Which Hosted Shopping Cart Solution Should I Use?

In a previous post, I analyzed non-hosted shopping cart solutions by comparing their Alexa, Google Trends and Delicious data. The findings were pretty insightful and it turned out that there was a clear winner – Magento.

What about hosted shopping cart solutions? It’s time to find out which hosted solutions are leading the pack. To do so, I analyzed hosted solutions in the same way I did the non-hosted ones.

The intense number crunching resulted in three tables. Each shows the top 11 results in each area.

Alexa Rankings
Rank Solution Alexa
1 Etsy 299
2 StoresOnline 1386
3 E-junkie 3051
4 Volusion 3752
5 eCrater 3972
6 1ShoppingCart 6048
7 Prostores 6351
8 Big Commerce 6915
9 Yahoo Stores 7000*
10 Vendio 7526
11 Shopify 8260
*Estimated rank for smallbusiness.yahoo.com
Google Trends
Rank Solution Hits (est)
1 Etsy 750k
2 1ShoppingCart 190k
3 Yahoo Stores 160k
4 E-junkie 80k
5 StoresOnline 75k
6 Vendio 70k
7 eCrater 52k
8 Volusion 49k
9 Prostores 32k
10 Shopify 28k
11 UltraCart 26k
Delicious Rankings
Rank Solution Delicious
1 Etsy 33702
2 Shopify 7473
3 E-junkie 2884
4 Volusion 1025
5 Business Catalyst 813
6 Storenvy 748
7 eCrater 627
8 Big Commerce 502
9 Prostores 453
10 Vendio 390
11 Yahoo Stores 361

The first two tables (Alexa and Google) show somewhat similar rankings for traffic. But the delicious rankings are markedly different from the traffic charts. So what can we tell from this?

Etsy is Big – Etsy is by far the runaway winner. If your store fits into the Etsy niche of handmade products, try Etsy out first. It has the biggest traffic by a mile with its relatively high Alexa ranking. It’s also the most bookmarked solution in Delicious.

Middle-tier solutions are difficult to distinguish – There is no solution that comes in a clear second. If pressed to choose the next rung of solutions below Etsy, I would pick StoresOnline, E-junkie and Volusion. Close behind these three are Yahoo stores and 1ShoppingCart. But as both Yahoo stores and 1ShoppingCart  don’t seem to be bookmarked much in Delicious, I’ll leave them out of my recommendations.

Shopify is on the rise – Despite only being the 12th solution in terms of traffic, it is the 2rd most talked about e-commerce solution. This suggests that although the traffic is currently low, it is gaining traction. It will be interesting to see how Shopify pans out in a year or two.

To get more information about the middle-tier solutions, I tinkered around with Google Trends a little to see if we could get a better read on which solution to choose. I compared search volumes for four solutions, StoresOnline, E-junkie, Volusion and Shopify which gave me this very helpful graph.

We can see that Shopify’s (in red) search volume is the highest, surpassing the others in recent months. Volusion (in yellow) is next, but it seems that E-junkie’s (in green) search volume has jumped significantly in the past month to be on par with Volusion. StoresOnline (in blue) has a declining volume of searches and the lowest volume.

Based on this graph, I’d say that Shopify is the top of the middle-tier solutions, followed by Volusion then E-junkie. I’ll drop StoresOnline out of this tier as it is clearly not on the same level as the rest.

So there we have it. If you’re wondering which platform to choose, I’d say go with Etsy if your store fits their niche of handmade products. If not, go down the list and try Shopify, Volusion then E-junkie.

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