During the Covid-19 epidemic raging everywhere and the situation is becoming more and more complicated, the shift towards e-commerce is no longer a temporary solution.
Along with that, the development of science and technology makes it much easier for retailers to approach customers.
In the opposite direction, buyers also mostly turn to online shopping activities to limit visits to the store, save time as well as receive many unexpected benefits (through discount days, for example).
In the world, there are many suppliers of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento, CS-Cart, … I do not have too much experience in “digitizing” my products because so I’m always ready to try different platforms.
And CS-Cart caught my attention because as Alexander Shabayev, Head of CS-Cart Sale Team stated: “It’s not so simple that it costs experienced user’s freedom, but it also doesn’t require a veteran coder’s skills “.
Some additional information about CS-Cart
CS-Cart is a shopping software solution that integrates SEO, an open-source format. CS-Cart has been around since 2005; it is part of the Simtech group (who created Merchium and Searchandise). Over the past 15 years, the company has sold 40,000 copies of its software to merchants in 170 countries.
CS-Cart publishes two versions CS-Cart and Multi-vendor. CS-Cart version gives users the convenience of a simple online shopping website.
Meanwhile, Multi-vendor offers the full functionality of a virtual shopping marketplace where vendors can post products through a single website.
This solution allows the customer to place all products of different suppliers in one order and that order will be automatically divided into many sub-orders of suppliers.
You can refer to the relevant information through the link: https://www.CS-Cart.com/
CS-Cart provides users with a lot of features so that they can create their store. There will be a demo store where you can create your own “drafts” before creating your online store. But here are the features you need to keep in mind as they are basic and essential for anyone just starting with CS-Cart.
First, there are hundreds of topics that you can choose from depending on the type of business you are selling or the group of people you are targeting.
You will have up to 9 different themes to choose from and create your style. However, the number of free themes is quite limited. Will you accept to make yourself a difference with the designs at an expensive price?
With each topic, you will be provided with information related to your product such as price, customer feedback, promotion … And of course, in addition to the items already suggested, whatever features you can think of, CS-Cart will have it (or you can write your code and generate it if you know it).
Simply drag and drop if the feature is already pre-installed in the category, or you can use the in-place content editor and style editor to quickly make changes for your website’s logos, colors, fonts, and backgrounds.
With just a few clicks you can drag and drop blocks, create the new ones, add banners and various menus all from the admin panel. What could be easier than that?
This is more complete if you can use the following features:
- Product Filter: Thanks to this filter, finding the product that meets their needs is extremely easy. List the required attributes of the product and you’ll have the right one.
- Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA): This feature lets customers create return requests from their profiles.
- Multilanguage: The unlimited framework of stores in any language is a very useful feature of CS-Cart. It creates convenience for purchases when combined with the multi-currency payment feature.
- Multiple storefronts: This feature is only effective if you choose your own CS-Cart Ultimate or CS-Cart Multi-Vendor package.
Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Getting to the booth you want quickly is one of the important factors that help stimulate shopping psychology. If on the same website there are different booths “living together” then built-in SEO tools will be the solution for you.
CS-Cart provides a very powerful system that helps the website you build to rank well in the search engine results.
All you have to do is write a description, tell the story of your company, your item, provide the requested metadata, and CS-Cart does the rest on your behalf.
Besides, you will be able to set up “satellite” or the “Widget mode” links so that users can connect to your store from other websites like Facebook or WordPress. This opens up opportunities to find more customers as well as expand business markets. CS-Cart allows buyers to log in to their website using their Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare accounts.
What else do we have?
- Product Options: Lists the images for each product option and applies weight and price adjustments according to the selected options. This feature is compatible with this product filter I mentioned earlier.
- Product inventory tracking: This feature is extremely essential if you are acting as the shop owner. With the right customization, you will receive a notification when the number of products is low to take timely measures to adjust and notify the buyer.
- Digital sale: Market and sell downloadable products on your storefront.
- Batch import and export: Use CSV files for easier migration.
Easy payment and shipping methods
The thing that many buyers are most interested in is sometimes how they can pay for the product they have chosen. Don’t worry about it.
With linking with more than 50 payment solutions, CS-Cart ensures you will find the payment gateways you need. Here are a few of the most popular gateways:
- First Data
It is on the seller’s side. As for the buyer, you can actively calculate the real value you pay after aggregating other expenses such as shipping, value-added tax … Checkout Real-Time Shipping Rates feature allows buyers affiliated with major carriers like FedEx and USPS to provide accurate, live shipping rates.
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor – solution for daring people
Yes, for a higher price for 1 payment (about $ 1450), you get Multi-Vendor. Your website will become a supermarket system with many facades where you will become an administrator with decentralization to other shop owners to do business together. In other words, you control the market from a storefront, where independent sellers can run their small stores.
Vendors have access to their admin panel, comments, and ratings on their products, etc. And as an administrator, you have all the tools you need to manage these providers like automatic payments and product approval systems.
The powerful administration panel makes using CS-Cart Multi-Vendor an advantage when you want to directly manage an online marketplace. A prime example that I can mention is Yumbles – the extremely successful food market of British couple Simos Kitiris and Katie Kitiri built on the foundation of CS-Cart Multi-Vendor.
Integrations & Add-Ons
Add-Ons are sometimes what sets one e-commerce platform apart from another. And for CS-Cart, you get a lot of support from these “extensions”. You will get free to premium word add-ons, along with living chat modules to Facebook comments to popups.
Depending on what your store needs, be prepared to spend some money on add-ons. For example, a little parallax package will cost only $ 10 while plugins cost many times more.
I don’t have too many requests for add-ons and here is my preferred list:
- MailChimp Connect ($ 75.99) integrates merchants with automated email marketing services.
- Facebook Store ($ 130) on behalf of store owners to introduce brands and products on Facebook (has the same effect as advertising)
- Whatsapp Share Add-on ($ 15) for product sharing via popular messaging service, Whatsapp.
- Aftership Package Tracking Add-on (Free) helps sellers track shipments and notifications.
Besides, you can refer to One Step Checkout, Google Enhanced E-Commerce, Youtube Video Gallery, Search Ajax, Stripe Payment Gateway, …
Version for phone
There is no limit to the working space of any customer. CS-Cart has done that when it comes to developing an application specifically for the phone.
You or your client simply install CS-Cart from the Appstore or Google Play to be able to continue working and trading. One advantage I find is that updates are released very regularly to minimize the bugs that the original platform still makes.
Some feedback from customers
I have had my feelings about CS-Cart. And indeed a lot of the comments appear regarding CS-Cart‘s performance. Here is what I have gathered from a personal point of view and other retailers.
- Rich features
- Open source makes it easy for tech-savvy people to customize their sites
- One Time Payment: You only pay once for the Core Software. This is what differentiates CS-Cart from other platforms.
- Visual Editor makes it extremely easy for users to manipulate the product
- Professional and friendly support team
- Expensive development: Although you only have to pay once to own CS-Cart, the prices to optimize features, add-ons are still quite large.
- Customer service is not free
|Ease of use||8/10|
|Value of Money||9/10|
Above all, CS-Cart still gives users all the necessary experience of an e-commerce platform. The content arrangement, as well as fast payment, are the strongest points of CS-Cart. However, you also need to research your finances carefully because the fees to upgrade and optimize your manager are quite expensive.
CS-Cart gives you a comprehensive demo. Experience to make the right decisions.
Thanks for reading.