Practical Ecommerce

8 Great SaaS Shopping Carts

Hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce solutions allow small online retailers to open functional online stores with a minimum in capital expense. While there are many good SaaS shopping carts on the market in the end of 2011, here are eight carts that are among my personal favorites.

SaaS shopping carts or ecommerce platforms are often technically easy to employ, although it can be a good idea to have help from a professional designer.


Shopify has many available extensions that connect it to third-party software.

Shopify has many available extensions that connect it to third-party software.

More than 15,000 Internet merchants use Shopify to conduct transactions daily, so there is little doubt that this SaaS ecommerce solution is stable and reliable. Shopify also boasts an easy to use online store builder. There are some free themes available, and a small number of premium themes may also be found (checkout Cogify Underground as an excellent example).

Shopify also has a good App Store that provides a way for site owners to connect with many third-party services.

Magento Go

Magento Go relies on the success of the Magento licensed solutions and on eBay, its parent company.

Magento Go relies on the success of the Magento licensed solutions and on eBay, its parent company.

Magento Go is a relatively new entry into the SaaS ecommerce solution market, but it carries the brand name and pedigree of what may be the single most popular licensed ecommerce platform. Magento Community, Professional, and Enterprise editions serve more than 110,000 online merchants, including many large multi-channel retailers.

In some sense, Magento Go is sort of a starter version of Magneto meant to help businesses new to ecommerce get up and running very quickly. The solution also has several available extensions that make it a very capable choice for any online seller.

Recently, eBay purchased Magento and seems to be investing in an effort to solidify Magento’s leadership position.


Volusion has a reputation for being easy to use.

Volusion has a reputation for being easy to use.

Volusion provides a good shopping experience with many customer-centric features like product comparison tools and product image zooming. Volusion also charges no transaction fees on orders and offers many free themes.

One of this SaaS solution’s best features is its self-help resources, many of which include video explanations of common cart tasks.


Demandware provides an Enterprise-level solution.

Demandware provides an Enterprise-level solution.

Often SaaS solutions are aimed at small or mid-sized businesses in the ecommerce industry. Demandware, in contrast, offers a product that is better suited for mid-sized or larger retailers that already have an established marketing and promotional team but that would prefer not to have to host and build a store in-house.

As a result, Demandware is a very powerful solution that starts at about $60,000 per year.


Venda says its SaaS solution lets merchants focus on marketing.

Venda says its SaaS solution lets merchants focus on marketing.

Similar to Demandware in its aim to provide top-notch ecommerce services to leading online retailers, Venda’s SaaS Cloud Platform offers all of the capabilities of an enterprise-level ecommerce platform built with common and flexible cloud infrastructure.

The solution may be able to cut a large merchant’s information technology investment significantly.


NetSuite offers a full-set of SaaS business solutions.

NetSuite offers a full-set of SaaS business solutions.

NetSuite offers a complete SaaS ecommerce solution and additional ERP and CRM tools tool. This SaaS service aims at middle-sized retailers that are seeking to gain back-office efficiencies and improve growth. It has many every effective tools for monitoring the lifetime value of customers, monitoring site traffic and customer interaction, and offering multi-tier pricing.

Big Cartel

BigCartel is a SaaS shopping cart specifically for artists.

BigCartel is a SaaS shopping cart specifically for artists.

As SaaS ecommerce solutions go, BigCartel serves the relatively small artist niche, offering a simple, and basic, solution that is built to feature, promote, and sell artistic works ranging from jewelry to paintings to clothing.

As an ecommerce solution, BigCartel is a little barebones, but it is very quick to set up and is very serviceable in its industry segment.


Goodsie is especially good for first time entrepreneurs with no technical experience.

Goodsie is especially good for first time entrepreneurs with no technical experience.

Goodsie helps new ecommerce entrepreneurs get an online store up and running quickly and with essentially no requirement for prior technical experience. If this SaaS ecommerce solution has a downside it is that it is too simple.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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  1. jgold723 December 13, 2011 Reply

    Great overview. I’d be curious to know more about how easy it is to customize the appearance of these carts, specifically about building my own templates. Also, I’m curious as to why Core Commerce wasn’t included in this line up?

  2. Lorraine Pierce December 13, 2011 Reply

    Nice article. You guys always seem to serve up an article about what I’m currenty working on. I’ve been evaluating carts fo weeks now. Unfortunately, you didn’t cover the three I’ve narrowed it down to in this article. Deciding between: Shopping Cart Elite, Nexternal, and Fortune3.

    Man people shy away from hosts that charge transaction % fees. But if you think about it, those hosts will be the ones to NOT throttle your site, and help you grow! Flat rate hosts have no reason to not overload their servers;)

  3. Astound Commerce December 16, 2011 Reply

    I would also add Fry to this little SaaS directory as a true Java-based platform with unbelievable modifications possible which is actually quite unique among e-commerce platforms.

