• Top 5 open source platforms for your online eCommerce Store. Which one would you select?

    Technology is changing at a rapid pace.  Shopping online has never been so easy for a customer. Just logon to an ecommerce website, select a product of your choice, add the product to shopping cart, make payment, and the product gets shipped to you. Easy, isn’t? Well, but if you are a store owner and are planning to take a plunge into the ecommerce world, there are a lot of factors that are likely to confuse you.  The first question that will bog you down is whether to use an open source solution or whether to build your own cart. Before you zero down on the type of ecommerce shopping cart for your online business, you need to identify your business objectives and select the option that will work best for you. Here are the top open source ecommerce solutions listed with detailed and comparative analysis which will help you make an informed decision.

    open-source-ecommerce-platforms

    Magento:

    Magento is an open source technology offering flexible, scalable enterprise level ecommerce solutions to diverse spectrum of organizations ranging from small businesses to some of the world’s leading brands. Magento’s cutting-edge interface gives online merchant unmatched control over the look, product catalogs, and content and functionality.

    Magento’s power packed features include:

    • SEO-friendly
    • Website Management
    • Catalog Management
    • Mobile Commerce
    • Customer Service
    • Customer Accounts
    • Order Management

    Pros:

    • Magento’s robust solutions and intuitive interface offers services in-depth solutions in Search Engine Optimization, site management, catalog management, and catalog browsing
    • Magento offers scalable solutions
    • Numerous Magento Templates, extensions, modules, and widgets available

    Cons:

    • Magento Community version is free. However, annual fees of Magento Enterprise starts from $15,550 and Magento Enterprise Premium version starts from a whopping $65,000
    • Magento is a complex maze and it could be very difficult to crack
    • Magento needs dedicated servers or providers for best user experience

    OpenCart:

    Considered to be one of the most comprehensive shopping cart solutions, OpenCart offers order management and multiple payment gateways. Storeowners can effortlessly switch between different templates, as well as migrate current look of site into OpenCart.  It has multi-store abilities which allow storeowners to manage multiple stores from single admin interface.

    OpenCart’s host of features include:

    • SEO Friendly
    • Unlimited categories
    • Unlimited products
    • Multiple language & currency
    • Product reviews & ratings
    • PCI compliant
    • Multiple tax rates
    • Error logging

    Pros:

    • Easy to download and install
    • Requires less technical skills. Easy in administration
    • Several extensions to select from

    Cons:

    • Confusing admin navigation.

    osCommerce:

    osCommerce (“open source Commerce”) is an ecommerce and online store management software program. osCommerce is compatible with any web server that has PHP and MySQL installed. osCommerce is available as free software under the GNU General Public License.  osCommerce contains both a catalog frontend and an administration tool backend. It can be easily installed and configured through a simple web-based installation procedure.

    osCommerce’s robust features include:

    • Unlimited number of products and categories
    • Easy to setup e-commerce payment systems
    • Secure transactions with SSL
    • Multiple shipping options
    • Taxes
    • Database backup and restore
    • Multi-currency support

    Pros:

    • Easy to use and install
    • Supports a lot of add on and modules that can improve the functionality
    • Best frontend feature

    Cons:

    • Complex backend
    • Requires significant programming knowledge to customize
    • Lacks template

    ZenCart:

    ZenCart is truly a state-of-the-art online store management system, and it is freely available under the GNU General Public License. ZenCart is PHP-based, using a MySQL database and HTML. What sets ZenCart apart from other shopping cart software is its ease of installing. ZenCart can be installed by people with the most basic level of website development and computer proficiency.

    ZenCart’s features include:

    • Multiple shipping options
    • Multiple languages
    • Payment options
    • Tax support & multiple currency support
    • Discount Coupons
    • Gift Certificates
    • Quantity discounts
    • Special Prices
    • Safe Transactions

    Pros

    • Easy to set-up and convenient features
    • Allows users to customize

    Cons:

    • Require expert PHP developers
    • Lacks look and appeal due to poor layout
    • Difficult to upgrade

    PrestaShop:

    PrestaShop is an open source ecommerce web application. Storeowners can control the look, feel, and functionality of online store, as well as manage entire store inventory and product category. PrestaShop allows you to select your preferred shipping method (s) and ship your products across the globe.

    Advance features of PrestaShop:

    • Catalog  & inventory management
    • Cross selling
    • Unlimited products, categories, and attributes
    • Search Engine Friendly
    • Customize URLs
    • Google site map
    • Analytics and reporting
    • PCI compliance
    • SSL
    • Secure back office
    • Tax configuration based on country, state, and counties

    Pros

    • User-friendly and flexible interface
    • Easy to install
    • Supports wide range of international languages

    Cons

    • Better suited small and middle sized companies. Lacks scalability
    • Modules need to be purchased

    Quick comparative analysis of top 5 ecommerce platforms

     

    Magento

    ZenCart

    OpenCart

    osCommerce

    PrestaShop

    Requirements

    PHP5.2 MySQL4.1.20+, InnoDB, cURL

    PHP4.0+ MySQL4.1.14+

    PHP4.0+ MySQL4.1.14+
    InnoDB, cURL

    PHP5.2 MySQL4.1.20+,

    PHP 5.2 or later. MySQL 5.0 or later.

    SSL

    full SSL

    full or shared SSL

    full or shared SSL

    full or shared SSL

    full SSL

    License

     OSL Ver. 3 / AFL Ver. 3

    GNU General Public License

    GNU General Public License

    GNU General Public License

    OSL Ver. 3

    Language

    PHP

    PHP

    PHP

    PHP

    PHP

    Coupons

    yes

    Limited

    Limited

    Yes

    Yes

    Email template management

    yes

    No

    No

    No

    No