CS Cart Multi Vendor Review

CS-Cart Multi vendor shopping cart is the extended version of rock solid shopping cart software build dedicated for creating multi-vendor marketplace. It comes with tons of great features and stylish looking user interface which makes it stand alone in the competition. Here we are going to review this multi cart eCommerce software functionality and hopefully it will helps for choosing over the best multi vendor shopping cart software.

While this review has great nuggets of information, we have also a completely brand new review here.

Review about CS-Cart Multi Vendor (CS-Cart's Multi Vendor Edition)
CS-Cart is a solid release, having all the features you can expect with the professional multi vendor software. Here is the review of this

Pros

      • Tons of features with detailed configured settings
      • Scalable software to build large ecommerce portals
      • Increased security features with complete store protection
      • Production ready software best suits for live stores
      • Eye catching statistics and detailed reports
      • Drag and drop layouts and blocks
      • Front end design and translation

Cons

  • Page load speed has to be improved
  • Addition to this review you use the below of the features list to select between the multi vendor carts.
  • You can also read the full specifications and features we have found with the working version of the CS-Cart multi vendor
CS Cart Multi Vendor Demo -Store Front End

CS Cart Multi Vendor Demo -Store Front End

Front End Features
Here are the front end features that we have found with the software

Well organized home page front end: The front end (Home page) is well organized and comes with all the features that we found with the other popular marketplaces. It will have the Drop down menus, Top icons navigation, product sliders, global search box, sidebar widgets, footer widgets, language selections, currency change buttons and much more.

Home page products slider: Home page comes with the fast loading animated sliders which will best suits for showcase the featured product categories /specific products. This slider loads and works automatically but you can also scroll the content with the available sliding controls.

Mega menu: The menu items are presented with the professional drop down mega menu which helps to view all the menu items at once.

Single click change: The currency change and language selection menus are placed in the store front top menus display. So you can easily change your settings with single click. This is such easy.

Vendor application: By enabling the vendor application request form, the site will display the vendor signup form in the marketplace. You can also disable this option from the dashboard.

Cart contents: The top menu also shows the cart contents which provides the list of items and total price of the items that added with the cart. Using this you can quickly viewed it and make it forwarded to the checkout system directly or navigated to the cart page to add new items.

Sidebar and footer bar widgets: We have found sidebar footer bar widgets with advanced display control like (Display globally, Display on home page only, Display with products page) and there are various widgets available to add to the sidebar and footer bar. Some of the items includes products promotional widgets, featured vendors, Social media buttons, Email subscription forms(You can find more information about the  complete list of widgets in the upcoming sections)

Breadcrumb navigation: The breadcrumb navigation is pre enabled with the software and it provides great navigational and SEO values to the eCommerce system.

Sitemap: The SEO friendly sitemap generated automatically whenever the new products/contents has been posted with the portal. These sitemap can be submitted with the search engines for deep indexing of the websites with the search engines.

Tabbed product content: Long product content can also organized and displayed with various tabs. This will helps for easy viewing of information even if the product has the huge content. This will makes organized content in terms of product introduction, specifications, technical requirements, price information and so on.

Product gallery: Products page also contains the gallery of the images that posted with the product. These images can be presented in the light box, pretty photo effects whichever it was configured by the upload. The images with the high resolutions can also present with the product zoom options.

Product listing layout: The marketplace items are presented with the different layout views ( Products with the detailed information or the products list only)

Product quantity add button: You can find the product quantity add button placed near to the product image which can be used to increase/decrease the product quantity easily.

Top menu gift certificate buttons: The top menu also contains the gift certificate page button where you can purchase the gift certificate online and it can be forwarded to the persons to their email or to the postal address. You can also redeem the gift certificates using the quick gift certificate submit button.

Product filter widget: The product filter widget lets you to find the products using the filter search buttons. By scrolling the filter options you can narrow down your product search .E.g you can filter the products that available in the particular product range.

Sidebar quick tracking: Buyers can quickly search the orders with the available sidebar tracking button. Buyers can just enter the order button to find the particular orders.

Products comparison- You can also do the product comparison by adding the products for the compare lists and compare the products and the product variations.

