Best Shopping Cart Software Best Shopping Cart Software

9 Best Shopping Cart Software to Create an Online Store

Your ticket to a hassle-free online store starts with the right shopping cart software.

Choosing the right shopping cart software can make or break your online store. It’s the engine that powers your e-commerce platform, from product listings to payment processing. Get it right, and you’ve laid the foundation for a site that converts visitors into customers. Mess it up, and you’re looking at a frustrating maze that drives potential buyers away.

Let’s cut through the noise. There’s an overwhelming number of options out there, each promising to be the golden ticket for your online business. But what really matters? User experience, compatibility with your product range, and seamless payment options are just a few factors that can significantly impact your bottom line.

So, how do you sift through the jargon to find the software that suits your needs? This article breaks down what you need to know. We’ll cover features, ease of use, customization, and how different platforms interact with other aspects of your business. By the end of this read, you’ll be armed with the information you need to pick the shopping cart software that fits like a glove.

How hard is it to create an online store using this software?

Creating an online store is no longer the technical labyrinth it once was, thanks to various shopping cart software options available today. However, the level of difficulty can vary depending on your specific needs, expertise, and the kind of customization you want. Are you okay with a templated solution that gets you up and running quickly, or are you aiming for a finely-tuned machine that requires a bit more under-the-hood tinkering? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

Hosting is another crucial aspect to consider. Some shopping cart solutions come with built-in hosting, offering a one-stop-shop for your online store. This can be convenient but may limit your control over server resources and settings. On the other hand, open-source platforms allow you to choose your hosting provider. While this route gives you more control, it also puts the onus on you to maintain server health, speed, and security. Either way, your choice of hosting can significantly affect your store’s performance, so don’t take it lightly.

So, back to the original question: how hard is it? The answer largely depends on your comfort level with technology and how granular you want to get with customization. For those with limited tech skills, there are straightforward, hosted solutions. If you’re a web developer or have one at your disposal, you might opt for a more flexible, self-hosted platform.

Here’s a rundown of the platforms we’ll be reviewing:

PlatformPricingIs Hosting Built-in?Additional Notes
ShopifyStarts at $29/monthYesIntegrated shopping cart, focus on ease of use
BigCommerceStarts at $29.95/monthYesIdeal for large and fast-growing businesses
WooCommerceFree, but costs can add up with add-onsNoOpen-source, requires WordPress hosting
MagentoFree Community Version, Enterprise starts at $22,000/yearNoHighly customizable, steep learning curve
VolusionStarts at $29/monthYesAll-in-one solution, customization available
Square OnlineFree to start, transaction fees applyYesIdeal for small businesses, integrates with Square POS
EcwidFree tier available, starts at $15/monthNoCan be integrated into any type of website
PrestaShopFree, but costs can add up with add-onsNoOpen-source, powerful features, requires hosting
X-CartStarts at $49.95/monthNoPHP-based, scalable, offers variety of custom carts


A Leading E-commerce Platform with Integrated Shopping Cart Software

Shopify is a top-tier e-commerce platform designed to provide businesses with an all-inclusive digital storefront. It is equipped with a robust shopping cart system that blends seamlessly into the platform’s comprehensive suite of e-commerce tools. Shopify’s mission is to make the complex task of running an online store simple, even for beginners, without sacrificing essential features or scalability.

The platform is renowned for its ease of use and turn-key approach to e-commerce, offering users a wide array of customizable templates that can be adapted to suit any brand or business. Shopify’s integrated shopping cart software is a standout feature, providing businesses with the tools they need to manage sales, track inventory, and facilitate seamless online transactions.

Key Features

  • Integrated Shopping Cart: Shopify provides a powerful shopping cart that accepts multiple payment methods (credit cards, PayPal, etc.), supports various languages and adjusts taxes based on location. It also includes SSL encryption for secure transactions.
  • Customizable Storefront: With over 70 professional themes and complete control over HTML and CSS, businesses can design their online store to align with their brand identity.
  • Complete E-commerce Solution: Beyond its shopping cart software, Shopify offers website hosting, blogging platforms, API support and mobile commerce-ready capability.


Shopify operates on a monthly subscription model with three main pricing tiers:

  • Basic Shopify: $29/month
  • Shopify: $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299/month

Each tier offers increased features and lower transaction fees. There’s also an enterprise plan called “Shopify Plus” for high-volume merchants and large businesses; pricing for this plan is quote-based.


