Popular eCommerce Solutions: A Fair Comparison

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 0 comments

Thanks to the gigantic leaps the online shopping industry have taken, millions of shoppers are relying on online shopping destinations; so do the merchants. Either they can choose an online marketplace to list their products, or they host their own online stores. We are here giving a fair insight on few of the popular eCommerce solutions.  

Zen Cart:

Zen Cart s a PHP MySQL based eCommerce platform developed by a community of online store owners, designers, programmers and consultants aiming to extend a simple e-commerce solution.


  • Flexible hosting - Zen Cart can be downloaded without a license and merchants can self-install it on their own server. Or they can host it on any other hosting platforms.
  • A bundle of free addons - Zen cart comes with a bundle of publicly available free addons developed by numerous developers ever since its inception.
  • Robust product management system - The product management system enables a store owner to sort products in categories and sub-categories, manage and control stock levels, create attributes (like colors and sizes) for products.


  • No sophisticated reporting - The platform does not offer sophisticated reporting such as sales by products, profit on each product, profit margins made and so forth.
  • Upgrading is a hurdle - Though Zen Cart comes with a considerable amount of addons, but they are hard to install; which is a downside. Moreover, if one has to upgrade to the next level, they to start from the very beginning where they need to overwrite all the addons and customizations.


With a clean & clear interface Shopify believes to be one of the most simple shopping cart solutions. The solution’s 7 step by step guide from beginning to end helps to lead new merchants to set up their online store in an easy to understand manner.


  • Secure hosting - Shopify enables online sellers to be free from the worry of secure hosting. Built-in speed, secure payment processing and flawless hosting are the most loved attributes of this platform.
  • A great amalgamation of necessary features - Shopify actually brings all the necessary features for building a flawless eCommerce store into one box. Starting from product/category management, customizing the look and feel of the store, adding addons or accessing a solid Analytics to track everything - all is available here.
  • Great customer support - Shopify's great customer support makes it a preferable choice among its target group. According to user reviews Shopify offers fast customer response with accurate solutions, and it is fitted with a huge database of FAQs, email/chat support as well as call support.


  • Over-priced - Shopify is a little over priced than  BigCommerce, their biggest competitor. Its only cheaper when one grown on selecting the features, meaning Shopify is an expensive choice for those who wants to host small online stores. 
  • Non-standard coding - Shopify uses "Liquid" codes that are used to enhance or modify the appearance. Experts having competitive knowledge in HTML and CSS would definitely find their skills irrelevant when using Shopify.  


With 41,000+ stores BigCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform among a cross section of industries and users find it a very well supported and complete shopping cart solution. With such popularity they have sold more than $2,000,000,000 which justifies their slogan "sell more".


  • Mobile templates - SmartPhones being the most used devices these days, it has become more than necessary to have a mobile compatible website. BigCommerce is one step ahead from their competitors as they offer mobile themes which comes with full customization option.
  • Promotion & selling - BigCommerce allows Facebook users to browse all the products before they get navigate to the main store. It even enables the merchants to push their fans to spread the word about specific products and direct traffic from Facebook to product pages to the main website. 
  • Wish lists & gift certificates - Features like generating gift certificates and gift coupons, creating a wishlist and enabling users to cash those certificates whenever they want, make BigCommerce a preferable platform among the business owners.   


  • Small but essential flaws - BigCommerce does not come with multi-language support making it a less popular platform across the globe. Moreover, it does not offer an uptime guarantee, and the fraud prevention functionality has been outsourced to a third party.
  • No B2B support - the platform does not have a B2B support and it becomes difficult creating wholesale logins for customers, which is why wholesalers look for other platforms.


With 2,500+ modules and templates and 310+ amazing features, PrestaShop is powering 150,000+ online stores worldwide. This is a free software with innovative features that possess an official marketplace for priced modules and themes entitled PrestaShop Addons.


  • Language support - PrestaShop supports as many as 56 international languages and currencies allowing the store owners to cater to a global customer.
  • Affiliate program - With this platforms, merchants are empowered to run customized affiliate programs. They can even get detailed statistics to measure their performance.
  • Unflawed security - The impressive security features of PrestaShop protects the online stores from hackers and other malicious software. Features like security permission for users, maintenance mode, PCI & SSL etc. make it a trusted platform.


  • Lack of scalability - It does not have a multi-user interface and thus is only suitable for small stores.
  • Less customizable - Major customization is a restraint with PrestaShop. People who want to alter a lot of things in there shopping site, should look around a little more and go for something else. 

X Cart:

X Cart enables users to host ready to go online stores with a number of available modules. With  excellent back office functionality and comprehensive inventory controls, X Cart has made its mark as a preferred choice when it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform.


  • Smarty templates - X Cart uses Smarty Templates system which brings smile on programmers' faces as they like to work on them.
  • Fast & secure - This is a PCI DSS compliant software and merchants can run it on their own server. It gets top benchmarks even on shared hosting. 
  • fCommerce Go service - X Cart's fCommerce Go service enables store owners to quickly and easily publish their entire catalog to Facebook. 


  • Licensing fee - X Cart asks for licensing fee for system as well as for some addons. 


SynapseIndia reviews experts believe that there is a definite shift in consumer attitude as online buying and selling have become parts of mainstream retailing; and this phenomenon is here to stay. Yes, choosing the right platform does play an important role, but the key to success is customer satisfaction. The challenge for companies now centers on providing the best customer experience and ensuring that user experience is seamlessly integrated across all channels consumers are exposed to. 


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