Admin End Features

Powerful dashboard: The administrator dashboard comes with the powerful options to make quick decisions .
Some of the options include

Display recent orders: Displays the last recent orders notification .These information are presented with the proper color code(Green for successful order, Red for Declined order) Using this colors you can quickly view the order status and make decisions( Processing the order or Follow-up the buyer to complete the transaction)

User statistics: Quickly view the user’s statistics information such as registered number of vendors, buyers and admin users.

Product inventory details: Quick view of the products stock in inventory.

Orders management: In the order page you can find the order information such as
Order ID, customer name, email, status of the order Here is the status of the order supported by the cs-cart

Order status: The order information presented with the relevant order status information of

      •  Back-ordered – Products back ordered to claim the refunds. Vendors can issue the refund using the refund management options
      •  Canceled – The orders which are canceled from processing it. Vendors can communicate with the buyers to find the reasons of cancellation and completing the order.
      •  Complete-The orders which are successfully completed with the payment. Vendors can now process the order and send the products to the buyers.
      • Declined – The order has been declined due to wrong transaction credential information (E.g in valid credit card information)
      • Failed -in-sufficient funds or unsuccessful payment transaction by the buyer. Vendors can communicate with the buyer to arrange the alternative payments for completing the order.

Fraud checking Open Processed
Fraud- The orders made by the person are found to be fraud using the fraud monitoring systems. Vendors can blacklist these buyers from future buying.

Checking: The orders still needs to be confirmed for payment realization at some point.

You can quickly find the particular order using the order ID,name ,email or with the date of the order.

Sales Report: Sales report provides the complete sales statistics .The information presented in the descending order of the sales ( Last orders first) with the paginated view.

You can also view the sales information by filtering the results by providing the date intervals(Today sales, Weekly sales, monthly sales, All time sales).And you can also find the information such as Top 10 customers who bought the most items in the marketplace, or best selling categories

Shipping information: You can easily view the shipping information by the order ID, shipment date and also using the filter of the customers.

Viewing gift certificates: You can view the gift certificates available in the gift certificate section also narrow down the search using the direct gift code search, email address, type of code ,date of the code generation, amount spend on the code, status of the code.

Return requests: You can view the return requests and manage the options in the return requests management system.

Recurring plans management: Recurring plans can be managed in this section which lets you to accept recurring payments and debit automatically every month.

Categories management
The categories can effectively manage in the categories management section. It lets you to do
Bulk category import: You can bulk import the categories using the CSV file uploads.
Bulk category edit: You can bulk edits the category information at once using the category edit option
Category Meta updates: You can also update the meta data for the category (Category title, category description, category keywords)
Category blocks: The best part of this software is you can customize the blocks for the category. This will lets you to change the default blocks in the category (Category specific block layouts)

Managing Products
There will be plenty of options available for managing the products.

Bulk product upload: You can bulk upload the products from the CSV and XML product upload. This will be handy for large eCommerce portals and affiliate sites.

Product content: Product content can effectively edited through the powerful whys wig editor. This graphical editor will helps you for easy content update. You can update the content with the product title, description, tags. Inventory. You can also add custom product template to the products.

Product tabs: The product tabs can be organized into product tabs which lets you to display with the tabs. This tabs are best fits for organized content for product intro, features, specifications and price info.

Product images gallery: You can easily embed the images for the products either by  manual upload or from the external image location. The uploaded images will create the gallery automatically with resized thumbnails.

Product variants: When adding the product you can also add the variations for the product .The best part is you can create groups and assign the variants to them.E.g Color variation ( Blue, Green , Red…) Size variants (Weight in Kgs,Lbs…)

Product reviews tab: The product reviews tab  included to the product and it will displays the recent reviews that greatly helps for increasing trust with the customers.

Physical products support: The shopping cart comes with the physical products selling feature with advanced configuration parameters.

Digital products support: The cart also comes with the digital products selling feature that lets you to sell electronic goods like eBooks, PDFs, software, documents, videos, MP3 files and archived content (zip, Rar, Gzip) files. You can upload the digital goods using the in-build upload option. Upon successful payment the software returns the buyer to the download page where they can download the digital goods.

You can also add coupons, discounts for the particular product.

Manage the customers: Alternative to the registration of the members at the front end. Administrator also add the users (admin, buyers, sellers, affiliate) in the dashboard menu. You can also update the product fields’ information such as contact details, billing and shipping information.