Comprehensive Shopping Cart Solution for Large and Fast-Growing Businesses

BigCommerce is a renowned name in the e-commerce industry, offering a comprehensive shopping cart solution that caters specifically to large and rapidly expanding businesses. It’s an all-in-one platform that provides businesses with the necessary tools to manage their online store effectively, from product listing and inventory management to payment processing and shipping arrangements. BigCommerce stands out for its scalability, robust feature-set, and seamless integrations with various third-party applications.

As an e-commerce platform, BigCommerce offers more than just a shopping cart. It serves as a full-fledged solution for businesses seeking to establish or expand their online presence. With its suite of tools and functionalities, it simplifies the process of setting up an online store, managing products and orders, and optimizing your site for search engines. Whether you’re an established business looking to grow or a startup aiming for rapid expansion, BigCommerce offers a scalable solution that can adapt to your needs.

Key Features

  • Scalable Solution: BigCommerce is designed for growth. As your business expands, the platform can easily scale up to meet your increasing needs without compromising on performance or functionality.
  • Robust Feature-Set: From product management and SEO optimization tools to advanced analytics and reporting features, BigCommerce comes packed with everything you need to run a successful online store.
  • Seamless Integrations: The platform integrates seamlessly with various third-party applications such as payment gateways, shipping providers, CRM systems, email marketing tools, etc., allowing you to streamline your operations further.


BigCommerce offers four pricing plans:

  • Standard: $29.95/month
  • Plus: $79.95/month
  • Pro: $299.95/month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Each plan offers an increasing level of features suitable for different business sizes and requirements. The Enterprise plan is customizable according to specific business needs which includes premium features like priority support and unlimited API calls.


Open-source Shopping Cart Plugin for WordPress Websites

WooCommerce is a robust, open-source shopping cart plugin specifically designed for WordPress websites. This powerful tool transforms any WordPress site into a fully functional e-commerce store, complete with backend management. WooCommerce is an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes that wish to manage their online stores in-house. It provides the flexibility and customization options that come with open-source software, while also offering a user-friendly interface.

Being built on WordPress, the world’s leading content management system (CMS), WooCommerce capitalizes on the CMS’s features to offer an efficient and feature-packed shopping cart solution. This plugin integrates seamlessly with WordPress, allowing users to manage their online store and website from one place. With WooCommerce, you can sell both physical and digital goods, offering product variations, multiple configurations, and instant downloads to shoppers.

Key Features

  • Versatile Product Management: WooCommerce allows you to sell anything from physical products to digital downloads. You can add unlimited products and users, and take unlimited orders.
  • Customizable Storefront Design: Built on WordPress, it offers access to numerous themes and customization options for your online store.
  • Integrated Payment Processing: Supports all major payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe, Credit Cards, Direct Bank Transfer (BACS), checks, Cash on Delivery (COD), and even allows for additional payment gateway extensions.


WooCommerce is a free plugin; however running an e-commerce site will require additional investments such as web hosting services which could range anywhere from $3 – $25 per month depending on the provider chosen. Further costs may include premium WordPress themes or extensions for added functionality which typically cost between $15 – $50 each.


Feature-rich Open-source E-commerce Platform with Customizable Shopping Cart

Magento is a highly versatile, open-source e-commerce platform that has been designed with a focus on providing a wealth of features and customization options. It is widely recognized for its flexibility and scalability, which allows it to cater to businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large multinational corporations. Magento offers an array of powerful tools for creating and managing an online store, making it a popular choice among many e-commerce businesses worldwide.

The platform’s main strength lies in its robustness and adaptability. Magento allows you to create a fully personalized shopping experience for your customers by providing an extensive range of customizable shopping cart features. It also comes with built-in SEO tools to help improve your website’s visibility on search engines, thereby driving more traffic to your online store and increasing sales.

Key Features

  • Customizable Shopping Cart: Magento provides a variety of options for customizing the shopping cart experience, including multiple shipping options, guest checkout, saved shopping carts, and more.
  • Built-In SEO Tools: The platform comes with integrated SEO tools that allow you to optimize your product pages and improve your site’s ranking on search engines.
  • Scalability: Magento is designed to grow with your business. It can easily handle large product catalogs and high traffic volumes without compromising on performance.


