Using Free Shopping Carts for Your E-Commerce Website

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

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E-commerce has reshaped the face of every industry on the planet, connecting prospective customers to retailers and service providers around the world. With the advent of the Internet the marketing potential of every business has skyrocketed, and it is now possible for an aspiring online entrepreneur to go from zero to hero in less than a year. The advantages of marketing products and services online are obvious, and include a diversified client base and simplified/cheaper business promotion. One of the main aspects of any e-commerce website is the shopping cart, which is a server-side application that allows the online shopper to purchase more than one item at a time and perform a variety of other tasks. If you’ve ever shopped online before, then you have probably used a shopping cart. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay a lot of money to have a good shopping cart for your e-commerce website – consider the following free e-commerce shopping carts.


OsCommerce has consistently been one of the most popular shopping cart applications available, primarily because it is user-friendly yet provides robust functionality. OsCommerce is particularly effective in providing an enjoyable and convenient shopping experience for the customer, which thereby increases conversion rates and improves customer satisfaction. The shopping cart has integrated shipping and processing, pre-order, product review, and automatic e-mail components that simplify the job of the webmaster by automating redundant tasks related to customer follow-ups and billing. OsCommerce is also compatible with a variety of payment processors (including PayPal), which allow you to accept credit card payments securely.


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CubeCart is one of the most customizable, yet user-friendly free shopping carts. The application utilizes theme-based design allows you to quickly adjust the appearance of the shopping interface on-the-fly. CubeCart is also one of the few shopping carts that automatically generates product catalog page URLs that are optimized for the search engines. CubeCart lets your customers use coupon codes and certificates for discounts. To simplify the check out process for site visitors, CubeCart has an integrated shipping and tax calculator, and is compatible with a variety of world currencies. If you plan on selling digital items online, you’ll be pleased to learn that CubeCart has secure download delivery features, and also has integrated e-mail marketing functionality.


Although not quite as popular as the two aforementioned free shopping carts, ZenCart is extremely suitable for novice webmasters. ZenCart is more than just a shopping cart, it is a shopping cart/content management system hybrid that allows you to create custom checkout pages using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor with a basic user interface. ZenCart is also equipped with product catalog creators the let you easily upload product details and images, and then organize this content into specific categories to create a convenient shopping experience for your site visitors. ZenCart is extremely easy to install, and includes a developer’s toolkit that can be used by novice webmasters to find specific code strings for editing.

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Adjusting Product Catalogs and Shopping Carts for Higher eCommerce Conversions

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

Building and optimizing a successful business website is an ongoing challenge that can be especially difficult for novice webmasters that are not experienced with e-commerce. Ultimately, the goal of an online store owner is to create a user-friendly interface that their customers can use to shop for products or services with minimal effort and maximum convenience. Unfortunately, accomplishing this is not as easy as it would seem, as there are many factors to consider when customizing the shopping experience of your site visitors.

Perhaps the most important aspects are those related to the product catalog and the checkout process, which is facilitated by integrated shopping cart applications. While the majority of e-commerce hosting plans include product catalog creators and robust shopping cart applications that can be installed quickly and easily on your site, most people do not know how to use such tools to improve their conversion rates.

Designing an Effective Product Catalog

Product catalog creators allow you to import hundreds or even thousands of product images, descriptions, and even reviews. However, if the product pages are not properly organized and categorized, the process of finding the right product can be very difficult for your site visitors, even with the use of a site wide search engine. When you add a product to your catalog you’ll have the option of adding keyword tags, which would cause the product to appear in search results if the specific keywords were searched for by one of your customers. Thus, it is imperative to add as many relative tags as possible to your products, to ensure that they will show up in search results when customers search for specific products, or related items. It is also important to enable features such as customer reviews, which will let your previous customers leave feedback about specific items, thereby increasing sales conversions by convincing future customers.

Setting up an Effective Shopping Cart

After creating a robust product catalog that is properly tagged, organized, categorized, and is easy to navigate, it’s time to set up a shopping cart that will allow your customers to purchase multiple items simultaneously upon checkout. Some shopping cart applications will even let your customers use issued coupon codes for purchase discounts, which you can grant to repeat customers for higher conversions and residual business. Shopping carts also give you the ability to accept multiple forms of payment by integrating payment processors such as PayPal, which will accept credit card payments from your customers on behalf of your business in a secure manner. After setting up the shopping cart, you’ll want to do a couple of test runs and proceed with the checkout process yourself to see how convenient it is, and to look for any errors that may be occurring.

Expanding Your Site’s Capabilities

Many shopping carts and product catalog creators are open source applications, which means they can be amended and improved by any developer with the interest to do so. Thus, there are many third-party plug-ins and extensions that can be added to shopping carts and product catalog creators to improve the overall functionality and add new features. If you want the highest conversion rates possible, then you’ll want to experiment with such extensions in order to refine the checkout process and provide the most enjoyable shopping experience for your customers.

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