CubeCart is an open source (GPL 3.0) eCommerce software solution created by a UK-based company called CubeCart Limited. The company has been around since 2003 and has a lot of experience. Their essential business goal is to help businesses to sell products and services using their intentionally simple-to-use platform that is more intuitive than more complex solutions which exist on the eCommerce services market.
CubeCart ProsCubeCart is an intentionally simple self-hosted eCommerce solution with no monthly fees. Looks can be deceiving, although their design “looks” basic, all of the functionality and features you’d expect are there. Extensions and theme can be fully customized to fit your needs. Take their free live demo to explore.
CubeCart ConsAlthough free, CubeCart is a self-hosted eCommerce shopping cart which will require your own maintenance. For customer support, you will need to use their support forums for assistance unless you upgrade to their Enterprise-level support. If your web host doesn’t offer 1-click software installs, you will need to manually install CubeCart or pay them to install it for you.
CubeCart is intentionally basic out of the box but has all the “order qualifying” functionality for most merchants. It has an extensive amount of code hooks locations and can be extended easily without core code edits.
CubeCart has a simple setup wizard which makes installation quick and easy. There are templates available to help you design a professional store quickly, and tools for image resizing and cropping to help you optimize your product pages. The storefront is search engine optimized and includes options for product listings as well as zoom so that customers can see your products clearly. Bulk product management and price updating makes it easy to administrate your shop.
With CubeCart v6, the front end store and design are all mobile-responsive and compatible with smaller phone screens, larger tablet screens and traditional desktop monitors as well.
No Limits: One thing that we love with CubeCart is the fact it is open source and has no limits when it comes to photos, products listed, amount of customers, orders, categories or page views. Since you are hosting the cart on your own web hosting, you are in full control of your website and site management. There’s no monthly fees, no worrying about traffic and ever-increasing costs.
Easy Reordering: After a customer has purchased something from your website, they can easily login to their account and use the past orders section to reorder a product.
Increased Security: CubeCart is one of the few carts with Brute Force Protection added on two levels. It has been security audited by a 3rd party and to date, their history of security has been exceptionally good.
Coupons and Discounts: Their system allows fixed-rate and percentage-based coupon codes that you can use. Restrict usage of these codes by date, usage and our favorite feature, by specific product. Now you can offer a discount on a specific product without offering a system-wide coupon. Besides coupons, you can also specify product quantity based discounts for larger orders.
Awesome Images: Create an image gallery for your products and take advantage of their hover zooming or large lightbox viewing features. This allows for stunning product descriptions that will help convert window shoppers to buyers.
Easy Product Management: CubeCart allows bulk product price updates and bulk product category management. Their system allows pricing groups (assign customers to a group for specific pricing), product reviews/comments, stock control on product options, price-hiding features, digital download options and much more.
If you’ve browsed the demo front-end and administrative sections, you may draw an early conclusion that CubeCart is missing something that you absolutely must have. Before writing off CubeCart, be sure to check out their massive extensions collection. The majority of the extensions offered are free of charge and ready to be installed on your cart.
Payment Gateways Include: PayPal, SagePay, Authorize.net, WorldPay, Nochex APC, Skrill, 2Checkout, Payson, ccAvenue, UPG, HSBC, MercadoPago, BarclayCard, DineroMail, psiGate, FirstData, ccNow, OKPay, eWay, Realex, CardStream, Optimal Payments, PayJunction, PayPoint, VirtualMerchant, IcePay, WebToPay, CharityClear, ChronoPay, EBS, CardSave, HiPay, PayMate, CRESecure, StrongBox, PaymentSense, PayVector, e-Payments Interac, Braintree Payments, Stripe ($75), eProcessing ($79.99) and iDEAL Basic (€25).
There’s 7 skins to choose from. One is not pictured above.
Shipping Methods Include: UPS Basic, UPS Advanced (£38.99), USPS, FedEx, Canada Post, Australia Post and Parcel2Go. There’s also several extensions on this page for shipping enhancements like free shipping (over a specified $ amount spent), flat rate shipping, weight-based shipping and more.
