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CS-Cart Review on eCommerce Features & Customizability

updated on Sep 14, 2014
CS-Cart Review on eCommerce Features & Customizability Established as eCommerce software, CS-Cart now serves thousands of stores and gains increasing popularity. As it is not a really big name like PrestaShop and Magento, this review is made to analyze the built-in site management features, shipping, payment gateways, customizability and cost, and to figure out what kind of people should use this shopping cart.

Unlike some eCommerce applications that are completely free to use, CS-Cart comes with several licenses packed with different permissions to features. At present, CS-Cart has 2 products which include CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor, and this review mainly focuses on the Free mode of CS-Cart except for the following part that discusses the price of both products.

Cost – A Little Bit Expensive Pricing

Visiting the official site and clicking to download the software, there comes a new page which requires you to choose either product. Note that no matter which you choose, you get a free trial period of 30 days to use the products in the Trial mode. After the trial period, you need to make a choice again.

If you downloaded CS-Cart to use, now you have the options of Free mode (totally free to use with very limited features and no free technical support) and Full mode which charges $385 for a lifetime license and $195 for 1-year subscription license. And in the case that you have tried Multi-Vendor, you must pay $1450 for a lifetime license or $590 for 1-year subscription, or your existing store has to be deleted from all devices that are currently running it. Honestly, we have not seen such expensive license fees.

Store & Product Management – Useful But Limited Features

Store & Product Management CS-Cart has an easy-to-use yet powerful admin panel which integrates with dozens of tools and features that help you get full access and control over the whole store. You can manage orders, products, customers and marketing with ease. Just have a few clicks on the mouse, and everything is under control. Besides, there is a content management system which allows you to create content pages with a WYSIWYG editor.

As for product management, you are able to add an unlimited number of physical or downloadable products and categories on the store, choose from multiple product options and variants, and set up 3 product filters.

However, in the Free mode, you are lack of many features that are needed to keep a well-organized and secure store, such as store access permission, bonus system, multiple language support, multiple currency support, shipping management, and more. These features are all included in the paid services.

Payments & Shipping – Enough Choices

CS-Cart comes with more than 50 payment choices including 2Checkout, Amazon Payments, AuthorizeNet.Aim, Google Checkout, PayPal and SagePay, so that you can feel free to choose the ones you need to serve customers with different demands. Being PCI compliant, the application also allows payments from MasterCard, Visa and some other credit cards. Besides, the one-page checkout process is quite easy-to-handle.

In terms of shipping, CS-Cart is integrated with all major shipping providers, supports real-time shipping rates and shows the actual rates directly in the checkout. Also, you can set up tax and delivery cost according to a single customer' address. This location-based management works well in managing the complex taxation.

Customizability – Good Themes & Add-ons

Customizability The Free mode of CS-Cart has 12 built-in add-ons only, but you are allowed to extend the functionality by using the free add-ons or purchasing the advanced ones. All of the customer experience, product management, site management, marketing and SEO can be enhanced by installing add-ons.

For store design, the application is developed with multiple storefronts by default. Choosing anyone of them, you can further customize the background images, color and fonts to your own demands. Besides, there are a large number of free and premium themes available in the market, which offers excellent possibilities in design customization.

Who Should Use CS-Cart?

Due to the limited features, CS-Cart Free mode is suitable for small online stores with no strict requirements in customer management, multiple languages and different currencies. The Full mode, however, is actually a good choice for large businesses with enough budget and a team of developers.

If you want a free open source solution with powerful features, OpenCart, PrestaShop and osCommerce should be taken into consideration. Besides, the following web hosts are recommended for hosting these applications.