Friday, 29 January 2016

Top 3 Shopping Cart Solutions & Benefits for Small Businesses

If you are a business planning to venture for an eCommerce model, then you will need a shopping cart. The term shopping cart actually implies a piece of software that you use as a part of selling online. Somewhat similar to the physical world counterparts, shopping carts in the online world helps to do a multitude of things. For example, calculation of total amount of items in your cart or storing items as you continue shopping. As a customer, once you are ready to pay for the items, an eCommerce website sends you to a check-out page where your shopping cart items are displayed so that you can complete the transaction.

Some of the benefits of a shopping cart solution include:

  • Keep track of sales and visitor patterns
  • Support for variety of payment mechanisms
  • Better product and delivery management 
An online store paves the way for an eCommerce business to grow. However, choosing the right shopping cart software can be a challenge. With a host of options out there, it can be easy for businesses to get lost. In this article, we present to you some of the leading cart solutions available in the market today to help you narrow down your choices.

1) OpenCart: This is an open-source shopping cart solution that is meant to be search engine and user-friendly. OpenCart provides for more than eight shipping methods and integrates with 20+ payment gateways. In addition, it is simple to install, just choose a template and include products, the moment you are ready to begin accepting orders. The order management module is built-in so businesses receive lifetime software updates and no-cost support. Apart from this, OpenCart has unlimited products & categories, multiple tax brackets, discount and coupon systems and also provides support documentation to users.

2) Zen Cart: Zen Cart is another open-source, free, user-friendly shopping cart framework. It is PHP based and requires a MySQL database. Being easy to install, it helps keep your product catalog updated. Users do not need to carry out any HTML coding and the templates make it super easy to customize the look and feel of your online store. Some enterprises may also decide to take help of Zen Cart development services to implement advanced features for their eCommerce stores.

3) TomatoCart: Some small businesses tend to prefer TomatoCart. It is a shopping cart that evolved from osCommerce 3 as a separate project and has its foundations in CodeIgniter. Some of the reasons why SMBs like TomatoCart is its flexibility and easy to use GUI. Some other advantages of this platform are: an exhaustive user, product, catalog and order management, CMS, shipping options, multiple payment gateways, SEO tools, email marketing and reporting.

Are there any new shopping cart that you’ve heard about and is not mentioned here? Tell us in the comments below.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Best Cross Platform Mobile Application Development Tools

Cross platform mobile app development involves writing a single codebase for mobile apps that will be used for distinct operating systems. The leading OSs such as Android or iOS are architecturally different. As a result, developers have to spend way too much time and efforts to build apps that will work across these operating systems. Apple and Google both prefer code that has been written differently, further complicating things for programmers who want to write a single codebase that works on both platforms. Not being able to do so leads to duplication of efforts as code has to be tweaked for each platform.

On the other hand, the mobile app market is increasingly moving towards cross-platform apps. This is great for enterprises who want to extend their brand to large number of users through their apps. Fortunately, a number of tools can aid in development of such hybrid apps. Here's a list of the most popular ones in the market today:


Developer experience and industry research indicates that Xamarin enjoys the most popularity and is one of the widely used cross-platform development frameworks. It has a large number of features that makes mobile app development efficient and easy. In particular, Xamarin is favored for large scale projects that require many complex functions. Apart from facilitating app development, Xamarin also lets developers fix bugs as well as test apps in the cloud. Mobile app testing can be conducted on 1000+ devices. It is these attributes that make it top choice for organizations such as Microsoft, IBM and Dow Jones.

Appcelerator Titanium

Enterprise can also opt for Titanium mobile application development. It uses web technology to provide cross-platform compatibility between platforms. The way Appcelerator works is – native apps are derived with the help of technologies like JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5 and PHP. They are then provided on mobiles via browsers. The platform is highly efficient and users gets access to 300+ APIs. Apart from this, developers who have access to the right resources will find it very easy to learn Titanium.


PhoneGap is another multi-platform popular framework with a set of powerful and rich features. It is based on the open-source Apache Cordova project and is currently free to use. Since it is compatible with the most popular mobile platforms, PhoneGap developers can build apps with a native shell/wrapper for every platform that your business targets. Additionally, it has a short learning curve so app development doesn't take a lot of time and is fairly easy to accomplish.

