There are thousands of businesses opting for eCommerce solutions. A good shopping cart is not a luxury nowadays, but a necessity for those who want to sell products or services. That is why there are many people asking about the best eCommerce shopping carts for their websites. There is no answer that is truly a one-and-only or end-all solution, as the options and variety of cart products is quite overwhelming. Some options, however, are definitely better than others. Knowing these might help you make the right choice.
According to Statista, abandonment rates for shopping carts are quite high. Sometimes they reach as much as 68%, which might be disastrous for some companies. The reasons for these rates vary though, quite often, they are connected to the quality and usability of the website shopping cart. To increase conversion and sales, the best option should be chosen. Your customers should trust the check-out process you have, and this is the bottom line.
What is shopping cart software for eCommerce?
Shopping carts for website are nothing more than interfaces connecting the front and back end of the shop and making it possible for buyers to browse through products, see prices and make purchases without leaving the page. It accepts payments from buyers and transfers them to sellers, keeping and distributing needed information between all the parties requiring it.
As you can see from the information above, any shopping cart system works as a bridge between the seller and purchaser. There might be additional features, though the primary goal is to make the process happen.
Most people have made a purchase through an online store at least once in their life, in this day in age; however, for those who have only just started the online business experience of actually using those carts, it can be difficult to choose the best product for their own companies. Large enterprises often use the most popular options which are usually quite pricey and unavailable for smaller businesses. In addition, large companies often order the development of custom eCommerce platforms from scratch, which can be a great idea, as building a custom ecommerce shopping cart can solve many issues with information protection and security. Or it might not, depending on the level of professionalism applied. In any case, custom development is usually expensive, so beginners prefer working with existing systems.
There are four major tasks that are set in front of a shopping cart. Those tasks are to:
- Gather and store product/service information
- Serve as a gateway for catalogues, orders and managing customers
- Render information and categories for user displays
- Lead customers to pay immediately for chosen products/services
We can imagine an online cart as a representation of a tangible one that can be seen in any supermarket, though there is so much more to it. It also represents the shelves, the sale and clearance signs, cash registers and credit card machines which gather data and transfer it to banks.
This is why the question of which shopping cart is best for ecommerce is so important to be answered correctly in each particular case. Let’s look at the examples of varying solutions and try to see their differences, as well as advantages and disadvantages of each.
So, what is the best shopping cart for eCommerce in 2018?
According to many ecommerce shopping cart reviews, this option might be among the most popular. It suggests a large variety of features and tools that are able to help businesses operate their online shops.
Shopify is easy to use, which is a great advantage for those who are just starting out. It has many integrations and attractive templates for customization and there are also some advanced design tools for those who want to create unique user experiences for their customers.
On the other hand, the feature set is still limited if you compare it with custom eCommerce systems. At times, you might want to get some add-ons which will require the professional help of developers. Sometimes these downsides might scare new business people, though Shopify is often called one of the best online shopping carts for small business.
Zoey Commerce is another popular system that has beautiful themes and great usability. The platform is code-free, which makes it easy to use; however, for developers, there are also many options. They can customize it and make it suitable for just about any company on the market. This eCommerce platform has many pros that include:
- A good set of advanced features
- Nice templates
- Additional design tools
- Special features for wholesalers and b2b
There are also some cons that include expensive monthly pricing and, often, limited capabilities of support. They might not be crucial if you have enough of a budget and want something really good. For startups, it might not be the best choice but, for any other businesses, it sure is.
This platform offers features at the enterprise level and endless opportunities for customization. At the same time, it still offers high level customer support and great usability, which puts it in line with the best Software-as-a-Service solutions available on the market. It’s been used since 1997 by over 500,000 customers. Transactions in the company are tremendous, and it hosts all sorts of companies - from smaller businesses and large enterprises.
Among the main advantages of Miva Merchant is that it suits the needs of different businesses, including large ones. Its advanced features help carry out complex operations and transactions. It is also scalable so, if your company is developing, there will be no problems with rearrangements. At the same time, this platform has great customer support which means that no questions are left unanswered.
As for the disadvantages, there are limited users, quite expensive monthly payments and a necessity to learn how to operate the system. Of course, you can always hire somebody to do it for you and customize everything, which is always easier for professionals.
Magento features powerful tools for small to medium online businesses, allowing them to configure stores and control them for the best performance. It was founded in 2007, and now there are more than 240,000 merchants using it. Magento is among the most popular platforms that are self-hosted and customizable.
We should note that this platform is not suitable for beginners who have no time to learn or no budgets for hiring a specialist who can configure everything. It can be a significant challenge for those who choose this option without actually knowing how to work with it. Zoey Commerce, mentioned above, is a fully-hosted solution that is actually based on Magento and, for beginners and smaller businesses, it might be a better choice. We should also mention, however, that most of the top online retailers use this platform for their online shops.
One of the biggest advantages is that this cart can be downloaded for free and that it is customizable and scalable to a very high degree. There is a large feature set and huge user community where you can ask for advice on just about anything concerning the system.
On the other hand, it is not so easy to use the platform without the developer skills, and there is no customer support at all. Everything you need to know can be found within the community though, for some people, it might seem to be a big disadvantage.
This is an eCommerce solution that may be cloud-hosted or downloaded directly from the website. It is an open source platform that is free for downloading as well as highly customizable. There are many additional integrations to cover the different potential needs of your business. A large user community, along with great support materials, can be of help once you start the process.
Even with the community and materials, though, some developer skills are still required. A person from the street won’t be able just sit down and do it. Also, customer support does exist, but it is quite expensive. Under such circumstances, it might be better to hire somebody knowledgeable to configure everything that’s needed for your business.
PrestaShop was founded in 2007, and is now a popular international shopping cart that has more than 270,000 customers all over the world. Even though the download is free, don’t be misled - you’ll have to pay for web-hosting and, likely, for some additional modules needed for other software integration. Other than that, PetaShop is a great solution that can add value to any online business.
Shopping cart for eCommerce store: Comparison Table
|Price||Online support||Free Tria||Ease of customization||Ease of use||Score|
|Shopify||From $9 a month||Yes||Yes||Excellent||High||9.7|
|Zoey Commerce||From $89 a month||No||Yes||Good||High||8.2|
|Miva Merchant||From $79.95 a month||Yes||No||Good||High||9.0|
|Magento||From $2000 a month||No||No||Excellent||Medium||9.0|
Summing up all of the above, choosing the best ecommerce shopping cart software might not be the easiest task, but making the right choice is very important, as it might influence the success of your online business and either make it huge or leave it with high abandonment rates. We suggest you get additional help on this topic from Dinarys. We know eCommerce systems, and we’ll be glad to help you get it all sorted out.