Zen Cart

If you need a shopping cart for your ecommerce store, but you don’t have the money for an expensive application, Zen Cart is an open source shopping cart that may have your answer.

Zen Cart offers the ability to easily build a complex store with several features that aren’t common with free applications. The latest release includes the ability to create minimum or maximum quantities for specific items, so that you can require customers to purchase two of a certain piece of merchandise, or only one, depending on your preferences.

If you run frequent sales, the new merchandising pricing options included with Zen Cart will come in handy. This new release includes the ability to set sale prices using a percentage or fixed rate, as well as special discounts that can be set for one item only, or for all of the items in a specific category. Support for CVV2 has been added, which is a nice add-on since many merchant accounts are now requiring this field to process credit card orders.

There are several new layout options as well as templates that can help you completely customize the way your store looks. Here is a screenshot of the template area in the admin panel that will allow you to select the template you would like to use for your site.

Click for larger image.

Side boxes are easier to configure and you can easily add or hide them as necessary. These boxes can be used to display special information, sale prices or even product specific information. Here is a screenshot to illustrate how easy this process is.

Click for larger image.

The overall ease of set-up is reasonable, but new users may need to take a little extra time to read through the documentation. If your site includes Fantastico, this cart is usually included with the autoinstaller, which makes it even easier to get it up and running. There are several supported payment gateways, as well as configurable options for your SSL certificate.

As open source shopping carts go, this is one of the most powerful and easy to configure on the market.

Related Posts:
Selecting the Right Shopping Cart for Your Ecommerce Site
Shopping Carts for Ecommerce Sites
Web Hosting Information’s Guide to Shopping Carts
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Beating Shopping Cart Abandonment

Posted on 02/21/06 8:47 PM

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