Top 5 Best Online Shopping Cart for 2022

E-commerce

With the advent of Covid, building an online store for your business is even more important. 

But for small businesses, finding the best online shopping cart to fit their needs can be a difficult task. Gathering all the information to make an informed decision is a long and time-demanding job. It gets even harder if you don't have the expertise.

So, we've done it for you. Here's a curated list of the best shopping carts for your eCommerce website.

But first...

What is a shopping cart?

An online shopping cart allows your customers to select products or services to purchase them. The software or platform accepts payment methods through a payment gateway (like PayPal or Stripe) and makes the customer information available to the merchant to proceed with the purchase.

Shopping cart software can also take care of order management, taxes, calculating the shipping cost, managing product inventory, and other features essential for running a performing eCommerce store.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is a payment processing service that accepts credit cards payment online in the case of an online store. In other words, it lets you accept credit cards payment from your clients and transfer the money to your merchant account.

Why is it essential for your eCommerce website?

First of all, an eCommerce shopping cart solution makes the purchase process a lot easier for customers, resulting in more sales. It also makes the purchase processing easier for merchants since all the customer's required information is collected during checkout and readily available in one location. Shopping cart solutions can also accept different payment options, making it easier for different customers to complete a purchase.

Types of shopping cart solutions

There are two main categories of shopping carts. They differ by the way they are integrated and what features they offer.

Hosted

→ If you don't want the hosting headaches

Hosted by a third-party provider, no need to download or host the software. Update, maintenance, and system backup are not your responsibility. It can come in the form of add-ons and monoliths.

Monoliths

If you need a site from scratch and everything in one place

This type of SaaS offers a hosted online platform that includes everything that is needed to build and manage an online shop. From website building to order fulfillment, it's usually all done within the platform. The functionalities vary on the chosen solutions, but they're generally offered on a monthly subscription with a fee for each transaction. They are usually the easiest method for someone with no technical knowledge to build a new eCommerce website.

Add-ons

If you already have a site or a favorite site builder

This kind of hosted shopping cart is particularly useful for existing websites or people who want the freedom to develop with their favorite stack. Merchant can use it to add eCommerce functionalities to their existing website.

Some solutions are relatively simple, only allowing customers to add items in a cart and proceed to payment. Others are further complex and offer a full suite of merchant back-office functionalities like inventory management, cart abandonment recovery via email marketing, multi-currency support tax management, discounts, etc.

Licensed

→ If you or your developers have an easy way to host your store

Instead of hosted solutions, the licensed shopping cart needs you to host them yourself (through a hosting provider or your own server). You're also responsible for maintenance, updates, and security. These solutions need more work but often offer more flexibility over hosted solutions. As for hosted solutions, the licensed can provide a wide range of functionalities from a simple cart and payment process to a full-on suite in which you can build your website, manage orders, shipping and inventory.

They also vary a lot in terms of pricing, some are free and open-source, and others are subscription-based.

Top shopping cart solutions

Shopify

Hosted | Monolith or Add-on

Shopify logo

The best all-in-one solution for e-commerce beginners & web development neophyte

Pros

  • Simple to use

  • Big community

  • A lot of resources

Cons

  • Not as flexible & customizable as other solutions

  • Can be expensive


Shopify is probably the most well-known solution on this list and the most popular among beginners and people with less technical knowledge. It offers a wide range of solutions from a fully hosted all-in-one platform with a website builder and an entire merchant back-office.

It also has another solution called Shopify Lite. It includes all the features from the admin panel without the website builder and CMS (content management system). The pricing for this tier is more advantageous if you don't need or want to build and manage your website on their platform.

Features

  • Abandoned cart recovery

  • Over 100 payment gateways supported

  • Support multi-currency

  • Support multi-languages

  • Manage shipment in the dashboard

  • Manage your inventory in Shopify

  • Create discounts & promotions

  • Gift cards support

  • Handle tax management

  • Sell digital & physical products

  • Offer subscriptions

  • Send invoice via email

Pricing

  Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify Shopify Lite
Monthly fee $29 USD/month $79 USD/month $299 USD/month $9 USD/month
Shopify Payments credit card rate 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.6% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.4% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction
Transaction fee if not using Shopify Payments 2.0% + payment gateway fees 1.0% + payment gateway fees 0.5% + payment gateway fees 2.0% + payment gateway fees

Snipcart

Hosted | Add-on

Snipcart logo

The best solution for people converting an existing website into an e-commerce store & people who want lots of flexibility

Pros

  • Customizable

  • Can be integrated into any existing website

  • Comprehensive merchant dashboard

Cons

  • Some advanced features & customization might require a developer

  • Doesn't support marketplace or social media shop


Snipcart is a flexible shopping cart that can easily be integrated into any website in minutes.

You add Snipcart's checkout to a site like you'd do with Google Analytics: by copy-pasting a few lines of code snippets.

Products are added pretty much in the same way!

Snipcart offers a friendly, fully hosted, merchant back office to manage all of your eCommerce operations: orders, discounts, abandoned carts, shipping, and more.

