X-Cart Shopping Cart Review
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X-Cart Review: What kind of merchant should use the X-Cart software?
X-Cart is an e-commerce platform available via download or through a cloud-hosted solution. More than 30,000 online stores use the X-Cart platform.
X-Cart’s primary product is an open-source PHP-based platform that can be purchased, downloaded, and installed on any self-hosted site. In order to use the platform, you’ll first need to acquire a domain and outside hosting package. X-Cart actually offers hosting packages, but these come at an additional price and are not included for the downloadable version. If you’re looking for a differentiator between X-Cart and its open-source peers, it’s its more up-to-date software and better user-friendliness than such PHP-based carts like Zen Cart and OpenCart.
X-Cart also offers a hosted, Cloud version of its software called X-Cart Cloud. With X-Cart Cloud, your site is hosted on the X-Cart cloud servers, and security, installation, and set-up are all included. Both the downloadable X-Cart platform and the X-Cart Cloud include a mobile ready design, unlimited product listings, and built-in SEO tools, like customizable meta tags and titles, XML sitemaps, search engine-friendly URLs and more. They also integrate easily with all major payment gateways and shipping providers.
Unlike a lot of open-source solutions, X-Cart isn’t free. Packages for the downloadable version include: Mobile, its most basic solution ($99, can’t have soft goods), Business, designed for mid-sized and growing businesses ($495), and Business Premium, which is for larger businesses and includes SSL, additional support ,and store set-up help ($1,495). A 15-day free trial is available for the Cloud solution, while merchants can test out the open-source software until they decide to go live.
It’s Cloud packages (most comparable to a hosted platform like Shopify), range from $20 to $200/month.
Ideal for: Small to Medium sized businesses
Good X-Cart Features
|Ecommerce Platform Comparison: Positive X-Cart Features||Feature Grade|
|Open source, so you have full control over your site’s look, feel, and functionality||B|
|Sizable extension store - hundreds of extensions and add-ons (like MailChimp integration, multiple currencies, eBay listings, more)||B+|
|Built-in marketing tools like upselling, cross-selling, discounts, etc.||B+|
|SEO tools like meta and title tags, XML sitemaps, and search engine-friendly URLs||B+|
|PCI compliant out of the box||A|
|Included mobile-ready store with all packages||A|
|Unlimited number of product listings – both hard and soft (digital goods, but not for Mobile package)||A|
|Built-in Facebook comments and social sharing capabilities||B|
Bad X-Cart Features
|Ecommerce Platform Comparison: Negative X-Cart Features||Feature Grade|
|Basic, limited templates - if you want to do more than just add a logo or change the colors/fonts, then a programmer is an absolute necessity||C-|
|Limited storage for Cloud (up to 65 GB of bandwidth, but only 10 GB of data storage...vs. Unlimited for Shopify's top plan)||C-|
|Needs hosting - standard for downloadable, open source carts||C+|
|Technical support - you’ll need to purchase a one-time support ticket or a monthly package (only forum support is included in most packages; if you don’t have email, chat, or Skype support included in your package, a one-time support ticket will cost you anywhere from $99 to $139 a pop)||D|
|Costs go behind just licensing fees: you will also need hosting, security, programming, and add-on modules and extensions for additional functionality||C-|
You can view all of X-Cart’s features here.
Notable X-Cart Websites
X-Cart Review: Bottom Line
Honestly, my expectations weren’t high going into this, but X-Cart has proved to be a surprisingly capable and adaptable solution for the mid-tier retailer. If any aspect of X-Cart sounds familiar, it’s because it’s very similar to CS-Cart, another modern, more high-end open-source cart. The 2 are very comparable in terms of their feature-set and customer support structure.
If I were advising a medium-sized business going through the platform migration process and it came down to these 2, I’d go with CS-Cart by a thin margin (also has strong multi-store capability). At the end of the day, make sure you have a lump sum to spend on modules and reliable, very capable development resources before diving into X-Cart (a strong relationship with you developer is key here).
X-Cart Ecommerce Platform Comparison Grade: B+
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View the master list of our ecommerce platform comparison to make the most informed choice when choosing your ecommerce platform software.
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- CS-Cart Review
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- OpenCart Review
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*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.