p_nopCommerce  While there are low-cost (and some free) tools that can be used to simply ‘get your orders into the accounting system’, a well-designed (and supported) commercial integration can better support how your business records General Ledger transactions and actually help you sell more product; thus paying for itself in an extremely short period of time.

If you are a developer that has been tasked with sourcing an eCommerce integration for a client, it is highly recommended that you confer with your client regarding the following criteria. Business owners tend to be more concerned with the continuity and capability of their operations than trying to save a few hundred dollars. Failing even one of the following criteria can turn the money/time your client spends on a lesser product, into a sunk-cost.

Compare Product Features Important to Your Business

Are these factors important to you?

  • Recognizes G/L accounts of individual items?Many businesses classify sales of individual items by specific G/L accounts. This helps them better perform financial analysis of their product lines.
  • Rule-based creation of customer names?Businesses often have a very specific naming convention that they use for their customer names. Changing this convention can be very disruptive to the user experience.
  • Updates using Invent. Avail. vs. Qty. on-hand?What businesses have on-hand is not necessarily what they have to sell. Open orders in the accounting system reduce this availability, potentially leaving the company exposed to over-commitments of stock.
  • Phone orders trigger inventory updates?New phone orders and purchasing receipts are constantly changing the inventory landscape and a good integration keeps the inventory picture up-to-date in near real-time.
  • Detailed feature-list to aid your decision?The old saying that, "The devil is in the details," could not be truer than in the case of eCommerce/accounting integration. Ensure that the intended solution appropriately meets well-defined business requirements.
  • Try before you buy! No money up-front.Companies confident in their offering should be willing to let you try their product before requiring any financial commitment on the front-end.
  • History of positive reviews?Do your due-diligence and research the product's reputation in the marketplace. Even if there are limited positive reviews in the market, you should avoid products with a documented presence of negative user-experiences.
  • Money-back Guarantee?How confident is the solution-provider in their offering that they are willing to eliminate financial-risk altogether?
  • Phone number indicated on website?How accessible is the company to you before and after the sale?
  • Support for Assembly-based products?Make sure the tool you use supports not just basic inventory items, but also the extended product types that your QuickBooks system offers.
  • Support for QuickBooks Group-Item products?The Group-Item is a heavily used item type in QuickBooks that allows merchants to easily offer 'kit' type offerings to customers.
  • Recognizes CC used in transaction?Stores processing hundreds of transactions on a daily basis need visibility of detailed payment method to efficiently support bank reconciliation.
  • NO Per/Order transaction fees?Your integration provider should be committed to your satisfaction before you pay for anything, AND, should stay 'out of your pocket' just for growing your business.


  • CartSpan recognizes the G/L Sales, Asset, and Cost-of-Goods-Sold accounts configured on the accounting side.
  • CartSpan offers sophisticated naming capabilities to match the convention that a business has been using successfully for years.
  • CartSpan factors open orders in the accounting system when updating stock availability in the shopping cart; ensuring that the company does not over-commit inventory.
  • CartSpan actually 'watches' for activity in the accounting system for transactions affecting specific inventory and will update it in a timely fashion.
  • CartSpan offers you an exhaustive list of product features with which to make a decision. If the information provided isn't enough to answer your questions...we're always available by phone.
  • CartSpan not only offers a free 10-day trial, but we will assist you in getting the trial started at not cost to you. You pay nothing until you are happy with the way your orders are being imported into the accounting system.
  • CartSpan has been in business doing eCommerce integrations since 2010 and has an A+ rating with the Better Bureau that is accompanied by many positive reviews. Most integration providers, along with other plug-in developers, are unwilling to participate in such forums that give the consumer a voice.
  • CartSpan not only offers a free 10-day trial with setup assistance, but will refund your money if you are not satisfied with it's performance within 30 days of purchase. To-date, CartSpan has never had to refund a customer purchase.
  • CartSpan posts it's phone number in large font at the top of its website and promises a call back within 3 hours for inquiries or support requests.
  • CartSpan will update stock in the cart for all of your product types, including assemblies. CartSpan employs advanced logic that determines the maximum number of assembled items that 'could' be sold based upon availability of first-level BoM-items.
  • CartSpan offers advanced support for Group Item types, recognizing them during the import and converting to the appropriate items, quantities, and prices.
  • CartSpan supports the FREE Payment Gateway listed lower on this page...which allows you to record the specific credit card type as the payment method. You may then direct the transaction to its own G/L account or to the QB 'Undeposited Funds' account.
  • We personally help you get setup on your trial at no additional cost. CartSpan has never employed a per/order model of licensing and doesn't plan to.