Managing Contents

      • Poll management– Can create the polls and mange the polls using the polls management option.
      • Form builder– Can create forms for the contact forms and vendor application using the dashboard.
      • Adding page– New pages can be created with the title, description, Meta tags for the pages. You can also enable or disable the comments and reviews from the pages.

In-Build auto responder: It also comes with the auto responder mail feature that lets you to send the series of follow up emails to the subscribers.

Managing banners: The banner management feature lets you to create the banner management campaigns from the dashboard. You can upload the banners with the various sizes and set the auto expiry date for the banners.

Managing Reviews: The reviews can be effectively managed from the dashboard. You can moderate the reviews received from the buyers, comments from the viewers, order communication, gift registry guest book entries and testimonials added by the customers.

Tax management: You can also add tax information with the detailed information like Name for tax entry and the tax can be calculated automatically by configuring with the shipment providers and manually using the entry .You can also include or exclude tax information with the tax information. The tax calculation can be calculated according to the location of the shipment . For this you can add new countries and state for the tax information. It also pre-loaded with all USA cities database.

Affiliate platform
The software comes with the dedicated affiliate platform features to best manage the affiliate promotion campaigns.
You can control the campaign information such as:
Affiliate banners- Upload affiliate banners (Uploaded by vendors) for products so that the affiliates can use this banner for banner advertisement promotions.

Affiliate plans: You can also add custom affiliate plans with various options that includes
Cookies expiry duration, initial incentive balance amount added to the affiliate accounts, minimum commission payment for the payouts, Commission calculation strategy ( Either by percentage of the products or by fixing the commission for every products)
Affiliate tiers, Approving commissions earned by the affiliates ( Dis approve the commissions in case of self made sales),approving payouts
Automatic approval: You can also set the automatic affiliate approval on or off.
Link color settings: You can also change the colors for the affiliate text links
Affiliate Reports: Viewing the account balance, last payout made, calculated average payout made, and total payouts made

Send to friend: Send to friend lets you to share the products and content information shared with their friends through email.

Managing the vendors: Administrator can manage the vendors information such as:

Moderating the vendor application requests.
Moderating the vendor profile information (Editing the company title, description and logo)
Vendor payout management- Administrator can approve the vendor payouts (amount earned by the merchants) from the dashboard.

In-Build Add-ons
The software comes with the following in-build add-ons .And you can easily enable or disable these modules from the administrator dashboard. You can adjust the add-ons settings to configure the options.

There are the following add-ons comes with the script

Access control: This module lets you to take control of the access information with the site. This will provides additional security to the marketplace.
IP blocking: Allow accessing of administrator login from the certain IPS(IP addresses)
Login attempts: The number of UN-successful attempts allowed .After this allowed attempts the IP will be locked.
Time interval: The time interval between the UN-successful login attempts. You have to wait the particular time for attempt for once again.
The security can be enhanced by configuring the minimum password length, force to choose the password contain the char and numbers, force change the password to first login, password validity period options with the dashboard.

Anti fraud module: This module protects the sales from fraud orders. This can be accomplished by maxmind API key and it will helps you track down the credit card sales against fraud. You can also set the number of orders can placed by the particular person.

Attachments add-on: Using this add-on you can configure the attachment parameters such as file types allowed, file size allowed, file storage location and so on.

Best sellers block:The best sellers block involves the products from the best sellers category.

Buy together: This module lets the group of buyers joined together to buy the items.
Comment and reviews: This module lets you to add comment and review blocks with the products page.
Customer also bought: This module lets to integrate the customers also bought feature with the cs-cart.
Data feed module: This module helps you to upload the data feed module with the portal. You can import the data feed using the feed upload button. This module lets you to configure the settings of this module.

Form builder: This will lets you to create the web forms (contact forms and vendor application forms) for the portal.

Gift registry: Gift registry module lets you to create the gift certificate, redeem the certificate and shared to the members and forwarded to the email and postal addresses.
Google analytics: This will lets you to integrate the Google analytics tracking code with the store.
Google Base export- Using this you can export the marketplace products to Google base portal .This will be great for SEO and increase the store sales.

Social login: This will lets you to login with the social profiles .Using this Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Google and other popular social media profiles can be used for login with the portal. This module utilizes the Jarain API to integrate this feature.