Magento offers two pricing plans:

  • Magento Open Source: This version is free to download and use. It provides all the basic features needed to run an online store.
  • Magento Commerce: This is the premium version that comes with additional features like customer segmentation, targeted promotions, content staging & previewing etc. Pricing for this version is not publicly listed; it varies depending on the size of your business and specific needs.


All-in-one E-commerce Solution Offering Customizable Shopping Carts

Volusion is a robust e-commerce solution that features an all-in-one approach to online selling. It offers customizable shopping carts, making it a flexible choice for businesses of all sizes and industries. The platform is designed to help you build, manage, and scale your online store with ease. It comes with a range of tools and features to support your e-commerce journey from start to finish.

The software allows you to create an engaging online store without any coding knowledge. Its intuitive interface and user-friendly design make it easy for you to set up your store, add products, manage inventory, process orders, and more. With Volusion, you can focus more on growing your business while it takes care of the technical aspects of running an online store.

Key Features

  • Customizable Shopping Carts: Volusion lets you customize your shopping cart in ways that best suit your business needs. You can adjust settings such as shipping options, payment methods, tax calculations, and more.
  • Comprehensive E-commerce Tools: The platform comes packed with powerful e-commerce tools like SEO features for better visibility on search engines, social media integrations for improved customer engagement, and detailed analytics for insightful business decisions.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Volusion takes customer support seriously with its 24/7 assistance available via phone, chat or email. Whether you need help setting up your store or dealing with technical issues, their team is ready to assist at any time.


Volusion offers four pricing plans based on the size and needs of your business:

  • Personal Plan: $29 per month
  • Professional Plan: $79 per month
  • Business Plan: $299 per month
  • Custom Prime Plan: Pricing varies based on individual business requirements

Each plan comes with different features and capabilities so you can choose the one that best fits your business needs. All plans include secure hosting, no transaction fees, unlimited storage and 24/7 support.

Square Online

Square Online
Free Shopping Cart Software Ideal for Small Businesses

Square Online is a well-regarded e-commerce platform that offers free shopping cart software, making it an ideal choice for small businesses. Developed by Square Inc., a leading financial services company, this software provides a comprehensive solution for businesses to manage their online stores. It integrates seamlessly with the Square point of sale system and allows businesses to sell products online without any additional transaction fees.

The primary objective of Square Online is to simplify the process of setting up and managing an online store. It offers a range of features designed specifically for small businesses, helping them create professional-looking websites, manage inventory, and accept payments online. Furthermore, it doesn’t require any coding skills, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.

Key features

  • Integrated Payment Processing: The software integrates seamlessly with the Square payment system. This means you can accept payments from customers directly through your website using credit cards, debit cards, or digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • Inventory Management: With Square Online, you can easily track your stock levels and receive alerts when your inventory is running low. This feature also syncs with your physical store’s inventory if you’re using the Square POS system.
  • Website Builder: The software includes a user-friendly website builder that allows you to create a professional-looking e-commerce site without any coding skills. You can choose from a variety of templates and customize them according to your business needs.

As far as pricing goes, while the basic version of Square Online is free, there are also paid plans available that offer additional features. The paid plans start at $12 per month when billed annually and go up to $72 per month for the Premium plan. Each plan comes with its own set of benefits such as removal of Square ads, advanced shipping options, and lower transaction rates.


Easy-to-use Shopping Cart Software for Any Type of Website

Ecwid is a powerful e-commerce platform that offers an intuitive shopping cart software solution. It is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes and types, providing them with the necessary tools to sell their products online effectively and efficiently. Ecwid’s primary focus is on simplicity and ease-of-use, ensuring that even those without any technical background can set up their online stores with minimal effort. This robust software allows you to transform any existing website into a full-fledged online store, without needing to start from scratch.

Ecwid’s shopping cart software seamlessly integrates with your website, offering a smooth and consistent shopping experience for your customers. It supports a wide range of payment gateways and shipping options, giving you the flexibility to choose the ones that best suit your business needs. Moreover, its responsive design ensures that your online store looks great on all devices, be it desktops, tablets or smartphones.

Key features

  • Easy Integration: Ecwid can be easily integrated into any existing website or social media platform. This means you don’t need to create a new website for your online store – just add Ecwid’s shopping cart software and start selling.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: With Ecwid, you can sell your products not only on your website but also on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as well as marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
  • Mobile Responsive Design: Ecwid’s shopping cart software is designed to work perfectly on all devices – desktops, tablets and smartphones alike. This ensures a seamless shopping experience for your customers no matter what device they use.