  • Competitors often require the use of a single account for all items imported.
  • Competitors often offer a 'one size fits all' approach to creating customer names...raising the probability of orders being assigned to incorrect accounts.
  • Competitors often update stock based upon quantity on-hand in the accounting system, leading potentially, to conversations with irate customers who want refunds for non-delivery of product.
  • Competitors are often subject to the triggering logic of the QuickBooks web connector that will not account for new phone orders.
  • Competitors typically offer you a paragraph and a few bullet-points to to make a decision...and there is no one to call for clarification.
  • Competitors most often take the 'buyer beware' approach, requires you to pay up-front, and offers little in the way of personalized assistance to get the product running efficiently.
  • Search the internet for a history of positive reviews. Even check the forums of other shopping carts to research user experiences with your prospective integration tool.
  • With competitors 'buyer beware' approach to the market, all sales are FINAL.
  • Competitors often don't provide any information about themselves. No phone number on the website, no contact names, and no business address; only web-based email for communication.
  • Manufacturers beware; ensure the prospective integrating tool supports the update of assembly-type products in QuickBooks; some do not.
  • Many competitors offer absolutely no support for this important QuickBooks feature.
  • Many competitors offers no such support and import credit card type for the transaction reference only.
  • Most competitive systems require some form of payment up-front before you even import your first order. This is often in the form of separately listed 'setup charges'. Ongoing per/order transaction fees can cost you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in lost profit over time.

Consider the CartSpan value-proposition vs. integrations that ‘just get you by’

Competitive integrations like the ones compared above tend to utilize a common ledger account for items, regardless of how you have them configured on the QuickBooks side. Most businesses classify their products differently for the purpose of analyzing sales. This capability is lost because there is no dynamic interaction with the QuickBooks company file to support this detail in the import.

Also, many competitive integrations do not recognize assembled product types in the QuickBooks system. If you are offering anything other than the basic ‘Inventory Item’ in QuickBooks, you may have difficulties importing them properly into the accounting system from nopCommerce. The CartSpan integration for nopCommerce closes this gap beautifully and even provides advanced support the ‘Group Item’ type in QuickBooks.

Relying upon your integration to help increase your sales has less to do with the order import side of the equation than with the practice of effective stock management between systems. If you have a significant number of products to manage and don’t update availability in AceShop in a timely manner, you are losing significant income opportunities.

Hard Benefits: CartSpan provides a deep integration with both QuickBooks and Sage 50 to provide you with near real-time updates of product availability in your store. So, as soon as you receive stock into the accounting system or accept a new order over the phone, CartSpan sees the new inventory and will pushes an updated quantity-available to nopCommerce. If you are a manufacturer, CartSpan offers a stock management feature that projects how many of an assembled item you can offer based upon supporting stock. See our blog post, Inventory Management for Assembled Product Types, for details on how this feature can increase your earnings.

Soft Benefits: Don’t discount the ‘softer’ side of how a good integration can maximize the use of your accounting system. If you are constantly changing, adjusting, or ‘tweaking’ your imports to reflect how you do business, you might ask yourself, Am I really saving that much time? CartSpan is built for QuickBooks and Sage 50 and maximizes integration opportunities of each. These finer points of integration can be found on our Product Features page for order imports as well as for inventory updates.


Though not listed on the nopCommerce site itself, CartSpan is recognized as the top-rated accounting integration on other independently moderated forums.  CartSpan has been offered for nopCommerce since 2012 and user experiences can be found on this nopCommerce forum thread.  Be aware that competitors lower price(s) indicated on the nopCommerce site itself actually represent a ‘per/month’ charge and make no reference to a larger setup fee to get you started.  This ‘per/month’ model greatly increases your total cost of ownership in the long-term. Do the math and do the feature comparison and you will find that CartSpan wins in both value and capability…with no money up-front!

For those not familiar with nopCommerce, it is a ‘Free’ open-source ecommerce software that contains both a catalog front-end and an administration tool back-end. Having been downloaded over 1.5 million times is a clear indication of the popularity and market acceptance of this eCommerce platform.

Here are some hard-to-find features that should be attractive to merchants looking to meet specific business-process needs:

Support for digital products – If you sell downloadable products, such as books or music, nopCommerce supports the sale and licensing of these product types.

Support for configurable products – If you sell a product that involves selection of multiple component options, such as a computer system, nopCommerce supports dynamic configuration of this purchase by the customer.

Pricing by Item/Customer-Group – If you sell Business-to-Business (B2B) and Retail, this is a must-have feature in your eCommerce platform. Surprisingly, not all ‘free’ open-source offerings have this capability. We see many merchants falling into the trap of selecting an attractive overly-simplistic platform (A la WooCommerce, Zen Cart, etc.) that doesn’t support this functionality; then they end-up having to implement an second web-store just to support alternate pricing.