Live help chat: You can now add live chat support features using this plugin.
News- News module lets you to create the news announcements from the dashboard and it will be showed in the dashboard of the members. You can also set the expiry date for these news. announcements

In-build newsletters: The software comes with the in-build newsletters feature that lets you to manage the newsletters, campaigns, lists subscriptions and test emails from the dashboard. The newsletter also comes with the both HTML and plain text editors and you can choose between them according to the preferences. You can also add variables to the newsletters such as (Subscriber name, address, company name and unsubscribe link in the bottom)

Barcode for orders: Integrate the barcode features for the orders and can configure the height and width for the bar codes from the dashboard.

Price lists creation and export: You can also create the price list of the products automatically using this plugin. This will lets you to export the price list in the PDF and CSV file format.

Quick books integration: The quick books integration plug-in lets you to add the accounting feature of the QuickBooks with the site for easy account management.

Recurring billing: Using Recurring billing you can collect the payments automatic every month. This will best for monthly subscription, renewals and services.

Required products for purchase: This sets the required products for the purchase. E.g Memory card  for Mobile phones.

Reward points: This reward points extension lets you to build the point system for every products purchased by the buyers. This reward pointing system is completely managed and configured with using the settings option.

Return product management: This will lets you to manage all the return product requests and take actions upon the request.

RSS Feed: This plug-in will generates the RSS feed for the products in the store globally and also for the contents, news items of the site.

SMS notification: SMS notification extension lets you to send SMS in case of any triggered actions like when the members registered with the site, successful product sales, or inquiries. This module utilizes the click a tell API to send SMS. The long SMS will be divided into several parts and sent it to the receivers.

Statistics: This plug-in lets you to keep track the visitors information and create the awesome statistics about the visitors information (referrers, countries, keyword, pages visited) and much more information.

Store locator: This will helps you to locate the store on Google map.
Mobile connect- Using this module you can access your store using mobile and smart phones. This plug-in utilizes the Twigmo for offering this service.

Vendors data moderation: There will be times need for moderating the data provided by the vendors. This extension lets you to do this for you.

Watermarking: You can now brand your product images with the watermarks.

Store statistics: This will provide complete statistics about the store. This will share the information like visitors geography details, Referrers for the pages, Audience, Popular products, product views, Banner views.

Payment methods: This module lets you to control the variety of payment methods such as Credit card Phone ordering Check Fax Ordering Government Check Money Order C.O.D Purchase Order Personal Check Business Check.

Credit card processing terminal: This will lets you to setup the credit card payment processing terminal with the site and control of the

It supports more than 50 payment processing terminals such as

2Checkout, 365 Billing, Amazon Payments at payments.amazon.com, Assist Atos, Authorize.Net Aim, Camtech XML (part of the SecurePay group) Cardia CardSave Hosted ChronoPay  CM CIC  Secure  DataTrans  DeltaPay  DirectOne (part of the SecurePay group)  DIRECTebanking.com  DIBS  DPS PX Access  DPS PX Post e-gold   ECHO     www.echo-inc.com EcomMerchant  eMerchantPay  eNETS ePassporte   ePDQ (Barclaycard) ESTpay  eWAY   eWAY XML   FirstData Connect   FRIbetaling   Note: This payment system is not supported by Twigmo Gate2Shop m Google Checkout      HSBC       iDeal Basic (ING)  iDeal Buckaroo  Innovative Gateway   iTransact   KupiVKredit*  LinkPoint API  LinkPoint Connect   Merchant Warrior   Moneybookers   Nochex   Ogone Direct   Ogone Web   Pay & Read  PayBox  PayFlow Pro  PayJunction       PayLeap   Payment21       PayPal   PayPal Pro       PayPal Express       PayPoint (MCPE)   PayPoint (SecPay)       PayPoint (SecPay XML)  Paysite Cash   PayTrace   PlatiDoma*       PRI (Transaction Central) Form       PRI (Transaction Central) HTTPS Post   ProxyPay3  QIWI Wallet*       QuickBooks Merchant Service       RBK Money*   Robokassa*   RocketGate   SagePay Direct       SagePay Form       SCB       ServiRed  SP Plus   Thaiepay   Total Web Solutions Pay Page       Verus       Virtual Merchant       VseVKredit*   WebMoney*       WestPac       WinBank  WorldPay      YourPay

The following credit cards are supported with this software
enRoute JCB American Express VISA VISA Electron MasterCard Maestro Diners Club Switch Solo Laser Discover/Novus

Backup and restore: Administrator can do the database backup and restore, straight from the dashboard itself. You can either do this operation for all the tables in the database or with the selected tables only.

