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Best Premium and Open Source Ecommerce Shopping Carts for 2014
December 12, 2013 By 7th Media | 0 Comments
With the accelerating rate that online businesses are changing and evolving the way consumers shop online, it pays to focus on improving and enhancing the user experience. And by keeping abreast with trends in eCommerce, you are in a better position to create and manage functional web boutiques at a budget-friendly expense. One way to satisfy customer expectations is through the wise selection of eCommerce shopping carts.
Now with barely a month to go before we bid 2013 goodbye and welcome 2014, we believe there are some powerful and really strong shopping cart software that you can integrate and use for your web shop. Below, we’ve picked out, what we believe should be part of your list of open source and premium eCommerce shopping cart solutions when planning your next redesign or web commerce design and development next year.
The Basics of Shopping Cart Plugins
If you are a merchant wishing to start your web shop, eCommerce shopping carts can pretty give a shot in the arm to your business needs. Beside getting a payment processing feature, tons of these software with a wide swath of features are available to choose from.
Software packages come packed with multiple options from building your web and storefront design, shipping calculations, tax calculation, inventory and accounting functions, coupons and gift certificate promotions, security options, to marketing functions. All these are intended to help fan and engage customers to your site.
In planning your eCommerce store, include among your main consideration the number of different products you’re making available for sale, the technical works required and your budget. Don’t cross out yet the size of your business which can spell what your business needs are and the kind of resources you’ll likely need to avail.
Overall, eCommerce software packages that come with multiple level of support are more appropriate for enterprises who intend to monetize their products and services. If you are a designer, and only after designing and maintaining a website, open source and commercial shopping cart options, can be an extremely suitable and affordable choice.
Some Selection Criteria
There are three major considerations when planning to use eCommerce shopping cart software. They are:
1. Scalability. You can never tell just when your business will grow or emerge as a strong market player. Responding to sudden changes must be quick and calculated. Because the moment when the inevitable happens – from increased traffic to jump in customer numbers – you must quickly address the gap. Be ready to confidently identify what features of eCommerce you find necessary to add or integrate into your existing web commerce site.
2. Marketing services. Although the primary purpose of your eCommerce is to empower your customers to spend their hard-earned cash by shopping your merchandise, it also helps reaching as many of your customers as possible. By knowing what marketing services are part of the package of your eCommerce software can pretty help in your budget planning. Among the most helpful features, pick comparison shopping engines, search engine optimization, and paid search campaigns.
3. Security. Your eCommerce site must meet certain security standards and guarantee that it’s safe and secure to spend using your system. The Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) standards for storing, transmitting and processing payment information must be complied for as an added measure. It is also your obligation to protect your web boutique from illegal hackers and security issues. Before starting your eCommerce website design, ensure that the security features of your hosting providers are sufficient.
Open Source And Premium Ecommerce Shopping Carts
The eCommerce platform hosts tons of open source and premium web commerce template designs, where each is unique in terms of availability of features and tool sets for shop owners. As what comes with most eCommerce platform, Shopify offers tools to let you organize products, customize your web storefront, setup ecommerce shopping carts and accept credit card payments, among the most important features.
For businesses who are ready and immediately want to take advantage of their new online enterprise, Magento may be right for you because it is the kind that’s packed with the most solution for your eCommerce shopping website.
Apart from the different levels of features to choose from, the really good part of the deal is the presence of a world-class support and flexibility of customization. You can also seamlessly integrate third party tools and plugins such as eCommerce shopping cart tools to take advantage of its immense power and bring a really satisfying customer experience.
With completely-customizable templates, Prestashop shares a lot of similarity with Magento by offering a wide selection of templates and plugins. This eCommerce shopping cart platform is most advantageous to simpler stores than Magento, which is geared for larger enterprises.
With Prestashop, the cart is displayed on all pages for customers to see from the first instance anywhere they may be in your web store.
If you are planning about developing an eCommerce content management system using Drupal, Ubercart may be the best platform to use. The key benefits in using Drupal is its widely-known highly-secured CMS mechanism and Ubercart has one of the most differentiated eCommerce shopping carts around through Drupal.
Other benefits in using Drupal is that tools like Ubercart is easy to configure for initial storefront setup, product catalog buildup is also simple and processing of orders is easy. Drupal Ubercart is suitable for any business who wants to sell any shippable products to downloadable goods without having to install or configure highly-complex shopping cart systems.
One superior online store management cart platform in terms of features and its template engine, Zen Cart is idea as an open source eCommerce system. It’s customizable and has a lot of features for customer management like email order confirmation, coupon codes, promo offers, gift certificates, and more of the likes. Since developing using Zen Cart is quite complex, you will need help from a developer but it is not only easy to setup, but far easy to manage from the back end.
It’s best selling proposition is its multilingual features, currency exchange converter and other feature that allow for global transaction to realize. There are also a lot of merchants offering add-ons or plugins to enhance Zen Cart functionalities. But the drawback is in the unappealing or that the designs are not as eye-catching as other e-commerce-focused software.
Among the most popular Joomla eCommerce shopping carts around, shop owners have several choices, such as VirtualMart, MijoShop, HikaShop, RedShop and JoomShopping.
VirtualMart has been dubbed the grandfather of Joomla ecommerce platform. Beside being a free platform because it’s open source, VirtualMart is ideal for shops with 100+ items. It’s also pleasing that it has a very large community support and flexibility to accommodate medium-sized shop. Small shop can find using VirtualMart quite expensive in terms of the need to pay a lot of overhead for their tiny store plus personalization support is absent.
MijoShop, which is the newest of the pack has a lot going for this premium shopping carts and has drawn big followers while HikaShop, which is free and open source, is simple and suited for small shops but features are limited.
RedShop, with free base pricing, is actually pricey if you are a small shop because you’ll need to pay for every additional features you’ll add. It also offers no support for free users. The lightweight and user-friendly JoomShopping offers quick and simple solution to get your shop running as soon as possible. But if you are looking for a range of different features (which could become pricey) then you have to avoid this.
A free eCommerce shopping cart software that allows for easy and fast way to develop and create a full-featured web shop. Even its CS-Cart Community Edition that comes with the full power of the software’s engine is ideal for anyone even without sufficient knowledge and experience creating eCommerce. This absolutely free open source software comes with template-driven design and interface elements that uses Ajax technology for user interface convenience.
Conclusion: Based on our list of open-source and premium eCommerce shopping carts, the choice all yours whether you are after creativity or reliability, or all.
Best Premium and Open Source Ecommerce Shopping Carts for 2014 by 7th Media