If you are looking to get up and running with your own online store, then a shopping cart is what you need to make it happen. A shopping cart is a type of software application that allows you to incorporate a storefront into your e-commerce website. This software can help you customize your store with tons of products attached with thumbnails, multiple shipping methods and payment options. With a good program, you can start selling products immediately by accepting payments via credit card or popular alternatives such as PayPal. Some of the most popular shopping carts are open-source programs and this article will introduce you to several popular choices.
As open-source software, the osCommerce shopping cart is free to use. The program is integrated with a number of features that can easily be enabled and configured. The osCommerce shopping cart gives you the ability to add multiple items to your store, organize them in categories, give out discounts, run special promotions and much more. It also offers built-in shipping and tax capabilities to ensure accuracy. With this shopping cart, you can set prices in different currencies and accept payment through methods such as credit cards, Payal and e-checks. osCommerce is extremely popular and currently powers a large number of stores on the web.
The CREloaded shopping cart is a fork built on the source code of osCommerce. This feature-rich platform caters to beginners and professionals alike, offering the ability to process credit card payments via PayPal or Authorize.net. You can list a large number of products, set discounts and shipping costs. CREloaded’s greatest attribute is the wide variety of themes that allow you to customize the look of your storefront. This software is tailored to help you create a store that fully brands your identity and enhances the customer’s shopping experience.
Zen Cart is another open-source shopping cart freely distributed under the GNU General Public License. This software was designed with simplicity in mind but offers some very powerful features. Zen Cart lets you set up an unlimited amount of products and organize them in numerous categories. The program supports multiple payment options and different currencies as well as top-notch security mechanisms such as SSL certificates. The built-in control panel allows you to mange products and all related items from a centralized area.
Magento is one of the latest open-source shopping cart applications. This e-commerce platform offers a lot exclusive features geared towards managing customer relations and marketing your store. The user-friendly interface allows you to control virtually every aspect of the store from listing and organizing products to setting up browser options and special promotions. This shopping cart software sets itself a part from the competition with built-in analytics, reporting and promotion tools. Magento is completely scalable and backed by an extensive support team. Though cost effective in comparison to premium shopping carts, Magento isn’t free like the other software mentioned in this article.
These are just a few of several highly functional open-source shopping carts. Like most open-source technologies, these programs can be easily incorporated into your existing e-commerce site.