Languages: US English (default), Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, French, Danish and Hebrew.
Live Help: Zopim Livechat and Olark are supported.
Social Media: Facebook Comments and Like, AddThis, Pinterest, WishPot, Disqus, Livefyre and Facebook Wall Feeds ($39.99).
Affiliate Systems: Post Affiliate pro, iDevAffiliate, JROX, Aflite, TradeDoubler, clixGalore and OSI Affiliate.
Product Feeds: Google Base, Shopzilla, Shopping.com and StoreYa.
Other Popular Plugins: PayPal Pro and Express, Postcode ANywhere, Amazon Payments, Google Adwords Tracker. AddShoppers, ShareYourCart, ClickMeter, Reviews.co.uk, UK Postcode Lookup, Vertical Navigation Box $30), Stock Values (£4.99), Category Discounts (£25.99), Europe VAT (£32.49), Age Verification Splash Screen (£15.00), Internal Notes (£4.99), Ebay Orders (£48.74), Shopping List & Reorder ($79.99), Image Recaptcha ($39.99), eBay Sales (£71.49), Preset Gift Certificate (£7.69), Customer Loyalty and Rewards (£45.49), Minimum Order Values (£16.89), Pre-Order Goods (£12.99), Price List (£9), Discount Price Tiers (£25.99), Lock Down Categories (£19.99), Tax Exempt Customers (£32.99), NoTax (£15.59), Barcodes (£23.49), Product Addons (£42), Related Products (£12.99) and Homepage Showcased Product ($30).
The marketing features of CubeCart include product coupons, SEO, customer reviews, and a newsletter system you can use to stay in touch with your clients and send out relevant emails. Gift cards are available as well. Live chat and affiliate extensions are optional, as are social plugins for sharing on a variety of networks.
Organic Upselling: One of the best methods to increase the checkout amount is to offer additional products that complement the product(s) being ordered. With CubeCart, you can take advantage of their “customers who bought this also bought..” feature on the product detail page. This feature is based on your real sales history and will only appear once your order database grows.
We’d like to see them add customer retention features like an exit-intent popup to offer a discount or opt-in. A free customer loyalty extension would also be a nice touch (a premium version is available).
CubeCart is now 100% free since our last review. The only additional costs are their premium extensions which we’ve listed above for your convenience.
When choosing a web host for your CubeCart-enabled domain, we recommend choosing one that offers an automated 1-click installation of this eCommerce shopping cart. We recommend reading our InMotion Hosting review or our SiteGround review for excellent choices. SiteGround also has awesome CubeCart tutorials available to assist with SSL setup and more.
Since CubeCart is now 100% free to use, by default, there is no direct customer support from CubeCart staff without payment. However, there are a lot of resources that you can use for self help which includes the CubeCart support forums which has over 168k comments and almost 40k topics available, their Knowledgebase which is severely limited to only 6 topics currently for CubeCart v6 and their new Vimeo channel which currently has 5 videos including a quick start guide.
Technical Support Options
- Technical Support Package: $33/month per store. It includes unlimited email support, live chat, 3 hour response times, 15 hour resolution guarantee and no contract.
- Technical Support & Management: $50/month per store. Provides technical support with experienced PHP developers, includes install service and unlimited store upgrades. Includes all of the technical support from the package above and minor coding tweaks, extension installation, server migrations and more.
We’re huge fans of open source software, heck, this site is ran by WordPress, a free content management system that is also open source. If you enjoy using open source software as well and don’t mind that you need to host the cart and your domain on your own web hosting, this cart may be the perfect option for you.
Of course, there’s going to be a lot of configuration that you’ll need to do to make this solution the “perfect fit” including installing extensions, setting up your payment gateway and more. We understand that CubeCart wanted this solution to be bloat-free and intentionally simplistic, however, it is frustrating to see that their administration panel doesn’t offer a system to easily search and single-click install extensions similar to how WordPress works.