E-commerce has quickly become one of the most popular uses for the internet, and more sites are utilizing Linux shopping software than ever before. In fact, Forrester projects that online sales will reach 250 billion dollars in 2014, according to Tech Crunch, and online sales will account for 8 percent of all retail sales in the US by then as well. For those planning on building a shop online using Linux, there are several programs that you should be aware of, and we've assembled a few of our favorites here:

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is an open source shopping program offering easy administration and product management, and comes fully ready to run credit cards for your shop. Fast, user-friendly, and sleek, Zen Cart was developed by shop-owners and programmers using Oscommerce code as a base and features built in discount codes, coupons, and gift certificate functions. With hundreds of plug-ins available on the Zen Cart site, it's easy to customize everything from payment modules to buttons and graphics in your online Zen Cart shop. Zen Cart is a popular, user-friendly choice for your Linux-based shop. According to BuiltWith, Zen Cart is currently used by more than 150 thousand sites for their e-commerce needs.


Magento is an open source web application that offers users powerful control over the functionality, design, and content of their online shop. Magento provides checkout tools to calculate shipping, payment, currency exchange, and order management. One of Magento's more useful features is that it's shops are mobile-ready, and specifically tailored to shoppers using iPhones. Gartner research shows that smartphone sales accounted for more than half of all mobile sales made online in the third-quarter of 2013, so open-source software that is ready to display your shop on consumer's smartphones is practically a must. Magento also offers a powerful suite of marketing and promotion tools that feature multi-tier pricing, search engine optimization, coupons and promotional pricing tools all in one open-source package that is ready to use right out of the box.


VirtueMart is an open source e-commerce application designed to be used in conjunction with Joomla! or Mambo web content management systems. Formerly known as Mambo-PHPShop, Virtue Mart shopping cart software offers a large collection of merchant services right out of the box. VirtueMart offers registration services for users, allowing shoppers to manage their accounts online, track order confirmations, and review order histories in an easy to use window. Registered and subscribed users to your VirtueMart store can track items that are currently out of stock and receive an automatic email notification when the item is back in inventory. VirtueMart shops come installed with payment software that recognizes popular payment services such as PayPal, Worldpay, PayMate, eWay, and more. Additionally, VirtueMart is easily customized using the wide variety of components, modules and plugins available on the VirtueMart site. Business owners interested in test driving VirtueMart can even visit its virtual demo store, as either a shopper or a site administrator, and see the outer and inner workings of a VirtueMart e-commerce site without installing a thing. Now that's customer service.
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