Overall Value (15%)
Level of Customization (15%)
Search Engine Friendliness (10%)
Depth of Reporting Tools (5%)
Mobile Commerce Integration (5%)
Customer Service (15%)
Ease of Use (15%)
Range of Tools Available (10%)
Social Media / Social Commerce Integration (5%)
Free Trial Features (5%)
It's worth it~
- Fully Manage & Track Inventory
- 3 Versions Available: Light, Standard,
- PHP Shopping Cart
- Online Order Tracking
- Accepts Multiple Currencies
ViArt is a popular shopping cart option for merchants in search of an affordable licensed ecommerce solution. This 1005 template based PHP cart features a built in CMS, helpdesk, and forum and is built off of 97% open source code. ViArt runs on MYSQL, Postgre, or DB2 databases, but you will find that it’s easiest to use when running it on MYSQL. Merchants can choose to either purchase a one-time license, multiple licenses, or pay a monthly hosting fee to use ViArt as a hosted shopping cart. This provides a great deal of flexibility for merchants just starting out or already seasoned in the ecommerce space. ViArt provides 3 different licensed packages with slightly different feature sets included in each, but even their most robust package (Enterprise) is highly affordable when compared to other licensed solutions with similar feature sets. To learn about what makes ViArt tick, get pros and cons, and ViArt’s overall ZippyScore™, read the expert ViArt reviewbelow.
2011 ViArt Review: Expert PHP Cart Review
Merchants who are looking for a licensed PHP shopping cart often consider ViArt Shop, as it was created to allow them to set up a secure online store without needing to be a programming expert. Most PHP shopping cart solutions require that the merchant does everything from scratch, but the ecommerce software from ViArt Shop makes it easy. As a PHP shopping cart, merchants do have the option to jump in and modify almost all of the PHP source code to customize their online store. ViArt offers three different versions of their licensed product, which include ViArt Light, ViArt Standard, and ViArt Enterprise. The feature set is almost identical across the three different licensed options, but with the Light version, ViArt does not provide the full content management system. Another difference is that the Enterprise version is the only version to come with HelpDesk software, which is very useful for those merchants who want to provide excellent customer service to those shopping at their online store.
In late 2010 ViArt Shop updated their shopping cart solution, and added more features and functionality for their merchants. However merchants should note that the free upgrades on ViArt only last for 6 months to 1 year, depending on which licensed software package is purchased. This means that you will need to pay to upgrade in the future, so that you can have all of the newest features included with ViArt to use in your online store. Below is a more detailed ViArt review, so you can learn if this licensed PHP shopping cart meets your needs.
Product Management with ViArt
Merchants like that they can have unlimited products and categories with any of the paid ViArt shopping cart solutions, but what they need to worry about is partnering up with the right ecommerce hosting provider to help get their store online. Additionally merchants can have as many product images as they want, as long as they have the proper hosting to accommodate them. The ViArt software is flexible, so that merchants can organize products and categories however they see fit. Plus they can add in moderated product reviews and ratings and product comparisons to their online store, which is a great way to help customers get more information, and hopefully drive them to finalize their purchase. Overall ViArt provides a good set of features when it comes to product management, and it is easy to control in their administrative panel.
On the SEO side of things, ViArt does provide some features to help merchants out, but it takes a bit of work to get them all set up. Setting up search engine friendly URL’s will take some time, as there are a few steps to complete that may require you to dive into the code, depending on how much you want to customize your URLs. Meta tags and a site map also need to be set up in ViArt, which are not too bad to deal with. Merchants should have a good understanding of SEO, as free traffic is very helpful to the success of an online store. If you don’t feel too confident when it comes to SEO, you might want to consider an ecommerce solution that is more setup for SEO. There are a variety of hosted shopping carts with SEO in mind, like Big Commerce REview and AmeriCommerce. If you want a licensed solution, thenInterspire and Pinnacle Cart both offer highly optimized licensed shopping carts.
When customers arrive at your online store, ViArt has additional marketing tools for merchants that will help encourage your customers to make a purchase. One key feature is the ability to offer discount coupons and gift certificates, which is a must for almost every online store. Additionally ViArt provides a Tell a Friend feature, which allows customers the opportunity to email their friends and family about one of your products which they think might be of interest. Merchants will also be able to provide customers with a wish list tool, so they can save all products they want to purchase. One area where ViArt is still lacking is social media, as they do not provide many features to help with online store marketing, that seem to be common with many other shopping cart solutions.
Order and Shipping Management
Regardless if merchants choose the Light, Standard, or Enterprise versions of ViArt, all of the order and shipping management features offered are the same. Maintaining orders day-to-day with the ViArt shopping cart solution is fairly straightforward, and merchants should be able to easily view and process all their orders. Merchants can also set it up so that customers receive automatic email notifications when they place an order, and when it ships. In terms of payment, the ViArt ecommerce software allows merchants to pay with a variety of methods, including PayPal and Google Checkout.
Content Management System (CMS) & HelpDesk
As noted above, the full ViArt content management system only comes with the Standard and Enterprise versions of the licensed software. Most merchants prefer being able to use a content management system day-to-day, as it makes it much easier to run an online store. Included in the CMS is the ability to manage banners throughout the site, and the option to quickly change up the design on your online store whenever you like, so if this is important to you, then steer clear of ViArt Light.
On the Enterprise version of the ViArt shopping cart solution, merchants can use the HelpDesk tools, which makes the process of managing customer inquires much easier. Merchants will be able to have a ticket system, and can then review reports of how well they are doing in terms of customer support. Additionally the HelpDesk has a lot of flexibility, as you can create priority levels for the tickets, and assign them out to different managers.
ViArt Review: Conclusion
Now that you know more about ViArt, you might want to review the demo of their shopping cart solution, which will aid you in deciding if their licensed software meets the needs you have for your online store. ViArt also has a 30 day money back guarantee, which you might want to review the details of before you decide to make the purchase.