It used to be that true retail shopping cart solutions were very expensive to buy and difficult to use and set up.
These days though, there are a host of very effective and easy to set up shopping carts that won’t break the budget.
Here we’ve come up with 5 of the best that have a great range of features and a reasonable cost.
This list is by no means exhaustive but you’ll get a great idea of what’s out there in the marketplace.
#1 – Volusion.com
If you don’t have a website and are starting from scratch, Volusion is a popular choice to consider. They offer hosting and many different website design templates. There is also an online store with all kinds of useful and innovative features.
They have dashboards that will give you useful data about your business, and are very flexible in their set up.
Volusion is full service provider, meaning they do just about everything, including PCI compliance, but everything comes at a cost. Templates can set you back up to $995, and the data that you get on your dashboards is limited unless you pay an extra free.
Fraud alert is another great feature that allows you to know how trustworthy a purchase is going to be, but there is an extra fee for that as well. PCI compliance is also somewhat expensive at around $25 per month.
If you’re not on a tight budget, then Volusion may well be what you’re after as it has a very comprehensive service and is a true one-stop-shop for e-commerce.
#2 – OsCommerce (& Zencart)
OsCommerce is an open-source shopping cart solution, meaning that you can download and install the code for free. It has an incredible range of features and 3rd party plugins that extend the functionality even further.
The downside is that you have to be pretty technical to be able to get it running smoothly, and while there are plenty of forums full of other users who are generally happy to help out, there is no “customer service” as such and you’ll have to hire an outside contractor is you need anything really tricky done.
OsCommerce is a great option if you’re on a budget, and if you are comfortable tinkering around with code and setup.
Zencart is very similar to OsCommerce in that it is also open-source, has a bundle of features and 3rd party plugins, but has steep learning curve and requires that the user be able to spend a lot of time digging around in the options to get everything set up.
#3 – Shopify.com
Shopify is another solution that offers a huge range of features, as long as you’re willing to pay the price. Plans are a reasonable, ranging from $29 per month up to $179 per month, and from 2% down to 0% for transaction fees.
Templates range from fantastic and cheap to purchase all the way through to amazingly professional and up to $1000, but as a one off cost are well worth the money as your store will have a very professional look and feel.
#4 – 1ShoppingCart.com
1ShoppingCart is one of the biggest names in the e-store provider industry, with over 3 million customers over the last 10 years. They offer a very comprehensive service including marketing services such as autoresponder and newsletter services.
1ShoppingCart stores are search engine optimized, although, with the latest Google updates the efficacy of their measures is debatable, but at the very least your site is set up in a semantic way that has proven to work best for Google and the other major search engines.
You have a massive amount of useful and innovative features to go through, and their customer service is online 10am through 8pm EST.
Plans range from $59 per month all the way up to $249 per month with extra features being added on at each level.
This is probably one of the best out of the box shopping cart solutions on the market.
#5 – ContentShelf.com
The last e-commerce solution that we’re covering here is a solution for stores that are only looking to sell digital products. If you’re streaming and selling sound effects, audio and video loops, stock photos, fonts, e-books, etc, then an ecommerce platform such as Content Shelf could be worth a look at.
The main benefits of ContentShelf is that they’re cheap, relatively easy to set up, and have a solid range of features that are designed around digital product delivery. Their maximum plan is $30 per month meaning that you can test them out for a month breaking the bank.
Product deliver is secure, with a range of options including online PDF viewing, secure streaming and secure download, and these are features that many of the other shopping carts don’t have as they are geared around physical products.
These five ecommerce solutions are just the beginning, but are some of the biggest and most popular on the market. Most important is to figure out what features you need beforehand and what price point you are prepared to pay.
Some shopping carts like 1ShoppingCart offer comprehensive marketing features that you may not need but will be paying for anyway.
Decide in advance whether you’re happy to get your hands dirty in the code and advanced settings or if you just need something up and running without any hassle.