24 ways to set up an online business

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Every small business owner who is looking for a shopping cart for their ecommerce business is faced with hundreds of options. According to Practical eCommerce magazine, there are about 500 ecommerce shopping cart solutions. How do you decide which one is right for you?

Shopping Carts

This is my attempt to aggregate and list information about the majority of small business ecommerce shopping carts.

The list below is in no particular order –

  1. Shopsite – One of the most popular small business shopping carts. You need either download and run the software on your own servers, or you can find a hosting provider to host your webstore. Lexiconn is one of the popular Shopsite hosting providers.
  2. Shopify – A pure SaaS (hosted) small business shopping cart that focuses on ease of use and simplicity. No installation, backups or upgrades required. Easy to get started. Read a detailed review here. Shopify recently acquired StoreSync, thus extending its ease of use to the iPhone platform. Pricing starts at $24 a month up to $699 a month. Some of the packages have transaction fees.
  3. Miva Merchant – Hosts about 200,000 stores. A preferred shopping cart solution for many small businesses. You can either install and run it on your own, or seek a hosting provider. Recently, the company launched a hosted platform called Miva Merchant SaaS, with monthly prices for it ranging from $59.95 to $129.95. More information here.
  4. ZenCart – Is an open source shopping cart solution but you need to download and install it. ZenCart’s authors claim that their software “can be installed and set-up by anyone with the most basic web site building and computer skills.”
  5. Interspire – This solution includes a shopping cart, an email marketing module and a content management system. More information here.
  6. MightyMerchant – A hosted shopping cart that also provides flexibility to customize according to your needs. The company also offers a web design service for small businesses that want to modify the look and feel of their webstore. More information here.
  7. Volusion – Yet another hosted shopping cart solution. Monthly pricing plans from $25 to $160. More information here and here.
  8. ProductCart – You need to download and run the software on your servers. License fee starting from $695. Additional services for additional fees. More information here.
  9. X-Cart – Not hosted. License fees starting from $115. The company provides installation and customization services starting from $57. Used by 20,000+ live online stores worldwide. The X-Cart shopping cart can be modified by the merchant and by third party developers. More information here.
  10. ShopCreator – They offer three different shopping cart packages targeted towards small to medium businesses. The Transact package charges a percentage of the shop revenues. The StartUp and Retailer packages charge flat monthly fee. All packages are fully hosted.
  11. Magento – Is an open source ecommerce shopping cart platform. Hosts 30,000+ merchants. Since it is open source, there are numerous third party plugins. More information including a video walk through here.
  12. Wahmcart ((Work At Home Mom Cart) – Easy, light-weight, hosted small business shopping cart. Available for $40 a month.
  13. GoECart – Hosted solution. Customizable. Provides good integration with shipping services, payment gateways. More information on the shopping cart can be found herehere and here.
  14. SearchFit – Hosted solution. Starting from $49 to $249 per month. Has a flexible template system that will allow you to customize your web store. The shopping cart also has a strong focus on SEO. Has functionality for email marketing and Google feeds.
  15. ColdFusion Shopping Cart – You have to download and run the shopping cart software on your servers. The company offers installation service for a fee. Requires MS Access, MSSQL or MySQL database running on your servers. Integrated with shipping services, Quickbooks and payment gateways.
  16. Fortune3 – You can download and run the shopping cart on your own. Or you can choose the hosting plans provided by the company. Pricing ranges between $30 an $160 a month with an additional one-time setup fee.
  17. Cubecart – Authors of the cart claim that their ecommerce shopping cart is used by “over 1 million stores worldwide”. You can download and run the ecommerce software on your own. Or use the hosting plan offered by the company.
  18. Network Solutions – Hosted shopping cart with price ranging from $27/month to $100/month. Additional setup fees. The company claims that their shopping cart is SEO friendly and is integrated with payment gateways. The cart also works with Google Analytics and various other third-party software. (Thank you Ross for the suggestion)
  19. BigCommerce shopping cart from Interspire – According to the company, “more than 1000 businesses sign up for BigCommerce every week”. This too is a hosted shopping cart with a monthly fee ranging from $25 to $300 depending on the size of your online store. ($50 set up fee for every plan).
  20. Big Cartel – This is an easy to set up cart marketed towards artists. Their plans range from $10 to $20 a month. No transaction fees are involve. Backseat Vintage is an example store that runs on Big Cartel.
  21. Etsy – This one is more of a community market place targeted towards small businesses selling handicrafts and vintage goods. Like Big Cartel, this site too is geared towards artists. There is a $0.20 listing fee per item and a transaction fee per order processed.
  22. Sell Simply – This cart focuses on set up simplicity. You can list items on Sell Simply via Twitter updates. There is a $1 listing fee. And payments are processed by paypal. An example site is Lisateso’s photography services.
  23. 1shoppingcart – This cart provides email marketing and shopping cart packaged into one solution. Pricing starts at $59/month for the combined package. (Thank you Cristie for the suggestion)
  24. Venderr – This cart claims that it “makes it dead simple for anyone to start selling online”. The team is based in Portugal and their pricing varies from 9 euros/month to 49 euros/month. They also have a pure transaction fee based pricing model. (Thank you Filipe for the suggestion)

…. I will be adding to this list over the coming days. In the meanwhile, here is a wikipedia article that does a good comparison of shopping cart software.

Please help me complete this list. Please add your entries to the comments section with links to relevant reviews and I will move it to the main article.

If you would like to be notified when I update this list, please follow us on Twitter @ordoroteam