Most Popular Shopping Cart Softwares
For those who don’t know what shopping cart software is, I will briefly explain what it is and then we will get into the reviewing few of the most popular softwares out there. Shopping cart software is a software that allows merchants to accept payments online by connecting to their merchant account. Shopping cart softwares that we will discuss here come with prebuilt website that includes everything a business needs: homepage, product page, contact us page, etc. Besides having all the necessary components for a web store, they also come with hosting accounts, which means you will only pay for using the software and the company will host that software on their own servers. That’s a shopping cart software in short. Now, lets get into the details of some of the most popular shopping cart softwares out there.
Which Shopping Cart Software is best for me?’
Shopping cart softwares are all different and are meant for different businesses. It’s like asking which car is best for me, the answer would be depends on what your plan is for the car. If you have a large family, an SUV or Mini-van would be the best choice. It also depends on your budget. So there is no one best answer to the question. Nonetheless, we will review softwares that are most used by small starting websites as well as a platform that is used by big businesses as well as small. Let’s start
it is an open source software, which means it is free to use by anyone and it is one of the most popular softwares for e-commerce out there. Magento is used by small business as well as by large businesses. But open source software comes with it’s own problems. There is no customer support to call to if you have problems with the software. You will need to read forums and blogs to find a fix to the problem and if you can not install apps correctly, you will need to get some help. But, there is also great flexibility and freedom in using Magento if you are good at coding. No other platform gives you as much as freedom as Magento, but everytime I used Magento, I had to get a developer to fix my issues and install my apps. Also, Magento doesn’t come with hosting, but there are good hosting companies out there that have special plans for Magento stores. Bluehost is one of the hosting solutions for Magento. If your budget is large enough to afford hiring developers and you want lots of freedom to do whatever you want with your website, then go with Magento. In case you do not want to do much customization to your store or add specific functionalities, then the following 2 softwares will better fit your needs.
It is a shopping cart software that comes ready out of the box. It is not an open source software and you have to pay to use it, but the plans start at $30/month, so very affordable. Even though it is not open source, it allows for customization of almost every page. The limitation are that if the functionality is not built-in or if there is no app for the functionality you are looking for, then you can’t add it. Other than that, I love everything about it. With Bigcommerce you do not have to worry about glitches, because it comes installed with hosting and very good free themes. For those who are starting out, the themes (designs) they offer for free are pretty good. But as you grow, you will need to find a designer/developer from upward.com and get your store designed professionally. If you have any problems with your site, there is always customer service agent standing by to help you, unlike Magento. The final software we will discuss is the competitor of Bigcommerce and it is called Shopify.
Shopify is exactly the same as Bigcommerce, but there are differences: monthly plans are different for example. Depending on what level of software you are looking for, you might want to go with Shopify. Since Bigcommerce stopped offering middle range plans, Shopify may be a fit for some of you. I personally did not like Shopify for a simple reason of not being able to install my own SSL Certificate. Big commerce allows third party SSL certificates for even the cheapest plan and it is a big deal for me. Other than that, Shopify and Bigcommerce are exactly the same. They both have app stores and have good quality apps that enhance the functionality of the website, good quality themes, and hosting is always working. I will include a small chart where I compare all three of them side by side.
Other Shopping Cart Softwares
There are many other softwares, such as Volusion, Godaddy Shopping Cart, etc, but they are not as popular as those 3. I have discussed the big players in the market, but if you do not agree with me, let me know and I will compare them side by side, and I have used and tried most shopping cart softwares.
There are some features that all of the softwares support, such as payment gateways. Almost every platform can connect to your paypal account, so that customer will be able to checkout using their Paypal account and send money to your Paypal account. Every platform supports Authorize.net payment gateway, Square, Stripe, and many other merchant accounts that are mostly used. My comparison shows you the most important features that differentiate them from one another.
Make Use of Free Trials
Free trials are available with every shopping cart software, so you can try them for yourself before paying for any of them. Besides Magento, Bigcommerce and Shopify are designed with the user in mind. All you gotta do is sign up for a free trial, upload all your products and images, update all the necessary pages, such as contact us page, and go live and starting ringing the register$$.