There are many types of shopping cart systems in the market. Some of them are open source and some of them are closed source. If you don’t know what that means, it basically means that you can get and use open source shopping cart systems for free, whereas you need to pay to get and used the closed source programs. There is more to that than just the payment, but for the beginners, that’s all they need to know for practical purposes.
Choosing one of them for your own website is important, since your sales will depend on it. Because there are so many to choose from, the first step is to narrow down your options. The easiest way to do this is to decide to go for open source or closed source shopping cart systems.
Open source systems. The most obvious advantage of open source shopping cart systems is that they are free, and thus they are attractive to people with very little money or who don’t want to risk a lot of money on a website. Because they are free, they don’t have customer support. However, there are usually many forums and sources on the Internet where you can learn how to use them and update them. For the most popular ones, you can find modules with nice features for these systems that were developed by people for free. In theory, they have the best and most up to day safety features, as long as you are willing to monitor safety developments and install them as soon as they appear. These systems are as good as commercial ones, if not better, provided you are willing to dedicate quite a bit of time to learning how to use them.
Closed source systems. While you have to pay to get these systems, they are designed to save you something that might be more important to you: time. Commercial systems in general tend to make the installation and running of an online store as easy as possible. They also have customer support, so you have someone whom you can go directly and ask a question and expect the question to be answered in a reasonable amount of time. While security is not as high as if you took care of it everyday, it is still very reasonably good and updated automatically.
In conclusion, if you are starting selling on the Internet and have a low budget but plenty of time, go for open source shopping cart systems. If you don’t have the time or the skills and you want to open an important sales website, then go for closed source ones.