6 Easy Ecommerce Shopping Carts for Small Business Websites

Looking to add an ecommerce shopping cart to your existing business website? Here are six fully-featured carts that will meet the needs of most SMBs.

By Vangie Beal
Wed, July 25, 2012

CIO — An ecommerce shopping cart is the heartbeat of any online retail site. When shopping for a shopping cart, it's important to choose one that can be customized to match your business and be flexible enough to grow with your business.

Shopping cart software serves a number of roles on a business website. It acts as an online store product catalog, provides the customer user interface, handles the ordering process and is the interface among the company website, the back-end inventory infrastructure and the payment gateway.

Some small business merchants, when venturing into the world of ecommerce, will start with hosted ecommerce software. These fully-featured and hosted platforms provide everything from domain name registration to the tools you need to build an ecommerce website, all from one vendor. While hosted ecommerce is easy and secure, it doesn't give online retailers a lot of control, since most functions are managed by the ecommerce service provider.

If total control is what you want, an option for tech-savvy business owners is to integrate a standalone shopping cart to add ecommerce to a business website. These shopping carts are a good choice for small businesses that already host their own secure websites and have in-house technical expertise to configure and manage ecommerce operations.

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Here are six fully-featured options for anyone investing in ecommerce shopping cart software for a small-to-midsize business (SMB). Most carts can be either integrated with existing websites or used to create a new site or storefront.

1. 3D Cart: Design Templates, Business Management Tools

3dCart shopping carts serve as ecommerce storefronts. If you already have a website, 3dCart can import the existing design or migrate your business from Yahoo Stores, Miva, X-Cart and others. 3dcart provides customizable design templates as well as business management tools for order processing, shipping, sales reporting and other business functions.

Old Time Candy
Old Time Candy is an online store for old-fashioned candy from the 1950s to the 1980s. The company uses the 3dcart ecommerce platform.

3dCart Pricing starts at $19.99 per month, which is suitable for low-traffic websites with up to 100 products. A Gold account for medium-traffic websites with up to 1,000 products will cost $49.99 per month. All accounts include free technical support.

2. AgoraCart: A Secure, Open-Source Shopping Cart

AgoraCart can support your own code base or can be built using a series of templates. AgoraCart features include customizable store designs, unlimited products, multiple tax rates, more than 10 payment gateways and PCI compliance. The free community edition (version 5.2.x) is supported only though online community forums. Meanwhile, the Gold Version of AgoraCart (6.x Gold) is available for $49.95 and provides additional features and support.

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