The Complete Guide to eCommerce Development 2024

Expanding CS-Cart Beyond the Basics: When It’s Time for CS-Cart Customization?

When It’s Time for Custom Development?

Let’s dive into the world of custom development for CS-Cart using real-life examples from our awesome clients! CS-Cart is a perfect eCommerce platform that’s widely loved for its functionality and versatility in powering online stores across the globe. With a whopping 500+ default features and a bunch of CMS editions to suit different business models, plus a marketplace for extra add-ons, CS-Cart is a powerhouse.

But, here’s the deal – sometimes the standard CS-Cart setup just doesn’t cut it for businesses. That’s when you need some custom tweaks to make your store stand out. Darcy, Sales Team Lead at Simtech Development, is here to shed light on when it’s time to go custom.

Imagine you’re running an online store, and you’re wondering if tweaking the standard CS-Cart features will do the trick or if you need that extra touch of custom development. It can be a bit confusing at first, especially with all those basic add-ons (like a hundred of them!) that CS-Cart offers. You’d think they cover everything, right? Well, not completely.

Every online business is unique with its own sales processes, and vision of how things should run. That’s where individual development steps in – to cater to your store’s specific needs and make it truly yours.

When it comes to custom development, think of it in four key areas:

  • Getting that killer design and user experience that screams your brand.
  • Tailoring your store to fit your comprehensive business processes.
  • Integrating with other services or systems to take your store to the next level.
  • Boosting performance and security, who doesn’t want a top-notch site?

Stay tuned as we unpack these CS-Cart customizations with some cool examples to show you how it’s done in style!

Unique Design

In the default version of CS-Cart, there are 2 design themes available: Brightness and Responsive. They can be customized in terms of block placement, font styles, header and text sizes, colors, backgrounds, product scroll options, and more. And let’s not forget, each page can be tailored uniquely! This flexibility allows for a wide range of interface variations to suit any type of business.

Simtech Development’s portfolio boasts over 5000 international projects, with the majority of them crafted using standard themes. Among them is the Hungarian marketplace Perfect Nails.

Perfect Nails marketplace

However, there are companies out there that prefer to create a unique design for their online store. This need arises from the desire to:

  • Have an app with a one-of-a-kind look,
  • Adhere to the organization’s brand guidelines,
  • Create a design that closely resembles that of another existing system, like a brand website or a mobile app.

In this scenario, we’re talking about custom development because the client-side of the app will need to be designed from scratch. Frontend developers will craft a new website interface and code pages based on provided layouts. And if those layouts aren’t available, a web designer will step in to sketch out various options, allowing the client to make adjustments until they’re satisfied. It’s quite a meticulous process and doesn’t always happen quickly. For instance, our team dedicated around 4 months of work to creating over 100 mockups for the owner of the Halalo halal food marketplace.

Halalo marketplace

Business Process Features

Not every eCommerce website platform can boast the same rich functionality as CS-Cart. As a compelling argument, check out the article: Best eCommerce Platforms for Developers. The potential of CS-Cart allows not only for uploading product catalogs and conducting buying and selling operations, but also for managing electronic document flow, obtaining statistics and reports, setting up marketing campaigns, handling returns and abandoned carts, maintaining a blog, launching loyalty programs, and much more.

So, a valid question arises: if the platform is so functional, why does it need modifications? The answer is simple: by default, it cannot encompass the entire spectrum of functionality that aligns with the company’s business processes. Think about it – an eco-friendly goods’ online store requires one set of features, while a B2B marketplace dealing in metal products requires something entirely different. This is where the need for creating custom functions and features tailored to the specific business comes into play.

Modifications themselves can range from simple to complex. Simple ones may include an additional filter, image scrolling in product previews, setting up a bonus system for customers, and more.

A quite common client request is to add a “Buy in One Click” function: this allows customers to go directly to the checkout page, bypassing the step of adding the item to the cart. Following this principle, we installed a “Buy Now” button on the pages of the Dominican marketplace Shopmundo.

Shopmundo marketplace

Or take another example: at the request of an online store selling car tires and rims, we added a video call feature so that the store manager could showcase products to the customer “face-to-face.”

Custom modifications can vary widely. Here are just a few examples of what the Simtech Development team has implemented over the past year:

  • changing the cost calculation of products based on the locations of the store and customer and delivery method,
  • adding insurance to the cost of an item,
  • holding funds, meaning “freezing” the purchase amount in the user’s account and sending it to the seller after the product is received,
  • implementing gamification on the site,
  • adding an internal voting function on various issues for online business owners.

When it comes to more complex customizations, they typically involve creating new add-ons and services that reflect an entire organization’s business strategy. Modifications may involve optimizing dealer and seller operations, managing multiple warehouses, and changing the order processing logic. The latter is a common occurrence, since every business sells its products and services in its unique way.

In the out-of-the-box version of CS-Cart, the transaction process follows the standard procedure: the buyer adds items to the cart, and the seller sees it in the admin panel, processing the order. But what if a business owner needs orders to be automatically distributed to specific managers? For example, based on customers’ regions, purchase volume (retail or wholesale), customer category (first-time buyer, regular partner, VIP customer)?

