An open source eCommerce software platform is an application that enables online shops to run their website and sales operations. A best eCommerce software will allow consumers to buy your products from your online store where solutions vary in the level to which they can join and leverage front and back-office applications with both their individual and distributed data. E-commerce platforms produce the unification of essential business processes, where enterprises can gain complete presence over their company and ultimately meeting their most clever customers’ expectations.
Which is the best eCommerce platforms for Small Business?
There are a few of choices out there if you’re considering producing direct sales from your website. Starting an online store is one of the best decisions that entrepreneurs have for launching a startup. However, as simple as it is to begin an online store today, it has become more challenging to choose the best eCommerce platform to influence.
Moreover, many of these platforms offer a variety of pricing to cater to a wide range of eCommerce businesses. Some even have free versions. Despite, lower cost frequently means some special features and add-ons. Businesses with very particular needs might decide they want to pay a little more to ensure they get all the features they need for their eCommerce business.
Day-by-day, the improvement in the eCommerce technology & the increasing competition among online shops have raised the satisfaction that people have about eCommerce platforms. Today, it’s not sufficient just providing easy setup, some degree of customization, and the addition of standard features. Mobile friendliness, social media integration, excellent user experience, search engine optimization, sections for content marketing and consumer support have become a significant need for an online store today.
Self Hosted eCommerce Platform:
When we state self-hosted eCommerce software platforms, we’re relating to a kind of open source applications that demand web hosting to perform. Come up with obtaining a hosting package and installing. Self-hosted eCommerce is a very similar thing. Only, instead of setting up a blog, you’ll be establishing a platform for an e-commerce website.
Pick an e-commerce platform, and you’ll know precisely what you’re obtaining. The most popular open source eCommerce platforms are well-documented, and you and your developer can make any modifications you want. This grants you a level of managing your online store that hosted platforms just cannot meet. If you require more features, you can alternatively find add-ons and extensions to allow them, build them yourself, or hire a developer to make them for you.
Since self-hosted platforms can be build up anywhere, you’re easy to pick your required hosting service. Not being connected to a centralized service means you can run your shop if you discard your provider or find a much better contract elsewhere. It may seem complicated, but nowadays many hosts, including us, will assist you set things up.
Self-hosted platforms seem pretty good, right? However, you shouldn’t comprise your mind just yet. Let’s move on to discussing best self-hosted e-commerce platform before falling to any conclusions.
Best Self Hosted eCommerce Software Platform:
- Zen Cart
Magento is the leading open source platform for commerce technology. Known as the best commerce platform to the 2015 Internet Retailer Top 1000, B2B 300, and Europe 500 lists, Magento functions hand-in-hand with the world’s largest retailers, brands, and branded manufacturers over B2C and B2B enterprises.
There is no other platform provides you the ability to create a unique, unlimited, and engaging shopping experience. Enjoy rich, more features, an infinite capacity to customize, and without seams third-party integrations. With Magento Commerce, you’re backed by a global ecosystem of merchants, companions, and developers, who will make your commerce concept to life. It’s time to innovate, measure, and produce exceptional growth for your small, medium or enterprise business.
In addition, they offer free & paid themes to help you get started, then leave the details of your eCommerce website up to you. Moreover, it has a free version that is suitable for many small businesses.
The Benefits of Magento are:
- Flexible and Open Source Software
- The Most Customizable eCommerce Platform
- Good user experience which is easy to use as well as manage
- 10000+ plug-in/extensions to scale your business
- Highly active community for assistance with tutorials and troubleshooting options
- More SEO-friendly as related to most other eCommerce platforms
- It is highly-scalable
- A wide range of integrated payment gateways
Cons of Magento are:
- Magento is packed with all features, however, that can also make it resource-hungry. Accordingly, you need to allocate a decent amount of money & time for optimization.
- Although, you can learn how to utilize Magento, the major reason you would think it is if you had development skills. And the larger firms are known to go with Magento because they have the access & money to get a developer who understands the code.
OpenCart is an open source PHP-based e-commerce platform. A great e-commerce solution for merchants with the capacity to build their online store and join in e-commerce at least cost. OpenCart is made feature loaded, easy to use, SEO friendly and with a visually appealing user interface.
OpenCart needs a fair bit of work to utilize. There are many books available on how to utilize this platform. The OpenCart features 13000+ modules and themes to begin, grow and develop your business. You can find amazing stuff for just about any sector, service integrations, payment gateway providers, delivery methods, marketing, reporting, sales along with language packages.
The Benefits of OpenCart are:
- Simple Store Setup
- Performance and Usability
- Multi-Store Functionality
- supports the unlimited number of products, categories, customers, and transactions
- Very easy to use in comparison with other platforms
- search engine friendly
- Automatic image resizing
- free lifetime support and updates
Cons of OpenCart are:
- Performance is not a strong suit with OpenCart. So you need to get an extra plugin for this.
- You should consider OpenCart as one of the few open source eCommerce platforms that skilled developers would rather avoid.
WooCommerce is a free and customizable WordPress eCommerce plugin. It does a fantastic job of adding eCommerce functionality to the platform. This plugin is completely free and has a lot of exciting features to make the useful online store. It is a self-hosted eCommerce platform, so you have full authority to manage the merchants and sell anything from physical products to digital and also affiliated goods from any marketplace. It’s one of our favorite eCommerce options because the WordPress dashboard is inherent enough for novices to pick up immediately.
