CS-Cart Review

CS-Cart Shopping Cart Review

If you’re interested in creating or transferring your online store, this unbiased CS-Cart review will help you learn the fundamentals as well as your fit with the shopping cart software.

Curious about how other platforms measure up? Check out reviews of top ecommerce platforms here.

CS-Cart Review: What Kind of Merchant Should Use the CS-Cart Shopping Cart?

First things first, CS-Cart is an open source ecommerce shopping cart solution currently used by over 30,000 stores. Created by ex- X-Cart employees, CS-Cart offers a complete solution for the modern retailer and has gained a lot of buzz and popularity in the last couple of years. For a retailer, open source software means a couple things:

A) unlimited SKU capacity and customization potential and

B) you’ll need a developer (preferably in-house).

CS-Cart (version 4) offers 3 different products: 

CS-Cart PlanPriceSKUsBuilt-in Add-Ons
Ultimate (free)FREENo limit12
Ultimate$395 (one time license fee)No limit50+
Multi-Vendor$595 per yearNo limit50+

The nice thing about CS-Cart’s product offerings is that a retailer can simply download the free Ultimate version to get a feel for the platform interface and decide later on if he/she wants to upgrade for more store functionality. Additionally, many (smaller) retailers may find that the free version will suffice for their ecommerce needs. This review will focus on the $395 Ultimate plan. Check out all 3 of CS-Cart’s versions compared.

Ideal for: Any size retailer with web development resources.

CS-Cart Review: Good CS-Cart Features 
Ecommerce Platform Comparison: CS-CartFeature Grade
Supports soft goodsA
Modern and intuitive user-interface (check out a free online demo of site customization here)A-
One-page checkoutA
Very easy, no programming experience needed to setupA-
Featured product lists and cross-sellingB+
Unlimited product filtersB
Discount coupons and customer loyalty rewards programsB+
Integration with over 70 payment gatewaysA
Mobile Integration with TwigmoB

CS-Cart Review: Bad CS-Cart Features 
Ecommerce Platform Comparison: CS-CartFeature Grade
Customer support structure: choose either a 30-day period of free customer support or 40 "credits;" If you want additional support, you must purchase support credit packages (50 credits = $70; 200 credits = $270)F
Complaints of very slow site speedD
Not an all-in-one solution: retailers can not build a site from the ground up using CS-Cart; Suggested hosting solutions here.C
Knowledge base provides supplementary technical support but no video tutorialsC-

You can view all of CS-Cart’s features here.

CS-Cart Review: Exporting Your Product Data Feed from CS-Cart to Google Shopping

If you’d like to integrate your CS-Cart store with Google Shopping, you can refer to these resources. CS-Cart provides a very brief list of instructions on exporting product feeds to the Google Merchant Center, and a CS-Cart user has created a video tutorial in the CS-Cart forum on how to create a data feed for Google Shopping.

Notable CS-Cart Websites/Examples

Greenhouse (Apparel)

Chic Cham (Furniture)

Buy Happier (Home & Garden)

CS-Cart Review: Bottom Line

CS-Cart sets the sky as the limit in terms of customization of design and functionality. With tons of features and a very user-friendly design process, the open source platform seems to just fall short in the customer support sector. If you’re a small retailer with limited technical resources, this is a HUGE red flag, but medium to large retailers with more in-house web development expertise will not experience as much duress.

At the end of the day, consider CS-Cart as an up-and-coming open source solution that provides a modern, well built-out shopping cart experience.

CS-Cart Ecommerce Platform Comparison Grade: B+

How do you think this shopping cart stacks up against the rest? Have your voice be heard and your opinion known!  Email jon@cpcstrategy.com and request to have your experience be part of this CS-Cart Review.

View the master list of our ecommerce platform comparison to make the most informed choice when choosing your ecommerce platform software.


*Note: Grades are subjectively based on analysis and comparison to other ecommerce platforms, based on availability, significance, and functionality of the platform feature and overall value.