Choosing an e-commerce shopping cart

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Ideas posted: 7
Posted by: Kay

What qualities do you look for when choosing e-commerce shopping cart software for a website? I don't know how you go about picking one.

Are the features common to all? I know some are free and some are paid. I would worry that a free one was less secure than one I'd paid for. Is there any difference in the level of security or are they all similar in that respect?

Please share your thoughts on what is the best e-commerce shopping cart to go for and why. If there is anything that I'd definitely not want to use I'd like to hear about that too. Thanks!

Category: Business & Finance
No comments Show ideas (7)
Security is pretty much universal. Of course you want to make certain the one you are using is secure. I use google checkout because it's free and because google has so much money and produces some really nice quality software you just know they can afford to pay millions on a good encryption key.
Jul 22, 2010
I've been reading about this subject for awhile now and the best advice I can give you is make sure that PayPal is an option. Yes they do take a bigger cut than many others but it's become the largest on the web and sets the industry standard. It already has the largest number of member accounts so doesn't require sharing credit card info which scares so many people these days.
Jun 1, 2010
when choosing an ecommerce shopping cart software for a website - The first thing you need to do is

a) To do a feature wise comparative study of features available in the market
b) Also you need to look at the underlying technologies and impact
c) There are a lot of open source software available you could use them
d) Kindly refer
May 26, 2010
I've had an account with for nine years and never had a problem with it. However, although you can do a TON with it, you do have to be fairly good with HTML in order to use it.
Recently I've been looking at Super feature rich and nicely priced. Has all the shipping modules you could ever want, the ability to ship to multiple addresses in one order...just a VERY nicely designed cart.
You still have to get your own merchant account to accept Visa and Mastercard, but a very tempting cart!
If you're just starting out with a couple of products, Mal's is the way to go. You can even link up for paypal payments if you haven't got your merchant account sorted out yet!

Mal's will give you the ability to get out there and start selling without a huge outlay of cash. Your best bet for testing the waters!
Feb 7, 2010
Yahoo shopping cart is the best thing when it comes to price and scalability. I look for scalability, I don't want to pay high fees when starting out small but I also want it to handle high traffic when the business grows. Yahoo shopping cart is the most secure, pretty affordable if you are just starting out with a few transactions, and very easy to scale up. If your business skyrockets to thousands of transactions you simply upgrade to the higher package and pay more, it can handle even tens of thousands of transactions.
Feb 7, 2010
Most people will tell you to go for magento, zencart or oscommerce. However, I have looked into this extensively since 2006.

Magento is the best of the three mentioned above because of all the plugins you can use to adapt it to your needs. However magento has a paid version so remember they will always hold you back as they want you to pay for the software.

With regards to features the most important aspects are that they are search engine friendly, a fast checkout process, adaptable with good image scripts, lots of flexibility when it comes to shipping options and also payment gateway flexibility and of course security. Templates for this will also set you back quite a bit if you want to have a good looking shop to help conversion.

An open source shopping cart is always going to be good for flexibility but is also vulnerable for security as the code is readily available to be downloaded for free so hackers can easily look at the code to locate vulnerabilities to exploit.

Out of the 3 above I originally chose oscommerce and heavily modernised it. However, it still wasn't performing as well as it should.

Since then wordpress has come along and has blown them away. As wordpress is so naturally adaptable and search engine friendly I sought after finding a solution I could use with this, this way if my shop ever started to look old I can simply change the template and also add more features in as it develops like newsletters, download abilities, flash galleries, backup, social media marketing etc etc. I first had a look at wp-ecommerce. This is free and quite basic with a paid expansion. However it is limited in terms of shopping and still quite buggy.

The best solution I have found by far is shopp it costs $50. This is a wordpress ecommerce plugin and the difference in conversion and sales is unbelievable. My sales have gone through the roof comparatively by nearly 30 times my sales on the oscommerce site within just a couple of weeks of the changeover.

Not many people have actually found out about how effective mixing wordpress and ecommerce actually is yet as most go for the three above.

Now the solution isn't perfect you still have to adapt it to really suit your needs but you do with all shopping carts and this is such a solid foundation you will be laughing. Plus you can adapt as you go on so your site will never get old, the source code is open but you of course have to pay for it so both adaptable and secure.

It is lacking a few features like commenting, rating and cross promotion but they are developing all the time so hopefully these will be added soon. For what it lacks here it more than makes up for in terms of search engine rankings and conversion.

You can get it at and see a feature list there. If you want to see how I have implemented it and the result in action you can see one of my sites at

I wish you all the luck in your new venture and I hope this helps.
Feb 6, 2010
Security is not going to be the problem. Robustness of features and support is going to be the different between paid and free.

I will either go with the cart that comes from my website host, or use e-junkie. My logic? Most of my friends use e-junkie. I am not in a position to do a really robust comparison test, and the income I expect is not worth the time it takes to shop around. YMMV.

If you select "free" and something goes wrong, it's possible you'll have to face feelings of being too cheap. At least if you're paying, if or when something goes wrong, you get to feel righteously indignant and complain in public, which is more fun.
Feb 6, 2010
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