Practical Ecommerce

What Do You Dislike About Your Shopping Cart?

Readers weigh in on what they would like to see improved with their carts.


“We offer live UPS shipping rates, but for some reason 1ShoppingCart is only set up for commercial rates. It should default to residential rates. I would guess there are five residential buyers to each commercial buyer on the web, probably more. Why any shopping cart would neglect this very important requirement is beyond me. We even provided the one line of code from UPS Support that was needed to set it up. We have been through three carts, and they all had major failings in one way or another for the poor shopping sense they created.”

Ron Jonas, Sales And Systems Design

SELLS: Equipment for the handcrafted body care products industry

osCommerce 2.2

“Being a full-time software developer, I choose osCommerce 2.2 as the shopping cart solution for my site, and I have done extensive PHP modifications to the standard system. What I least like about it is that the 2.2 version still uses table-based layouts, instead of the more modern div-based layouts. This makes it much harder to change the overall look and feel of the site. Version 3.0, which I am currently running offline, addresses many of the “under-the-hood” osCommerce 2.2 shortcomings, and I look forward to implementing the new version as soon as possible.”

Mark Enriquez, Owner

SELLS: Flowers and gifts


“The feature I like least about our LiteCommerce shopping cart is the listings of coupon codes. It displays all the customers who have redeemed each coupon, so you must scroll through thousands of redeemed orders to get to the bottom of the page when you create a new coupon. It would be great if there was an option to expand and contract these lists.”

Beth Sheets, Partner

SELLS: Baby leg warmers and clothing

Pinnacle Cart

“There’s not much I dislike about my shopping cart. The main thing would be the lack of a condensed checkout feature, but I hear this is now available with the new release. Also, there are not many good third-party developers available with Pinnacle Cart, but Webapptron and Reaching Edge have it covered.”

Cole Webb, Director of Ecommerce Division

SELLS: Educational furniture

Yahoo! Cart

“I find my Yahoo! cart to be excellent. However, my previous cart was an absolute nightmare and caused me many problems. I was unable to offer coupons, cross-sell items or incorporate gift certificates. The price was outrageous for the features that were available, and I found myself constantly frustrated with the lack of support. I believe it is essential for any small business in a competitive market to avoid carts without at least the ability to cross-sell. I wasted a lot of money because of it.”

James Allen, President

SELLS: GPS equipment and accessories

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  1. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    Sells: Interview questions on QTP, WinRunner, QA and TestDirector

    My website,, uses Quick Shopping cart from, and I am very satisfied with its performance. I would like the integration of PayPal Website Pro for my shopping cart, which is lacking.

    — *Sridhar Mallepally*

  2. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    My biggest problem with Yahoo! is that they take a percentage of every sale. However, it doesn't go down. It is, overall, an OK system.

    — *yahoo! cart user*

  3. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    I don't like how pokey some online carts are. Been searching for a PHP cart that I could put on my own site with no success.

    I just can't find one that matches my needs. Basically we need one that does recurring orders, works with USPS and is easy to use.

    We don't want our shopping cart to be our website. We have our site already. What we need is a shopping cart that just provides us with links to add to our existing "Buy Buttons."

    Been searching for years with no luck.

    — *Lambert*

  4. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    First of all, great article. In today's online world, very little can help a company grow and keep up with the needed changes our fast-paced environment demands more than listening to customer feedback (in whatever form they can get it!)

    The comment made by RON JONAS in your article is something we have received numerous requests for since releasing our new Real-Time shipping module late in 2006.

    I am happy to say that takes our customer feedback very seriously, and, as of the post time of this article, we have already implemented and released a solution (about three weeks ago, give or take) to this problem.

    The feedback we received requested a check-box on the order form, when Real-Time Shipping is being used, that allows customers to specify whether the shipping address is a residential or commercial destination; so shipping charges will always be as accurate as possible!

    Thanks for the article and to Ron for taking the time to tell us how we can help his business!

    Michael Valiant

    — *Michael Valiant*

  5. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    I am currently setting up a Quick Shopping Cart and find it pretty good so far. However, shipping is a problem. We sell refrigerated & Frozen Gourmet Foods and use insultated shipping containers and Gel-Ice packs. The problem is that there is no way to add the weight of the shipping box(es) and gel pack(s) to the total weight shipped. We are going to have to add in an average cost of the shipping material to the "Handling Charges" which is not fair to us or the customers. (Shipping charges vary so much per pound depending on the final shipping weight. Help QuickBooks!

    — *Alan*

  6. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    I dumped GoDaddy's shopping cart as it could not handle intangibles, such as items that would be downloded rather than shipped or online course signups. They also wanted $600 extra to handle in international orders.

    I've gone with 2CO for both my (ebooks) and my (online courses). No extra charge for international sales and prices are displayed in local currencies.

