X-Cart is open-source software small business owners can use to build an online store; X-Cart offers eCommerce options for retail, marketplace, B2B, and international sales.
- Free demo available
- Deep design customization
- Numerous features
- Developer knowledge required
- Nontransparent pricing
- Unresponsive customer support
A licensed shopping cart that lets you sell products securely, X-Cart offers eCommerce options for retail, marketplace, B2B, and international sales. X-Cart is open-source software you can use to build your own online store or marketplace from the ground up.
Keep in mind that this platform is open-source and based on PHP/MySQL, and developer knowledge is required to use it. The ideal user would have some understanding of PHP or at least the resources to hire someone who does. X-Cart is available for use in North America, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Antarctica.
Read on for a breakdown of X-Cart’s pricing and an unbiased analysis of the platform.
Table of Contents
What Is X-Cart?
X-Cart is a website builder that allows users to build a fully scalable omnichannel eCommerce store or marketplace based on open-source PHP software. It’s loaded with features and powerful enough to help the largest sellers succeed online, with a free version that even the smallest eCommerce operations can afford to grow with.
Is X-Cart the right eCommerce solution for your business? Read on to find out.
In previous X-Cart reviews, we judged the pricing scheme to be good while at the same time warning that it was somewhat complicated.
Since that review, the pricing has become even more complicated, mostly because X-Cart no longer makes pricing information available online. If you want to learn about X-Cart pricing, you’ll need to schedule a call or request an email from a representative. While that’s annoying, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker — unless it’s seemingly impossible to connect with a rep. (See the Customer Service section, below, for details on my experience and to understand why we downgraded X-Cart pricing from “good” to “poor” in this review.)
Since we were unable to obtain any pricing information or even confirm the previous pricing information we had, we’ll provide only a quick summary here. And if we ever receive that promised phone call or email from X-Cart, we’ll be sure to come back and update this information with what we learn.
Here’s the last information we have on X-Cart plans and pricing, with the caution that we cannot guarantee its accuracy. If you’re interested in working with X-Cart, we recommend you click the link on the X-Cart website and attempt to connect with a rep to confirm:
Choose a locally-installed X-Cart solution, and you will pay only once but you’ll have to maintain your own web hosting and security. The last information available shows plans that include $0/month for the entry-level version, $495 for the Business plan, $1,495 for a multivendor license, and $5,995 for the Ultimate version.
If you’re looking for a hosted, scalable solution that can grow with your business, X-Cart offers three flexible plans that offer tiered benefits plus an enterprise option: Basic, Enhanced, and Enterprise. In the past, X-Cart hosted plans have run from $49/month to $199/month.
Offering Enterprise-level solutions, X-Cart Enterprise offers options large vendors will find attractive:
- B2B eCommerce
- Retail options f0r in-person selling
- Custom development
- Native apps (iOS & Android) for your website
X-Cart Enterprise offers custom pricing, and you can enter your contact information to get a quote. Every X-Cart plans come with one year of free access to upgrades to new versions of the software.
X-Cart traditionally has come with impressive features out of the box, although not all features are available on every plan. Here are some of the best. Be sure to check with an X-Cart rep to confirm what’s available on the plan you choose.
When small business owners visit the X-Cart app store, they will find 45+ eCommerce themes to browse.
All these themes are mobile-friendly and open source. That includes nine free themes, with most of the others priced at $139. The free themes share a similar look, but you’ll find more variety in the paid themes. Search by categories, such as Apparel or Electronics, to find a theme optimized for different types of products.
Types Of Payment Accepted With X-Cart
X-Cart accepts payment processing integrations with dozens of free and paid processors. Visit the X-Cart App Store for a full list. You can start your X-Cart store with X-Payments or add others, including some that enable international payments. Check out the user ratings before you make your choices. Here are some popular options you can download for free:
- Fast Lane Checkout
- Amazon Pay
Selling On Multiple Sales Channels With X-Cart
X-Cart’s endless flexibility allows users to sell on multiple sales channels. Depending on the X-Cart plan you choose, you can sell to consumers via marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, start a B2B or wholesale business, or even build your own multi-vendor marketplace. If you want to connect to social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, you’ll need to purchase an app.
Does X-Cart Offer Buy Buttons?
Adding a buy button is a way to add eCommerce to every blog post, social media update, email, and more. Unfortunately, if you want to add buy buttons to your X-Cart store, you’ll need an app for that.
Supporting international selling is one area where X-Cart seems to excel. You can translate your storefront and product pages into 40+ languages, including those with complex character sets or those that are written right to left. X-Cart works with more than 120 global payment providers, allowing you to offer the payment methods your customers are familiar with. You’ll also find international shipping options, including carriers, warehouses, and third-party logistics partners. X-Cart also supports domestic and international taxes, including VAT for European sales and PST/GST.HST for Canada and Australia.
X-Cart Marketing Features
Your X-Cart store includes tools you can use to turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers with loyalty programs, exit offers, an advanced banner system, and more. Your X-Cart store includes cross-selling, up-selling, and featured products and displays “Customers also bought” and “Recently viewed” items. Tracking analytics like Google Analytics or Mixpanel help you turn insights into action and boost customer engagement. You can also let customers rate and review your products.
X-Cart Product Limits
There are no limits to the number of product listings you can add to your X-Cart store.
Inventory Management With X-Cart
Your X-Cart store comes with inventory management tools. You can track products and variants so you don’t sell products that aren’t really available. Group your products by type and add multiple images for each. And you can set up notifications for best sellers and low-stock items, so you can stay on top of ordering.