Support for Mobile Commerce – nopCommerce has been designed to be ‘Responsive’, meaning that it basically adapts itself to what ever type of device it is that a customer is shopping from. Whether it is a desktop, tablet, or smart phone, nopCommerce presents an appropriate view to the consumer.

Here are a couple of links to nopCommerce ‘showcase’ sites that, simulate within your Browser, mobile commerce via an iPhone:

Merchant Website Browser View Mobile View
DH Care (skin care products) Click Here Click Here
Online Sheet Music (digital download) Click Here Click Here

Additional nopCommerce showcase sites can be found HERE!

nopCommerce is FAST! – This is less of a feature than it is about performance. Having done integrations with many other shopping carts, we can attest to the highly normalized architecture of the nopCommerce database. The word ‘normalized’ will only have meaning to ‘Geek’ types, but it basically means that the database is designed in such a way as to minimize the number queries required to get things done and present pages to shoppers.

If our summary of critical features has peaked your interest, you can find additional detail below, or on the nopCommerce website itself HERE!:


nopCommerce is the leading open source shopping cart, allowing people to set up an online store quickly and easily.

One key feature of the nopCommerce is its pluggable modular/layered architecture which allows additional functionality and presentation elements to be dynamically added to the application at run-time. This pluggable modularized architecture makes it easy to create and manage your web sites.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce, also known as M-Commerce or mCommerce, is the ability to conduct commerce using a mobile device, such as a mobile phone.

There's no question that mobile web use is on the rise. Recent reports tell us that cellular networks worldwide are seeing major increases in growth. According to comScore, up to November 2011 there were 38 percent of smartphone owners have used their phone to make a purchase at least once.

It is time to make sure that you have a mobile strategy in store that'll give you maximum exposure across all platforms. The possibilities of this sector are enormous to take things head-on and be at the cutting edge of mobile ecommerce development.

nopCommerce allows you to create a mobile version of your website through an intuitive and user-friendly graphical user interface with just one click. Best of all nopCommerce Mobile is a free and available out of the box.

nopCommerce Mobile works on any connected device, without requiring extra development or add-ons, regardless of device type. The application, which renders a device-aware shopping experience, delivers a compelling, feature rich and graphically pleasing storefront and provides a means for retailers to immediately deliver relevant offers, promotions and products to increase sales and drive business across all channels, no matter what device the consumers are using.


The multi-store feature enables you to run more than one store from a single nopCommerce installation.

This enables you to host more than one front-end store on different domains and manage all admin operations from your single Administration panel. You can share catalog data between stores, have a product in more than one store for example, and your customers can login to all of your stores using the same credentials.

With multi-store support you can launch several online stores using a single integrated system. You can create unique online stores for multiple brands, products, B2B, B2C, affiliates, co-branded stores and more. You can also quickly launch micro-stores for promotional campaigns. Best of all, every online store shares a single database.


Multi-vendor and drop shipping support enables you to sell online without having to stock inventory or ship orders. When drop shipping is enabled, each product is assigned to a particular vendor whose details (including email address) are stored.

When an order is placed an email is sent to the vendor of each product in the order. The email includes the products, quantities, etc. The vendor then ships the item to the customer on behalf of the merchant, who typically pays each of their vendors at the end of the month.

Products from multiple independent vendors appear in the common product catalog and your website visitors can shop at one web store even if your products are supplied by hundreds of different vendors from all over the world. Each vendor could be provided with an administrator panel access to manage their products, review sales reports and order details regarding their products. Vendors do not interfere with each other's activity.

When a sale is made, all money will go straight to your account. Afterward, a store owner will manually distribute a payment to each vendor according to the order history.

Each vendor has its own admin panel where he can manage his catalog and see placed orders.


Product attributes. Create as many attributes for your products as you like, such as size and color — each with its own SKU, price, weight, image and stock level. Customer can add text options on products for customers to fill in, such as initials for monogrammed products. Customer can even upload files, such as print photo.

Product comparison. Comparing products, options, and features side by side removes the guess work away from the customer, and facilitates its research, improving the time, and odds of adding the selection to cart.

Stock management. Our inventory management allows store owners to discern physical stock and available quantities. You can easily manage backorder and pre-order status for each product. Multiple warehouses supported. Partial deliveries are also supported. And stock management by product attributes (such as, color and size).

