Home Virto Commerce blog The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Cart Hosting Solutions in 2024 

The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Cart Hosting Solutions in 2024 

Jan 14, 2024 • 6 min

Launching an ecommerce business requires handling diverse elements, from order processing to shopping cart management. As your business evolves to an enterprise level, the intricacies increase, and every aspect of your ecommerce operations needs to function flawlessly. 

Shopping cart systems may initially appear complex, especially since not all solutions provide this functionality and certain hosting services may not support it. In this article, we delve into the realm of hosting services and hosted shopping carts specifically designed for enterprise ecommerce. We invite you to explore the advantages and disadvantages of hosted shopping carts, their key features, and a comparative analysis of various hosted shopping cart services and software solutions. 

Introduction to Shopping Cart Hosting

Shopping cart hosting is a unique solution that provides you with hosting for your website through the servers of a shopping cart provider. As a business owner, you do not have to install or download all the ecommerce software, as your shopping cart provider takes care of it. There is no need to worry about any code or to be concerned about your web store’s security. The shopping cart hosting platform does that all for you. 

For enterprises, hosted shopping carts provide an all-in-one solution and ensure it gets transferred to the digital rails quickly. With the advancements of the Internet and information technologies, it has become much harder to choose from the many options that have appeared in recent years. And with today’s hosting technologies, you can easily get overwhelmed by the range of various solutions that different shopping carts provide. 

The shopping cart map explained

A simple map of a perfect hosted shopping cart 

Pros and Cons of Hosted Shopping Carts

Pros of hosted shopping carts

First of all, a free hosted shopping cart solution is an easy way to make your first smart business decision to ensure successful sales in the long run, whether you run B2C, B2B, or D2C ecommerce. Hosted shopping carts provide top-notch customer support and always take care of the server side of things, allowing you to focus directly on achieving your business goals. 

Secondly, you can quickly pick a design for your website by choosing from dozens of templates available. Style and personalize it however you want and configure the necessary things you need for setting up your shop in no time. 

Thirdly, there is no need to overpay for your server – you pay a monthly subscription fee for the time you want your website to run. The monthly fee includes hosting, access to your admin panel, and 24/7 customer service. 

You can also avoid any security concerns by choosing a hosted cart to build your store’s website. The constant security of your site includes a lot of updating and research. There is no need to be bothered with it anymore - you can trust the work of professionals. 

Possible drawbacks of hosted shopping carts

While hosted shopping carts offer convenience and ease of use, they sometimes might lead to bad experiences. Mostly, it happens just because the business owner didn't pay enough attention to it and didn't realize which features and capabilities the platform offers. Here are the reasons why sometimes hosted online shopping cart is a bad decision: 

  • Hosted shopping carts often provide a predefined set of templates and themes with no capability to try anything else. This can limit the ability to customize the store's appearance and functionality. 
  • Since the shopping cart is hosted by a third-party provider, you have less control over the infrastructure and software. This means you rely on the provider to handle server maintenance, security updates, and overall system reliability.  
  • When using a simple hosted shopping cart, you entrust your customer and sales data to the provider. It's crucial to review the terms of service and privacy policy to ensure your data is adequately protected and that you retain ownership of your business data. 

Features of Hosted Shopping Cart Platform

Now that we have determined the benefits of using hosted shopping carts to grow your business, look at some of the core features that will allow you to successfully sell your products on the Internet. 

  • Large and functional product images. When buying a product online, a customer wants to take a look at it and discover its features and quality. Product images allow you to do so.  
  • Product review. These reviews help customers make product choices, and to provide those, you need to look for a platform that allows you to include instant product reviews or at least implement some third-party product review programs. 
  • Easy navigation. Take care of your customers by offering them layered navigation on your commerce website. Include some filtering options, so they can find exactly what they want. 
  • Fast and easy checkout. Checkout is the final moment of the purchase, and you, as the owner, must do everything necessary to complete the checkout process as painless as possible for your customer.  
  • Deals and discounts. Deal shoppers love to use their coupons. With multiple services that can provide coupons, your website needs to be customized to receive them and promote special deals. Special deals and the features we previously highlighted, will result in a pleasant customer experience and boost your sales in no time. 

