There are so many online shopping cart options for today’s entrepreneurs and business owners to choose from. ShopTab features reviews of popular and recommended online shopping carts, interviewing the featured cart’s developer, to provide an opportunity to learn about why their cart may be right for your business.
This week ShopTab conducted an interview with Alex Vinokurov, the Chief Visionary Officer and co-founder of CS-Cart. The company is based in Ulyanovsk, Russia and its software is currently used by 15’000 merchants in 170 countries. CS-Cart was founded in 2005 by three enthusiastic software developers and IT specialists including Vladimir Kalynyak (CEO) and Ilya Shalnev (Deputy CEO).
Q: Why did you launch CS-Cart?
A: When we began, the eCommerce market was not as competitive as it is currently. There were several solutions that were popular, but most of them were developed in early 2000 and did not incorporate modern web technologies that were continuously progressing in leaps and bounds. Other shortcomings we saw were outdated design, tangled source code architecture, various limitations, poor SEO, etc.
We decided to fill the void by developing powerful shopping cart software combining an intuitive interface for users and modular architecture for 3rd party developers. And we had one more goal – to make it as universal as possible so that it suits many types of businesses by default.
Q: What features or benefits make CS-Cart stand out?
A: First, it is hundreds of ecommerce features and cutting-edge innovations out-of-the-box, such as one-page checkout, AJAX-based web interface, visual block manager, built-in CMS, RMA, among many others. Plus, the number of add-ons grows with each new release.
Secondly, it is the CS-Cart usability. This means a much more convenient and time-saving way of managing the store for the merchant. At the same time, his customers get the clear navigation, search filters, wish list, easy checkout, order history and much more. These features combined usually lead to increasing the sales.
Q: What are some of its weaknesses?
A: Unfortunately, at this time, we do not provide hosting service to our clients, though we have such plans for future expansion. CS-Cart is not integrated with Amazon or eBay marketplaces either, but we hope to perform these integrations soon.
Q: How would your cart help an ecommerce merchant, versus the cart he or she is using now?
A: As I said, CS-Cart can save a lot of time for the store administrator, while also raising his sales. The latter is reached also by support of many payment and shipping options, SEO, discount coupons, gift certificates, integrated affiliate system, localization feature, etc.
Also, CS-Cart can save money on design through the 45 ready-to-use templates included in its commercial editions.
Lastly, our software is highly customizable due to the fact that it is 100% open source, allowing it to be changed to meet any business’s specific needs.
A: CS-Cart allows an unlimited number of products and categories. The only limits are your own server space and resources.
Q: What is the cost for CS-Cart’s service?
A: We have a solution to fit all budgets and store needs. Currently, CS-Cart has three editions. Our Professional and Multi-Vendor editions are commercial. They are available at USD 285 and USD 985 accordingly, with no annual or monthly fees. You pay only once and get the right to use the software on your own server with no time limitations. The one-time fee also includes free access to upgrades and new versions for one year.
The CS-Cart Community Edition is our free shopping cart software that offers a basic set of ecommerce features to cover the needs of a small web store that doesn’t have advanced requirements for functionality and design.
Q: What are CS-Cart’s future plans for development or additional features?
A: Though CS-Cart is already one of the most full-featured ecommerce solutions, we continue intensive development to ensure we stay at the forefront of the ecommerce market. We listen to our clients and ask them to vote for the features they want to see in the next releases, which is how CS-Cart Mobile Version and CS-Cart Multi-Store Edition came into being. We are currently working on these services and plan to launch them later this year.
We release new versions of our software every 1-2 months. They usually contain additional features, integrations with new payment systems and various services, one or two new design templates and bug fixes.
Q: How is support handled for CS-Cart customers?
A: Our technical support service is provided through our Customer Help Desk system. Our experienced in-house engineers are able to resolve all the problems and answer any question about the software within a short period of time. In addition, there is exhaustive software reference guide, knowledge base and developer documentation available on our website at any time.
Q: Do you have any other comments about CS-Cart for ShopTab readers?
A: CS-Cart is of the perfect combination functionality and simplicity. I encourage all ShopTab readers to check it for themselves by visiting the online demo or downloading the free 60-day trial. Thank you for reading this interview.
Check out CS-Cart at http://www.cs-cart.com/. If you are currently using CS-Cart please share your experience below in the comments.
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