It’s an important decision as your business will need at least the basic features, and probably a few more, and to best sell and manage your products and orders.
Since we’re talking about small business, our aim is to provide rock-solid proven solutions that out-of-the-box will provide all or just about all the basic features you will need to start selling online.
Our eCommerce solution web firm, Coding Capital, has worked with all the below ecommerce solutions as well as many others that didn’t make the list.
But these are the best and one in particular, which we define at end of article, is our favorite and what we put most of our clients on these days.
Top 3 Open Source Ecommerce Solutions
(in no particular order)
A Quick Note …
They all start to sound the same, and some kind of look similar which isn’t a bad thing as a familiar eCommerce layout is best for your customers, but there are other similarities which we recommend.
We’ve installed, configured, designed and customized most of the carts and we have whittled down these carts because:
- they have proven records
- their popularity is a testament to their functionality
- the have solid software frameworks which is very important because a complicated cart, like Magento, will create more headaches for you and cost more to maintain
OpenCart – 9 out of 10
The code structure is very clean and logical and makes customizations much more easily than many other platforms. This is crucial to your business as it will allow for easier and more reliable site maintenance.
Might seem mysterious if your not technical but this is one of the most important aspects of your online store. It’s like knowing that under the hood, you’ve got a solid engine…even if you don’t know how to change the oil.
The administration module is clean and attractive and simple to use. So many other carts have terrible admin back-ends, like osCommerce. Everything is ready and available in such a way that is familiar to anyone with any admin experience. And if not, you’ll learn it quickly.
Some important OpenCart features:
- unlimited categories
- unlimited products
- unlimited manufacturers
- multi-language and currency
- product reviews
- product ratings
- SEO friendly urls
- auto image resizing
Prestashop - 8 out of 10
Prestashop is a solid and very popular platform that has quickly grown over the last 3 years. It has an impressive list of features and a straightforward GUI for the front and the back-end, although the back end takes a day to get used to.
The install and configuration for this one-stop shop is doable even for the web novice.
Some important Prestashop features:
- Unlimited categories, subcategories and products
- Product customers’ evaluations and comments
- Quantity discounts
- Wish list
- Featured products on homepage
- Top sellers on homepage
- Product image zoom
- Customer referral program
- Loyalty system (points)
ZenCart - 7 out of 10
ZenCart is a good cart to beginner and small business and those who want to keep their online presence relatively simple. It’s basic framework allows to make minimal changes to design and layout without too much fuss but if you want a very different look or require much more customization in features and / or design, a more sophisticated cart, you’d be better off with one of the others above.
Some important ZenCart features:
- Quantity discounts
- Easy to install
- Advanced template system
- Merchandise Pricing options
- Products can be marked as free or Call for Price
- Featured products
- Minimum or maximum quantities
- Product attributes