    — *e-books/software downloads, courses*

  7. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    We use GoDaddy's Quick Shopping Cart. Several of our sites feed to the same cart. There could be more flexibility with mixed shipping otpions but we have figured out workarounds. As mentioned above, PayPal Pro integration would be nice. QSC links to regular PayPal but it is a little clunky so we have our own merchant account. Overall, however, we are pleased and GoDaddy's 24/7 technical support is stellar.

    — *Russell Sims*

  8. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    SELLS: Hard-to-find, hard-working Health and Beauty products from around the world

    We have been using CandyPress for three years now, and are very happy. With its low entry price (currently ~$60), there are a lot of installations and a VERY active and supportive forum.

    As an asp-based cart, it has been easy to learn and customize. Real time quotes from USPS, UPS, FedEx, commercial vs residential, customized shipping, Customer Reward Bonus Points, etc., etc… anything you can think of exists out of the box, is easy to implement or is available via a very supportive and active user forum. I highly recommend a look see!

    OK… its drawbacks? I guess I agree with the lack of div-based layouts… but I know a couple of programmers who have added this capability with not too much issue. Another one – the db can be either Access and MS SQL, but if you want to use mysql a lot of reprogramming is needed for consistency in table/field references.

    — *Eric Bernhard*

  9. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    I found an awesome cart in with all the features an online retailer would want at a very reasonable cost. The only thing I would like to see is a one-page checkout which I think would help reduce shopping cart abandonment. Fortunately, I'm told they are testing it now and should be ready shortly.

    — *Ken*

  10. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    I use Quick Shopping Cart from GoDaddy. I sell clothing and I don't like that I have to refer to each item with a "part number." I wish it could be item code or something similar. I think I will switch carts because it is also INCREDIBLY slow. Irony in the name.

    — *Eric*

  11. Legacy User April 19, 2007 Reply

    I enjoy the magazine/ezine, thanks for posting my comment.

    Also. I started out with the GoDaddy cart. It really is limited as far as expansion, speed and looks. I had to switch within two months.

    — *cole webb*

  12. Legacy User April 20, 2007 Reply

    Check out Homestead Shopping Cart — they do accept PayPal Pro, promo codes and actually they have alot of good things. Only bad thing I've found is, no 24-hour tech support. Not good, when you're working late at night. You can call in during the day and instead of sitting on hold, they will call you back.

    — *David Coulter*

  13. Legacy User April 23, 2007 Reply

    Dear Kathy McCurry and Lambert, we also had a large existing site of static pages and we "backed in" the e-commerce program (Miva) using their pages only for the purchase and checkout process, but I'll tell ya it wasn't exactly fun and easy for a blonde ; )

    — *Tracy*

  14. Legacy User April 20, 2007 Reply

    We use the MIVA Merchant shopping cart and the check-out process is a bit cumbersome. But, what I dislike the most is that there is no way to insert Informational pages that are not 'buy' pages. Every page is treated like a product for sale, but we would like to be able to have an easily accessible page to describe the depth of our product features, press reviews, company background, shows that we attend, dealer availability, etc. These types of 'non-shopping' areas are not available, and not easy for the novice to add. I wish there was a way to designate two types of navigation bars — one for shopping/products and another for information categories. If anyone knows of a shopping cart that does this, please pass it along! Thanks!

    — *Kathy McCurry*

  15. Legacy User April 20, 2007 Reply

    for LAMBERT who is looking for a cart that he can use with the BUY BUTTONS on his website …. take a look at Mal's E-commerce ….

    I have one client who have been using them for about eight years and they are very happy with the service ….

    — *Dr. K*

  16. Legacy User April 24, 2007 Reply

    I am a current user of Go Daddy Quick Shopping Cart and for a template driven cart, it works fine.
    However, like Lambert, I only want my cart to handle the billing and shipping functions. My added challenge is finding a low-cost cart (GoDaddy is under $10 per month) or a package that will run in the GoDaddy shared hosting environment. To make matters more restrictive, I currently use Innovative Gateway Solutions for credit card processing and the cost to switch is very high.
    One of my biggest problems with the Quick Shopping Cart is the lack of any abandonment statistics.

    — *John (*

  17. Legacy User April 24, 2007 Reply

    Kathy McCurry:
    In Miva, you can use category pages to create informational pages. Example: create a category called "about us" and insert your informational content as HTML in the "header" and/or "footer" of the category master page, and it will look like a plain info page, not a product page, and it will automatically appear in the left-hand nav bar.

    — *Lee*

  18. Legacy User April 26, 2007 Reply

    I looked at but it seems to be an offsite solution. I was looking for a php or other script that would actually run on my server.

    Also forgot to mention, I need support for Authorize.Net and PayPal.

