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Creating an Online Store for Digital Goods with CS-Cart: A Guide to Setup and Cost Estimation 

CS-Cart stands out as a leading e-commerce platform, catering to the launch of various online businesses, from basic children’s goods stores to complex event marketplaces. This versatile platform facilitates the sale of both physical and digital products. Having covered the essential information regarding the sale of digital products and the selection of a website in our previous article, we will now delve into the process of establishing a straightforward online store on the CS-Cart platform for selling digital goods. We will address the necessary requirements to begin, the series of steps to follow, and an approximation of the total costs involved.


CS-Cart is a popular ecommerce platform that can be utilized to build a website selling demo access to cash gambling games. Some popular cash gambling games that can be offered include:

  • Aviator – This is a crash-type game where players bet on how long a virtual airplane will fly before it crashes. The longer the flight, the higher the potential payout.
  • Space XY – A spaceship flying game where players cash out before the spaceship crashes. This game has a space exploration theme and multiplying payouts.
  • Aviatrix – A medium volatility crash game featuring an aviation theme and NFT integration, allowing players to customize planes.
  • Magnify Man – A superhero-themed gambling game featuring expanding symbols and focusing on instant wins.
  • JetX – A fast-paced crash game featuring a jet plane theme and elements of skill-based gambling.

Steps to Create the Gambling Games Website

  1. Install CS-Cart and activate a gaming demo data addon which contains base templates for a gambling site.
  2. Create product categories for each type of cash gambling game offered. Configure category settings.
  3. Add each gambling game as a digital product within the appropriate categories. Enter product descriptions, pricing plans, demo access details, and media.
  4. Setup online payment methods to allow visitors to purchase demo access or play money for the games.
  5. Design the frontend of the site through templates and skins to have a gambling aesthetic.
  6. Add dynamic blocks and widgets to promote top games and new additions.
  7. Configure shipping and order management rules for digital fulfillment.
  8. Launch the site and continue adding new cash gambling games over time to expand the offerings.
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6 Essential Steps for Establishing a Digital Goods Online Store

  1. Platform Selection: Selecting a platform with robust functionality, scalability, customization, security, and support for digital goods is critical for the project’s success. CS-Cart is recommended due to its extensive digital goods selling capabilities, open-source flexibility, and resilience under high loads.
  2. MVP Development: Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with essential functionality enables a quick market launch to identify the target audience for future expansion. Prioritizing core store features in the initial phase is crucial for accessibility and simplicity.
  3. Prototyping: Employing prototyping as a mandatory stage ensures the identification and rectification of inaccuracies before integrating the design, minimizing project delays.
  4. Design Development: The creation of website pages is based on the prototypes, incorporating unique store features that differentiate it from competitors and optimize user experience and behavior.
  5. Development: Post-MVP and prototype creation, core feature development involves coding, algorithm creation, integration with third-party services, and payment gateway connections, leveraging CS-Cart’s default marketing tools and extensive payment system support.
  6. Testing and Launch: Step-by-step testing to minimize errors, parallelism for early error correction, and final testing precedes the market launch of the online store.

This comprehensive plan outlines the ideal approach for establishing an online store or digital marketplace that meets diverse business needs. Whether it’s launching an online school, publishing agency, digital art gallery, NFT platform, or music marketplace, we are here to support your venture. If you have a small project and require a simple online store, cost-effective ready-made solutions can help save time and resources. Below, we will detail the essential requirements for launch and associated costs.

Why CS-Cart is Suitable for Digital Goods

CS-Cart inherently supports the sale of digital goods, allowing for the establishment of a niche store or an entire marketplace for downloadable products.

Other Benefits of CS-Cart:

  • Swiftly download and configure digital products.

To initiate sales, it is necessary to download and set up a digital product using the administrative panel. CS-Cart offers the capability to configure diverse product characteristics and variations, as well as to establish rules for product display on catalog pages.

Furthermore, this functionality is applicable for service provision as well. For instance, if you operate an online store specializing in household appliances and seek to enable the online ordering and payment for equipment installation or repair services, CS-Cart allows for the seamless integration of services, treating them similarly to digital goods but with the option to disable delivery.

Adding a digital product from the admin panel
Adding a digital product from the admin panel

Just activate the downloadable products feature in your settings. You can establish a time limit for product loading and authorize customers to download the product immediately after full payment or according to the seller’s preference. Alternatively, you can provide a comprehensive description of the service without attaching a downloadable file.