Having the must-have features covered, let’s move and have a look at the most widely-used hosted shopping carts out there.

6 Best Hosted Shopping Cart Platforms

hosted shopping cart comparison

Software for hosted shopping cart comparison

1. Shopify

An ecommerce solution for small and medium-sized businesses with its own hosting. The greatest advantage is user-friendliness. The biggest drawbacks are relatively low scalability and SEO limitations. 

  • Hosting requirements: offers its own hosting. As the requirements are very specific, using third-party hosting might be a challenge. 
  • Scalability: Medium, doesn’t fit enterprise level. 
  • Security: PCI Service Provider Level 1 but limited server control. 
  • Customization and flexibility: offers many templates but limited customization. 
  • Integration options: allows integrations, but they can be challenging due to the proprietary nature of the platform. 
  • Payment options: subscription-based, with a freemium version.

2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce suits entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises. This is an easy-to-use, user-friendly solution, but the pricing can be intricate sometimes. 

  • Hosting requirements: self-hosted shopping cart similar to Shopify. Third-party hosting might be challenging as it requires specific programming knowledge.
  • Scalability: the scalable solution for small to medium businesses. For enterprises, it might offer too low scalability. 
  • Security: PCI Service Provider Level 1 
  • Customization and flexibility: it offers pre-built options, and any changes over it might turn out long, complicated, and pricey.  
  • Integration options: integrates with third-party apps through API but has API rate limits and supports limited third-party app availability. 
  • Payment options: subscription-based that offers custom plans as well.

3. WooCommerce

An ecommerce for small to medium businesses. Tailored to work with WordPress. Quite a quick and user-friendly platform with limited enterprise capabilities. 

  • Hosting requirements: self-hosted, tailored for WordPress.
  • Scalability: low scalability, offers pre-built templates. 
  • Security: not certified, offers SSL certificates and standard security measures. 
  • Customization and flexibility: WordPress customizations only. 
  • Integration options: can only integrate with various plugins. 
  • Payment options: service-based, with many hidden additional payments.

4. Volusion

Volusion is an ecommerce platform designed for businesses of various sizes. It provides a comprehensive set of features and tools necessary to run an online store, but the pricing structure might be unclear. 

  • Hosting requirements: self-hosted. Can't be hosted on another hosting. 
  • Scalability: quite scalable, but the speed for innovation might be low. 
  • Security: PCI Service Provider Level 1 
  • Customization and flexibility: only supports pre-built customization features. 
  • Integration options: integrates through API, has some limitations on connection between apps. 
  • Payment options: subscription-based that offers custom plans as well. 

5. Magento

Caters to a wide range of users and businesses. Highly customizable but complex. To work with the platform, you have to hire a team of experts ready to customize it for you. 

  • Hosting requirements: Self-hosted shopping cart software. But can easily be hosted on your own hosting. 
  • Scalability: low level of scalability and possible limitations at the larger scale. 
  • Security: PCI Service Provider Level 1 
  • Customization and flexibility: non-flexible with challenging customization that requires technical knowledge. 
  • Integration options: API-based integrations that sometimes require specific technical expertise.
  • Payment options: custom-based. 

6. Virto Commerce

The enterprise-level ecommerce solution with an urge to innovations that is fully open source. Virto Commerce B2B ecommerce platform is an asp.net ecommerce platform with extensive use of IoC, EF, AngularJS, Liquid, MVC, and many other cutting-edge technological advancements. Suppose you want to manage large quantities of items or manage the procurement marketplace efficiently. In that case, this platform can provide product catalogs with the maximum ability for marketing and promotion.  

  • Hosting requirements: Self-hosted. But can easily be hosted on your own hosting. For example, you can easily build a B2B multicloud platform with Virto or create a hosted multi-vendor shopping cart. 
  • Scalability: highly scalable and open to innovations even at the enterprise level. 
  • Security: SOC2 certified, provides the highest level of security required by European and US organizations.
  • Customization and flexibility: highly customizable and flexible to changes due to the Virto Atomic Architecture™ approach. 
  • Integration options: can be easily integrated with any third-party app. 
  • Payment options: custom-based and order-based upon request.

