Preface:

OsCommerce is the first and greatest open source ecommerce project developed by a group of freelancers. No one could deny the positive influence it has made on modern life. On the other hand, as a separate project branched from osCommerce, TomatoCart, backed by a specialized company, inherits the highlights of osCommerce, and create new ideas at the same time. So TomatoCart is standing on the shoulders of the giant.

This article is written for those who are not familiar with TomatoCart or those who can’t make a decision when facing the two eCommerce solutions. Focusing on functionality comparison, the content of the article is objective with no discrimination.

Essentials:

Both carts are quick to install and easy to learn. The requirements of two carts indicate low cost on hosting. However, different from web 1.0 technology based ZenCart, TomatoCart applies the modern web 2.0 technology such as RIA (Rich Internet Application), Ajax, which provides a familiar windows operation environment and boosts the operation efficiency. If you want to migrate from osCommerce, there’s a ready osCommerce Migration Tool (Download?) and you need no worry about learning curve.

Admin panel of TomatoCart

Site Management:

Site management, generally speaking, should include all the basic tools to organize your sites and it decides the performance of your sites and the flexibility of your site settings. In addition to all the contents of site management of osCommerce, TomatoCart has created its unique tools such as department management, which allow customers to choose the department they’d like to contact.

CMS:

CMS, simplifying your publication of web content, is a special and indispensable part of shopping cart software. If you wanna make your site attractive, impressive and distinctive, you should turn to help of CMS. Ranging from simple article to indicative video, high-end CMS is capable of doing nearly anything you comes up with. But it doesn’t absolutely indicate the more, the better. It’s up to your demand. Never be too greedy, which always run counters to your desire. By comparison, it seems TomatoCart take advantage over osCommerce in CMS. Of course, it is not too difficult for you to find some add-ons to implement the CMS of osCommerce. Internet is full of free and paid resources.

Catalog Management:

As a proverb says, effort doubled, result halved. I do believe a clear catalog layout makes your work simple! Let’s take a careful look at this part.

Product Management:

TomatoCart is featured with a sleek experience of adding new products. Compared with TomatoCart, osCommerce’s product management seems a little simpler with little functionality. However it may affect the sales to some extent. Say zoom image will increase sales since it enables the detail magnification and clear look at the product.

Customer Management:

How to manage your customers? Treat them all the same? Definitely not! Different treatment is needed here to boost your online sales. For example, you can divide them into several customer groups and give them different discounts according to their order records. In a word, a perfect customer management is also a powerful marketing tool.

Order Management:

Sometimes, orders will be taken by phone, which requires the shopping cart system with a manual order-adding functionality. Sometimes, customers may return a product. And sometimes… There are a lot of exceptions you have to take into consideration. Let’s see whether your shopping cart software has thought of the exceptions in advance!

Promotional Tools and SEO:

Nowadays, Marketing is considered as a key to popularity and success. Without exception, it is also a significant part of shopping cart software. Built-in promotional tools not only cut down on the cost but also boost your revenue. Aside from promotional tools, SEO brings you a good result when customers are searching store or product via search engines.

Checkout:

Checkout determines the sales conversion. Customers will be bothered by complex check out processes and limited choices.

Payment Gateways:

People all around the world definitely have different favored payment methods. What if they can’t find the gateway they are looking for or there is no other alternative payment gateway? What a frustrating shopping experience! Consequently, multiple choices of payment methods should be prepared to satisfy all kinds of need.

Furthermore, you can check the frequently updated list of TomatoCart’s supported payment gateways here.