Six Second Shopping Cart Reviews

If you just want to compare the carts on what they will cost you per year check out my Shopping Cart Pricing Comparison. Welcome to 2014 and an updated list of to the point bite sized shopping cart reviews to help you filter out the best shopping carts from the nonsense. If it saves you time, leave a comment if you hate it leave two.

Hosted Shopping Cart Software

1ShoppingCart – Solid product, great support. Great if you are in a competitive industry and really need to make sales. Full of marketing tools and add-ons to help you squeeze every sale out of your visitors. Take it for a test drive you wont regret it. 1ShoppingCart Review

Bigcommerce – Full featured. Safe bet, support is questionable luckily you will probably never need it. You could go straight to Bigcommerce and never regret it. Read a full Bigcommerce Review

Shopify – Looks good. Costs more than it should and every new feature costs a little bit more, but it looks great and is very easy to use. Start here and move to Bigcommerce if it doesn’t fit. Read a full Shopify Review

UltraCart – Awesome tools, simple to setup, works with almost everything. If you know ecommerce you will want to take a look at this.

CoreCommerce – cheaper than Bigcommerce almost identical otherwise. You will be happy with CoreCommerce if you choose it, they are always improving it. Read a full CoreCommerce Review

AShop – Great features, only pay for what you use pricing structure to keep costs down, lots of beautiful free themes and great support. Also includes an Australian version that is ideal for Australian ecommerce stores. Read my Ashop Commerce Review

Fortune3 – it’s getting there. Expect a few bugs if you jump on board now. Otherwise wait unti the end of 2012 it should be ready for the big to time then.

Pinnacle Cart – Very easy to use. Has more than enough features. Has the best marketing and re-marketing tools of any cart available. Read a full Pinnacle Cart Review

IzzoNet – IzzoNet is a viable alternative to Bigcommerce – especially if you are looking for unlimited bandwidth. Solid cart that does multi-language and is full of features. Worth a look, expect an IzzoNet Review in early March

3dCart3dCart is a great cart, I wish more people would consider it. It looks good. Runs great and the people behind are awesome. Read a full 3dCart Review

BigCartel – Worth a look. Ideal for setting up your indie T-shirt or music website. Super software done right. Not very good for shops dealing in volume or large traffic. Read a full BigCartel Review

Americommerce – Great. Has every feature yo could ever want built right into it. Takes a little learning because of it’s size but it works and support is excellent. Read a full Americommerce Review

Volusion – if you have to use it it is fine, it should never be your first choice. Very difficult to learn, expensive to make it look good.

Magento Go – thankfully Magento Go doesn’t exist anymore. Sign up for Bigcommerce or Shopify instead. Do it soon and you will get a discount.

Highwire – A commendable effort. Priced appropriately. Worse shopping carts out there. I like what I have seen so far.Search engine optimisation specialists RED Lion Design in Cardiff have recently been voted best SEO company in the local area.

Vendio – not impressed. Too expensive for the little love it will give you. They need to bring there pricing down to comparable carts like Highwire and BigCartel.

Licensed Shopping Cart Software

Cube Cart – No, don’t bother. Try CS Cart or Interspire. The have tried to do too much and you are left feeling like they didn’t do any of it well.

CS Cart – Always happy to use and work with CS Cart. It just goes about it’s business quietly. Give it a shake you won’t be sorry.

Interspire – Brilliant but it has a questionable future, I wouldn’t be relying on it. If you have some developers handy it is worth a look but Interspire became BigCommerce and they have basically left Interspire and all the customers standing outside in the rain. the software is good but it probably won’t get new features or support past 2012.

Lemonstand – Has everything in place to be a real contender. Runs slow on most web servers and the documentation is poor. Give it 2 more releases and it will shine. Definitely keep an eye on it or adopt it now and be brave.

Magento – more difficult than brain surgery, Uglier than a bag of smashed crabs. Do not use. Never. You have been warned.

KonaKart – If you need a Java Shopping Cart go with KonaKart. It does everything you could want. Pricing model is a bit weird. Free or $5,000 but the software is solid.

X-Cart – does this even still exist? Lets hope not. It did a great job back in the day before we knew how to properly design shopping cart software and seperate business and presentation logic. Pass. The support is non-existant anyway if you bought a copy you would be on your own.

ASP(.NET) Shopping Carts

AspDotNetStorefront – a monster of a product. Lots of nice features but you will pay for them. If you have the cash go for it it is leading the way

Free Shopping Carts

OpenCart – once you get it set up Open cart rocks and the price is right. A few very minor hidden costs for some features but gaining momentum, shold be the premier open source shopping cart in 2 years.

Prestashop – Not as good as OpenCart but a close second. Has a strong community so it will continue to improve and grow. If you chose to use it you would be in safe hands.

osCommerce – Have you seen old screenshots of Internet Explorer 4 – remember when it came out and it was cool but now  you look at it and laugh and remember the good old days and Melrose Place and what not. osCommerce is the Internet Explorer 3 of shopping carts. Technically it might still work but it will be the worst online experience of your life. Please think of the children, don’t even visit the site it just encourages them.

