Design & Development

Cart of the Week: nopCommerce

Practical eCommerce counts over 300 different shopping cart systems. In this ongoing “Cart of the Week” feature, we profile a specific cart, asking the cart’s owners and users about its strengths and weaknesses.

Here we profile nopCommerce, a free open-source cart first made available for download in October 2008. The cart is based in Yaroslavl, Russia. We asked Andrei Mazoulnitsyn, CEO of nopCommerce, to explain the benefits of his company’s cart. We then asked nopCommerce customer Nathan Collins, owner of online lingerie retailer Pineappleboudoir.co.uk , for his evaluation of the cart.

PeC: Please provide some general background on the nopCommerce cart.

Andrei Mazoulnitsyn: “nopCommerce is an open source ecommerce solution, so it is free to download. It is ASP.NET 3.5 based with a MS SQL 2005 (or higher) backend database. We released the first version of nopCommerce in October 2008. The version currently available is nopCommerce 1.10. nopCommerce is a new but very popular open source ecommerce solution with comprehensive features that are easy to use for new online businesses, yet powerful enough for the most demanding e-commerce expert.”

PeC: What are the cart’s biggest strengths?

Mazoulnitsyn: “nopCommerce is developed to take full advantage of the newest technologies available. nopCommerce has a pluggable architecture that allows additional functionality and presentation elements to be dynamically added to the application at run-time. Since it is open-source, nopCommerce’s source code is available free for download.”

PeC: What are some of its weaknesses?

Mazoulnitsyn: “nopCommerce is very young, so we need to increase the number of third-party services with which we are integrated. We currently integrate with the payment gateways 2Checkout, Authorize.Net, CDGcommerce, eBay, Google Checkout, Moneybookers, PayPal, PsiGate and WorldPay. For shipping, we integrate with UPS and U.S. Postal Service.”

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

Mazoulnitsyn: “Third-party integrations are at the top of our list. We are committed to providing the best ecommerce solution possible, so we have a road map that is intended to keep our users up-to-date on where nopCommerce is and where it’s going. Here are some upcoming features: Web services API for easy integration between nopCommerce and any third-party applications, content management features, and about 10 new payment gateways. We’re also planning on adding FedEx and DHL shipping rates.”

PeC: How specifically would using nopCommerce improve a merchant’s business?

Mazoulnitsyn: “We put a lot of effort into ensuring that nopCommerce is optimized for search engines. Whether it’s search friendly URLs or properly structured content or products, you will find that nopCommerce was built to help your customers locate your content with ease.”

PeC: Any other thoughts for our readers?

Mazoulnitsyn: “nopCommerce can be up and running within minutes. Developers can simply download the software and follow the simple installation instructions. We have a solution for our customers looking for a powerful website building platform.”

The View of a User

Nathan Collins is owner of Pixelfreedom.com, an application design and programming service, and Pineapple Boudoir, an online lingerie store that utilizes nopCommerce.

PeC: What are nopCommerce’s biggest strengths?

NathanCollins Collins: “nopCommerce is easy to administer and has a very powerful backend for a cart that is still relatively infant. The amount of options for payment gateways is a major bonus. It allows us to take PayPal payments, Google Checkout or to use our own payment provider using the manual option. Other options, like export to Google Base and the ability to send newsletters, are very helpful to us as a startup business.”

PeC: What are some things it could improve?

Collins: “At the moment the image handling is very basic. It does not take into account different picture ratios, so unless the images are pre-modified, a product will end up with squashed looking pictures.”

PeC: How specifically would using nopCommerce improve a merchant’s business?

Collins: “The vast range of payment gateways available would appeal to customers, especially those who like to use a specific gateway. Also, the ability to up sell optional products can be used to gain extra business. Pineapple Boudoir uses this to suggest the purchase of additional things.”

PeC: Do you plan to continue using nopCommerce? Why or why not?

Collins: “Pineapple Boudoir is a relatively new enterprise, and the choice of shopping cart was our first big decision. We chose nopCommerce because we wanted to use ASP.NET technologies and because the community is extremely closely knit. A quick reply from the developers of the cart is almost guaranteed. They are very dedicated to the project.”

PeC: Any other thoughts on shopping carts for our readers?

Collins: “We made the right choice for our needs when we choice nopCommerce. Your shopping cart is what you will be running your business through. You will likely spend hours using the administration panel. Make sure that you are happy with how it works before you decide on one and launch your business because changing carts is not always easy.”

Other Sites Using nopCommerce

Brendan Gibbons

Brendan Gibbons

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