If you are looking for a shopping cart solution for your Web site, there are myriad options available. Many hosting companies provide shopping cart applications as a part of their e-commerce hosting packages, but your host’s offering may not work for your business. With the number of free, open-source carts on the market, as well as paid third-party solutions, you are bound to find a solution that is right for you.
Open source carts
ZenCart is a free, open-source cart application based on the very popular OSCommerce application. The developers of ZenCart set out to make it easier to install and use for non-tech-types. ZenCart lets you spotlight specific items in your store, making it very useful for product promotions. The three-step checkout process is easy to understand and use.
PhpShop is another feature-laden free shopping cart program. Also based on OSCommerce, this cart is also packed with features, and is easy to install and maintain.
MyMarket is a very simple, free shopping cart. Of the three open-source carts listed here, MyMarket is by far the easiest to install and configure. The customer interface is uncomplicated and easy to navigate. This is a great cart for beginners, but it may not have enough features for complicated online stores.
PayPal offers shopping cart capability as part of their robust transaction-processing package. The cart is free, but it requires that your buyers pay via PayPal — which means you will owe PayPal a transaction fee. The fees are reasonable, however, and the cart is fairly easy to set up and use. Merchants who prefer PayPal will appreciate the integration with PayPal’s services and the options for accepting payment.
MonsterCommerce is a complete shopping cart solution. In addition to a full-featured shopping cart, you can also have MonsterCommerce host your site.
StoreFront will build your online shopping cart from the ground up. They offer a toll-free support line and many different support options. If you want to outsource the entire shopping cart portion of your site, StoreFront may be right for you.
Before you select your cart, make sure it will integrate with your merchant account’s processing gateway. Although most carts are now compatible with the majority of payment gateways, it pays to check this out before you make a decision.