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I have been researching on both open source software and off-the-shelf software for an online supermarket project in Africa. I have now narrowed by search to X-cart and the PHP based PrestaShop shopping carts. My plan is to acquire an open source shopping cart either by purchasing or as a free open source cart and hire a local developer to customize it to our local needs.

I have been doing the demo for x-cart for three weeks now and had thought it might work best for us but after going through the 600 page manual and I'm concerned with how far it can be localized. Yesterday I was looking at the possible Prestashop free open source cart and I seem to like the back-end. Didn't like the back-end for Magento much but from reviews conducted by third-parties they seem to recommend it.

I'm now wondering whether I should have a developer start the whole project from scratch, or use an open source software such us PrestaShop or get x-cart which can then be customized? Note that my store will have thousands of products and services including groceries and so I want something that can handle up to 500,000 products and over.


Thanks guys for your thoughts and advice. I have indeed looked at the other shopping carts and from a store managers point of view i like PrestaShop back-end and the fact that more modules can be added. You have raised a red flag for me though about the capacity to host that many products. Whats the point then of marketing the software as 'Unlimited Products' when it really cant. Perhaps someone can refer me to a website that has that many products and is PrestaShop? I agree though it has to be customized. Am just worried about asking someone to start from scratch since i believe open source software have been worked on by many minds and been tested enough something that a scratch project may not have.

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@Betterman hmm, a 500,000 product online shop is going to have a wide range of issues that will need looking at. I'm not sure whether you're going to find much useful advice here - but to improve the chances, you may need to add more info, e.g. what languages you need it localized in. –  Pekka 웃 Mar 12 '11 at 15:40
    
Theres also zendcart, ubercart, oscommerce, zeuscart, cubecart, intershop or hire someone to build it for you. Because you are going to have so many products, it may be better to have a custom made site. –  Matt Mar 12 '11 at 15:53
    
you could also start small with a few products and a ready made solution, then figure our more things as you move on –  Imran Omar Bukhsh Mar 12 '11 at 17:02
    
From my anecdotal evidence, Magento is one of the best e-commerce applications. Try looking at the Wikipedia comparison. Also you might want to consider which of those has the nicest themes. Themeforest have a set of e-commerce themes for some of the shopping carts which is a major factor for any cart I'd want to develop. –  icc97 May 28 '13 at 7:33
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3 Answers

That is a pretty large amount of product. You could try magento and customize it your liking. You couls also check this shopping cart software list for more information about various shopping cart software and also for comparison.

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Its a paid solution but not overly expensive depending on the number of licenses (websites) you need, but SquirrelCart is a very solid well developed shopping cart system. At the time I used it (3 years ago) it wasn't necessarily the easiest to modify the site design (but it also wasn't bad either) but I'm sure they've made improvements. Very good solution though... highly recommend it.

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That much data, I don't believe any of the existing pre-canned solutions available are efficient or good enough for your use without heavy customizations. They give you nice front-end but leave it up to you to solve the underlying architecture, infrastructure and performance enhancements. The only thing with an architecture on the large enterprise level is Magento (500,000 products is large enough) but might be too complicated for you. The other options are meant for small stores and at most SMEs.

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