Thus, cross-platform mobile app development is the best alternative in today's environment. Organizations who want to prevent native development costs can utilize any of the tools above to build mobile apps that offer native look and performance without the associated expenses.

What cross-platform tools have you used for mobile app development? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

5 Best Software to Build Mobile Apps

As an enterprise, your primary goal is usually to save time and money while delivering great product/services to your customers. Building and launching an excellent mobile app will also be a part of your strategy. Here are some of the best app building platforms in the market to help you deliver and leverage spectacular mobile apps.

  1. AppBuilder: Businesses can either use the online toolkit to build their own application while simultaneously getting trained on the platform. Or there's an option to work with the AppBuilder platform to develop the app together. One can save time in building an app for all the platforms.
  2. Mobile Roadie: Helps in immediately updating an app's content and works with all types of media. App previews are also possible when Mobile Roadie confirms quality of the app.  In addition, it allows the data to be pulled from multiple formats such as HTML and CSV.
  3. Appy Pie: Is a cloud-based app builder for iOS, Windows and Android platforms. It assists in instant publication to app stores and also permits push notifications, real time edits, app monetization and better customer interactions.
  4. AppMakr: Is free, DIY and allows you to create great Android, iOS and HTML5 applications. Apart from that, it also displays your app's App Quality Index (AQI) so that quality can be improved. AppMakr provides features such as customization, push notifications, live updates, chat, video streaming etc.
  5. BiznessApps: An app creator that is optimized for all business types. It offers a number of business features like shopping carts, push notifications and loyalty programs among others. BiznessApps offers instant updates, easy to use CMS and hundreds of templates to choose from.
These are just some of the app building tools that can be used to build apps with. Each of them has a set of unique attributes – so select one carefully based on your project/enterprise requirements.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

What makes OpenCart the best eCommerce Platform for a New Business?

All new businesses need to have an online presence – and this is not limited to a company website. The act of buying and selling on the web has grown exponentially in the last few years. Due to this, any new business looking to grow must be able to sell efficiently on the web. OpenCart is a popular choice for newcomers in the eCommerce world. This article covers the pros & cons of the platform for considering it for your organization.


  • Easy to Manage : A simple, neat and easy to use admin panel is one of the greatest benefits of OpenCart. This is what makes it ideal for those new to the platform.
  • Wide Variety of Plugins: OpenCart's free version may not be as feature rich as PrestaShop or Magento. However, it makes up for this by offering around 1600 free and 4000 paid plugins. In addition, when businesses need to download/purchase advanced client report plugins, there are about a dozen to pick from.
  • Large Community of Users: Discussion boards on technical issues and other forums provide much need help when needed. While the community support is not as exhaustive as that of Magento's, it is substantial to meet your organization needs.
  • Code Modifications: The MVC model used by OpenCart makes it easy to work around with the code and modify it from a developer/programmer perspective. This is especially true for those developers who have used MVC in the past. In addition, OpenCart also has a clear structure of graphics templates so OpenCart website development shouldn't be a problem.
  • Optimal use of Infrastructure: OpenCart doesn't have a number of built-in functionalities like Magento or PrestaShop. However, that's what leads to it being less demanding on server resources/ RAM. But including too many plugins may slow it down and make it less efficient.


  • Plugins and Updates: Custom updates and plugins may be an issue with OpenCart. When you buy a plugin for OpenCart and update the script, some of the functionality may get lost or get errors. Better to check with plugin authors about release updates.
  • JavaScript and CSS: The very basic and poorly optimized version of OpenCart script makes clients download 500KB of just JavaScript and CSS code while accessing the store. The amount is same for Magento but since it's a larger platform, it can handle the load.
  • Limited Functionality : OpenCart doesn't come with a large variety of core functionality. It lacks features like reporting and analytics. Large organizations must check whether OpenCart provides everything they need. It may also be a good idea to check out their paid and free addons. 
In conclusion, OpenCart is a great alternative for businesses looking for a 'no-frills' shopping cart. It works well with a sizable number of products, has many free add-ons, provides fair community support and is ideal for beginners/new business owners. 

Have you used OpenCart in your organization? Tell us about your experience with it in the comments section below.