Friday, August 10, 2012

Top 5 open source shopping cart

Fortunately, after the open source and it's GPL license came into existence we can benefit from vast number of software to make our life easier. eCommerce is the boom in the market and in the coming decade majority of retailers and entrepreneurs will have an eCommerce site.

Parallel to this, a good software plays an important role when customer management and product updates is the most necessary factor. To choose one of these software is cumbersome and time taking process.

Many factors should be considered before selecting the proper software for your eshop. They may carry following features.
  • Product/ Catalog management
  • Inventory Management
  • CMS
  • Payment gateways
  • Customer account
  • SEO
  • Shipping management
  • Security
  • Multiple language support
  • Tax and localization
  • Analysis and report.
  • And more...
Most of these software are written on PHP and Installation is quite easy, you can have a try on XAMPPWAMP or MAMP.

How am I ranking these software?
A. Well, ranking is not just a guess (I'm no one to give false ranking to these well written software). I used various tools to analyze keyword demands and traffic rankings for these software(like: Alexa).

For example, most of the top listings in various blogs show Presta shop on rank 1 but according to Alexa ranking Magento's traffic rank is 844 and Presta shop's traffic rank is 1,208 .

Whereas Google Keyword tool shows Magento's Global Monthly search to be 2,740,000 and Presta shop is 1,220,000.

Results are based on the day I'm publishing this post on my blog. 

<% Hang on! Shopping cart begins %>

1. Magento

Demo: Front end [Single Store, Multi-Store], Back end

Magento comes in three flavors
  1. Enterprise edition
  2. Magento go - An hosted solution
  3. Community edition
I reviewed only the community edition. It has all the features you want to start up a full blown eCommerce website. It was written in PHP and need some additional add-ons while installation like mcrypt, mhash, simplexml.


  • Catalog management
  • Single strore and multi store capabilities - More than one seller can register
  • CRM
  • Newsletter
  • CMS
  • Analysis and reporting system: like Sales, shopping cart, Products, customer, tags, etc.
  • Multiple currency and payment gateways.
  • Order status
  • Price rules
  • Invoices, shipments, Credit memos, transactions, Billing agreements.

Relate links:
  • Any kind of eCommerce cart
  • Customization.
  • Hosted solution
  • Enterprise grade services and support
  • Magento has many nice features, but the developers mainly concentrate on the Enterprise edition.

2. Presta Shop

Demo: Front end, Back end [Username: | Password: prestashop_demo]
Tutorials: Getting started guide

prestshop logo
Prestashop is one of the most popular eCommerce Cart on the web. It was written on PHP and uses smarty template engine for templating the themes. Prestashop has extensive list of extensions and themes. There is a good community surrounding this project.

Launched in August 2007, prestashop has evolved to be complete solution for any kind of only shopping experience.

Few important features

  • Inventory management
  • Cross selling - Related products to increase conversion rate
  • Sell downloadable Products, unlimited products, categories and attributes
  • Layered navigation, product comparison
  • Zoom in on products, Multiple image support, add to wish list, reviews, send to a friend
  • Completed CMS for site management like templates, Admin permissions, multiple language support, CRM, customization of store
  • Search friendly URLs, Google site map, meta information for the products, dedicated URL for each product, tags, email notifications
  • Multiple payment options like - Wire transfer, credit cards, Gateway interfaces.
  • Tax configurations, payment filtered by currency, exchange rate sync, address formats, unlimited currencies
  • Shipping management
  • Email follow ups, newsletters, loyalty programs, refer a friend, recent viewed product, coupons & vouchers
  • Track visitors, view customer profile, track order and sales, catalog statistics, affiliate statistics.
View full feature list

Good for:
  • Selling varieties of products online.
  • Log ins for employees to manage products.
  • Customer management
  • Shipping management
  • Needs some technical skills to modify the template, however you can get lot of themes online or you can learn how to use smarty tags to edit the template.
  • Admin panel is not good looking and navigation are hard to find.

3. Open Cart

Demo: Front end, Back end [Username: demo, Password: demo]
Tutorials: OpenCart Screen cast
Example shops: Liveshop

opencart logo
Open cart is written in PHP and has necessary features to launch your next big e-store. I like it's elegant interface and ease of use functionalities. It has good community to support and rich documentation.

Open cart supports extensions and themes. You can find them in extension directory of opencart.


  • Open source and community supported.
  • Unlimited categories, products and manufacturers
  • Templatable
  • Multi - languate and currency
  • Product review and ratings
  • Downloadable products - good for musics and eBooks.
  • Automatic image resizing
  • Multiple tax rates
  • Related products
  • CMS
  • Shipping weight calculation,
  • Coupon system
  • SEO
  • Module instance - each module can have multiple instances.
  • Backup and restore tools
  • Printable invoices, sales reports, error logging
  • B2B support
  • Guest checkout
  • Shipping methods
  • Multi - store support
Good For:
  • Shopping cart with all major payment gateways
  • Easy learning

4. According to traffic ranking cube cart should acquire this position, but it is not fit for open source because it has many limitations on free version. So, I gave this rank to Zen cart.

4. Zen Cart

Demo: Front end showcase
Tutorials: Wiki

Zen cart project was authored by Zen ventures, LLC in the year 2003. It's a open source online store written in PHP and MySQL. It is easy to learn and implement. There are many books related to zen cart, you can find them on their website or from amazon.


  • Easy to install
  • Unlimited Products and categories.
  • Put entire category on sale.
  • Product can be free or call for price.
  • You can set your store as showcase - no price
  • Meta tag generation and SEO
  • Advertising banners.
  • Paypal and other merchant gateway integration.
  • Multiple language and currency support.
  • Enable /disable entire category or single product.
  • Image color swatches.
  • Template system with template switching.
Good For:
  • Full blown online store.
  • Catalog or store.
  • Media downloads

5. Agora Cart

Tutorials: Version 6 Docs

Agora cart recently came up with Gold version on 6.0. But it to support the Agora project. It has many features to be on Top 5 eCommerce cart. You can configure it to your requirements.


  • Unlimited categories and products
  • Multiple tax rates.
  • Flexible shipping.
  • 10+ shipping methods and payment gateways.
  • Guest checkout
  • SEO friendly URL
  • Modules
  • SSL
  • Automatic image resizing
  • jQuery ready
  • Professional support option
  • Template system with header and footer chunks.
  • Catalog page layouts.
  • Email layouts 
Good For:

  • Catalog or store
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Secured shopping
  • Customizing

There are many other shopping carts on the Internet. You can have a quick Google search to find them all and try. It's all depends upon the requirement, you can find any of the shopping cart fit your needs.

These open source software are made by intellectuals, please do support them by donating or buying their services.

sky is the limit!

Disclaimer: Logos of the brand name belongs to respective organisation, ranking here is purely based on Alexa traffic rankings and keyword based search tools.


  1. Thank you for posting the great content ... I was looking for something like this ... I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs .... Keep sharing.

    eCommerce platform

  2. Thanks for the lists. .Best eCommerce software in the world!

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