eCommerce Marathon | Part 2 | Zen Cart

We are glad to announce another integration of the Zen Cart module into JO1N. Now, any merchant operating via Zen Cart will benefit from higher sales & conversion. 

In today’s time, there is numerous open-source and e-commerce software available. It is a hard task to define the clear winner among the platforms as each has its pros and cons, however, in this article, you will hopefully find some good overview and features that make it a preferred choice for the developers and online marketers to choose to build a successful online store or Zen Shopping Cart

Zen Cart is a fork of osCommerce (read our OsCommerce article to learn more), German e-commerce, and online store management tool. In addition to the front-end aesthetic changes, Zen Cart includes many features once lacking from osCommerce, the most important of which is that the templating system allowing easy production of comparable or identical pages.

Over time, Zen Cart has received three major releases, also as a few minor releases. The last known update regarding updates to the present product from the event team came to call in mid-2016.

While Zen Cart customisation requires quite a bit of technical knowledge, this platform is meant to cut down the time you spend you spend on the front-end, both regarding creating your product pages, also as management of your inventory. Zen Cart’s advanced templating system makes it easy for you to churn out very similar (if not identical) pages on the fly.

Who can use it?

One will be able to get a hold of a highly efficient and functional advanced online management store with this software. It is a user-friendly software that allows managing the best online shopping or Zen cart websites. One can manage all the information regarding different products, prices, and newsletters. It allows transactions through credit cards efficiently and effortlessly. It allows multiple options in language support, customer modes, and displays along with other quality facilities like discount coupons, gift certificates and newsletter management. The key goal of this platform is to offer business owners a simple eCommerce solution that makes store creation and maintenance easy.

The Product Catalog

While Zen Cart is not a full e-commerce offering, rather a shopping cart add-on, but it still offers a product catalogue feature, which, by the way, can be easily integrated with JO1N’s payment solution. This allows you to display your products, arrange, and offer links to products listed elsewhere. The product catalogue supports multiple languages and multiple categories, which is very convenient if you do business with customers across multiple geographies.

You don’t have to possess any advanced JS or HTML skills to create and manage your product catalogue or shopping cart. Using the Admin area, you can choose the widths of your display areas, enable/disable links and where do you want sideboxes to appear. However, if you are a professional web developer, you can edit the source files for more granular tuning over your Zen Cart implementation.



Since Zen Cart is an open-source platform, users can customize the product as they see fit. There aren’t any features that are set in stone, so to speak, and customers get the perks of having an installation bundle with the ability to modify things to enhance their business processes. Such customization can occur on the front-end, where you’re adding plug-ins and add-ons created by yourself or by others and shared online or on the back-end, where you’re modifying the source.

Easy integration

Zen Cart comes with built-in support for integrating with many payment processors (remember, Zen Cart is only a shopping cart, not a full suite supporting all aspects of the checkout process). However, if the payment processor you’re using isn’t supported, you can add a custom module to correct this. Dozens of community-contributed payment & lending modules can be easily integrated.

Standard tools

Works with many hosting companies and can be used with your custom domain: when choosing a hosting provider, your options are large in number since Zen Cart runs on commonly-used components, such as PHP, Apache, and MySQL. Additionally, your shopping carts URL won’t be registered to someone else’s sub-domain; it’ll be accessible from a domain of your choice. Unlike bundled packages, you can mix and match domain registrars and the web hosting company to create the best fit for your needs.



Zen Cart is open source and free for downloading eCommerce platform. However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so here’s what you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding whether you should go with Zen Cart as your shopping cart solution. If you don’t want to overcome the development challenge on your own, you want to hire an experienced freelance developer. Overall, Zen Card website development and hosting are cheaper compared to Instacart or Magento, while online store support requires a less human touch.


Overall pros of the platform

  • Easy: it is an online store and can be easily managed and modified even by non-technical users.
  • Advertisement: numerous ad banner controllers.
  • Logistics: there are multiple shipping and payment options and an automatic calculator for shipping charges and taxes.
  • Display modes: there are different display modes along with sales and discounts.
  • Flexibility: Zen Cart templates offer flexible customisation capabilities: buttons, analytics, marketing tools, language packs, payment modules and pricing tools.


Zen Cart engine is a great solution for your online store, as it includes the majority of modules necessary for successful growth in online sales. However, due to the quite complex engine structure compared to Shopify or Wix, advanced usage of Zen Cart might require more time and aspiration. 

Despite Zen Cart is not the most flexible and up-to-date merchant solution, still, it offers a fairly decent user experience, browsing and purchasing products is easy, so is rating and reviewing products. Overall OS Commerce is a good option if you need a simple store that’s easy to administer.

JO1N x Zen Cart

JO1N team has recently created a Zen Cart integration module allowing merchants to embed lending gateway into the checkout process. Integrating our solution into your store processes will help:

  • Enable having multiple lenders at one back end & near to instant approval for your customers. The more banks, the higher the approval rate and higher sales
  • JO1N partners experience up to 35% growth in sales, up to 50% increase in order value, and up to 50% increase in repurchase rate.
  • In-built powerful dashboard to manage all your transactions and processing in a single place.

When and how can I install the module?

JO1N us on our journey and sign up to the mailing list to learn about our progress. Currently, we’re in the progress of integrating the top lenders into our platform and plan to open the doors to buyers and sellers in the next following months.

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