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CS-Cart is an extremely powerful shopping cart solution that can be purchased outright and used on any hosting servers you would like. It has been designed from the ground up to be customizeable and the software's open source, modern architecture means that anyone with some programming knowledge can create extensions to it. That doesn't mean it's difficult to use, however, and if you don't want to bother with much customization you can get a store up and running right out of the box. Check out the excellent demo stores on the web site.
As you will see from the demo stores CS-Cart cuts a pretty fine figure when it comes to the look of an online store. The clean design and easy to use navigation features mean that your customers will have no problems finding the products they want which leads to more sales for you. There are more than forty professionally designed templates to choose from if you opt for the professional edition of CS-Cart, which can all be customized, or you can start from scratch building your own with the Smarty template engine that the software uses. However you decide to do it you should be able to easily pull together a great looking online store to draw the customers in.
One of CS-Cart's most powerful features is the central administration console it provides to allow you to manage every aspect of your store. From one place you can deal with orders, inventory and customers in a logical and organised manner. Stock is tracked in real time based on the orders that go through the site so that you don't have to worry about taking orders you can't fulfil. Orders themselves can be managed at a fine grained level and it's easy to deal with things like returns or cancelled orders. If you go for the multi-vendor version of CS-Cart, each different vendor that you allow to sell products through your store gets their own admin console to allow them to manage the necessary aspects of their products so in the long run this means more revenue for you with very little management overhead.
We just about have space to mention the other great features that CS-Cart provides. Setting up a new online store means a lot of hard work and promotion to get your name out there and pull customers in. This is why CS-Cart provides an excellent selection of marketing tools that allow you to create things like coupon codes and gift vouchers and manage email newsletters. Complementing these are a range of analytics tools to help you understand where your orders are coming from and what people are interested in on your site. Furthermore there is a fully integrated content management systems which allows you to manage content other than just the products in your store. Extras like this can be crucial when it comes to bumping up the search rankings and interesting new customers.
CS-Cart is an excellent product and suits any size of store. The free version is a great way to get started in the world of ecommerce, but it's well worth purchasing the professional or multi-vendor version if your store starts getting serious. It's not a hosted solution so you will need to set it up and install it with a hosting company elsewhere, but CS-Cart do offer some deals on hosting too. This makes it slightly more tricky to set up than an all-in-one solution, but we would still highly recommend CS-Cart to anyone looking to set up shop on the web.
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