Top shopping cart software, 2013
Creating an eCommerce solution using hosted shopping cart software is quicker and easier than ever in 2013.
Hosted shopping cart software solutions offer a cost effective way to develop an eCommerce site that can meet the unique demands of your business.
In addition, you benefit from constant technology upgrades, new developments, security enhancements and more, without having to invest a cent in additional development.
[QUICK SUMMARY]: While Magento comes out as the most popular eCommerce project overall, it is important to note that Shopify is recommended for people looking for a faster, easier, less technically demanding eCommerce solution.
This article that shows how the best shopping cart solutions compare to each other over a variety of important criteria, ranging from SEO (Search Engine Optimization), mobile support (responsive Web design), and overall popularity.
Comparison of the best shopping cart solutions
Developing a custom online store is like re-inventing the wheel - the overwhelming majority of your eCommerce requirements can be handled by one of the leading, hosted shopping cart solutions.
As a result, the following lists focus purely on hosted eCommerce solutions, as these offer the simplest, fastest and most cost effective way to set up a small business eCommerce site (or even a large, enterprise level eCommerce site).
Most popular shopping cart software
Ok, so I'm going to give the answer away by quoting data from the article entitled It's official! Magento is America's most popular shopping cart software.
To get an idea of just how popular Magento is, in comparison to other eCommerce solutions, check out this Google Trends graph that shows the brand popularity of five leading shopping cart solutions based on a search volumes via Google:
Not only is Magento the most popular eCommerce solution in the U.S, it's also the most popular shopping cart software solution worldwide.
But, with that said, Magento Go (the hosted eCommerce version of Magento) is not nearly as popular as Shopify, which is growing faster than any other hosted shopping cart solution.
Best shopping cart SEO
SEO can play a crucial role in the success of your eCommerce website. The vast majority of all Internet traffic originates with organic search.
Since good SEO can help drive your online store results higher up the search rankings, it pays to go for a eCommerce platform that understands SEO and implements it well.
Taken from Which small business Web platform has the best SEO?, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the SEO profile of all major website builders, you can see a comparison of how the leading shopping cart solutions compare here:
All of these eCommerce solutions have high quality SEO facilities built-in. And, while Shopify triumphed in this particular SEO smack-down, for my money, Bigcommerce does as good a job when it comes to SEO.
Best shopping cart mobile support
Responsive Web design is an important component of eCommerce as of 2012. With much of the Internet's traffic migrating to mobile, it is imperative that your online store offer a great browsing experience to customers using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Most of the leading shopping cart solutions offer some form of mobile support. But some make it easier than others, and some are simply better at it than others.
The article The 3 best shopping carts for mobile eCommerce (m-commerce), rates the leading eCommerce platforms thusly:
I should point out that Magento was not included in this particular comparison, although it is given an honorable mention, and has solid mobile support.
Some of you might be wondering why Magento is so popular if it isn't necessarily heads and shoulders above other leading shopping cart solutions.
The answer is that it takes more than mobile support and SEO to be truly great. Magento has a huge and active community that can offer support. It is well established as an open source project and that means there are plenty of developers around to help out too.
That's not to take anything away from other hosted eCommerce platforms. I personally like Shopify and Bigcommerce as they provide some great and unique features of their own.
Hopefully, this comparison of the leading shopping carts has helped you to make up your mind as to which one to choose for your eCommerce business.
Share any questions you have in the comments and I'll do my best to help you out. Alternatively, share your experiences of building an online business using one of these eCommerce Web solutions to help others make up their minds.
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