More and more companies have turned to the Web to transact business. And, of course, if you are going to sell on the Web, the right shopping cart can mean the difference between red and black ink. When shopping for your own ecommerce shopping cart software the most important aspect to consider is how well the cart software meets your business objectives. An ecommerce shopping cart has to be customizable to fit your business needs and branding, be flexible enough to scale as your business grows, be secure and support industry standards and provide solid integrate with payment gateways.
Open source shopping cart software is an attractive option. Storeowners might look to open source ecommerce software because it will typically deliver the features and tools to manage a product catalog on a website without the hefty licensing fees that come with proprietary or off-the-shelf packages.
Open source shopping cart software also provides access to communities of users including developers, storeowners and enthusiasts who freely offer community-based support and add-ons to enhance the open source software package.
Storeowners who decide to use open source shopping cart software can always pay for additional support and service through qualified third parties if they find the community-based support is not enough.
Top 10 Free and Open Source Ecommerce Solutions
Here are ten options if you plan to invest in open source shopping cart software for your ecommerce business.
1. Agora Shopping Cart: Lots of Features and Back-End Management Options
AgoraCart is a customizable and secure open source ecommerce shopping cart that you can install on an existing website. With AgoraCart, you can expect the typical features such as customizable templates for setting-up your store, support for different product categories, options for different tax rates in addition to back-end store management tools. On the upscale side of ecommerce, AgoraCart is PA-DSS Complaint (PCI-DSS) and supports more than 10 payment gateways.
The free community edition (5.2.x) is supported only though online community forums. AgoraCart version 6.x Gold is available for $49.95 and offers storeowners additional license, features and support options.
2. Broadleaf Commerce: An Open Source Enterprise Ecommerce Platform
The Broadleaf Commerce solution is an open source alternative for enterprise ecommerce companies. It offers an enterprise-level platform that (built on Java integration technologies) and can be customized to specific business needs.
With Broadleaf Commerce, retailers can manage customer accounts, upsell, create promotions and manage email marketing. The platform supports social integration, catalog browsing, search engine optimization (SEO) and integrates with Google Analytics and any existing business database and fulfillment system. The newest release (Broadleaf Commerce Version 1.5) offers enhanced administration and promotion capability over previous versions.
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