If you have an online store, you need shopping cart software. At its most basic, shopping cart software is the piece of technology that keeps track of the items a buyer has selected while shopping your online store.
Ecommerce shopping carts enable shoppers to select products, review what they have selected, and complete a purchase.
Different shopping cart software offers different features, from advanced security and data management to integrations with third-party technologies. At the end of the day, however, without an online shopping cart, you can’t sell online — it’s as simple as that.
With that in mind, here are five of the best shopping cart software options for brands in 2019.
Shopify is a hosted shopping cart, meaning that it’s an easy-to-use solution managed and hosted by the company that created it. This also means that essentially all you need to do to set up your store is sign up. You can customize your checkout, use a premade template for a brand new store, or just add purchase buttons to your existing website to start accepting orders.
Shopify works seamlessly with over 100 different payment processors, as well as its own Shopify Pay.
There are two different subscription options for Shopify, with an entry-level version starting at $29/month and a more advanced version — featuring add-ons such as gift cards — for an additional cost.
For large brands who have outgrown their Shopify integration, Shopify offers Shopify Plus, an enterprise-level ecommerce platform.
Shopify is a great choice for both sellers who want to completely customize their store and those who want a simple plug-and-play option.
3dcart is another hosted shopping cart option. Brands can add it directly to their existing website by creating a subdomain and connecting it to the 3dcart storefront. Benefits of 3dcart include no transaction fees, built-in SEO and marketing features, advanced reporting, and the ability to sell on social media and marketplaces through the 3dcart dashboard.
Like Shopify, 3dcart connects to a variety of payment processors. 3dcart’s free themes and templates are much more limited than Shopify’s.
Pricing varies depending on included features and the number of products listed, with monthly rates ranging from $19 to $229. 3dcart is an easy-to-use, scalable option that can accommodate fast-growing brands.
With multiple pricing tiers including a free option, Ecwid is one of the best free shopping cart software choices. Ecwid offers a shopping cart that can be added to a variety of sites and social media profiles, including WordPress, Weebly, Facebook, and Instagram.
Unlike Shopify and 3dcart, Ecwid’s primary purpose is to allow you to add ecommerce functionality to your brand’s existing online presence, rather than launching a standalone online store.
For brands selling up to 10 different products, Ecwid is free; more advanced plans range from $15/month to $99/month. This makes Ecwid fairly cost-competitive — and a great choice for those who don’t want to reinvent the wheel by building out an entire ecommerce website.
4. Magento Open Source
In addition to its enterprise-level ecommerce platform, Magento offers a free open-source shopping cart solution for brands. Using open-source shopping cart software has a variety of pros and cons. Open-source software can support a huge number of features, meaning it can be customized to meet your business’s specific needs. In addition, Magento can be hosted on your own secure server rather than relying on a third party.
That said, open-source shopping cart software requires developer knowledge and resources to set up and maintain. Magento’s open source option does not offer dedicated tech support, though there is a community portal where users share documentation and advice.
Though the price tag (or lack thereof) may be attractive, you should only consider Magento Open Source if you have developer resources on-hand and have a secure, SSL-certified server.
Experts Chime in:
CEO of Web Solutions NYC Yitzchak Lieblich operates a unique boutique design and development agency with expert knowledge on one of the world’s most trusted ecommerce platforms – Magento.
“What that means is we are experts with anything Magento related,” Lieblich said.
“We are the only Magento partner in the world (that we know of) that employs only Magento Certified developers, thereby guaranteeing all of our clients work is done by a certified developer.”
According to Lieblich, at the end of the day, the number one request from his clients is pretty straight forward: Create more sales through higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates and lower cart abandonment.
“We understand that no two businesses are the same, and we also understand that what works for one vertical will not work for all verticals,” he said.
For more information on how to leverage Magento to its full potential, check out our entire interview with Lieblich here.
For WordPress users, WooCommerce is the shopping cart plugin of choice. WooCommerce offers its own secure payment processor and shopping cart software. WooCommerce is one of the only free shopping cart software options, though it costs additional money to completely integrate the shopping cart into your WordPress site.
Similar to Magento Open Source, WooCommerce is an open source platform, meaning you’ll need WordPress developer resources on-hand to customize it for your brand. If your brand’s website is already built on WordPress, WooCommerce can be a great option for smaller brands.
Like payment processors and ecommerce platforms, there is no one shopping cart software that is perfect for all brands. To find the best shopping cart software for your business, consider your budget, developer resources, and where you want to host your online store.
Which shopping cart software does your brand use? Let us know in the comments below!