X-Cart Shipping Tools
If you enable real-time shipping calculations, customers will see an estimate of their shipping costs before they place their order. UPS, USPS, and FedEx real-time rates will be provided via InterShipper. International shipping is supported.
X-Cart SEO Tools
Every time you list a product, clean URLs, meta tags, and more are automatically generated, though you can edit if you wish. If you like, add your own SEO terms, or stick with the ones X-Cart automatically generates.
X-Cart Discounts & Coupons
You can set parameters for sales and volume discounts as well as create an interactive “discount roulette” wheel.
X-Cart is open source, meaning anyone with the technical know-how to do so can customize an X-Cart store.
In-Person Selling Tools
Add the X-Cart POS to manage your eCommerce operation and in-person sales from one interface.
Is X-Cart Easy To Use?
The admin panel was complete, clean, and ready to use to set up my store, manage inventory, track sales, view reports, and perform just about every function necessary to eCommerce. The built-in options for setting up the store seemed more than adequate.
You can import files (CSV, Excel, OpenDocument, or ZIP) to build or update a catalog or enter products individually. As you add products, you can set the tax class, apply global discounts, input quantity so you can track inventory, set backorder status, enter shipping weight, and more.
As I explored the admin, I was able to create a coupon and an exit offer, create categories for my products, and post a product review. Overall, the admin had the functions needed to create and run a store, and every element I tested worked easily and as expected. While building an online store using X-Cart does require specialized knowledge, running that store seems about as user-friendly as it gets.
Customer Service & Support
X-Cart offers premium support on some plans. If yours doesn’t include support, you can pay annually for a support plan, or you can take advantage of the self-help options available online:
- Help Center
- FAQ Section
- Contact Form
- Social Media
For what it’s worth, as I was researching X-Cart in preparation for this review, I encountered some areas where the information I sought was not available. So I took the opportunity to call for help. My call went to a voice message, and I left my name and phone number, as requested, and asked for a return call. I received that callback within four minutes, but it was only to ask for my email address so a rep could contact me that way. After waiting for two days, I used the contact form online to request an email conversation. After waiting several days, I gave up and my questions are still unanswered.
For that reason, and because we found an overall lack of clarity on the X-Cart webpages, we are downgrading X-Cart’s customer service rating.
After all, if the only way to find out basic information like pricing and plan details is to call or email for assistance, and no one from X-Cart ever returns the contact, it’s hard to believe this company would be there anytime a user needed support.
X-Cart Integrations & Add-Ons
Visit the X-Cart App Store, and you’ll find hundreds of integrations and add-ons in a searchable marketplace. That includes Zapier, an addon you can use to connect your store with dozens of third-party apps. If you have an addon in mind, you can enter its name into the search bar, or you can search by category. Search the Shipping category, for example, and you’ll see a total of 26 free and paid integrations that you can add to your store if you choose.
It seems fair to say you can expect to find almost any integration you need to run your online store, or one very similar to it. Add-ons in the X-Cart app store include user ratings and reviews as well as a number showing how often each app has been downloaded.
In general, online reviews from customers show satisfaction with X-Cart. However, a closer look shows that this software has scarce reviews over the past few years, raising the question of its recent performance. For perspective, here are some comments users have shared in the past:
Negative X-Cart Reviews & Complaints
Here are a few of the negative comments I encountered online:
- Outdated Themes: X-Cart’s themes are not as appealing as they could be. For those with advanced code ability, adaptations are not out of reach, but it would be nice to have more stylish, modern options out of the box.
- Learning Curve: Developer knowledge is a big asset when it comes to setting up an X-Cart store.
- Price: Although X-Cart’s hosting plans have been in line with industry standards, additional costs for upgrades and technical support have in the past made this an expensive platform.
- Buggy Upgrades: Although upgrades can bring new features and welcome improvements, they have also caused unfortunate issues that can be expensive and time-consuming to fix.
- Non-Responsive Service: Based on my own experience with X-Cart’s reps, or rather my complete lack of interaction with them despite my efforts, I include this as a negative.
Positive X-Cart Reviews & Testimonials
Even customers who grumbled about some aspects of X-Cart had praise for the platform as well. Here are some of the top positive comments:
- Customizability: One user reported trying to switch to other cart options “but always come back to X-Cart because it does everything and more than what I need.”
- Built-In SEO Functionality: Users who cited SEO as a positive X-Cart feature said it was “the most SEO-equipped software in the market.”
- Intuitive Dashboard: Outside of tech concerns, users have seemed satisfied with the way they run their stores. “Products are added in a flash,” one user said. Another said, “Easy to understand the backend.”
Final Verdict Of X-Cart
In the past, we have given X-Cart an overall positive rating, with some concern noted about X-Cart pricing. That pricing has been not just confusing but also expensive, with costly annual upgrades required to keep your site up to date. Compared to free, open-source software solutions, such as Magento, X-Cart seemed of somewhat questionable value.
At this point, with the complete lack of transparency regarding pricing combined with an utter lack of responsiveness via the communication channels prospective customers are forced into by this company, I find it hard to recommend X-Cart to anyone looking for an eCommerce solution. If you’re interested in X-Cart for your online store, by all means, sign up for a demo (if you can!) and test out the software.
If, like me, you get nowhere in your attempts to learn more about X-Cart so you can decide if it’s right for your needs, don’t worry. You have lots of good options to explore. Start with our comparison of two free eCommerce powerhouses, Magento vs. WooCommerce.
And, if you’ve read this far and find yourself wondering if open source is the right direction for your company, take a look at the top free eCommerce platforms. The point is, you’ve got lots of good options. So don’t settle for anything but the best.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.