ZenCart – ZenCart is worse than osCommerce. ZenCart is like osCommerce but with crazy clown paint on. I can’t explain why but every ZenCart website looks like it was built by a colour blind alpaca. It isn’t the designer’s fault – there is just something that happens when ZenCart renders a webpage that makes jesus cry and customers flee screaming.

WordPress Shopping Carts

WP e-commerce – your best best. Go for the $40 option ans get all the bells and whistle’s. Strong developer community so you can always get help.

Shopp – It’ll do, I don’t much fancy it but it isn’t the worst thing you will ever do.

Jigoshop – Run. If your developer suggests this sack them and then beat them. They sack them again so they get the point.

Drupal Shopping Carts

Ubercart – If you have to use Drupal and you have to integrate a shopping cart this is the best option. It is still like doing dental work on yourself though.

Joomla Shopping Carts

VirtueMart – The only joomla shopping cart worth thinking about. You need to question why you are using Joomla in the first place. Like wordpress carts you should move the store onto a subdomain and use dedictaed shopping cart software.

Hikashop – They tried to make a very simple flexible shopping cart. They did. Then they added “marketing tools” and now it is junk. Don’t even download it and take a look you will abuse me for making you waste your time.


    • says

      I dont like it Pete. It does so many things and none of them properly. Even with Dreamweaver integration it is awful to develop and design for.

      The backend is very slow and confused and it is very overpriced given the very limited features it supports.

      I would go so far as to say the only reason Business Catalyst survives is because Adobe own it and push it at designers furiously.

      If it was left to compete in features, usability, stability and support it would be dead in 6 months (like it was before Adobe bought it)

      Just my two cents

    • Angus says

      Business Catalyst is TERRIBLE. Great idea, but such poor execution. So hard to make anything work. Tried it for 3 months before switching one of our sites to Big Commerce.

  1. Pete Winter says

    Thanks for your reply. Very helpful and good to hear views that are straight to the point! I love your disclosure too! No nonsense! :)

  2. Spyros says

    Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for post. Not sure I agree on Magento-Go.
    Ok it takes a lot of time to properly manage one but once you get there, building new sites is pretty quick. Plus I found the attribute and attribute set’s flexibility hugely attractive. Finally extension modules get added every week. That’s going to be a bit plus going forward. I agree the marketing part is still weak but hey the product is 6 month-old…


    • says

      Thanks for sharing Spyros and I value your feedback as does everyone that visits. My biggest complaint about Magento and Magento GO is that the product is too complicated to setup and give to a small business and expect them to managed without professional help.

      I spend more time supporting Magento installations than every other platform combined. The average layperson, small business owner that is the bulk of my clientele find it terribly confusing and complicated and ring probably 6-7 times more than BigCommerce or Core Commerce customers.

      I know they are improving and will keep an eye on development – hopefully they simplify things

    • Angus says

      Magento is well known as bloatware and a killer of servers. Played with that for a while and couldnt delete it quickly enough. Clunky admin compared to what else is out there now.

  3. Leo says

    Hey Andrew! Was just reading through your site and need your advice here. We’re in the the process of shifting from Cart66 and I’ve been considering WooCommerce. Would you be able to do a review on that?

    1) CS-Cart : Some feedback said that it’s a bit on the slow side, with a need of a semi-dedicated server. Would that be true?

    2) Bigcommerce/CoreCommerce – Am worried about bandwidth issues. We’re currently doing about 4.7 GB/mo for a 4 mo old shop. As we plan to ramp up, I’m worried we might breach 50 GB/mo within 12 months or so.

    What’s your take on this? =)

    3) Jigoshop – Why not? I mean, the devs shifted to Woothemes to work on WooCommerce, but is there something wrong with Jigoshop’s codes or are WP based e-commerce faulty?


    • says

      CS-Cart – yes get some solid hosting. I use Media Temple for the few I manage and have no troubles.

      BigCommerce or CoreCommerce – you can upgrade anytime with a simple click – if you ramp up and are getting the traffic and sales the extra cost should be easy to shoulder

      Jigoshop – templates are a mess, code base is fragmented and difficult to customise. Shipping and payment plugins are limited. Features are limited. Yes Woo are putting some work into and it should improve out of sight – give it 6-12 months, they will do something special, they just haven’t yet

      • Leo says

        Thanks Andrew! But how’s templating for both BigCommerce & CoreCommerce? Also, I read your feedback that 3dCommerce wouldn’t be too good a choice for Asian countries, which I’m based.

        Ah, WooCommerce does seem to be on to something. Just read Mike Jolley’s feedback on GitHub that Facebook Store integration is indeed coming very soon! Would you be doing a review on WC as well? =)

        • says

          I will review WooCommerce in the next couple of months – once it is up to a level that it compares to Wp e-commerce.