Moreover, WooCommerce simplifies the eCommerce feature for people to build and maintain their eCommerce store. WooCommerce by now controls over 30% of all online stores with 11,012,145 merchants universal. There are costs associated with hosting, WordPress and WooCommerce that can all differ within a range. Anyone user’s costs are probably different from any other user’s costs.
The Benefits of WooCommerce are:
- Countless themes
- Unrestricted customization
- Built-in blogging
- Analytics Made Easy
- Search Engine Friendly
Cons of WooCommerce are:
- WooCommerce has many moving parts. On the surface, it needs hosting, WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin.
- We all know that WooCommerce technically works with all WordPress themes, though it’s sort of a joke unless you get one made just for WooCommerce.
OsCommerce – “open source Commerce” is an online store-management software platform. It gives you the tools to install your self-hosted online store and website at no cost to solidly sell products to customers worldwide. OsCommerce reached over 14,000 ‘live’ stores using the platform.
Moreover, it has the definite advantage of having a very active community, with thousands of free add-ons and themes. And that provides you an edge when it comes to customizing your eCommerce store.
The Benefits of OsCommerce are:
- Complete Control
- Unlimited eCommerce Features
- Better Performance
Cons of OsCommerce are:
- The osCommerce software needs more maintenance than other platforms. This means that you will have to spend more time making updates, managing the eCommerce website secure.
- Because of your knowledge to really play around with the code in osCommerce, it can be more apt to errors and breakages. So it’s really important to get an excellent developer who knew how to protect the eCommerce site.
Hosted eCommerce Platform
Hosted e-commerce platforms are another choice of online store management software. These programs give an all-in-one eCommerce solution that includes the web server, an online shopping cart function, and tech support. Usually, you spend a monthly subscription fee that varies based on the size of your store, and maximum hosted e-commerce platforms offer flexible prices and discounts.
Moreover, hosted e-commerce platform has clear advantages over their self-hosted program; they are much easier to control. You can customize your online store yourself, but everything else is taken care of.
Best Hosted eCommerce Software Platform:
Shopify is the one of the best cloud-hosted, multi-channel eCommerce platform made for small and medium-sized industries. Retailers can utilize the software platform to install, design, set up, and control their stores across various sales channels, including search, mobile, social media, affiliate program, and marketplaces. The Shopify also provides merchants with a powerful back-office and a single view of their business. There is a huge amount of commerce happens on Shopify, with more than $46 billion sold on the eCommerce platform.
The Shopify platform was constructed for reliability and scale, building enterprise-level technique available to all size of stores. Shopify presently powers more than 500,000 stores in around 175 countries and is reputable by brands such as Red Bull, Nestle, GE, Kylie Cosmetics, and many more. Besides, it has more than 1 million active users.
The Benefits of Shopify are:
- 100+ User-friendly Professional themes
- Easy to Customize your online store
- Mobile commerce ready
- Friendly website builder
- Full blogging platform
- Support 100+ payment gateways
- Support Multiple languages
- App Store Integrations
- Support for essential marketing tools
- Web hosting is taken care of
- Security is taken care of
- Search engine optimized
BigCommerce is the world’s best cloud hosted eCommerce platform for small and medium level enterprises Including enterprise functionality, app ecosystem, and market-leading performance. The platform is extremely customizable if you are comfortable with some light coding. Besides, it is possible to utilize themes and templates to build your website, but some of these will come at an extra charge.
BigCommerce allows enterprises to increase online sales with 80% less cost, time and difficulty than the on-premise platform. It powers more than 50,000 SMBs, 2,000+ middle-level market companies, more than 25 Fortune 1000 enterprises, and industry best brands including Toyota, Ben & Jerry’s, Gibson, Martha Stewart, Assurant and Paul Mitchell
The Benefits of BigCommerce are:
- A wide range of online shopping care options
- Integrate with robust eCommerce add-ons and apps
- Completely customizable
- Support More Number of payment gateway
- Connect best point-of-sale solutions
Prestashop is a free eCommerce software platform that is declared under Open Software License. It is built in with PHP programming language. Prestashop is utilized by more than 250,000 enterprises worldwide. It makes use of smarty template engine for PHP.
Prestashop is entirely based upon small and mid-scale. It has some useful inbuilt function like statics, membership and delivery tracking. Cloud technology and open source integration effects Prestashop a strong E-commerce platform.
The Benefits of Prestashop are:
- Easy Customization
- Mobile friendly, Innumerable themes & templates
- Multiple payment gateways
- Highly flexible
- Multi-Language support
- SEO Friendly
Volusion gives an all-in-one online shopping solution for startups to large enterprises. It is innovative and robust eCommerce platform to empower their business growth. Volusion has powered over 180,000 successful online shopping business.
As an eCommerce platform, it is reasonably powerful. Despite, some users have criticized about being confused by the user interface and having some trouble figuring out how to develop their online store. In addition, it offers lower priced plans than some of the bigger e-commerce platforms, and it also offers 24/7 customer support.
The Benefits of Volusion are:
- Multiple responsive themes
- Rich Content Visual Editor
- Rich CSS Editor
- Store Management Mobile App
- Easy Customization
Both self-hosted and hosted (cloud) e-commerce software solutions are robust and sufficient to fulfill. So, the decision comes down to how you need to run your online store.