Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce

By Julie Knudson | Posted April 04, 2016
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    Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce
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    Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce

    The shopping cart plays a vital role in the small business ecommerce pipeline. A well-designed shopping cart platform helps move customers through the sales funnel, keeps them engaged as they shop around the site, and provides an easy-to-follow, friction-free checkout experience.

    As ecommerce continues its strong growth and the software marketplace grows, small business owners can choose from a broad field of sturdy, full-featured shopping cart solutions, including four of our favorite ecommerce shopping carts below.

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    3DCart: Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce

    Increase conversions and reduce abandoned carts with 3DCart's built-in optimization tools that include sending emails to customers who didn't complete their order, and an optimized site design that provides customers with a good shopping experience on mobile devices and on desktop computers. Reporting functionality gives small business merchants insight into cart abandonment trends.

    3DCart lets you accept payments through a number of existing providers, and it includes seamless integration for the most popular channels. The ecommerce shopping cart supports tokenization, which lets your customers keep their credit card on file for easy payment during future or recurring transactions.

    Customer features include viewing real-time shipping rates from multiple carriers, and etailers can offer flat-rate and free-shipping options, as well. Wish lists give customers a way to store and share their most-wanted products, while a gift registry lets them identify items for special events and occasions.

    Plan pricing starts at $9.99/month and interested merchants can test drive the platform with a free 15-day trial.

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    X-Cart: Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce

    X-Cart lets you choose from a variety of color schemes to match the ecommerce platform to your existing small business branding. A mobile-friendly design means that your ecommerce site renders cleanly no matter the type of device customers use to access it. The X-Cart solution also includes a module that lets you localize your website quickly and easily.

    Customer features include an anonymous checkout option, or your customers can shop using an existing Google+ or Facebook account. Real-time shipping quotes give customers the most accurate and up-to-date information when placing an order.

    Small business owners who want to avoid PCI compliance issues can take advantage of X-Cart's multiple payment processors and payment integrations.

    X-Cart offers a free, entry-level product. Additional features are available in plans that start at $495 for a lifetime license.

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    OpenCart: Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce

    OpenCart, an open source shopping cart, is designed to be fast and easy to deploy. It features unlimited products, categories, and manufacturers. You can administer multiple ecommerce stores—each with its own themes, products, prices, and localization features—through a single interface. The platform includes most of the popular payment gateways, and you can add others through extensions.

    OpenCart's in-depth reporting functionality lets merchants dig down into sales figures, most-viewed products, and most-sold products. Report templates offer a number of designs from which to choose.

    A guest-checkout function gives customers the option to either sign up for an account or to checkout by entering only the information necessary to complete the transaction.

    Downloading OpenCart won’t cost you a thing, but you need to host and set it up yourself. If you don’t want to be involved with backend configuration and maintenance, you can partner with OpenCart's hosting provider for an ecommerce bundle starts at less than $7 per month.

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    PinnacleCart: Shopping Carts for Small Business Ecommerce

    You can choose from a variety of free templates or can work with PinnacleCart's design team to create a custom look for your small business ecommerce shopping cart. The platform features recurring billing with flexible frequencies—perfect for selling subscription-based products. QuickBooks integration makes it easy to pull sales information out of PinnacleCart, which can save you valuable time.

    The shopping cart also includes analytics tools—from conversion tracking to campaign analysis. PinnacleCart works in conjunction with Google Analytics and with Google AdWords. If your small business already uses QR codes for products or for marketing campaigns, PinnacleCart lets you track their effectiveness from within the cart. You can also remarket to customers who have abandoned their carts and encourage them into finish their transaction.

    Social media tie-ins let customers share their favorite products through the most popular social media channels, and tokenization lets repeat customers save their credit card information for future orders.

    PinnacleCart plans start at $29.95 per month, and you can try a free 14-day trial to see how the platform works for your business.

    Julie Knudson's articles have appeared in tech magazines including BizTech, Processor, and For the Record. She also writes a recurring column in Integrated Systems Contractormagazine.

    Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

The right small business ecommerce shopping cart can improve your ecommerce sales conversions and boost customer satisfaction. We take a quick look at four ecommerce shopping carts.

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