The detailed comparison of the hosted ecommerce shopping cart software 

Diving into each solution might be challenging, so we have prepared a detailed comparison of the solutions offered that can help you to make an informed decision: 

Virto Commerce

Hosting requirements  

Self-hosted. Challenging use of third-party hosting.  Self-hosted. Challenging use of third-party hosting.  Self-hosted  Self-hosted. Can't be hosted on another host  Self-hosted. Easy hosting on your own host.  Self-hosted. Easy hosting on your own host. 
Scalability Medium  Medium  Low  Medium  Low   High 
Security   PCI Service Provider Level 1  PCI Service Provider Level 1  SSL certificates  PCI Service Provider Level 1  PCI Service Provider Level 1  SOC2 certified
Customization and Flexibility Pre-built only  Challenging  WordPress only  Pre-built only  Challenging  High 
Integration options   Limited  Limited  Plugins only  Medium, API  Medium, API 

High, API 

Pricing, month  Subscription, $29–$299  Subscription, $29–$299 and custom Service-based, unclear  Subscription, $29–$299 and custom Custom-based  Custom-based, transparent 
Mobile friendliness   Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
User experience   Medium  Medium  Medium  Medium  Medium  High 
Support and documentation   Medium  High  Medium  High  High  High 

What is Web Hosting with Shopping Cart?

Here, we are talking about web hostings that support building an ecommerce website with a shopping cart feature. These kinds of hostings usually have traditional capabilities together with modern ecommerce functions support. Below, we provide a comparison of the most popular hostings supporting ecommerce advantages and drawbacks of this kind of hosting. 

Pros and Cons of Web Hosting with Shopping Cart 

Good points

  • Hosting your solution on them is convenient: you do not have to look for another hosting for separate parts of the system. Host it all in one place, and you are done. 
  • They usually have pre-built ecommerce features. They support inventory management, payment gateways, and more. 
  • Most of them are scalable, which is crucial for your innovations. Upgrades do not require additional requests, and hosting capacity might increase automatically. 
  • They have a high level of security. Most of them include regular backups and SSL certificates. 
  • As they are B2B-oriented, most of such hostings offer a high level of customer support. 

Possible drawbacks

  • Compared to traditional ones, these hostings might be more expensive. 

  • Some of them have a low level of customization capabilities. This is why it is important to thoroughly check with the vendor if the hosting can be customized. 

  • Harder-to-use interface. If you are new to ecommerce hosting, make sure to get additional training to ease up further use of hosting. 

  • Depending on the plan chosen, the performance can be limited. O always find out how much load the hosting can handle before purchasing it. 

5 Best Web Hosting with Shopping Cart Providers 

Here, we are talking about web hostings that support building an ecommerce website with a shopping cart feature. These kinds of hostings usually have traditional capabilities together with modern ecommerce functions support. Below, we provide a comparison of the most popular hostings supporting ecommerce advantages and drawbacks of this kind of hosting. 

1. Bluehost

This is a popular web hosting provider that offers reliable hosting services and is officially recommended by WordPress. They provide a range of hosting plans and a user-friendly interface, 24/7 customer support, and a variety of ecommerce features. A possible disadvantage of this hosting is that it is mostly tailored to support WordPress websites, so the features offered might be limited if the webside is not based on WordPress. 

2. SiteGround 

SiteGround offers specialized hosting solutions for ecommerce websites, including a variety of advanced features, such as free SSL certificates, daily backups, and optimized performance for online stores. The hosting is reliable and offers great performance, but it doesn’t offer free domain names and has limited data center locations. 

3. A2 Hosting 

This hosting provider has a strong emphasis on speed and performance. They offer various hosting plans suitable for ecommerce, including support for popular shopping cart platforms. A2 Hosting provides SSD storage, free SSL certificates, and robust security measures. While being great in security, the hosting has quite a complex pricing policy, and the prices are generally higher. 

