Setting a new online shop can be a daunting task with many options available for both free and paid shopping carts. I have implemented various shopping carts from bespoke systems to advanced Magento Commerce installations for my clients and here are some options when considering setting up a new online shop.
WooCommerce is a free shopping cart for WordPress with various premium add-ons that enhance both the shopping cart and backend admin section. Out of the box it can handle lots of payment gateways using multi-currency payments and can be extended to offer recurring payments for subscription products. If you are looking at starting a small scale operation with extensive publishing features then I recommend using WordPress in conjunction with WooCommerce as you will have a nimble platform from which to grow your business.
The WP-Ecommerce WordPress plugin provides similar functionality to WooCommerce but is slightly harder to implement custom features for when developing bespoke functionality. I have clients who use this plugin but my general advice is to consider WooCommerce if you are starting a new online shop.
Drupal can be configured for ecommerce using various modules that provide shopping carts and payment gateways integrations. This can provide a very powerful publishing and ecommerce platform that competes directly with WordPress in terms of features and adaptability for the future growth of your business.
Magento is available as both a free open source download, an online service and an enterprise software license, that latter costs a lot of money but is worth the investment for larger retailers who need top notch security. Magento is used by many high-profile retailers such as Huawei, Harvey Nichols, Made.com, Liverpool FC, etc. Adoption of Magento was rapid since its first beta release and the software is now one of the most widely used ecommerce platforms on the internet. Magento provides advanced e-commerce functionality and is built to scale, and although you won't get the editorial flexibility of blending content with ecommerce products provided by using WordPress or Drupal; you will get a serious ecommerce platform that is built to last.
I have to mention Shopify as it used by lots of small businesses but is only available on a subscription basis - it is a SaaS product. It is ideal for people and businesses wanting a cheap online shop with lots of features. Due to the product being online only (the same applies to most SaaS products), you will never be able to fully customise all aspects of the shopping experience and will eventually hit a brick wall which will force you to adopt a different ecommerce platform.
If you need any help or advice regarding a new online shop then get in touch and I will do my best to assist you.