Shopping Cart Comparison

I am working on a client project that needs a shopping cart set up.  I have not done too many shopping cart projects – more with PayPal buttons for the one-off items.  But this clients needs more functionality than PayPal can provide – and wants the lower fees of a merchant account.

I have in the past used OsCommerce, which is a decent shopping cart, but lots of work to get set up and everything working just the way it should be. I decided to look at hosted shopping cart solutions.

One option that I really like upon initial inspection was ultracart.  It has quick set-up, good support, and excellent flexibility with products.  The demo looks very professional.

Another shopping cart that I have heard many good things is Magento.  And it has a hosted option that is an excellent value.  And the feature list seems to match that of ultracart.

The third option that I am examining is 1ShoppingCart.  I have used this in the past and I know that it is a very reliable product.  I originally used 1ShoppingCart for their autoresponder and simple payment ability for downloadable products.  After I saw it’s capabilities I used it for quite some time – until I had my own merchant account and at the time my payment processor could not connect to 1ShoppingCart – so at that time I went on to a different solution.

One of the key things I will be looking at with all three of these shopping carts is their affiliate management tool. How easy is it for affiliates to sell the products and get set up in the system.  This is important with this project, and I think something that every online merchant should consider. An excellent way to extend your reach beyond your own website, even if you only use it as a way to increase referrals with your existing clients.

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