    — *Lambert*

  19. Legacy User May 3, 2007 Reply

    Thank you all. I was researching shopping carts, and I needed this info. I was almost going with GoDaddy, but I think I may go with Prostores.

    — *Melissa (*

  20. Legacy User May 6, 2007 Reply

    I use It comes in two flavors (ASP & PHP) and offers everything I need except gift cards. The cart functinality is easy to use, no monthly fees, and no product or category limits, which is perfect for our business. Our inventory flips often. There are a lot of MOD developers that continually add functionality to the cart and they sell their services. Most are good, but no one has developed a MOD to accept gift cards. During the holidays, this is a required feature.

    Have a great day. Ashley –

    — **

  21. Legacy User May 22, 2007 Reply

    Lambert, I'm also looking for a same solution like you, so if you find any please send me an email on (send me blank mail now, so i can contact you if I find something – I don't visit this site frequently )

    — *Peter*

  22. Legacy User May 18, 2007 Reply

    I am a student learning about web design and I would like more information about shopping carts. I can be contacted at Thank You for your help.

    — *Mickey*

  23. Legacy User May 20, 2007 Reply

    After being ditched by Microsoft's bCentral (MS retired the program) we were forced to find another cart. We went with GoDaddy. With just a few weeks of use, we're ready to jump ship. Too many BASICS are missing: 1) You can display just *1* photo per page; 2) You cannot place a text box on product pages; 3) You can offer your customers only one shipping service; 4) You cannot view customer payment information — so if your customer calls and wants to add on to their order, you have to ask them for their credit card information all over again. Also, the alleged QuickBooks integration is a BIG disappointment. It does not download into any useable format for record keeping or inventory tracking.

    — *April (*

  24. Legacy User June 19, 2007 Reply

    If saving hours of data entry every day is important to you, check out the QuickBooks integrated carts. One of the best is IA Modules, Having a integrated system means you will do less work, have customers and orders entered for you, have correct inventory online and in your QB system to name a few benfits. the IA Modules cart has really flexible and customizable shipping along with built in options for residential and commercial delivery, cross sell, flexible XSL design templates made for QB data. Alot of people don't consider the necessity of integration but you will once you are getting more than a few orders a day or have thousands of items to maintain. It doesn't integrate with eBay yet but it does integrate QB with Amazon.

    — *QuickBooks Integration*

  25. Legacy User June 29, 2007 Reply

    We went with Godaddy for a shopping cart a few months ago and have regretted it ever since. Although they claim an unlimited number of products can be used, we're finding that their server hickups on our 2500 items and support has to re-index the site almost every day (been waiting 6 hours today for the fix). That is after it triples or quadruples all categories and items on it's own. It also has reset many prices to zero before and timed out on clients, emptying their cart after careful shopping.

    I find their shipping not to my taste with no way to really customize it to my satifaction and, come on, no international shipping?

    Wanting to find something better for a cart after wasting thousands of dollars in time on this one and losing many sales.

    — *Bruce*

  26. Legacy User July 31, 2007 Reply

    I use MIVA on I am very tired of it. It would seem that I am always buying modules to try and make it all come together and the modules never go the distance. The ability to pull complete data is very tough. If a customer orders multiple items then his/her name appears in a db file X = X products. He orders 7 products he is listed 7 times. Delete record, delete record, etc. . . then the data is wrong. If I am in the cart doing something it might drop an em order notice unless I put it in maintaince mode. . .just the thing I want to do while processing orders during a busy time like at the end of the day when people are at work doing . . .well ordering stuff.

    I need to find something else. Cost is not a huge issue when we credit the customer with shipping and eat it when there is a missed order. Six dropped orders including a few express and I could spend another $60 a month. MIVA is based upon modules done by 3rd parties. Lame.

    — *Al Stegmeyer*

  27. Legacy User August 17, 2007 Reply

    For Bruce and others who want a secure cart that they can add to their site rather than make their site fit the cart, try JustAddCommerce. We have both a browser-based version and the newest that works with an encrypted USB key. We think you should be able to fully try our product before you purchase, so we have full working demos available to download. Design your site the way you want and then add the cart. That's how our merchants have been doing it for over 10 years.

    — *Joanna Witzke, VP of Business*

  28. Legacy User November 20, 2007 Reply

    My website is – I have used mals-ecommerce shopping cart for many years and like almost everything about it. Lambert should check it out, you design your own site and use its buy now buttons. The only problem I have with it is the shipping module is not the greatest and would like an insurance option added. You can even use it for free.

    Best of luck

    — *Allison*

  29. Legacy User February 20, 2008 Reply

    I have been using webapptron.COM Inc's shopping cart for the past 2 years and their programming services and their cart software is top notch!

    — *A. Mirza*