Looking for a full-featured, industrial strength shopping cart? The ecommerce solutions listed below are our recommendations based on programs and services I have used and/or researched over the years. My recommendations are based on small to medium business needs coupled with affordability.
If you are just starting out in ecommerce, we suggest it's best that you first review our shopping cart overview as a means of introduction to the sometimes very confusing world of accepting online payments.
The best shopping cart software/services
(read our review below!)
If you are looking for information regarding Internet merchant accounts, third party credit card processors or credit card payment gateways, review our guide to back-end ecommerce.
The best remotely hosted shopping cart services
In case you haven't read our shopping cart overview, a remotely hosted cart application is stored on the providers server, but allows you to integrate the style of your own site. The major advantages of using a remotely hosted shopping cart include fast implementation, security, 24 hour monitoring of service and usually many other features are offered as part of the service. Because the cart is actually hosted on another server, you can also save on bandwidth charges - especially if your products are soft goods and delivered online
Marketers Choice by 1shoppingcart
This shopping cart solution that we can personally recommend having utilized it on a web site project that required many features. Our client needed a total 'plug-in' shopping cart and marketing solution, complete with affiliate program features.
To have an application built from the ground up would have cost many thousands of dollars, but the Marketers Choice cart package from 1shoppingcart rates start from as little as $19 a month. Similar shopping cart services that we came across cost triple the amount and had less features.
Marketers Choice from 1ShoppingCart is extremely easy to configure and use and the team at 1ShoppingCart are constantly adding new features, at no extra cost to their clients. It was definitely the service that stood out from all of the other shopping carts we carried out reviews on. Our client is extremely happy with the service and the customer support provided by the company has been nothing short of excellent.
This is truly a tightly integrated ecommerce and web marketing package, without the huge price tag that often accompanies software solutions and services of comparable quality.
You even get a 30 day trial to thoroughly test the service. It's available in 3 versions to suit everyone one from start-ups to enterprise level. After establishing an account, it only took me 15 minutes to set up a basic shopping cart capable of delivering software products online. 1ShoppingCart offers the following features in its Marketers Choice package:
These are just some of the features of this all in one ecommerce solution. The development team at 1ShoppingCart are constantly upgrading the Marketers Choice service offerings to give you the best marketing edge. Whether you sell hard goods, soft goods or subscriptions, it's suitable for single products or a catalogue of thousands! It's well worth taking the 30 day trial.
Click here for your 30 day trial of this amazing shopping cart solution
The best locally hosted shopping cart software.
As mentioned in our shopping cart overview, locally hosted cart software is stored on your own server and usually is a one-time purchase - not monthly payments as in the case of remotely hosted software. The major advantages of purchasing your own software is flexibility and control over the way the cart works; although this does require some development skills. Most cart companies offer installation and customization services for an extra fee.
I'm a big fan of Interspire's software and use quite a few of their applications, including SendStudio for email marketing purposes. After a couple of years of development and extensive testing by customers in their private beta program, the company recently released their eagerly awaited shopping cart software to the public.
This application is designed for newbies right through to seasoned professionals. I believe that the Interspire Shopping Cart will rapidly become the package that other locally hosted software applications will be compared to.
- Handles digital products securely and hard goods
The above list just scratches the surface of this powerful application. Interspire products are incredibly easy to use and after having seen or worked with so many applications over the years, you'd be really doing yourself a disservice if you didn't at least check it out - I highly recommend you trial Interspire's Shopping Cart software; there's also a demo available on their site.
X-Cart is a very powerful shopping cart with over 100 features - too many to list here; but it contains most of the options anyone would want in a shopping cart - including digital delivery systems for software products.
Payment gateway support is incredible - over 60 are listed; a very compatible and flexible cart system for those who are comfortable with setting up and maintaining ecommerce software hosted on their own servers. The makers of X-Cart also offer installation services.
One of the great aspects of X-Cart software is the amount of ongoing development that goes into the application - there's been many improvements to the software over the last year and each update is provided free to existing clients.
There's two flavors of X-Cart shopping cart software - Pro and Gold. The Gold version is suitable for very small to very large stores, whereas the pro version contains all the features of Gold, plus it allows you to give merchants their own logins where they can administer their products and services. X-Cart requires PHP/MySQL to operate. X-Cart offers a free 30 day trial.
The LiteCommerce shopping cart was created by the same company as X-Cart and while it doesn't have as many options as the X-Cart software, it is by no means "lite" in features. Well worth checking out if you're on a tight budget. LiteCommerce offers a free 30 day trial.
Free ecommerce solutions software / services
If you are just starting out and require a free ecommerce solution, we suggest Paypal. This service can handle subscriptions, hard goods and has some limited software delivery capabilities. It's the cheapest way to accept payments online. Ecommerce has never been easier! Accept Credit Card Payments through your website. No setup fees, no monthly maintenance fees!. "The best solution" - Esquire. "The money's good" - Wall Street Journal. "The most reliable" - CNET
Further learning resources
If you are looking for information regarding credit card payment gateways, Internet merchant accounts or third party credit card processors, view our guide to back-end ecommerce.
Need for other ecommerce solutions such as autoresponders, Internet merchant accounts and marketing tools? - view our ecommerce solutions section
Interested in learning more about ecommerce and Internet marketing? - view our comprehensive tutorials section!
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