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Choosing an eCommerce Shopping Cart

Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

Choosing an eCommerce shopping cart can be a daunting task. As the founder of Coalition Technologies, a company that designs, develops and markets websites almost exclusively for eCommerce clients, I’ve used all of the major shopping cart platforms extensively, and while they all make largely the same promises, they don’t all deliver the same results.

If you’re still trying to make your decision, here’s a very basic breakdown of some of the most popular shopping carts out there. Although this blog has tackled the subject of shopping cart comparisons in the past, the platforms are constantly changing and updating, so the subject is worth an occasional revisit.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the most successful platforms, because it’s still one of the best. Customizable enough for developers but simple enough for beginners, it’s the ultimate eCommerce solution. The SEO configurations are unparalleled, the preset templates are far more impressive than what the the competitors have to offer, and the marketing tools are just amazing. The company offers top level security, excellent customer support, conversion-optimized pages, and one of the most user-friendly content management systems available. What more can you ask for?   5/5

Shopify

When choosing an eCommerce shopping cart, you should definitely consider what Shopify has to offer. Shopify is one of the easiest platforms to use, and when it comes to design flexibility, Shopify wins hands down. Business owners will appreciate the simple order tracking, analytics and marketing tools. Shopify sites are mobile friendly, so your customers can easily navigate your website on any device, a feature that’s becoming increasingly important in the online marketplace. Shopify doesn’t have the best international shipping network, so shipping overseas with Shopify can be more of a hassle than with BigCommerce, but it’s still a pretty impressive platform for everything that’s included. 4.5/5

Magento

When it comes to the merits of Magento, it really depends on which edition you’re using. The Magento Enterprise Edition is magnificent, with everything you would dream of finding in a shopping cart: simple navigation, innumerable customization options, powerful marketing tools, conversion-optimized pages, SEO-friendly configurations, the list goes on. Unfortunately, Magento Enterprise is not one of the most affordable platforms, and the free version, Magento Community Edition, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of features. So it’s a tradeoff. 3.5/5

Volusion

Volusion has everything you would need in an eCommerce platform, including the usual templates, tools and shopping cart options. Enjoy a high level of security, conversion-optimized pages, and the freedom to employ your own custom designs and developments. When compared to some of the other shopping carts, though, Volusion is actually pretty average. The SEO configuration is pretty run-of-the-mill, and the template designs aren’t the most sleek or professional. Still, when it comes to price, Volusion does offer one of the best values. 3/5

3DCart

3DCart has come a long way since its humble beginnings, but unfortunately, it still has a very long way to go. 3DCart still lacks a built-in POS system, and the company does not allow you to process credit card payments without a separate merchant account or external provider. International shipping is a huge hassle, with only a few North American shipping providers available. All in all, 3DCart is not your best choice. 2/5

Still Can’t Decide?

Choosing an eCommerce shopping cart isn’t easy, because you’re making an important, long-term investment in your business, and you want to be absolutely certain that you’re making the right decision. If you’re still scratching your head, why not check out some free trials? Most of the aforementioned companies offer 14-day or 15-day free trials, which allows you to explore at least some of the major features and develop a feel for each platform. This can make the decision-making process much easier.

For what it’s worth, I would personally recommend BigCommerce and Shopify. When weighing quality, features and value, these two companies always come out on top. And if you’re looking for custom development, design or SEO, check out Coalition Technologies. We have been fully customizing websites within all of the major shopping cart platforms for years, and we have helped our clients to see amazing results and take their businesses to new heights of success. Check out our website, or give us a call at 888-800-9101 for a free quote.

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