Nowhere on the web is the paradox of choice more evident than in shopping carts. Entrepreneurs and businesses are bombarded with a bounty of options on what shopping cart software is right for their business. With so many choices, many are paralyzed with anxiety over what they should go for.
A few shopping cart software however stand out. If you are looking to set up shop online, here are the 6 options you should probably be focusing on.
1. Big Commerce – Bronze $24.95/month
As of 2014, BigCommerce has over 50,000 stores that span 25 industries and over 65 countries. Whether its fashion, electronics, health, sports, and jewelry, BigCommerce offers a fully-loaded package that includes a secure shopping cart, product catalogs, payment gateway, marketing tools, and a mobile-optimized store.
BigCommerce integrates with eBay, Facebook, Shopzilla, and Pricegrabber and accepts payments from more than 60 payment gateways including PayPal, Google Checkout, and credit cards. Some of its clients include CNN, the Food Network, Good Morning America, ABC News, GQ among others.
The Bronze plan which includes only the enterprise features is just $24.95/month while the Diamond plan, which includes a fully-loaded feature offering goes for $299.95/month.
2. Shopify – Basic $29/month
With over 100,000 online stores, Shopify offers a range of selling options, which is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. It includes Shopify Mobile, an on-the-go option for update your store, managing inventory, orders, and contacting customers right from your iOS device. For those who want to take their online store offline, there is even a Shopify POS system that allows you to sync both your online and offline inventory and sales.
Shopify also includes a partner program where designers, developers, and affiliates can earn money by helping people grow their business.
The Basic plan goes for $29/month, the Pro plan for $79/month, and the Unlimited plan for $179/month.
3. Big Cartel – Gold plan is Free
With over 500,000 stores, Big Cartel is a shopping cart for artists who own independent stores. It provides designers, jewelry makers, and similar artists the tools needed to showcase, market, and sell their stuff. It has a quick setup of just minutes, it is easy to use and comes with the right mix of SEO and analytics to enable non-techies to get their businesses up and running.
The tool also includes discount codes that enable users to offer rewards, promote their stores, and market new products. A Facebook app as well as an iPhone app enable store owners to sell their products beyond their website.
The Gold plan is free, platinum is $9.99/month, Diamond is $19.99/month, and the Titanium plan is $29.99/month.
4. osCommerce – Price varies with Developer
osCommerce includes a growing community of store owners, developers, and service providers that number over 260,000 as of 2014. This community has uploaded over 7,000 add-ons that enable store owners to customize and add new functionalities to their online storefronts.
osCommerce integrates with Amazon, eBay, and Sagepay for anyone looking to offer their customers a variety of payment processing options.
The osCommerce products and services vary in cost based on who develops your store.
5. Magento – Price varies with Developer
Magento is an open-source software with over 200,000 merchants using it as of 2014. Owned by eBay, it powers some popular eCommerce brands such RosettaStone, Nike, Easton, and Vizio. It includes an extension marketplace where users can integrate a number of third-party tools such as WordPress, One Page Checkout, Zendesk, Sage Payments Solutions, and Optimizely among others.
There is an enterprise-class platform and a small business storefront offering. The enterprise edition offers rich integration around search and customer support features to help handle hundreds or thousands of customer queries. The small business storefront , Magento Go, comes with premium hosting, flexible design, powerful marketing tools, and features such as coupons, gift cards, and store credits to increase retention and loyalty.
Different developers charge different rates for customizing Magento.
6. StoreEnvy – Free
StoreEnvy offers both an eCommerce storefront for your business as well as a marketplace where StoreEnvy shoppers can discover you. The StoreEnvy Store is completely customizable allowing you to set up shop in just 5 minutes. You can make the store look however you like and even integrate it into your existing website.
Anything you add to the store becomes automatically searchable within the larger StoreEnvy community. StoreEnvy accepts payments from major credit cards as well as from PayPal. It also includes a Facebook page storefront and is mobile and tablet-friendly.
When selecting a shopping cart for your small business, consider how seamless the setup process is, the variety of payment processing options, and if the storefront maintains consistency across a range of devices. A shopping cart has the potential to increase sales or choke your conversion funnel and taking the above steps will help you make a more informed decision.
David Gitonga is a full-time Web content creator and strategist working with various companies in developing and executing online marketing campaigns on social networks and search engines. He mostly works with small and medium-sized businesses looking to leverage the Internet to drive sales, innovation, and engagement online. Connect with David on Twitter and Google+ or through his website.