Design & Development

Cart of the Week: X-Cart

Practical eCommerce counts over 300 different shopping cart platforms. In this ongoing “Cart of the Week” feature we profile—but not evaluate—a specific shopping cart, asking about its strengths and weaknesses.

We profile X-Cart, a Cyprus-based licensed cart, in this installment. We asked Michael Gunin, marketing analyst for X-Cart, to explain the benefits of his company’s cart, which sells for $229 (U.S.) and higher. We then asked Birgit Snelling, an X-Cart user, for her evaluation of the cart. Snelling is a part owner of All Terrain Medical & Mobility, LLC, an Arizona-based company that sells exercise equipment, wheelchairs, vehicles and other accessories for disabled users.

PeC: Please provide some general background on the cart.

Gunin Gunin: “At present, X-Cart powers more than 20,000 live online stores worldwide. It is generally provided as a licensed solution with a one-time fee. However, we also provide a premium hosting solution for our clients.”

PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

Gunin: “X-Cart is very flexible and can be considered both as a ready out-of-the-box shopping cart solution and a powerful shopping cart engine for a customized web shop. Since it comes with an open source code, it can be modified by the client himself or extended with numerous add-on modules available from third-party vendors and community members.”

“X-Cart is not just a stand-alone software, since it is equipped with the whole range of extra services (including web design, custom development, web hosting, software installation and technical support) directly from our company. Therefore, we can handle the entire technical side to allow clients to concentrate solely on sales and marketing.”

PeC: What are some of its weaknesses?

Gunin: “From our experience, X-Cart’s design architecture might be quite hard to learn for beginners since it requires technical knowledge (our template system is based on Smarty).

PeC: What plans do you have for future cart development?

Gunin: “X-Cart is under active development, with releases containing new features, enhancements and bug fixes being provided on a regular basis. The latest major release, 4.2, has taken place just about a month ago. We’re still on our way to providing easier mechanisms for modular approach to customizations and allowing simpler transfer of custom code to newer versions.”

“By no means X-Cart is a legacy product. We are constantly monitoring the market in order to find out the demands of today’s online storeowners. Therefore, X-Cart will be developed permanently and we plan to provide new releases on a regular basis.”

PeC: How specifically would using X-Cart improve a merchant’s business?

Gunin: “X-Cart can easily be integrated into your existing online or offline business as a powerful ecommerce platform. Due to its ease of modification, it can incorporate anything from your existing logo, style or corporate identity to integration with external order management systems or databases. X-Cart is not meant to be an alien element but an integral part of your business.”

PeC: Any other thoughts for our readers?

Gunin: “Software owners may often feel left alone to face the complex systems required to comply with today’s requirements. Using X-Cart ensures that you get not only a piece of code and documentation but also a solid team of professionals who will understand your needs and will be eager to provide a top-quality services. We always strive for the end users of our products to feel safe, assured and comfortable in an Internet business environment.”

The View of a Customer

Snelling Birgit Snelling, part owner of All Terrain Medical & Mobility, LLC, shares her thoughts on X-Cart. All Terrain Medical & Mobility is an X-Cart customer.

PeC: What are X-Cart’s biggest strengths?

Snelling: “With our shopping system, we are carrying over 400 mobility products designed to facilitate the handicapped. Our products are highly specified and need a lot of customizing so our customers can buy them. While it is very time consuming to implement it into the cart from our end, X-Cart was able to supply us with answers to all the questions we had and was able to implement all improvements on out site, no exception. (X-Cart is) a very dependable support system.”

PeC: What are some things it could improve?

Snelling: “To ask a question to the support desk, you log into X-Carts’ system, type it into their program and send it. It’s not a chat, so normally I am already logged out of the system when the answer comes in. X-Cart’s answer comes into their system, and my email (which I see first), but then I am unable to answer from my email. I have to go back into their system, log in and find the question subject to be able to reply. That is too time consuming. I hope X-Cart could improve this sometime soon.”

PeC: How specifically would using X-Cart improve a merchant’s business?

Snelling: “They are working with WYSIWYG and that seems to be their slogan throughout the company: “What you see is what you get.” No less, no more. (X-Cart is a) dependable, well-working organization with no hidden costs. I am glad we work through them. I don’t need someone to say something just to make me feel better, but later not deliver. I think no merchant would need that. X-Cart delivers.”

PeC: Do you plan to continue using X-Cart? Why or why not?

Snelling: “Yes, I am fully satisfied with X-Cart’s shopping cart. They fit exactly our needs. We have looked at so many shopping cart systems, but X-Cart was the best match in what they offer.“

PeC: Any other thoughts on X-Cart for our readers?

Snelling: “Their sales-team is great and also very helpful. They don’t sell you something just to make a profit but really try to find out what it is you specifically need. Every time you buy a product to expand your system, you get technical points with it, so you do not have to pay for every tech question asked.“

Brendan Gibbons

Brendan Gibbons

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