  4. Manish Chowdhary January 13, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the list but putting Shopify and Demandware does not do justice in my opinion. It’s comparing apples to oranges!

    Today’s web-savvy online shoppers demand nothing short of seamless, customer-driven experience as offered by the top 500 internet retailers like At the same time, SMB retailers are struggling to keep up with the latest technology innovations and managing multiple disjointed business systems. This requires a solution that embraces ALL facets of online selling—from the web storefront to fast and efficient order management to effectively managing relationships with customers, suppliers and employees. Further, to build loyalty and trust requires that you offer a shopping experience that delivers that same unbridled experience to customers via their preferred channels on their preferred devices anywhere in the world.

    If you have included Demandware and NetSuite, then I believe our solution surely ought to be considered for such a list. GoECart 360 offers not just an exceptional buying experience but by delivering a fully integrated, web based ALL-IN-ONE Ecommerce Suite that includes advanced ecommerce storefront along with order management system (OMS), inventory management, fulfillment and CRM. It’s far more affordable than the likes of Demandware, Venda etc. but packs comparable power on the front-end and does a lot more than them on the backend.

    Manish Chowdhary

  5. Halia Zarudna December 14, 2012 Reply

    I would also put Shopify at the firts place in this list. Shopify looks stylish, trendy, extremely comfortable and full of amazing features.
    Volusion is less expensive and offers better support then Shopify. However, there is very important factor that makes Shopify that popular. An official App Store sells different modules, templates and extensions.
    I think that this presentation will be a good addition to your great reviev: This is a basic guide on major shopping carts, their types, advantages and disadvantages.

  6. Michael Nelson February 6, 2013 Reply

    What about EC-CUBE? It is the easiest cart to personalize and only takes a few minutes to open a store. Programming not needed. Its also number 1 in Japan.

  7. gasandux March 11, 2013 Reply

    There is a very wide range of products being discussed on here….Goodsie and or Venda, for example, are on different planets…so much so that they really don’t do the same thing. It’s like comparing a Smart Car and a 4 Wheel Drive truck.

  8. Usmanach April 2, 2013 Reply

    You missed Bitcart in the list Most user friendly SaaS and licensed shopping cart platform in the market.

  9. Kathy Daunt July 31, 2013 Reply

    I always choose Magento as the good ecommerce platform (software) because it has loads of feature. And hosting is very important for Magento shopping cart, as it increases the speed of the site. We could also choose the good Magento shopping cart extensions and themes in Magento market place.

  10. Naveen October 21, 2013 Reply

    Another #SaaS offering that might want to look at is DWA Commerce : It seems to have the most comprehensive features set, comparable to most enterprise class eCommerce platforms. It’s hosted eCommerce with most ERP, CRM as well as WCM features tightly integrated into the solution.

  11. Uniecommerce October 23, 2013 Reply

    It was a great 8 SaaS shopping cart.

  12. Fuad Hazboun February 18, 2014 Reply

    Do you have any comments about Prestashop ? What do you think it…. Thanks for any advice or information…


  13. Armando Roggio February 19, 2014 Reply

    Faud, I do not think of Prestashop as a SaaS ecommerce platform. It is certainly becoming more popular, but I would classify it as a licensed solution.

  14. Aaqyl Chagla December 25, 2014 Reply

    Another SAAS Shopping Cart is Styledge
    ( )
    Cost Effective rates starting at just 499INR .

    • Devanshi September 24, 2015 Reply

      I have used ( my business venture and i must say they are cost efficient and the customre response is great!!

      Give it a thought!!

  15. Romain Gary January 23, 2015 Reply

    I strongly recommend Shopio because of its cheap prices and high quality service.

    Why do I have to share my profit with others?

  16. Trista February 3, 2015 Reply

    Great list! Too bad that Smoolis is not on it ( I’ve discovered it last month and so far, i”m loving it!

  17. Djordje Jovicin July 15, 2015 Reply

    I would add Kooomo ( to this list for sure. This is a pretty much new SAAS solution but from what i saw so far – it shows a great promise. What is so great about it – well, you don’t have to struggle too much with any aspect of the web shop creation as they do it all for you for a fixed one time fee. There is no maintenance fees, no struggle with updating regulations and new trading rules as they carry it all out for you. Instead of a fixed monthly membership that is way too common and can be a liability factor, you get to pay by giving them a very small commission. I find that extremely practical.

  18. Kevin October 28, 2015 Reply

    Recently i came across an another SAAS based ecommerce Platform. I would like to add Contalog.

    Contalog is the complete integrated & multi-channel eCommerce platform that allows you to sell online by providing everything you need to create an online store. It allows you to launch your mobile and tablet optimized versions of your web store.

  19. Rachel Joseph January 23, 2016 Reply

    We are launching CartIN24 is a SaaS based shopping cart built on Magento. Our goal is to provide the scalability and flexibility of Magento with ease of administration and set up of Volusion/Shopify. I would love to get your feedback on