          Core Commerce is harder to template than BigCommerce – but you can make both look like anything you need then too with a little work. BigCommerce is probably the easiest of the 2.

          • Leo says

            Thanks Andrew! How about CS-Cart Multi-vendor? Would it be good to run on a semi-dedicated host and a guaranteed 1 Mbps data rate? It seems interesting =) Also, would you be doing a review on that anytime soon? =)


  4. Angus says

    So the big question (and no answering well it depends…) is which cart would be the one you would pick to build a site for yourself ?

    Would the answer change if it was for a site for say 20 products vs a site with 1000 products ?

    You go first and I’ll let you know what I think :)

  5. Brandon says

    It looks like there is something wrong with your Magento link. It just redirects to a Big Commerce page. I would love to read your Magento Go review. Thanks and GREAT SITE! So much great info here.

    • says

      Magento don’t want me to link to them because I won’t take down negative reviews I wrote – no other shopping cart has ever asked me to change something I wrote

  6. Magento says

    With Magento TAF, you are able to test as several UI areas as you’d like. This comes in specially handy once tests several store views or stores using a variety of designs. Each store – or store view – can have a specific UI map but operate of the original set of tests. This removes nesting and naming restrictions for UI map folders and allows users to organize them as they wish

  7. Daniel L says

    Am starting up an e-commerce bookstore with historical periodicals. I have done a few Drupal sites for hobbies like I am not sure about doing a Ubercart site because I don’t have the time to get it going etc.
    I have studied and considered:
    1. Bigcommerce: I have a moral problem with them using AaronWall ( even though he asked them to remove his name see )
    2. Ammericommerce: no support in evenings and weekends, This is the only times I can contact support.
    3. Pinnaclecart
    4. CoreCommerce

    Trying to decide on maybe 4 differences
    1. Track record of ease of setup and maintenance
    2. Support
    3. Inventory control especially batch uploading and downloading (large inventory)
    4. integrate ease with others like eBay store.

  8. amber says

    Great articles! We’ve used Yahoo Merchant for the past 7 years; with a Atandra THUB software connection for communicating sales and inventory with our Quickbooks Point of Sale. It’s been a real challenge, not entirely cost effective and we’re ready to try a new company for our next project.

    Any advice for someone who needs to connect to QB POS? Most of the partners with the ecommerce sites seem to focus on QBPro, but since we have a brick and mortar location as well, the POS seems to be the best place to track accurate inventory.

    We also love features like mobile site, Facebook shop, gift wrap options for individual items and an easy returns form or system.

    Thinking of Big Commerce, but have heard that the hosting IP outside the US can be bad for SEO. Any truth to this statement?

    What do you suggest we check out?

    Thanks again for the super informative website. Really great!

  9. Pete says

    Hi Andrew,

    I’ve been looking for a bilingual cart solution, unfortuantely this rules out bigcommerce which would have been my choice for an English only site (I’m montreal based so bilingualism is a legal requirement).

    At the moment I’m looking at Aceshop, the Opencart extension on Joomla. I would be interested in your thoughts.


  10. Chris Jordan says

    Wow, didn’t expect to laugh out loud reading shopping cart reviews. Also, quick and to the point – nice work.

  11. Donna Rayk says

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for this great post. Any thoughts on using Spree? Someone recently suggested it to me. I don’t have much tech experience so I don’t fully understand the considerations at stake. I am willing to pay for a hosted shopping cart if it has benefits that are worth it. The main product that I will be selling is a subscription service (just 4 options).

    As always, your input is much appreciated.

    – Donna

  12. Bachir says

    You might want to consider the WebJaguar eCommerce platform, it is cloud based, a new breed (and the future) of ecommerce solutions, fully featured, high end, delivered cost effectively… feel free to reply for any question or if you need more information


  13. Liz says

    Hi! I’ve been reading through your posts and reviews of various shopping cart/hosting alternatives, and thank you for your thoughtful analyses and advice.
    Our current site is on izzonet, but there seems to be a big problem with them … all of a sudden they’re AWOL! They seem to have been preparing for a big upgrade, but now they’re never on chat (previously were flawlessly available and always effective). They haven’t responded to emails or phone in over a week, and their FB page disappeared as soon as I posted something on it looking for some attention. The store owners have been emailing amongst ourselves, no one’s been able to get through. We’re trying to find quick alternatives to transfer over to before our sites disappear.
    My question is – have you heard anything?

  14. Ray says

    Nice reviews — and really appreciate your humor. One question: You did not mention WooCommerce for WordPress. Any reason? It appears to be the most popular choice; and apparently much better than WP e-commerce (according to many reviews).

    • says

      You are right, but when I wrote the first version of these bite sized reviews WooCommerce was fresh out of the gates and there was a lot of concern about whether or not Woo would commercialize or ruin it. In the end they put a tonne of work into it and made it very easy to use, install and make look good so when I get around to redoing this post I will update that section.


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