The Internet Shopping Carts

A shopping cart is basically a software application that runs on the web server. It has interlinking within the website to make your e-commerce easy. The payment is made either through their PayPal, credit cards or other modes of payment. The amount, the taxes and the shipping rates gets automatically totalled.

Also, interlinking within the website is made so that the customers can have an effective e-commerce experience. These shopping carts are written in different programming languages.

There are a number of internet shopping carts available in the market and thus you, as a user need to scrutinize their pros and cons. However, we have tried to pen down the comparison between a few popular internet shopping carts/e-commerce carts based on certain parameters viz.

  • Features
  • Users’ reviews including both plus points and minus points

Let’s understand the comparison:-

osCommerce is one of the most commonly used e-commerce shopping cart. It uses PHP and MySQL.


  • It is easy to install, many products/categories can be added, amendments in the design is possible and payments can be made through both online and offline modes of payments
  • On the other hand, it is not well coded, it is very difficult to configure and it is time consuming

Zen Shopping Cart is easy to install, you can use customer retention tools like gift certificates, etc. and both the online and offline payment processing can be incorporated into a Zen Cart e-store. It is freely distributed under the GNU General Public License.


  • It is very flexible and has a safe guest checkout system.
  • On the contrary, it is slow, time consuming and all the buyers have to login and there is no option to disable it.

Agora Shopping Cart is a free open source e-commerce shopping cart which provides easy payment options, you can change the display of the products and you can completely change the look of your website within minutes by doing one or two changes. You can install this shopping cart via FTP or SSH, depending on your choice. It involves UNIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD or a Linux based hosting account, Perl 5.6.x or higher etc.


  • Perfect shopping cart for beginner to advanced user
  • It has good support forums and tutorials
  • Nicely priced cart
  • Limited features
  • Meant for techies only

Magento is an open source e-commerce solution to perform e-business with easy product and catalog browser options, Search Engine Optimization tools and marketing promotions and other tools offering.


  • It has a good API
  • The admin interface is confusing
  • Directory structure is very confusing
  • There is a lack of core developer’s support

CubeCart is an e-commerce script written in PHP and MySQL. This e-commerce shopping cart allows you to sell digital or tangible products to new and existing customers around the world. It provides email marketing option, new customer registration, easy checkout steps etc.


  • It is simple to install
  • It is quick
  • It is easy to modify
  • But the image management is difficult

PrestaShop is a professional grade e-commerce shopping cart which is easy to download, install and use for free. It is written in PHP language with MySQL database. It uses source code that allows the customers to review the products you are selling and block any wrong comments.


  • It is light in weight
  • Modifications are easy
  • Easy to understand
  • Good for both the developers and the designers
  • It has good support system

StoreSprite is a free PHP/MySQL shopping cart system which is easy to install and customize.


  • Though the cart is free but it has certain copyright notices that you can pay to get rid of

The CREloaded is an e-commerce solution built on a secure open-source platform and is easy to upgrade. It offers powerful shopping cart solutions in Standard, Pro and Pro B2B editions. You can distribute coupon codes; have a good template system and an affiliate manager.


  • It is Google friendly
  • Installation is easy
  • Easy to maintain by the user
  • The 6.2.13 and 6.2.14 CREloaded versions are very good

Avactis shopping cart is built around PHP technology using MySQL database. It has UNIX, Linux, Windows and MacOS as its operating system. It allows you to integrate an online store into your existing site. It is very useful for the quick launch of an online business. It gives free domain name, unlimited web space and traffic.


  • Simple to use
  • Can be modified with Dreamweaver

The CS Shopping Cart is easy to install and has user-friendly admin area. It is fully multilingual software with multicurrency feature. It is written in written in PHP and MySQL. It consists of 5 professional templates and their 20 color schemes in all. It has also an advanced Order management tool, Affilate add-on, Product configurator, Feature comparison and Gift Registry modules.

Virtuemart is an independent open-source shopping cart solution. It is identified as an e-commerce component for Mambo or Joomla CMS.


  • It provides you fast hosting solution
  • It is flexible

NopCart is a very simple shopping cart application written entirely in JavaScript. This enables you to use it on your website without having to have CGI access.


  • It is simple to install
  • Configurable for almost every currency type
  • It has multiple product pages and there are no limits

Commerce.Cgi is one of the oldest and best established of all e-commerce applications. You can also manage a newsletter and offer promotions and gift certificates.


  • It provides a back-end system that is simple to install and even simpler to manage

The above mentioned shopping carts are some of the most commonly used carts but there can be several shopping carts that we might have missed out. If in your knowledge there are some better shopping carts, please do share with us.

-By Neha Gulati

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2 Responses to “The Internet Shopping Carts”

  1. Very helpful article. Bookmarked for future reference. Thanks a lot! :)

  2. Genaro Lanteigne says:

    Wonderful post I Agree with your major points and believe the title says it all, I loved reading and I will certainly come from time to time to read more of your writing. keep on the good work!

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