What Are Hosted Shopping Cart Solutions ? What are Non-Hosted Shopping Carts?

e-commerce-shopping-cart The ecommerce boom shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, and each year the amount spent during the holiday season continues to increase. The question of getting into the market is a fairly easy one if you have products to sell, but how do you even begin to sort through the hundreds of shopping cart options that are in the space?

Ecommerce just seems to continue growing and growing, and it is becoming almost a requirement that all merchants have an online presence of some kind.  We’ve already covered self-hosted shopping carts that you host yourself , but sometimes it is nice to just walk in to some place that is ready to go and can take you only a few minutes to set up if you play your cards right.

This is where hosted shopping carts come in handy as they allow you to remove the headaches of maintaining your server, dealing with software issues and more.  These solutions may cost a little bit more, but you can almost view it as saving you money compared to hiring an IT person.

Based on the hosting services provided, the shopping cart industry can be divided into two major categories: Hosted Shopping Cart & Non-Hosted Shopping Cart. In this article we have compared remotely hosted shopping cart software solutions (also Known as ASP Shopping Carts) with Free, out of the box and open source shopping carts (All grouped under Non-ASP shopping carts).  This comparison will help you decide on the most suitable type of shopping cart for your business.

What Are Hosted Shopping Cart Solutions ? & Non-Hosted Shopping Carts ?

  1. Hosted Shopping Cart Software: are Application Service Provider (ASP) shopping carts are remotely hosted shopping cart softwares solutions that allow you to create, maintain and update your web store in a central web-based data location. ASP shopping cart providers also provide technological infrastructure and other services including store maintenance and support.
  2. Non-Hosted Shopping Cart Software:
    Non-Hosted shopping carts include free, open source and out-of-the-box (Downloadable) shopping cart solutions. Such kinds of ecommerce solutions do not provide any hosting services and are not responsible for your store maintenance, security or store operations.

Hosted Shopping Carts (ASP) Vs Non-Hosted Shopping Carts Comparison Table

Criteria Hosted Shopping Carts Non-Hosted Shopping Carts
Start Up Cost Low High (Zero in case of open source shopping carts but they require lot of customization)
Investment in Infrastructure Not Required Required
Data Management Easy management as data is stored at a central location.
(Note: Data security features depend on vendor- Evaluate data security carefully before deciding.)
Difficult to manage as data may be distributed at multiple locations.
Pricing Pay Per Use. One time license cost.
Hosting Infrastructure Provided & Managed by the Application service provider. Provision & Management is your responsibility.
Responsibility for Store Uptime Rests On Software Provider. Rests On You.
Software Upgrades Usually Free. Real time upgrades possible, as the store is centrally located. Usually Paid. Manual installation is required.


Running a business using an Hosted shopping cart proves less risky and is a more viable investment proposition especially for SMEs (Small & Medium Scale Enterprises) and low capital start up organizations.

More Value for Money:

  • Hosted shopping cart work on a Pay Per Use pricing model and charge monthly fees. You are not required to pay a one-time lump sum license fee, which is the case with Non-ASP solutions.
  • Secondly, with remotely hosted shopping cart software you are not required to invest in creating technological infrastructure to support and maintain your online store. These are taken care of by the software provider.
  • Your monthly fees cover all your major expenses and are inclusive of the rental charges for using the software, providing technological infrastructure, and for hosting your website.

Lower Store Maintenance & Business Continuity Expenses

Application Service Providers are responsible for the smooth functioning of your storefront and safeguarding it from any emergency. All the expenses are shared among multiple clients that make the cost of store maintenance and business continuity more affordable then Non-ASP shopping cart softwares.

Software Upgrades and other services

  • Since your shopping cart software is remotely hosted, you are assured of easy and real-time software upgrades, which is not the case with non-ASP shopping cart software solutions.
  • To summarize, remotely hosted shopping cart solutions incorporates the qualities of easy store management with less investment at an affordable business continuity expense.

Before you arrive at a final decision, closely analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each type of shopping cart: Hosted shopping cart and Non-Hosted shopping cart software’s.

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