Advanced Shopping Cart Systems
As the focus of business has shifted from physical stores to online eCommerce solutions so to has shopping cart software proliferated. There are literally hundreds of different shopping carts for clients who wish to expand their business online for the first time or for those wishing to switch or upgrade.
Unlike Content Management Systems,the best shopping carts are not all equal. Your solution depends largely on your neesds. Here at Hyperactive Designs we use a few different solutions.
Magento is arguably the most powerful, fully featured Open Source shopping cart on the market. Magento supplies most standard and advanced features out of the box. It has a broad range of payment and shipping options and a huge developer network. If you want to do something then, most likely, Magento can do it.
If you looking for a feature that isn’t suppported by Magento it can normally be found as a free or reasonably priced plugin.
The downside of all this power is complexity. There is a steep learning curve in using the Magento shopping cart. All that flexibility and power means that there is a lot to learn. Using the basic features is quite simple but there is so much to the Magento backend that you may never learn it all.
Another downside of Magento is that it is very resource heavy, meaning that it won’t run comfortably on a shared host (see our run down on hosting here). To run well Magento requires, at minimum, a VPS. Anything less and even moderate use will lead to poor performance. Of course VPS hosting cost’s more but not excessively so.
Magento is an outstanding eCommerce solution some of its features include:
Marketing Promotions Tools
- Flexible Coupons (pricing rules) with ability to restrict to stores, customer groups, time period, products, and categories.
- Catalogue Promotional Pricing
Analytics and Reporting
- Admin Dashboard for Report Overview
- Abandoned Shopping Cart Report
- Best Customers Report by Total and Number of Orders
Search Engine Optimization
- Google Site Map
- URL Rewrites give full control of URL’s
- Meta-information for products and categories
- Control multiple websites and stores from one Administration Panel
- Web Services API for easy integration between the shopping cart and any third-party application
- A/B and Multivariate Testing
- Batch Import and Export of catalogue
- Google Base Integration
- Downloadable/Digital Products
- Advanced Pricing Rules and support for Special Prices (see marketing tools)
- Layered / Faceted Navigation for filtering of products in Categories
- Layered / Faceted Navigation for filtering of products in Search Results
- Product comparisons
- Product Reviews
- Multiple Images Per Product
- Product Image Zoom-in Capability
- Support for Multiple Currencies
- One-Page Checkout
- Checkout without account/Guest Checkout
- Shipping to multiple addresses in one order
- Shipping to multiple addresses in one order
- Multiple shipments per order
- Free Shipping
- Multiple Payment Options Supported
- Payment Extensions Available through Shopping Cart Connect
- Configurable authorization and capturing of funds
- Feature-rich Customer Accounts
- Order Tracking from Account
- Re-orders from account
- Downloadable Products
- Recently ordered items
- View, edit, create and fulfill orders from admin panel.
- Create one or multiple invoices, shipments and credit memos per order to allow for split fulfillment
Woocommerce is a relative new-comer to the eCommerce game. It’s built on WordPress so you get all the power and flexibility of the leading Content Management System with a basic yet powerful shopping cart. Woocommerce is an excellent choice for smaller business wishing to move into eCommerce for the first time. It is relatively inexpensive compared to other implementations and has enough features for most client’s needs. It is easily extended as it is based on WordPress and has a broad developer network.
While not as powerful as Magento, the Woocommerce shopping cart is very cost effective and will run easily on a shared hosting server.
Some of the features of Woocommerce include:
Bundled with PayPal (for accepting credit card & PayPal account payments), BACS, and Cash on Delivery. We’ve also got heaps of specific payment gateway extensions.
Set up shop with the options of offering free shipping, or flat rate shipping. Cater for specific distribution logistics, like table rate shipping, through a variety of shipping extensions.
Easily manage your digital or physical products with our intuitive and WP centric UI. Rest assured your shop will scale with your growth. Assign store managers to handle the day to day inventory management.
Keep a birds-eye view of incoming sales & reviews, stock levels & general store performance, all from your WordPress backend.
Run complex coupon campaigns offering a range of discount options, usage limits & product / user restrictions as well as free shipping.
Tax is the last thing you want to think about when opening a shop. We’ve made it simple. Configure tax settings with tax classes & local tax rates.