Shopping cart software is an essential part of any successful online business. In fact, an online shopping portal cannot function smoothly without having a seamless shopping cart software to rely on. It is the backbone of every online store.
Essentially, a good shopping cart should be able to:
- Store product data
- Showcase product catalogs, categories and website information
- Provide an administration portal for customer management
- Process orders and make transactions with payment gateways
With online businesses growing by leaps and bounds, there are numerous eCommerce shopping cart software to choose from. How does an entrepreneur choose which kind is best suited for his business?
In this multi-part series, we do a round-up of some of the most popular and best eCommerce shopping cart softwares available today along with their key features, to help you make an informed decision.
Five popular shopping cart software applications are featured in the first of this series:
Table of Contents
This is considered to be one of the most widely used platforms to build an online business, with 150,000 active stores powered by the software, worth approximately USD 7 billion in sales.
Since it is a hosted solution, unlimited bandwidth and scalability are two key benefits of utilizing the platform. Additionally, Shopify allows you as the business owner to customize your site via configuration, ‘apps’ and themes, as per your business requirement.
- Choose from default responsive themes for your storefront that can be customized according your preferences or with the help of a Shopify Expert
- Mobile-responsive design, ideal for leveraging mCommerce
- Hosting on Shopify servers, so no worries of technical glitches at the backend
- PCI Level 1 Compliant for protection of credit card information
- Scalability not an issue, with unlimited bandwidth, 99.94% uptime and 24/7 monitoring
- Secure shopping cart
- Wide range of payment gateway options
- Improved store management , inventory management, order management and customer management
- Build an SEO-friendly website that incorporates best practices of digital marketing
- Round the clock customer support
- Easy to recover abandoned carts through targeted emails to potential customers
- Integration of web analytics to make informed business decisions
Owned by eBay, Magento’s products power over 240,000 customer sites. The platform allows the business owner to launch and manage their business seamlessly. It is known for two main products: Magento’s Community Edition (CE) which is a hosted, open source version of the cart that is free to download, and Magento’s Enterprise Edition (EE) which is apt for large-scale retailers. A free demo is available for both options on the Magento website.
Key Features of Magento EE:
- Create personalized consumer experiences using special offers, coupons, and promotions on the basis of buying history or demographic profile
- Better shopping experience with intuitive search and recommendation engines and one page checkouts
- Tailor back-end workflows to your business
- Hundreds of apps and extensions for CRM, ERP, accounting, payment processing, shipping
- Highly customizable site that allows you to choose product presentation to different customer segments
- PA-DSS compliant to enable strong, secure transactions
- Integrate with multiple PayPal gateways, shipping rate providers and Google Analytics
- Network of partners and certified developers
- Expert support, training, and consulting services
- Mobile HTML5 interface to create responsive storefront and support for native branded mobile apps that seamlessly integrate with your store and offer your customers a better mobile shopping experience
Key Features of Magento CE:
- Magento CE is open source software that is free to download and use
- Ideal for small businesses, start-ups and developers
- Access to personal Magento Experts and User Forum for any queries
- It allows you to maintain multiple stores, integrate Google Analytics, and access sales reporting tools as well.
- Offers marketing tools like newsletters and product bundles with free shipping
- Inventory management with back ordered items, minimum and maximum quantities
Considered to be the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce is said to power 24% of all eCommerce websites (approximately 663,000 in number). It was made and is maintained by WooThemes, and like other open source programs, it is free to download, with free/ paid add-ons as needed.
- Perfect for self-hosted WordPress websites
- Fully functional with standard cart components, including inventory management tools, marketing campaigns using coupons, shipping options, and payment integrations
- Intuitive and WP centric UI, for inventory management and scalability
- Payment gateway extensions options
- Shipping extensions available for free delivery options or specific distribution logistics like table rate shipping
- WordPress backend support for timely reviews on stock levels, sales and performance
- Easy configuration of tax settings with tax classes and local tax rates
- Storefront theme design that integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce core and various extensions, and is customizable
Founded in 2009, Bigcommerce currently powers over 60,000 online stores in over 150 countries and has processed over USD 5 billion in transactions. This software provides the right marketing tools to leverage, and helps automate a lot of day-to-day repetitive tasks, and will substantially reduce anxiety and free up your schedule for other important tasks.
- Securely hosted eCommerce tools such as domain name, secure shopping cart, product catalog, payment gateway, marketing tools, reporting and mobile optimized store
- Search engine optimization with tools for Google ranking such as customizable URLs, meta tags, robots.txt files and automatically generated sitemaps
- Comprehensive set of marketing tools such as discount and coupon codes, social media integration, abandoned cart saver and more
- Customizable store with an array of themes, point-and-click design tools and customizable CSS/HTML, along with help from a wide network of expert designers
- Better sales by leveraging different social channels such as Facebook, Google Shopping, eBay and Shopzilla, by integrating them with your store
- More than 60 pre-integrated payment gateways including PayPal, Authorize.net and Google Checkout. New businesses will be assisted by Bigcommerce Payments
- PCI compliant with hacker deterrent security provisioning, three redundant network architectures and hardware firewalls
- Round the clock support from the help desk, 500+ support articles/tutorials, eCommerce webinars and Bigcommerce University
- App Store that offers advanced features that can be added on to your package. These include add-on tools for advertising, pricing, email marketing, live chat, social media, etc.
Founded in 2001, CoreCommerce is built on a proprietary, robust and user-friendly shopping cart technology. The eCommerce platform has processed over USD 1.2 billion in transactions. Security is of the essence for the makers of CoreCommerce software and the application is packed with features that aim to make transactions as safe as possible. It is perfect for new and upcoming stores and stores with small to medium data-storage needs. A free trial is also on offer on their website.
- Over 100 free themes for you to choose from and customize, along with custom design services on offer
- Mobile-ready templates for easy set up on any device
- Customizable features such as drop down menus, slide shows, and changeable HTML and CSS themes
- Unlimited options for your products, such as size and color, multiple product photos upload and special pricing for customer groups
- Better content management with information pages and custom forms along with a built-in blog for easier publicity
- Marketing tools such as coupons, e-mail blasts, blogs, etc. Also links to social networks where customers can log in and view your products from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+
- Better visibility with built-in product feeds on Google, Yahoo, and Shopzilla
- Customer support team, knowledge base articles and eCommerce blog for top eCommerce tips on setting up the store
- More than 50 payment gateways like Authorize.net, PayPal, and FirstData. Offline payments like checks, money orders, and purchase orders can also be accepted
- Safe, secure hosting and plenty of shipping options to choose from
Choosing the right eCommerce shopping cart can be a decision that determines the future of your business. Based on the features and functionality that solve your requirements, you can select a shopping cart that will enable your business to achieve its objectives.