Best eCommerce software

A list of the best eCommerce shopping carts and a Comparison Chart of the best shopping cart software.


by Bernard Kohan

There are so many important technical elements in running a successful online business; to name a few:

There are a lot of details and time that goes into creating a complete successful eCommerce site — I am dismayed when I receive a call from a prospective client who only has a budget of $500 to develop an eCommerce site and $10 per month and wants to become rich and successful with that type of investment. That is not realistic.

Small-sized online businesses that are successful spend on average $13,000 on the initial design and development and on average $2,000 per month on managed hosting, support and maintenance, search engine and social media marketing.

Medium-sized online businesses that are successful spend on average $25,000 on the initial design and development and on average $7,500 per month on managed hosting, support and maintenance, search engine and social media marketing.

Large-sized online businesses that are successful spend on average $250,000 on the initial design and development and on average $75,000 per month on managed hosting, support and maintenance, search engine and social media marketing.

There are two types of shopping cart software in regards to licensing:

Licensed with full access to the source code - With this type of license, you have full access to the source code to customize the design or functionality.

This type of eCommerce software is generally divided into three types: Open Source, Commercial, and Enterprise. There are a lot of items to consider and pros and cons on each category that this subject is outside the scope of this article, I'll write another article with the analysis and comparison between Open Source, Commercial, and Enterprise shopping cart software.

The most important consideration in selecting the right licensed shopping cart is:

Hosted by the provider without access to the source code - with hosted-type software, you do not have access to the source code or would not be able to download it, so you have a limited ability to customize the design or functionalities. Hosted shopping cart software companies (also referred to as Application Service Providers (ASPs)) will provide a few design templates or themes to choose from and will charge a monthly or yearly fee (and/or a percentage of the sales) for the usage of the software.

The most important consideration in selecting the right hosted shopping cart is:

These are several issues with hosted shopping cart solutions:

I have outlined a comparison list of the best shopping cart software in order of the following advantages and features: Security, Search Engine Optimization Features, Design Customization, Reliability, Performance, Maintenance and Support.

In my opinion, below is the list of best shopping cart software and features available:

The below table provides a comparison and pros and cons of the above five popular shopping cart softwares:

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Security
PCI Compliance
SEO / SEM / SEF Design Customizations Functionality Customizations Optimal Source Code Performance Enterprise Support Backup / Export Maintenance and Support Marketing Tools Product Showcase Cart and Checkout CMS Administration
Comentum eCommerce yes yes yes yes yes Optimal yes yes yes yes Optimal Optimal yes Optimal
Magento Module Vulnerability yes yes Complicated, Time-consuming, Costly yes Bloated yes yes yes yes Optimal Optimal yes Optimal
Zen Cart Plug-in Vulnerability yes yes Tedious yes Okay yes yes yes Limited Optimal Optimal Limited Optimal
OScommerce Plug-in Vulnerability yes yes Tedious yes Slow yes yes yes Limited Optimal Optimal yes Optimal
CRE Loaded Plug-in Vulnerability yes yes Tedious yes Okay Limited yes yes Limited Optimal Optimal Limited Optimal

Research for this article was completed February 1, 2011; information may change.