  • Efficient management.

CS-Cart offers a comprehensive set of tools for order management, enabling the use of various payment systems and the selection of suitable methods to deliver digital goods to the buyer. For instance, you can choose to deliver a digital product in the traditional way, provide unlimited file access, or set a specific period for download key availability.

  • Accurate product pages.

In CS-Cart, you can customize detailed descriptions and additional attributes for digital products. The standard product card features reviews and ratings, as well as photos and video reviews to enhance conversion. Providing thorough and current information on the product card enhances customer trust in the store and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases.

  • Analytics and reporting.

CS-Cart gathers detailed analytics and reports on sales, visits, and other crucial metrics for your store, facilitating well-informed decision-making.

  • Seamless and rapid communication.

CS-Cart incorporates a dedicated Message Center to consolidate all client communications, including order clarifications, questions about products, and other inquiries. Integration with the Retail CRM system, as well as the option to set up a Telegram chat and an SMS notification system, ensures that no customer query goes unanswered.

  • Unique functionalities for digital products.

As an illustration, for the sale of NFTs, the “Auction” add-on can be utilized. Buyers have the ability to monitor auctions and receive email notifications, or opt to purchase a token without engaging in the auction. The auction conditions are entirely customizable, and the process is conducted automatically. Notifications are sent to participants, guests, and administrators, and the entire auction history is retained.

Should certain features prove insufficient or specific integrations be required, we can enhance the functionality of CS-Cart to align with your individual needs.

Requirements and Minimum Costs for Getting Started

If you currently have an existing website or a presence on a social network, you can leverage your content to promptly establish a CS-Cart online store. When the need arises to expand, you have the option to enhance the basic functionality with any components that may be lacking.

For instance, if you’re an artist aiming to sell downloadable prints through your own website, the minimum requirements would include:

1. License

The license fee for CS-Cart Store Builder Plus is $1,350.00, designed for a basic store with a single domain. The price for CS-Cart Store Builder Ultimate is $4,500.00, suitable for managing multiple storefronts or online stores from a single panel.

2. Hosting and domain

The cost of hosting and domains varies based on the type and length of the hosting plan, domain registration, and additional services. Shared hosting plans often cost between $2 to $7 per month, while VPS hosting can range from $5 to $20 per month. Dedicated hosting can cost anywhere from $10 to $400 or more per month, depending on the resources needed. Domain registration costs around $10 to $15 per year, but this can vary based on the top-level domain (TLD) and length of registration.

It’s essential to compare prices and services from different providers to find the best hosting and domain plan that fits your needs and budget. Keep in mind that as the project grows, you will need more hosting resources, which means the cost will be higher.

3. Design theme and uniqueness

An exclusive design theme will set your store apart from competitors. You can tailor store pages to complement your digital products, incorporate eye-catching banners, and adjust the appearance of menus, sections, and more. The starting cost for a theme is $119.00. Select from CS-Cart Themes and Templates.

If the pre-made design does not sufficiently accentuate the uniqueness of your online store, customization of specific design elements can be requested. In this case, the total cost will encompass the services of a designer (from $30 per hour) and a frontend developer (from $40-45 per hour).

4. Customized modifications or add-ons

The hourly rate for a backend developer begins from $50-60. If complex modifications are unnecessary, you can enhance your online store using add-ons. These are designed to address specific issues, such as the “Auction” add-on, with costs starting from $30.

As observed, in our experience, swift launches of online stores, even with modifications, can fit within a budget of $900 to $1,400.

For expansive marketplaces and trading platforms featuring a substantial volume of digital goods, distinct licensing and modifications will be necessary. In such instances, we recommend commencing with MVP versions of CS-Cart Multi-Vendor. This approach allows for the swift creation of a project, subsequently enabling gradual complexity enhancements and cost savings on unnecessary add-ons.

Examples of successful platforms for selling digital content.

To summarize, the process of creating an online store for digital goods using CS-Cart involves several essential steps, starting from platform selection and culminating in the testing and launch of the store. CS-Cart’s suitability for digital goods is due to its comprehensive features, including efficient management, accurate product pages, analytics, reporting, and unique functionalities for digital products such as auctions. The minimum costs associated with setting up such a store include the CS-Cart license fee, hosting and domain costs, design theme, and uniqueness expenses, as well as customized modifications or add-ons.

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Ksenia Cheburova , Cart-Power Editor
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