Planning on selling online? Shopping cart software is essential to achieve this and is most commonly known as eCommerce software or an eCommerce platform (as the platforms often include shopping cart software).
In order to set up shopping cart software, you’ll need eCommerce web hosting to provide for your online store.
This enables you to sell products and services online, as well as taking secure payments (make sure you have an SSL certificate active).
If you don’t want the hassle of setting up your own online store or building a website then integrating shopping cart software with it, you may want to consider a more out-of-the-box solution.
WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to install an eCommerce website to any WordPress website (even if you have an existing one). WooCommerce is loved by many, and I honestly put that down to how easy it is to use and set up.
WooCommerce includes basic eCommerce features like product set up, shipping rates, and shopping categories, however, with any WordPress site, you’ll want to consider other plugins to enhance your pool of tools and features.
The WooCommerce marketplace includes plenty of extensions, making it very customisable. You can integrate your online store with PayPal, GoogleAds, MailChimp, Facebook, etc.
• Very easy to set up and install
• Simple to manage and customise
• Lots of add-ons and extensions available
• Add-ons and other plugins can be costly
|Online Store: Yes|
|Payment Gateways: 140+|
|Mobile Management: Yes|
|Social Media Integration: Yes|
|Transaction Fees: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for U.S.-issued cards|
|Visit WooCommerce.com (£0/Mo)|
Canadian-based Shopify started with two guys looking to find ways to sell their snowboards online. Today, Shopify serves thousands of customers looking for an eCommerce and shopping cart solution for their online stores.
If you have no knowledge of coding or even some basic knowledge that you don’t feel confident about, don’t worry, Shopify doesn’t require these skills at all. Shopify is beginner-friendly, however, it is quite pricey, and can cost more when you extend its basic features.
With Shopify, you can create an entire website and online store with unlimited products, regardless of which plan you choose. However, you’ll be limited to staff accounts, locations, subject to transaction fees, and restricted on other features unless you pay quite a lot more. Saying that I do think it’s worth the money as Shopify is incredibly powerful whilst being easy to use.
• Free of code
• POS app available
• Can start to cost a lot more with extra features
Ecwid is a free forever shopping cart solution that offers seamless integrations with WordPress, Weebly, Facebook, and other popular platforms. With over 1.5 sellers using Ecwid, it’s no wonder it’s made it on to the best shopping cart software list.
Ecwid supports more than 40 payment gateways, high levels of security, and is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). With Ecwid’s free plan, you can sell up to 10 products which is ideal for start-up and small businesses. However, if you want to power your Facebook shop or Instagram store, you’ll need to upgrade to the Venture plan.
One of my favourite things about Ecwid is there are no transaction fees. This is a real relief for any business, especially those who are just starting out. All plans include a site builder with 70+ themes, or you can choose to add a store to any existing website. Ecwid is hot on security, so it’s a good choice if this is a priority for you (which it should be).
• Free plan available
• Very secure
• Option to integrate with existing platforms or create a new online store
• Free tier is limited to 10 products
• Other tiers are expensive
Shopaccino is a versatile shopping cart solution with a range of payment methods including Visa, PayPal, Mastercard, and even cash on delivery. If like me you’re not a maths genius, Shopaccino’s clever interface automatically calculates tax on all transactions, making it very easy to work with.
If you plan to ship to multiple locations and want to offer a variety of shipping methods, I highly recommend Shopaccino. You can decide which areas you want to sell and post to, manage products on the go with their mobile app, and sell up to 500 products on their Starter plan.
Pricing works out at just £10 per month across the year, with all plans including a free 14-day trial. My biggest gripe with Shopaccino is that their Starter package is very limited; it doesn’t include a free domain, you can’t use it with an existing online store, and you can’t import data using an excel format.
• On-the-go management
• Easy to use
• Lots of payment method options
• Features on Starter plan are limited
• Starter plan can’t be integrated with existing online stores
3dCart is a hosted shopping cart solution allowing existing websites to connect with 3dCart’s storefront. 3dCart offers no transaction fees whatsoever, even on their Startup Store plan. You’ll also have access to host unlimited products, take unlimited orders, and secure web hosting is included for free.
For me, 3dCart is a great choice for small to medium-sized online stores. You’ll have the ability to sell on social media by connecting your 3dCart account to Facebook, you can choose to create your own online store with 50+ mobile-ready themes, and you’ll have access to over 100+ payment providers.
3dCart’s pricing is very simple; all plans include the same features, with the only difference being the number of staff users that can access the account and manage your online store. This can get pretty pricey though, especially if you have a larger business, which is why I recommend it for smaller online stores.
• Create an online store or integrate with an existing website
• 100+ payment providers
• Simple pricing structure
• Recommended only for smaller online stores
• Pricing can be very expensive with more staff members
Magento’s open-source software is free to use and is a great solution for managing online shopping carts. Many big companies like Ford and Nike use Magento as it supports a wealth of features and is highly-customisable (very similar to WooCommerce).
With Magento, you can choose to use manual payment methods like cheques and money orders, to you can integrate with major payment gateways like PayPal and SagePay.
Magento can be hosted on your own server, and many web hosts include 1-click installations for Magento, much like WordPress, so it’s pretty easy to set up. The reason why Magento didn’t reach the top of the list is that you have to take full control and responsibility for it which isn’t always ideal for newer online stores or those who aren’t as techy.
• Free open-source solution
• 1-click installs with most web hosts
• Manual and online payments accepted
• Difficult to use and customise
• Ideally need some basic coding and programming skills
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