Some clients choose to get help from developers to expand their Snipcart customization and integrations — ask for help in the forum.

It offers a fully customizable shopping cart with the help of webhooks & APIs.

Features

  • Customizable shopping cart & checkout process to fit with your whole site and brand

  • Create discounts & promotions

  • Sell physical & digital goods

  • Handle tax management

  • Automatize shipping calculation

  • Manage your inventory in the Snipcart dashboard

  • Support multi-languages

  • Support multi-currency

  • Add product options to your cart

  • Process secure online transactions

  • Have a hosted merchant dashboard to manage eCommerce operations

  • Integrate webhooks and APIs

  • Send invoice via email

  • Abandoned cart recovery

  • Subscriptions

Pricing

Snipcart standard plan I am special Crowdfunding & Non-profit
Monthly fee 2.0% (minimum fees of $10 USD/month) Contact us for a custom plan 1.5% (no minimum fee)
Transaction fee (vary by payment gateways) 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction

WooCommerce

Licensed | Add-on

WooCommerce logo

The best solution for people using WordPress & don't need a lot of advanced features

Pros

  • Simple

  • Cost-effective

Cons

  • Need to use WordPress

  • Lots of extensions are required for more basic & advanced features

  • Need to keep it & the add-ons updated


WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Its initial free solution, WooCommerce Core, offers all the features needed to manage basic eCommerce operations. WooThemes ( from WooCommerce founders) run a large and diverse marketplace of paid extensions to customize online stores or augment their capabilities.

They also provide a free eCommerce website template, Storefront, to get started quickly.

Features

Note that we've only listed features that are included with WooCommerce out-of-the-box. Other features are available via extensions

  • Shipping integration with USPS and DHL

  • Abandoned cart recovery emails

  • Create discounts & promotions

  • Manage your orders in WooCommerce widget

  • 140 payment gateways supported

  • Wide variety of extensions for more features

  • Customizable shopping cart & checkout to fit your WordPress theme

Pricing

Free
Monthly fee No monthly fee
Transaction fee (vary by payment gateways) 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction

Ecwid

Hosted | Add-on

Ecwid logo

The best solution for people who want to sell on social media & marketplaces

Pros

  • Easily sell on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)

  • Offers a free tier

  • Apps market for more integration

  • Marketplaces support

Cons

  • No multi-currency support

  • Can't customize the shopping cart & checkout UX


Ecwid is a simple eCommerce platform for merchants who want to sell on their sites, social channels, marketplaces, or on the go. It aims to diversify sales channels for merchants and provide an easy way for up-and-coming merchants to sell online.

With a few lines of code, you can add a storefront to any of your websites or social media. You can then manage all of your eCommerce operations and settings inside an Ecwid control panel.

Features

Included with the free plan

  • Subscriptions

  • Support multi-language

  • Sell on marketplaces (eBay & Amazon)

Included with paid plans (Venture & Business)

  • Automated shipping rates calculation

  • Sell physical & digital goods

  • Manage your inventory in Ecwid

  • Creat discounts & promotions

  • Automated tax calculations

  • Android and iOS store management app

  • Social media tools

  • Have product variations (with Business plan only)

  • Abandoned cart recovery emails (with Business plan only)

Pricing

Free Venture Business Unlimited
Monthly fee $0 $15 $35 $99
Transaction fee (vary by payment gateways) 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction

PrestaShop

Licensed | Monolith

PrestaShop logo

The best free solution for people who want to host everything on their own

Pros

  • Flexible

  • Act as your e-commerce CMS (might be a con for some)

Cons

  • You need to host it yourself & maintain it

  • Need web development knowledge or a developer to make the most of it

  • Need to pay for add-ons if want to extend features


PrestaShop is a free, PHP open-source eCommerce solution. You'll need to host the software yourself to get started or use one of the offered hosted versions through partners. PrestaShop also runs an extensive, paid add-ons marketplace filled with modules, themes & services.

PrestaShop could be called an "all-in-one" solution: it acts as a site-builder, shopping cart, and eCommerce back-office. Since it's free, it's not the overall best option for serious merchants.

Features

  • Manage your inventory in PrestaShop

  • Sell physical & digital goods

  • Create discounts & promotions

  • Handle tax management

  • Abandoned cart recovery

Pricing

Free
Monthly fee No monthly fee
Transaction fee (vary by payment gateways) 2.9% + 30¢ USD/transaction

Depending on your provider, you'll also need to pay a monthly fee for hosting.

Closing thoughts

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing a shopping cart solution, it all depends on what your needs are.

Of course, I'm biased toward Snipcart because I'm part of the team but also because I love the simplicity of use and the features it brings. Give it a try and see for yourself, test mode is free forever.

If you don't have the basic web development knowledge and don't mind using a generic template, an all-in-one, no-code solution like Shopify might be your best bet.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments!

About the author

Ludovic Armand
Digital Marketing Specialist

Ludovic has a long-term love for everything technological, making him the perfect fit to become the next web development content expert.

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