Checkout: RedCart, Photo Cart, Lightbox
By Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
In this month’s print edition of Professional Photographer magazine, I discussed my experiences with three web cart systems for photographers: RedCart, Photo Cart, and Lightbox Photo Gallery. While each cart system is different, they do all accomplish the same end goal—that is, to allow you to sell your images and products online.
To help you get an idea of what each cart will (and will not) do, I’ve compiled features into categories: investment, interface, pricing, products, and setup. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the features these web carts have to offer.
Investment: With a one-time investment upfront for a single domain license, all three carts allow you to benefit from commission-free sales. Depending on which interface you choose, you’ll end up investing anywhere from $329 to $1,099 (see end of article). Photo Cart includes lifetime free upgrades, Lightbox includes free upgrades for one year, and RedCart includes minor upgrades unless you spring for their monthly investment … and then you’ll receive all upgrades.
Interface: All three carts have the capability to display public galleries (or keep them private), e-mail invoices, save client favorites, and even display images in a slideshow. RedCart is the only cart to operate on a Flash-based front end—the other two are HTML-based. Photo Cart and Lightbox both have integrated batch uploading, watermarking, and auto thumbnail generation; the upcoming version of RedCart (soon to be released) relies on a desktop application to accomplish these tasks. Since Lightbox is geared to commercial/stock photography, it has several unique features, including SEO URLs, a multi-photographer manager, and even a keyword search log. Both Photo Cart and Lightbox can display IPTC metadata if that information is present in your image files.
Above: Lightbox Photo Gallery configuration interface and the gallery view for clients. (Click for large view.)
Above: Photo Cart's client gallery. (Click for large view.)
Above: RedCart's client gallery. (Click for large view.)