For an international B2C marketplace selling hydraulic equipment, we completely revamped the order processing logic. The platform acquired B2B portal functions because the owners aimed to attract dealers. Customer orders were distributed based on territorial criteria: the system now offers users purchase options from 3 suppliers whose warehouses are within a 50 km radius of the delivery address.

We also created geo-dependent storefronts on the trading platform so that users from different regions see relevant warehouse options. This means the marketplace automatically adjusts to the buyer’s region and offers products from distributors in their region and nearby regions.

Another example of complex modification is a multi-product marketplace Numart in Nigeria. As envisioned by the business owners, it was meant to function as both a trading platform and a credit system, allowing customers to buy expensive products on installment plans. Simtech Development developers ensured that at the final stage of order processing, the credit calculation was automatically included. If needed, the user could apply for a loan, receive the product, and pay for it in installments.

Numart marketplace

Read more: Numartng Case Study

Custom development is also in demand by companies with complex logistics chains. For example, for our client who operates an international business providing lighting equipment to customers, we depicted the product’s journey on the website from the seller to the dealer and ultimately to the end customer, considering international transit, customs clearance, potential blockages, and cargo interception between carrier warehouses. Now, monitoring the delivery of goods has become transparent and convenient.

Integration with External Systems

Integration involves connecting and synchronizing an online store or marketplace with other software or services. This enhances customer interaction and improves overall business management efficiency. Online stores most commonly are integrated with payment gateways, delivery services, inventory management systems, ERP, and CRM. By default, CS-Cart is integrated with many popular payment systems. However, customers often request additional integrations. For example, for A peer-to-peer marketplace with crypto payments we developed a Coinpayment crypto payment gateway add-on to add the ability to accept payments via this system.

Read more: Cryptoemporium Case Study

When it comes to delivery services, CS-Cart works with DHL, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Setting up interactions with these services is straightforward: the administrator can set automatic cost calculation based on regional factors or manually specify surcharges for each order. However, for many clients, we enhance CS-Cart’s standard functionality so that the system automatically sends requests to services like DHL and the information filled in by service specialists is automatically linked to the order. This streamlines transaction processing and optimizes the purchasing process effectively.

Recently, there has been a growing demand for services that create shipping labels – labels with QR codes and information about the shipment, sender, and recipient. These labels are used to mark packages to ensure correct and efficient delivery of goods. While this feature is currently unavailable in CS-Cart, there is a shipping cost calculation via API. This function can easily be expanded by adding label printing.

In general, various systems can be integrated – from analytics tools to blockchain technologies, and Simtech Development has experience in such cases as well.

Another important point: integration may not only involve embedding external services into an eCommerce project, but also incorporating the store itself into the company’s ecosystem. For example, our developers found a solution to unify marketplace user data with the company’s shared database. Customers and sellers gained access to the website, radio station, payment account, loyalty program, and referral system for 50 thousand organizations.

Read more: 8 Systems and Solutions to Integrate Into Your Online Store

Website Data Security and Performance

eCommerce demands high security standards for websites and all data received and processed during customer order processing. The CS-Cart team is constantly working to ensure platform protection from unauthorized access. Developers provide online store owners with detailed instructions on necessary actions (which appear directly in the admin panel), advise on enabling specific settings, and provide activation keys for necessary scripts. There is functionality that allows for removing all HTML tags, cutting out “dangerous” HTML tags and JavaScript code from user-entered data.

However, cybercriminal tactics are also evolving. Hacker attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and data leaks are becoming less noticeable.

Read more: Things to Consider While Keeping Your Online Project Secure.

Often, online business owners turn to Simtech Development for comprehensive website audits or the development of additional security measures for their sites. As solutions, our team offers:

  • Code review. Code review involves inspecting code for potential vulnerabilities, cleanliness, and compliance with platform developers’ established standards. It helps identify holes in the code that could pose a data leak threat.
  • Specialized hosting for online stores on CS-Cart. Our team installs filters, firewalls, and malicious attack detection systems. We monitor traffic and watch for suspicious activity with timely blocking of requests from dangerous sources – all within a 15-minute response time 24/7.


CS-Cart is a platform for launching online stores and marketplaces that is popular not only for its rich functionality, but also for its ability to be customized to meet individual business requirements. The engine is highly adaptable and integrates well with additional modules that cater to entrepreneurs’ diverse needs.

Since 2005, Simtech Development has worked closely with CS-Cart. Over this time, our team has accumulated vast experience and expertise in configuring and modifying platform functionality. We have also mastered the best world practices for developing custom solutions for eCommerce projects, including on platforms like CS-Cart.

If you have tasks such as creating a unique design for an online store, conducting complex synchronization with external systems and services, expanding the store’s business logic, or enhancing customer data security – we are here to help! Contact us; we’ll help make your eCommerce project truly vibrant, efficient, and secure!