Top 5 Free Open-Source Shopping Carts

The foundation of a successful ecommerce website lies in choosing the right shopping cart solution. Over 500 promising ecommerce solutions exist, and deciding which one to opt for can be a daunting task. To help you make an-informed decision, here are the top free, open-source shopping cart solutions for five different programming platforms.

1. PHP – Magento

Since its first beta release, Magento, a PHP ecommerce platform, has evolved significantly. Now used by over 90,000 merchants to power their online stores, Magento’s success lies in its versatility, offering unrivaled cutting-edge features with different extensions. Its array of built-in marketing tools — like SEO-friendly URLs, A/B split testing, cross-selling, and email campaigns — help optimize and increase online sales. Magento is backed by an expanding community of developers offering free support through an online forum.

2. ASP.NET – nopCommerce

As a fully customizable ASP.NET and MS SQL-based ecommerce solution, nopCommerce is maintained by a vibrant community of developers passionate about developing a robust ecommerce application. It has everything you need to help you get started selling physical or digital goods. One key feature is its pluggable modular/layered architecture that lets additional functionality and presentation elements to be dynamically added to the application at run-time. The pluggable modularized architecture makes it easy to create and manage websites. A lot of SEO effort went into this product. All the way from search-friendly URLs and XML sitemaps to properly structured content and products, it has been built to help spiders easily crawl your store.

3. RUBY ON RAILS — Spree

With a Ruby on Rails ecommerce platform, Spree combines Ruby-powered performance to provide a simple and highly scalable solution. Its powerful extension system makes it easy to customize the application to suit your exact business needs, applying custom logic to your checkout, shipping, or payment processes. It also has tight integration with Google Analytics ecommerce tracking and supports SEO-friendly URLs laid out to provide multiple entries to the same product page (helps with internal linking). Spree’s forte is in its API, offering a secure way to modify orders, shipment, and product data via third-party services and software (CRM, QuickBooks, iPhone applications).

4. JAVASCRIPT — SimpleCartJS

A lightweight JavaScript shopping cart, SimpleCartJS impresses more with each new version. You can set up an ecommerce checkout in a few minutes, with no database or programming knowledge (just some HTML/CSS skills for skinning). Unfortunately, there is no backend for inventory management, and it only works with PayPal and Google Checkout. But if you’re looking for an easy-to-set-up checkout for a landing page with a simple and uncluttered interface, it may be perfect.

5. JAVA — KonaKart

KonaKart may be a good choice if you need a Java-based ecommerce solution. It can provide a powerful solution that should cover most, if not all of your requirements, delivering unparalleled price / performance. It has a rich feature set to provide your customers with all of the information and functionality that they require in order to shop at your online store. The only downside is that, realistically speaking, it will require some JSP/Java development and deployment knowledge to bring a store into production.