CS-Cart Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
securely through CS-Cart Review's website
securely through CS-Cart Review's website

CS-Cart is a wildly popular e-commerce shopping cart software solution. The software is known for providing vendors all the functionality they need to build a full-featured online store. It can be set up and maintained in a single administration panel.

CS-Cart uses open source technologies, so its functionality can be easily updated and extended to meet your specific needs. It is also available with a multi-vendor option. This option supports multiple independent sellers in an online marketplace (think eBay and Etsy).

Why is software like CS-Cart necessary? Online vendors need a reliable shopping cart solution that supports payment and shipping options, unlimited products, complete inventory control, important promotional tools, and many other features. 

CS-Cart: At a Glance

We scored CS-Cart software high when looking at ease of use, features, and pricing. The software has endless useful features, optimizations and is an excellent choice for companies who want to get the best value for their money. 

The Score

Ease of use: It’s actually easy! You can create your own design directly from the admin panel and you don’t need to know how to code. There are nine responsive themes included in the box. Choose one and easily create your own individual shopping cart design.

Score: 9

Features:  Right out of the box, you have access to over 500 features. The marketplace package is enough to start and successfully develop your project. CS-Cart doesn’t require you to waste your budget purchasing add-ons and ordering custom development for the missing features.

Score: 10

Pricing: The pricing is clear and straightforward, albeit on the pricey side. There are three plans, Multi-Vendor, Multi-Vendor Plus and Multi-Vendor Ultimate. The Multi-Vendor Plus is the most popular plan. The lifetime software license costs $3,500, including 90 days of customer support. All plans come with a 15-day free trial. The drawback is that you have to pay to receive updates and upgrades beyond the first year.

Score: 6

The Good

  • CS-Cart is straightforward to use and offers a plethora of features to sell products on the web.
  • You only have to purchase the software once. After that one-time purchase, you own the software and you’ll never have to worry about the kind of subscription restructuring seen with other SaaS solutions.
  • CS-Cart’s drag-and-drop layout editor lets you change the structure of your storefront without ever touching the code.

The Bad

  • Customer service expires, making assistance expensive. This leads to people doing more damage than necessary as they try to solve problems.  
  • You have to pay to receive updates and upgrades beyond the first year.
  • CS-Cart requires a bit more technical experience than many small business owners have at their disposal. The company states that they are an excellent solution for startups, but this is arguable.

Features

CS-Cart does offer an incredible amount of features, but some important features are not included out of the box that may benefit your business. 

Connect to Other Social Media Platforms

The Social login add-on lets your customers log in to your store using their social network accounts: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. The add-on makes your store distinctive thanks to stylish icons. However, it is a $39 upgrade. 

Reporting Features

CS-Cart includes many reporting features that give you detailed information needed to understand your business and sell more successfully. Comprehensive reports help you to understand and predict sales trends. CS-Cart understands that good analytics is required for successful sales management.

Search Engine Optimization

CS-Cart helps you reach potential customers through popular search engines by providing an easy way to edit page meta information in the built-in CMS. Also, with SEO-friendly URLs and powered by a built-in sitemap generation tool, your store will take the top ranks in online search results.

Easy-to-Use Checkout

CS-Cart’s step-by-step checkout process is straightforward to follow, and your customers will appreciate it. All checkout steps are shown on a single page making the whole process intuitively clear for a customer.

Content Management Capabilities

The CS-Cart admin panel includes a full-fledged content management system. The built-in CMS offers an easy way to create rich and SEO-friendly content pages for your site. You have complete control over your page navigation and hierarchy. A modern web-based editor will help you create beautiful pages in no time.

Price

For more prominent vendors with in-house coding capabilities, the price is straightforward and includes many features. It’s nice that the license fee is not billed monthly, like other SaaS solutions. However, you have to pay for upgrades and software updates after the first year. There is also a charge for customer assistance, which is frustrating for many vendors. 

Customer Reviews

The customer review add-on enables you to manage customer feedback and discussions appearing on your storefront pages. It allows customers to post product reviews, testimonials, and comments in your store. This feature is an add-on that should be covered in the primary license. 

Blog Integration

With the blog add-on, you create a fully featured blog inside your store. By posting store news and product reviews in your blog, you attract more customers and generate more SEO-friendly content. This is an add-on fee that should be included. 

The Takeaway

CS-Cart provides you with complete e-commerce functionality right from the get-go with 500 e-commerce features and a prebuilt storefront theme optimized for mobile devices and easily customizable to suit your requirements and unique specifications.

We find that CS-Cart is better suited for multi-vendor marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy. It is regarded as one of the best e-commerce marketplace platforms globally, as evidenced by over 1,500 e-commerce malls worldwide that have chosen it to power their business.

CS-Cart is recommended for any business that needs a shopping cart solution. Still, smaller companies may find the lack of customer support, frustrating upgrading process, and need for coding frustrating if they don’t have the proper support in place. 

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