Best Open Source Platforms for eCommerce – What to Choose?
Regarding open source eCommerce platforms, numerous options are available to pick from. You can as well refer to them as open source ecommerce shopping carts. They offer a wide range of benefits to small and upcoming businesses. The gain in using open source eCommerce platforms is that they can be developed in one way or another to suit the requirements of a trader. They are also composed of a collection of features that come at affordable costs. There are so many professional developers and a community of partners ready to offer any support required by the merchants
Because there are several options to choose from, I bet it is not an easy task to come up with the best choice once. Each and every open source eCommerce platform has its own pros and cons as well as design and features. In this article, we look at some of the best platforms you can browse over to find the most suitable one for your business. Note that all the applications here are free, but composed of premium extensions as well as support options that aids in enhancing features of the store.
Magento Open Source eCommerce
Magento platform is a product of Zent Framework. It’s cost effective, powerful and flexible when it comes to designing an ecommerce web store. Magento represents all the brilliant and superb features essential for various ecommerce websites like shopping cart, catalogue management and search as well as other admin functions.
In terms of cost effectiveness Magento is the best, but only in relation to the initial investment. The long term maintenance cost is relatively higher than other ecommerce platforms. In addition, it requires a little bit of technical knowledge in terms of customization. MySQL, PHP and CSS are some of the elements that must be understood well so as to use the software effectively.
OsCommerce is one of the most ancient open source ecommerce domains. Being old, it also has a share of its own benefits as well as limitations. OsCommerce has been on service for 12 years and is currently serving with about 270000 plus members as well as thousands of developers and experts offering excellent customer support whenever there is need.
Due to the number of years OsCommerce has served as an ecommerce platform, it can be described as a veteran that is well established and stable. However, compared to the latest scalable and power packed alternatives OsCommerce may seem kind of outdated.
Its Order Management feature is one of the reasons for its success in the market. When using Open Cart you sell limitless amount of products, you have option for various languages, you have unlimited categories as well as currencies for trading. The availability of multiple selections is the reason why many developers go for it today.
If you want to manage multiple stores with one single admin interface, Open Cart is the best option to go for. It ranks top in SERPs because of its dazzling features. For effective usage of Open Cart, it important to get a web developer to achieve operative usage of the features. It has however a small customer base because it is a new platform.
If your aim and objective is marketing and customer management, Zen Cart is the best platform to go for. Its customer management feature comprise of offers such as promotional offers, coupon codes, and gift certificates as well as email order confirmation among others.
Zen Cart aims at a more advanced user base and if you are not well conversant with the latest technology and essential features of ecommerce platforms, it can be a little struggle to use. The software is generally complex right from installation to customizing themes. So, Zen Cart is only right if you are already conversant and good at it.
Though it is a good open source option offering outstanding features, you can make it a consideration only if you are sure you will hire a special developer to handle things for you.
Chirag works for GO-Globe Hong Kong, a ecommerce web design company based in Hong Kong where he develops search engine friendly ecommerce sites andhelps his clients to take their online businesses to next level