Choose E-Commerce Shopping Carts

Looking for a reliable shopping cart

When you choose an e-commerce shopping cart, the most important criteria is credit card processors. Credit card processing needs gateway - interface between your site and the processors. Because it doesn’t rely on your system solely, it gets more complicated to configure or program it. Also, credit card processors come and go all the time. Therefore, you need to choose a shopping cart that supports enough of the major credit card processors and has an easy configuration to run it.

Other important criteria that you should consider when choosing a shopping cart are 1. how easy to set it up, 2. how convenient to add products, 3. how easy to use shipping service and 4. how efficient for customers to use.

It’s nicer if the shopping cart has these add-on features: ad tracking, auto-responders, mailing lists and broadcasting.

Avoid shopping carts that have only one credit card processor. Also, avoid shopping carts that use cookies and JavaScript only. Before you decide which one, make sure that you test it on various web browsers. Don’t forget to try it on old versions of browsers.

Here are some inexpensive and effective e-commerce shopping carts that are commonly used:

1. osCommerce

Free, open source
PHP and MySQL. Setup can be difficult for a newbie.
Requires customers to register and login before they can place an order.
Supports a wide range of credit card processors and shipping services.

Because it’s a free shopping cart, there’s no official technical support. You can get help from the osCommerce forums.
Because it’s an open source shopping cart, there is less chance to go out of business.

2. X-Cart

Commercial. Starting from $199
PHP and MySQL.
Requires customers to register and login before they can place an order.
Supports a wide range of credit card processors and shipping services.
Various add-ons such as an affiliate program.
Forums, FAQs and an online reference manual.
You can sign up for technical support.

3. Interchange

Free, open source
Full-featured shopping cart.
Suitable for sales, content management, customer service and reporting and analysis.
A bit unstable and buggy.

4. Miva Merchant

Commercial. Starting from $299.95
Good feature set: shipping and tax configuration capabilities. Affiliate program. Email system.
Relatively easy to setup but not easy to install.
FAQs and How-to-Guides.
You can sign up for technical support ranging from $150.00 to $600.00 a year.

5. VP.ASP

Commercial. Starting from $195
Relatively easy installation and easy to setup.
Easy to manage lots of products. Unlimited products, categories, and subcategories.

6. Actinic Catalog

Commercial. Starting from $499
Off-line PC-based shopping site builder.
Relatively easy installation and easy to setup.
Supports a wide range of credit card processors and shipping services.

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