Picking an e-commerce shopping cart for your website can be a tough decision. There are so many choices out there, and depending on your website platform, your inventory software, and even what your fulfillment center uses, the choices can be even more critical than you may think. We’ve provided some insight on some of the top e-commerce shopping cart platforms that are available today. At the bottom of this post, we have created a comparison chart of the top e-commerce shopping carts to help you visualize the
e-Commerce Shopping Carts
Magento is a fairly powerful e-commerce platform. This is a great shopping cart (and lots more) program for the more established business with the resources to manage a complex e-commerce system. The advantages are that it is an enterprise level platform and will connect to nearly all warehouse management systems, inventory management systems, CRMs, marketing automation systems, and has APIs available to make new connections. Though it is very robust, Magento is also more costly than others.
Woo-Commerce is a great add-on for WordPress and other CMS web-platforms. The core add-on is free, though you may need additional, paid add-ons to customize your ideal solution. A great advantage to Woo-Commerce is its modularity, allowing the program to be flexible and work for nearly any e-commerce situation. The add-ons are not all expensive, and range from $9-$300 dollars depending on the add-on. There are direct integrations for UPS, and USPS allowing you to get real-time shipping charges to your customers with a mark-up.
Shopify is more than a shopping cart. It’s essentially an entire content management system (CMS) in one package. Shopify allows you to manage all of your website content, products, and inventory in one platform for a monthly fee. This is a great solution for a start-up looking to keep its e-commerce system as simple as possible and free from the burden of having to manage teams of people to coordinate on an e-commerce platform. That said, much like Woo-Commerce, Shopify is very modular in the sense that there are thousands of add-ons to help you accomplish any goals, though each add-on comes with a fee.
Similar to the Shopify concept, Volusion offers a CMS based web platform that helps you manage all of your content and inventory under one software. The CMS offers free premium templates for design and layout. Though the templates are basic, they are clean and easy to setup and navigate. They also seem to have some current design elements and functions that can enhance the user experience. If you’ve already built your website using WordPress, Volusion also has a plugin for WordPress users that can act as your shopping cart integration, inventory management tool, and merchant account. When all is said and done the Volusion solution is great for startups and small businesses looking for a stable, clean platform.
BigCommerce has all of the same features as Volusion and Shopify combined into one platform. You can build your whole website within BigCommerce, manage stock, merchant processing, shipping, and even manage offline sales. One of the added features of BigCommerce is that it offers a fairly robust reporting and analytics feature to help you track customer behavior. The platform also has a feature to help you manage sales on social media platforms, and has a good selection of integrations and API connections to work with your CRM, accounting software, shipping app, ERP, and more. BigCommerce is easy to manage for entry level businesses, but also provides a more significant set of features with its enterprise level solution. This is great for someone that is already setup with other software in different areas of their business and needs their e-commerce tools to integrate, at the same time being the most flexible and ready for growth.
Open Cart is a basic e-commerce shopping cart integration that will work with most CMS platforms. You can also run your whole website through Open Cart, including inventory management, website content, shopping cart, merchant processing (with 3rd party integration), and some basic analytics. Open Cart is an open source program and is free for anyone to use. Though it is not the most robust, it does have a place in the market for people looking to get a concept going, or those that may like to sell products online as a hobby or second job.
A more up and coming platform, more well known for its ease of use and great theme templates, Squarespace is another great solution for the tech savvy business person. If you are always on the go, Squarespace has a lot of great features designed around mobile SEO, analytics, and reporting to help you monitor and improve your website traffic and sales. Though you can not integrate Squarespace with other CMS platforms, they offer their own CMS with some pretty attractive themes and layouts. With Squarespace, you don’t even need to have your own domain, you can use a custom sub-domain that you create and is stored on the Squarespace cloud. The downside to Squarespace is that it is not as open as some of the other platforms. Thought it has nice features and a great look, it is similar in compatibility terms to that of the iPhone in the smartphone world.
|Open Cart||Square Space||WooCommerce||Shopify||Volusion||BigCommerce||Magento|
|Hosted Domain Available|
|Marketplace Connections (ex. Amazon)|
|Add to a CMS as a Plugin|
|3rd Party Merchant|
|Top-level||FREE||$18/mo||PAY FOR PLUGINS||$179/mo||$135/mo||$199.99/mo||$4,500 base|
For someone that may already have a website setup in WordPress, and you are technically capable, WooCommerce is a great solution. It requires a little more technical understanding and some additional plugins, but is a very flexible system.
For the business owner that wants the most hands-off solution, and may have a brick and mortar location (or a few locations), Shopify is the clear winner here. Shopify has an easy to use interface and inventory management system that can be supplemented with Shopify POS hardware for the physical locations.
For the existing business looking to grow or expand, there is no other platform that can provide more features and flexibility than Magento. Their free community edition is intended to get business owners off the ground, and moved into their enterprise edition. If you can deal with limited features out of the gate and don’t want to go through the hassle of switching platforms at a later date, Magento is a good answer. Their enterprise edition gets pretty pricey, as each site is customized per the customer. On the low end, you’re looking at $4,500 to get a Magento enterprise website going, depending on complexity, that number can easily reach the $100K + mark.
Does all of this seem overwhelming? Connect with one of our e-Fill Source partners that specialize in e-commerce website development, and get all of the answers you need. Simply fill out our partner finder form to provide more info, and we will have our trusted partners contact you about your needs.