Prices. Individual prices can be specified for individual customer groups. You can allow customers to enter product price (e.g. donation products). Or allow store owner to hide prices for non-registered customers. nopCommerce also supports "Sale" prices and "Call for price" options.

Downloadable products. Selling downloadable products such as music files and ebooks can be a great enhancement to your online store. nopCommerce supports license attachments and user agreements for such products. A store owner can choose a download activation type: "When order payment status is Paid" or "Manual activation".

Product reviews and ratings. Product reviews is one of the best forms of marketing. Asking for feedback on products gives customers a voice and lets others know what people think about your products. nopCommerce also supports review helpfulness feature (“Was this review helpful for you?”)

And a lot of other product features:

  • Supports categories and manufacturers
  • Rental products
  • Bundle (e.g. Build your own computer) and grouped products
  • Recurring Products
  • Product tags
  • RMA (return management)
  • Supports multiple images per product
  • Featured products, sale products or new products
  • Disable buy buttons for specific products
  • Product specifications (e.g. processor, memory, graphic card)
  • Related product and cross-sells
  • Security. ACL (access control list) on products, categories, and manufacturers.
  • "Email a friend" feature
  • Products can require that other products are added to the cart (Product X requires Product Y)
  • Catalog mode (based on customer role)
  • Real-time currency exchange rates (ECB)
  • Configurable measure weights and dimensions
  • Import and export
  • Bulk editing
  • etc
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in search engine results. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine. Our search engine optimization gives you higher search rankings, meaning more free traffic to your store.

Search engine friendly. nopCommerce combines all the features necessary to improve SEO efforts. A store owner has full access for managing of keyword tags and customized URLs. This will give your site more weight with Google when it comes to ranking your site against similar sites.

Sitemap. There are two popular versions of a site map. nopCommerce supports both of them. An XML Sitemap is a structured format that a user doesn't need to see, but it tells the search engine about the pages in a site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated. HTML sitemaps are designed for the user to help them find content on the page, and don't need to include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.

Microdata. Integrating microdata into your website's code offers a number of potential advantages. First, microdata can give the search-engine spiders more context for the type of information on a website and the way the site should be indexed and ranked. Another benefit of microdata is the creation of "rich snippets," which display more information on the search result pages than traditional listings. nopCommerce also supports Twitter and Open Graph (Facebook) META tags.

Localizable URLs. nopCommerce allow a store onwer to localize URLs. URL localization increases the chances of matching search results in other cultures/languages.

Breadcrumbs. Google is integrating breadcrumbs navigation within the search engine results page which actually makes your listing look more attractive and trustworthy. . Also when it comes to huge websites, breadcrumbs can be a great way to help users identify where they are located.

URL Canonicalization. The canonicalization used to reduce indexing of duplicate pages and make the site more crawlable by setting a store URL to the canonical (preferred) URL for each category and product pages.

Google Analytics integration. nopCommerce is integrated with Google Analytics. Ecommerce transaction tracking automatically connects your Google Analytics web usage data with customer transactions.


Anonymous checkout. The anonymous checkout feature allows customers to check out without creating an account. Many customers prefer this as it allows them to get through checkout more quickly.

Checkout attributes. At checkout you can provide customers with various options. For example, gift wrap their items or personalize with messages.

One-page checkout. One-page checkout functionality dramatically reduces the steps required in the checkout process. By making checkout easier for customers, you will increase your revenue and conversion rate.

And a lot of other features:
  • Phone order support
  • Multilingual and multicurrency support
  • Configurable measure weights and dimensions
  • SSL support (secure browsing and checkout)
  • SMS notifications
  • PDF order receipts
  • Mini shopping cart
  • etc

Reward Points System. The rewards points program allows you to offer points per dollar spent on your store. The customer can then redeem the points for additional products at your store.

Import products to Facebook. Get integrated with Facebook in just a few simple steps and start selling to Facebook users today.

Supports related products. Displaying related products is a wonderful tool to "up-sell" customers while they browse a product's page or before checkout.

Discounts and coupons. Discount amount can either be a fixed value or a percent off. e.g. $10.00 off or 20% off. You can specify a start date and an end date when the coupon is valid. Discounts can be assigned to products, entire category, shipping, or order total. Discounts can be filtered by a customer role. We also support quantity discounts (tier prices). 'One time only' and 'One time per customer' discounts. We also support various discount requirements (e.g. 'Had purchased one of these product variants' or 'Spent amount').

Newsletter subscriptions. nopCommerce allows your customers to subscriber to newsletters. nopCommerces offers a tool for creating your own custom newsletters and email campaigns. It can also be integrated with third-party newsletter services (e.g. MailChimp).

