthly plans. Themes are very expensive. BigCommerce starter plan isn’t affordable for starters. The built-in blog feature is impressive. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support RSS feeds.

If you are looking for a professional and e-commerce centric business solution, you should try BigCommerce.

#5: Volusion

Volusion is yet another best shopping cart software. Just like BigCommerce, it’s a SaaS (Software as a Service) e-commerce solution. World over, Volusion is used by more than 40000 shops. As a matter of fact, these 40000 shops generate an estimated $17 billion in sales.

There are two versions of Volusion – V1 and V2. The biggest difference between these two versions is the presence of transaction fee in V2. The transaction fee is zilch in V1. But there are impositions on bandwidth allotment. If you overshoot your bandwidth allotment, you are required to pay $7 per GB. In V2, there are no impositions on bandwidth allotment. However, the transaction fee is charged and is anywhere between $0.5 and $2.0%

More often than not, both the versions register an impressive 99.9% uptime. For all intents and purposes, the platforms are PCI compliant. Round the clock assistance is a boon to beginners and ambitious eCommerce entrepreneurs.

Other noteworthy features:

  • Built-in email marketing system
  • Step-by-step tutorials
  • Social media sharing plug-ins
  • Mobile management
  • Returned Merchandise Authorization tool

While round-the-clock assistance is definitely in the offing, Volusion’s customer service is spotty and erratic. Of course, both the versions are PCI compliant. However, if you are running your store on V1, you still have to pay for SSL certificate. Transaction fees on V2 is an unending pain.

Volusion is definitely a long-term investment option. But I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it due to its limitations.

I hope this article on 5 best shopping cart software to start an eCommerce business gave you an overview of different e-commerce solutions. There are many node js shopping cart solutions that are worth trying.

Got any doubts? Got any queries? We’d love to hear them. Shoot them in the comments below. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on node js shopping cart solutions. Cheers!

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