Have you ever gotten the shopping cart with the busted wheel at the store? It’s the worst.
But with shopping cart software, that never has to happen. While their core function is essentially the same—gathering products in a cart with the intention of purchasing them—one is digital and therefore not subject to the perils of corporeality.
For an e-commerce business owner, shopping cart software is something that you need to consider, and you definitely don’t want to get stuck with a tool that has a virtual bum wheel. User experience is key to attracting and retaining customers in the e-commerce world, so a good shopping cart tool that makes it easy to select (or delete) and purchase products is a quick and easy fix to a potentially big problem. While most e-commerce platforms include shopping cart functionality, not everyone wants to use a major platform.
Best free shopping cart software
If you’re building your e-commerce store from scratch or using a web hosting service that doesn’t have e-commerce functionality built in, you will likely need to add each feature separately. This can take a lot of work and money, but there are ways to mitigate the cost of creating a store a la carte.
Free shopping cart software gives you the opportunity to create a more functional e-commerce store equip with advanced features like shopping cart abandonment without worrying about the cost. The tools highlighted here are free and may be open source, so you can customize them as you see fit.
Best free shopping cart for websites
These products only represent a small portion of the 100-plus shopping cart software offerings listed on our platform. Whenever possible, the products are ranked by user Satisfaction score.
1. Zen Cart
Zen Cart is a free and open-source shopping cart tool that professes to work with any hosting tool and a variety of payment gateways. Zen Cart also has a variety of plugins available, from buttons and graphics to marketing tools and language packs. Users can donate to the project if they so choose to support the efforts of the developers.
Image courtesy of Zen Cart
“So many add-ons available for free. Almost anything I could need. And even for a novice easy to customize. Adding and updating products is a breeze. The information on the admin home is great letting me know how many visitors, and detailed information about how long ... and how many pages they clicked on. Integration with Square, PayPal was flawless. Even customizing my shipping add-ons was pretty easy.” — Zen Cart review by a verified user
“I love the fact that ZenCart is an open-source option and it can be customized easily. A little bit of PHP information is all that is required.” — Zen Cart review by Anup S.
Payment gateway integrations
Custom domain names
2. Cube Cart
Cube Cart is a free and open source e-commerce tool that has a variety of extensions available to customize the experience. The extensions are also free and include payment gateways, shipping trackers and estimators, and language packs. Users can also receive a variety of reports and analytics through the tool.
Image courtesy of Cube Cart
“Has a lot of the out-of-the-box features totally free, as opposed to other free e-commerce platforms where you have to pay for the module or added option. Some of these options include login as customer, reCAPTCHA, totally customized shipping, and more. It also is VERY INTUITIVE on complete customization of the overall look and also adding any sort of other tool or API. I've worked with a number of e-commerce platforms, and the free ones you can always customize the template and design, however some of the free ones are a lot more complicated on customization and it takes lots of time editing and finding out which style sheet is overriding your methods. Cube Cart is very straightforward and in my opinion is better than all the other paid and free versions out there!” — Cube Cart review by Michelle G.
Catalog import and export
Multiple currency support
Mailing list management
Customer order history
Payment transaction logs
AbanteCart is a free shopping cart software that can help users create a digital store. With a variety of features and add-ons available, users can customize their store however they like and sell anything they want. AbanteCart also professes to be easily scalable, supporting businesses as they grow. AbanteCart is also built using HTML5, so it’s easy to customize.
Image courtesy of AbanteCart
“AbanteCart is awesome because it's very easy to install, it comes with a lot of features, it's easy to customize, therefore, any business can benefit from using it. It comes with comprehensive functions that simplify the whole process of selling products online. And the best part is that you can customize each product to fit your specifications even in terms of shipping fees.” — AbanteCart review by Dennis S.
“A client contacted me about switching their online ecommerce platform to Abante. And at first, I was a bit skeptical about it seeing as I had never used it. But when I did, my opinion of it changed.
"Basically, AbanteCart is one of those web apps that does all the work for you. It only took me a few hours to set it up. In fact, when you choose to work with this app, the only hard part will be to enter products into the system, especially if you're dealing with a lot of products.” — AbanteCart review by Seth O.
Product embed codes
Customer product reviews
Customer account management
Payment gateway integration
Google analytics tracking
Analytics and insights
Arastta offers a free shopping cart tool that has a variety of features. With responsive design, one-click updates, and SEO features, users can improve their e-commerce store at no cost. Arastta can also integrate with platforms such as Facebook to create an online store that can be viewed on a variety of sites.
Image courtesy of Arastta
“I was able to consolidate my art site marketing and sales. It saves me time having it all in one spot.” — Arastta review by an administrator in fine art
Image courtesy of simpleCart
“Ease of configuration and flexibility. Setting it up was really easy and quick (I only use the PayPal functionality).” — simpleCart review by John S.
Payment gateway integration
Quick.cart is a free shopping cart tool that can quickly create simple online stores. With two available tools (Quick.cart and Quick.cart.ext), users can choose which tool works best for them. Quick.cart.ext is the paid version, and has some additional functionality such as SEO support and plugins.
How to select a shopping cart app for your online store
Free shopping cart software can be a great way to dip your toe into the sea of e-commerce, especially if you have web development experience. If not, many of these tools are easy to install and customize using plugins.
Lauren is a former market research analyst focusing on the e-commerce and retail industries. Since joining G2 in July 2017, she has focused her energy on consumer-driven spaces after spending time in the vertical, design, and CAD software spheres. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in English language and literature and her writing and research has been cited in publications such as Forbes, Eater, and Nasdaq.com, among others. She enjoys building and sharing her knowledge, and in her free time enjoys reading, knitting, and gaming. Her coverage areas include retail technology, e-commerce, and restaurant technology.