When it comes to pricing, Ecwid offers four plans:

  • Free: $0 per month
  • Venture: $15 per month
  • Business: $35 per month
  • Unlimited: $99 per month

The free plan offers basic features suitable for small businesses just starting out while the paid plans offer more advanced features like inventory management, access to app market extensions and priority support among others.


Free and Open-source E-commerce Solution with Powerful Shopping Cart Features

PrestaShop is a robust, free, and open-source platform that provides a comprehensive e-commerce solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers a powerful shopping cart feature that helps businesses manage their online stores efficiently. With its user-friendly interface and extensive customization options, PrestaShop has become a popular choice among small to large-scale online businesses.

The platform is built on the Smarty template engine, which allows for maximum flexibility and customization. PrestaShop’s open-source nature means that it’s continuously updated and improved by a global community of developers. This ensures that the software remains up-to-date with the latest e-commerce trends and technologies.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive Product Management: PrestaShop enables users to manage their product inventory with ease. It allows for unlimited products and categories, product comparison, layered navigation, and more.
  • Built-in Marketing Tools: The platform comes equipped with various marketing tools such as cross-selling, upselling, email marketing integration, loyalty program, and SEO tools to boost your store’s visibility.
  • Multi-language and Multi-currency Support: With PrestaShop, you can sell globally without any hassles. The platform supports multiple languages and currencies making it easier for businesses to reach international customers.


One of the biggest advantages of using PrestaShop is its pricing structure – it’s completely free to download and use. However, while the core software is free, additional costs may be incurred for web hosting services or if you choose to purchase premium templates or modules from the PrestaShop marketplace. These costs can vary greatly depending on your specific needs but are generally affordable compared to other e-commerce platforms.


Scalable PHP-based E-commerce Platform with a Variety of Customizable Shopping Carts

X-Cart is a robust e-commerce platform that provides an array of customizable shopping carts. This PHP-based solution is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes, from small startups to established enterprises. X-Cart’s primary aim is to streamline the online shopping experience, both for the retailer and the end consumer, by offering a scalable, feature-rich platform that can be tailored to suit specific business needs.

One of X-Cart’s standout features is its flexibility. As a PHP-based platform (check out our PHP hosting guide), it allows for extensive customization. Whether you’re looking to build a simple online storefront or a complex e-commerce website with multiple product categories and advanced features, X-Cart provides the tools and resources necessary to create a unique, effective online shopping environment.

Key features

  • Customizable Shopping Carts: X-Cart offers customizable shopping carts that can be tailored to match your business’s branding and meet your specific needs. You can add custom fields, choose from various layout options, and integrate with multiple payment gateways.
  • Scalable Solution: Whether you’re running a small business or managing a large enterprise, X-Cart can scale with your needs. It supports an unlimited number of products and categories, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.
  • Integrated SEO Tools: To help improve your website’s visibility on search engines, X-Cart includes integrated SEO tools. These tools allow you to optimize your product descriptions, meta tags, URLs and other SEO elements.

In terms of pricing, X-Cart offers several plans designed to suit different business needs:

  • Business ($495 one-time payment): Ideal for small businesses looking for basic e-commerce functionalities.
  • Multivendor ($1,495 one-time payment): Suitable for businesses looking to create an online marketplace with multiple vendors.
  • Ultimate ($5,995 one-time payment): Designed for large enterprises requiring advanced features like abandoned cart reminders and loyalty programs.

Please note that these prices do not include hosting or SSL certificate costs. These are additional expenses that will need to be factored into your overall budget when considering using X-Cart as your e-commerce platform.


Navigating the maze of shopping cart software can feel like a Herculean task, but the right choice can be a game-changer for your online business. Whether you prioritize ease of use, scalability, or customization options, there’s a platform out there that aligns with your objectives.

The key is identifying your specific needs and constraints, and matching them with the right solution. Don’t underestimate the power of features like built-in hosting or a vibrant plugin ecosystem; they can significantly streamline your operations and open up new avenues for growth.

Ultimately, the platform you choose should not just meet your present requirements but also be adaptable to your future endeavors. As your business grows, you’ll appreciate having a flexible and scalable solution that can evolve along with you.

If you’ve done your homework—which this guide aims to help you with—you’ll find yourself equipped with a shopping cart software that not only elevates your online store but also turns browsers into buyers.