Overall Value (15%) - 8.1
Level of Customization (15%) - 7.3
Search Engine Friendliness (10%) - 8.2
Depth of Reporting Tools (5%) - 8.2
Mobile Commerce Integration (5%) - 7.9
Customer Service (15%) - 7.7
Ease of Use (15%) - 7.3
Range of Tools Available (10%) - 8
Social Media / Social Commerce Integration (5%) - 7.2
Free Trial Features (5%) - 7.7
- Two Package Choices: X-Gold or X-Pro
- Turnkey Installation (Xcart Experts
Install Product for You)
- PHP Shopping Cart
- Customizable Shopping Cart
- Search Engine Friendly
X-Cart is a top choice of merchants in search of a robust licensed ecommerce solution. Most merchants prefer X-Cart because of its broad feature set which includes easy customization, turnkey installation, PHP foundation, and search engine friendliness. When it comes to a licensed shopping cart, X-Cart provides two highly affordable packages that are on par with many higher priced monthly and licensed carts. They also provide a monthly hosted solution, which some merchants may choose to use instead of the hosted package. X-Cart support is also pretty great for a licensed solution, since they provide both an e-help desk and phone support. Unfortunately, their support is limited to a number of “technical support points,” which are included in your initial purchase. To receive support after you have used up all of your tech support points, you will have to buy more points. This is why many merchants choose a monthly hosted shopping cart solution, because the low monthly fee always covers technical support as well. Regardless, in this X-Cart review you will learn that there are many pros to using X-Cart and only a few cons. Review X-Cart’s overall score below and then continue on to read the expert review of X-Cart to determine if this ecommerce solution is right for you!
2011 X-Cart Review: Expert Shopping Cart Review
Merchants who are in the market for a PHP based licensed ecommerce software solution often consider X-Cart as one of their top picks, as it has been around for almost 10 years helping merchants sell online. Thousands of merchants are currently using X-Cart as their ecommerce solution, and during 2010 there were many great improvements made to this PHP shopping cart to better address the evolving needs of an online merchant. X-Cart continues to offer merchants two solid choices for ecommerce software, which include their entry level X-Cart Gold license, and the more robust X-Cart Pro. The front end is the same on both licensed ecommerce software products when it comes to look and feel of your online store, but on the back end X-Cart Gold is a bit limited as it is set up to only have one store owner, whereas X-Cart Pro is intended for use by multiple providers. X-Cart likes to recommend their X-Cart Pro product to those online businesses which are running multi-vendor online stores, who want to provide a place in their online store to accommodate third-party businesses. If this does not sound like your online business, then it is likely that the more affordable X-Cart Gold would be more applicable for the needs of your online store.
X-Cart Store Setup & Design
Using X-Cart is easy if you have experience installing software and using a web server. To begin, you will need to download the X-Cart licensed ecommerce software, then connect to your webserver and find your public web folder so that you can proceed to upload your unpacked X-Cart files. Provided you can do all of that, the remaining setup is very easy. In your web browser you can run the install script (install.php) by navigating to the newly hosted file. At that point, you can simply follow the step by step process to install your X-Cart database. If you have advanced knowledge of back end development, you can customize your database tables to your needs. If you are not too comfortable with PHP or MySQL, then it’s best to keep all default settings in the X-Cart database.
If this already sounds a bit complicated, then you should watch their videos which do a good job of walking new merchants through the process. Merchants who still feel lost after watching the video, should consider opting for one of the top hosted shopping carts available as opposed to a licensed solution. This is because hosted ecommerce solutions are easily customizable and already setup for you while requiring little, if any, knowledge of code to get your store up and running. That said, when it comes to licensed ecommerce software, X-Cart is actually quite easy to setup, so don’t be deterred by a few small steps to install this product, because there are many benefits that come with using this solution.
Once functionality is there, you will likely want to customize your online store so that it matches your brand. This is where X-Cart isn’t for beginners, as you will need at least some knowledge of CSS and HTML to truly make your online store unique. X-Cart only comes with 18 free templates, so if you want your store to look different than others online, you will either need to buy a new template, design your own, or hire someone to do this for you. This can be problematic if you are looking for a quick turnaround when launching your online store. Of course, if you have CSS and HTML knowledge, then X-Cart is very easy to run and customize.
Managing Products & Orders with X-Cart
Merchants are able to have as many products as they want in their X-Cart powered online store, but merchants should keep in mind that they will still need to have proper ecommerce hosting to accommodate their images and web traffic. X-Cart states that their code is optimized out of the box to run smooth with up to 20,000 products, but if merchants know how to configure things, they should be able to have it run well while housing up to 500,000 products. That said, only push the limits if you know what you’re doing. An optimized database can go a long way when it comes to site performance, but if your code starts to get dirty, your page load time will increase and customers will end up leaving for a faster loading site.
Adding products to your X-Cart powered store can be a somewhat manual process as there is no bulk upload of categories and products during setup. As such, you might find yourself doing some heavy lifting if you are switching an already live store from one ecommerce solution over to X-Cart. X-Cart does let you import and export store data to and from CSV, but you must first have this data configured through your admin tool before this is possible. On the plus side, once your products and categories are live, you can flip them on and off with a simple click of your mouse.
Once all the products are added to your online store, the day-to-day management with X-Cart’s ecommerce software is fairly straightforward, and most merchants should not have any troubles. X-Cart has a variety of great reporting tools to manage your products, sales, and customers. In addition the back end is also easy to navigate through for order management, so merchants should be good to go if they were able to tackle the setup and design phase.
Inventory & Merchandising Tools on X-Cart
X-Cart automatically displays bestselling products, let’s you add featured deals and sales, and has robust up sell and cross sell tools. Because of these marketing capabilities, you may see your products jumping off the shelves. Luckily, X-Cart has this covered with all the necessary inventory and merchandising tools. Of course, some of these features are very basic, which is common in many licensed solutions. If you are in search of a lot of bells and whistles in terms of marketing and managing your products, X-Cart might not be the best solution. If instead, you don’t want to be distracted by too many unnecessary options, and instead want to focus on keeping things simple for your customers, then X-Cart might be a perfect option.
When it comes to managing inventory and merchandising, the admin interface on X-Cart is very similar to the product and order management sections, and merchants should be able to use these sections without much troubles. However if merchants do encounter any troubles, then they can watch a lengthy X-Cart video which helps guide them through the process. Merchants will also be able to pull various helpful reports so that they can better understand what is working best for them, and where they need to improve.
X-Cart Review: Customer Service, Pricing, & Conclusion
Merchants should be aware that technical support is not free with X-Cart, but they can buy technical support points when they purchase a license if they desire. X-Cart Gold is currently priced at $149 and X-Cart Pro is priced at $431. When it comes to licensed ecommerce software, X-Cart offers one of the lowest prices you’ll find for the feature set and reliability. X-Cart is priced as an entry level licensed solution, but provides the same feature set as many advanced licensed options. If X-Cart sounds like a solution that might work for you, then consider testing it out via their demo or free evaluation version of this licensed ecommerce software.