4. InMotion Hosting 

They offer ecommerce hosting plans and support popular shopping cart software. The features provided include SSL certificates, one-click installation of shopping carts, and solid server performance. However, it is based on Linux, so for someone working with Windows, choosing this provider might be not the best decision. 

5. HostGator 

HostGator is a well-established hosting provider that offers a wide range of hosting plans, including options for ecommerce websites. They provide an easy-to-use website builder, support for popular shopping cart platforms, and features like free SSL certificates, one-click installations, and 24/7 customer support. 

Best Practices for Implementing a Hosted Shopping Cart Solution  

Implementing remotely hosted shopping cart solutions might seem challenging. In reality, the process is easier than it might seem. To make the process simple, we have prepared some best practices to keep in mind. 

1. Choose the right design and template.

Your website design can directly impact the user experience and conversion rates. This is why it is important to keep your customers in mind when creating your first template. Follow our tips to provide the best experience: 

  • Keep it simple and clear. An uncluttered design is often the best. Make sure that you choose a clean, easy to navigate template that clearly displays your products and services. 
  • Ensure that your website design is responsive. It is important to make your platform adaptable to various devices: from smartphones to desktops and even TVs. 
  • Brand your content to make it recognizable. The template must align with your brand's colors, fonts, and overall aesthetic. 

2. Make your product descriptions user-friendly.

The way you present your products can significantly impact sales. This is why it is particularly important to use clear descriptions with images reflecting exactly what you sell. Here is a check list of what to do to ensure your product descriptions are attractive: 

  • Use high-quality images. Multiple angles and context photos can help you show the product in use and attract more real customers. 
  • Make your descriptions as detailed as possible. Keyword-rich descriptions can help in search optimization, while features and benefits show that you care about your customers. 
  • Do not forget about SEO. Product descriptions and image alt-texts should be built in accordance with SEO task. This is an exceptional tool for growing website's visibility on search engines and attracting more potential customers. 

3. Streamline the checkout process.

A complicated never-ending checkout can lead to cart abandonment or worse, — losing client loyalty. This is why modern ecommerce platforms offer various options on how to enhance the checkout process. There’s what we recommend doing to shorten this part of a journey: 

  • Use fewer steps. A one-page checkout would be perfect! This is why many digital markets today offer a one-click purchase. 
  • Clearly display all costs marking the taxes and VAT. If shown early in the checkout process, the total price leads to more trust and loyalty. 
  • Provide a variety of secure payment options to cater to different customer preferences. 

4. Test and monitor the performance of your platform.

Regularly monitoring and adjusting your site is key to maintaining its efficiency. You don’t have to know all marketing metrics to track your performance: sometimes, just feedback works: 

  • Regularly run A/B tests on various site elements to see what works best: change icons, remove and add texts, and see what happens. 
  • Analytics tools are also useful. Pay attention to conversion rates, bounce rates, and average time on page to identify areas for improvement. 
  • Collect user feedback, Have CustDevs, learn what your audience really needs, and try to find out their main fears and happiness. 

Wrapping It Up

Constructing a robust and reliable enterprise-level ecommerce system necessitates a hosted shopping cart. While this component of ecommerce may seem straightforward, its implementation can pose certain challenges, primarily related to hosting services. 

Numerous ecommerce solutions available in the market offer hosting that supports comprehensive ecommerce functionalities, including shopping carts. However, selecting one that offers future-ready capabilities, robust reliability crucial for enterprise-grade businesses, and extensive customization can be a daunting task. 

Virto Commerce is one such platform that stands out by offering these high-level features. To understand how our system surpasses others in terms of quality and future-proof integrity, we invite you to schedule a demo with our team. Alternatively, you can contact us to arrange a personal consultation, where we can illustrate why legacy systems may fail to meet your needs. Our explanations will be based on tangible examples directly drawn from your operations, providing a realistic perspective on our offerings.

Book Your Discovery Session with Our Digital Experts

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