Currency settings: Using this you can easily change the name, currency code, exchange rate, sign(symbol),placement of the decimal sign ( 5.00 or 5.000)
Import and export settings- The software support the bulk import and export of the products, product combinations, images, discount codes, order details, translations, users, subscribers. You can also do this data feed import from the external sources via CSV and FTP .And the feed update can be done by intervals using scheduling(Drip feeding)

Access logs: The access logs system logs all the access attempts as a report. You can view the reports and delete them if it’s not needed.

Dashboard software upgrade: The best part of the software, you can upgrade the software from the dashboard itself. Simply press the upgrade button and the update will be completed.

Translation: You can do the default language (English) into your preferred language .You can do this from the dashboard or from the front end by activating the store on translation mode.

Date and time settings: You can change the default date format, time format, time zone using this option.
Image gallery settings: The image gallery comes with the three available gallery modes such as Fancy box, light box, pretty photo.
White label branding: Every vendors have their own dedicated URL where only their products can be found and they can also white label their cart system by uploading their own logo in the checkout system, invoice and website page.

Email sending options: You can select three email sending options to send emails from the site like PHP mail, SMTP, Send mail.

SSL Enable/Disable: The Cart software fully supports the SSL (https:) connection integration .You can either make the whole site loads in the secured mode or just enable them with the selected pages of the site like checkout page, admin access page, login pages, profile registration page

Anonymous checkout: You can enable or disable this anonymous checkout option .Enabling the feature lets you to accept orders without registering with the site.

Checkout: The checkout style comes with the single page( No page reloading) or multi page ( Page reloading required)

Proxy server: Using this option you can set proxy servers for outgoing connections.
Stock notification threshold- This will informs the vendor administrator if the threshold has been reached.
In-build spam protection – Inbuilt image verification for all selected forms, and the more options can be configured using this option

Design mode: By enabling the customization mode or design mode ,you can easily change the layout contents, color schemes, text information, elements (logo, images, icons ) from the store frond end. The customization mode will be active with the system where the requests has been initiated (Sessions) this will provide all others will not access the system in the design mode.

Drag and Drop layouts: Comes with the drag and drop layouts functionality that helps you to easily change the block layouts for every possible post types. Using this feature you can configure different layout modules will be presented for Home page, checkout, product page, profile reg page, vendor page 440 page, cart page, gift registration pages.

Technical Requirements

Language : PHP
Database : Mysql
Price : $1450

Please be aware that CS-Cart may now be charging the software on annual license basis. It is best to confer with them first to see if this is still the case.

Check out CS-Cart here, and let us know what you think below.

 

Comments

  1. One can find some interesting points in time in this write-up but I do not know if I see all of them center to heart. There is certainly some validity but I will take hold opinion until I appear into it further. Decent write-up , thanks and we want much more! Added to FeedBurner too

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  2. Thanks intended for offering these fantastic data.

  3. I think that either you are paid to write this ‘review’, or you have in fact not used it in a genuine world wide multi vendor setup – just ‘tested’ it.

    Reality only shows when it is getting real, and real Vendors has to sign in and in reality sell and make profit: There are a ton of issues and bugs when trying to really use the system in Multi Vendor mode internationally.

    It’s NOT a finished product. CS Cart itself is great, but the Multi Vendor is just full of bugs on the individual Vendors platforms – which in reality means that you cannot really use it out of the box. It takes a lot of extra development. And when informing the very friendly team at CS cart, they charge you to answer.

    • Junie Pigeon says:

      Hi Chris:
      First of all,this review is written fairly and as we found with the software.personally we have used cs-cart for our projects and we have given what we have experienced.

      The term,out of the box means,it works as a turnkey solution(complete package that plug-in-play) that doesn’t meant it won’t contain the bugs.None of the software will come with out bugs,its all depends with the devlopement cycle(More patches means more reliable products)

  4. I have to agree with Chris.. the MULTIVENDOR CS-Cart is an Under Development product, and its deceiving from CS Cart to make it out for sale as a ready product.

    Please point us to any LIVE Multivendor CS Cart shops out there…

    I have respect for both companies… CS and X … as a customer I want them to be both successful. their success translates to better tool for me to use and hopefully more revenue!!

    Thank you from Dubai, UAE.

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