Content. nopCommerce supports news, blog, forums, polls, and custom pages (topics).

Gift cards. Gift cards functionality is something that every merchant needs, no matter if running an online or offline business. nopCommerce supports two types of gift cards: gifts cards delivered via e-mail (Virtual) and classic gift cards to be sent via post office (Physical).

Product reviews and ratings. Product reviews is one of the best forms of marketing. Asking for feedback on products gives customers a voice and lets others know what people think about your products. nopCommerce also supports review helpfulness feature (“Was this review helpful for you?”)

Product comparison sites. nopCommerce is fully integrated with all major products feeds - Google Shopping, PriceGrabber and Yahoo Shopping, become.com

Affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a a store owner rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.

Payment Methods

nopCommerce allows you to accept all major credit and debit cards. Every country has its own payment preference, that's why nopCommerce allows you to limit payment methods per country.

Store can be set to authorize only, or auth-capture credit card mode. You can then capture payment at shipment if desired. nopCommerce also supports refund (and partial refund) and void functionality.

nopCommerce is integrated with more than 50 payment methods and gateways:

  • Cash on delivery or Pay in store
  • Purchase order
  • Checks / money order
  • Manual gateway (just collects order & payment information for offline processing)
  • AliPay
  • Amazon
  • ANZ
  • Authorize.NET
  • Beanstream
  • bKash
  • Braintree
  • Buckaroo
  • CCAvenue
  • Cybersource
  • E-xact
  • EBS
Shipping Methods

Calculation. Store can be configured for free shipping over $X. A store owner can configure shipping rates based on order weight or order totals. A store owner can also specify additional shipping charges per product. A store owner can create shipping discounts (percent or fixed amount). Customer groups can be marked as free shipping.

nopCommerce allows you to limit available shipping methods per country. Also we support "no shipping required" products (e.g. services).

Addresses. nopCommerce also allows your customers to give two different addresses for billing and shipping, so they can easily send items as gifts.

Estimate shipping. It helps customers to estimate shipping cost before the checkout process start. Customers just enter country, state and zip code information, it will show available shipping options and each estimated cost.

Shipping methods. A store owner can define custom shipping methods (e.g. Ground, Next Day, 2nd Day, etc) or use popular shipping carriers (e.g. UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc). nopCommerces is integrated with major shipping carriers. Your customers can choose their preferred carrier based on experience, price, or destination.
  • UPS
  • USPS
  • FedEx
  • Australia Post
  • Canada Post
  • etc

Packaging slips. Also multiple shipments per order are supported. Tracking numbers are supported, so customers can easily track where shipments are located right now.

Tax Features

Tax calculations in nopCommerce offer a considerable amount of flexibility to meet your store's legal requirements, your preferences, and the expectations of your customers. Store owners can manage all setting and details in admin website by easily.

Tax features list:

  • Configure taxes by country, state, zip
  • Individual products can be marked taxable or tax-exempt
  • Tax classes supported by product (e.g. goods, services, alcohol, etc)
  • Some customer groups can be marked as tax exempt
  • The European Union Value Added Tax (EU VAT) support (Company VAT Number)
  • Allow store owner to specify "tax based on" setting: billing/shipping/default/shipping origin address
  • Allow store owner to specify whether prices are entered including or exluding tax
  • Allow customer to choose tax display type (incl/excl tax)
  • Allow a store owner to specify tax display type (incl/excl tax)
  • Allow store owner to specify whether shipping is taxable
  • StrikeIron integration
  • Avalara integration
Customer Service

Customer attributes. You're allowed to enable or disable any built-in customer attribute (e.g. Country or Address fields). You can also add any other custom attribute specific for business.

External authentication.. Allow your customers to register and login using such as OpenID, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Security and permissions. A store owner can configure specific rules and permissions for users. Perhaps you want to only allow some employees to edit products or view order statistics.

Wishlist. Wishlist enables customers to store products for purchasing at a later time.

RTL support. RTL means Right-To-Left and it's for users who uses a different alphabet in their languages and far than that, they read & write from another direction. For example, Persian, Arabic, Jewish.

EU cookie law. Effective from May 2012 the EU (European Union) cookie law requires websites to gain permission from users, before planting cookies.

And a lot of other features:

  • Web Services API
  • Allow customers to register/login by email or by username
  • Customers can view their order history and order statuses
  • Customer has an address book
  • Customer roles (groups)
  • Live chat integration
  • Customizable order emails
  • Private messages
  • Time zone support
  • Password recovery
  • Several account registration/activation types such as automatic registration, email validation, or admin approval.
  • Image capture on login/registration
  • Contact us form
  • Customer activity log
  • etc