Comparing Top Ecommerce Platforms
Generally said, an ecommerce platform is a foundation of any online retail business. It is a special software that allows you to use the tools that are necessary for the creation and further running of an online store.
Before starting an online ecommerce business, consider which type of platform you need to use. If you want your website to have unique features along with special web design and are able to hire a team of experienced developers, then an open source platform is your best option.
There are several benefits to using an open source ecommerce platform:
- Free download and no license fee;
- It is up to you to choose design and features;
- Community of developers;
- Third-party extensions can be used.
However, there are also some downsides:
- The setup requires coding knowledge;
- You need to take care of website-related operations on your own;
- No phone or email support.
You will, however, need the assistance of professional developers at this stage in any case, so do not let the cons stop you from enjoying the advantages of it.
Top 5 Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
Nowadays you have a wide range of platforms to choose from. They have a common concept but differ in its realization. Here is the list of top 5 open source ecommerce platforms:
1. Magento Community Edition
Magento holds 26% of the ecommerce software market and is generally considered the best b2b ecommerce platform. The platform offers Magento Enterprise Edition for online retail giants, and a Community Edition for small and medium businesses.
You can manage multiple stores in different languages, use a huge number of features and extensions and try automatic marketing.
As for its disadvantages, Magento doesn’t provide you with technical support. Also, this platform is resource-hungry, so you should pay attention to optimization. High development skills are necessary - even if you have coding knowledge, it’s better to hire a professional.
The osCommerce community counts more than 26,000 online retailers. If you encounter a problem, you can use the forum and ask other developers for advice.
The main benefit of this platform is its wonderful community. The forum contains multiple topics where developers give their add-ons out for free. OsCommerce suggests a simple process of making modifications and 7000 free features.
If we talk about cons, this platform is an option for small and medium-sized stores. It requires more time than other platforms. On osCommerce, you have the freedom to play with the code, and it can lead to errors if your developer is not a high-level professional.
OpenCart was made for small online shops. If you want to run a startup, consider using this platform. We recommend it because of the ease of customizing a website from scratch.
This platform also has several other advantages. It has low startup costs, is less resource-consuming, than, for instance, Magento, but it still offers a decent list of features, including managing and separately personalizing different stores.
Of course, there are cons, too. While using this platform, you will need lots of extensions. OpenCart is older than other platforms mentioned, so it may not have the newest features. Also, this platform is simplified, thus it has less customization options.
Considered by many as the most widely used and preferred solution, Shopify is a real powerhouse of an ecommerce platform
Its main selling point is that you get an exclusive, well-tried-and-tested solution that’s been used by many business giants with tons of out-of-the-box features that need no programming skills to use.
The only downside is that if you want to have some major ecommerce powers in your hands, be ready to pay for Shopify.
PrestaShop is new on the ecommerce stage, but it has already become practically the best ecommerce platform for startups. It boasts a beautiful and user-friendly interface. You do not need much development experience to start working with it.
Presta has the biggest collection of themes on this list – 4500 templates. PrestaShop allows you to run multiple stores and sell downloadable content.
The downside is that you cannot customize every little thing on the website. You will also need several expensive extensions.
|Open-source eCommerce platforms at a glance|
|Name||Selected tech||Typical business users||License|
|Magento||PHP, MySQL||Midsize to enterprise||OSL 3.0|
|nopCommerce||C#, ASP.NET, MS SQL||Small to midsize||GPL-3.0|
|OpenCart||PHP, MySQL||Small to midsize||GPL-3.0|
|OroCommerce||PHP, Symfony||Small to midsize||GPL-3.0|
|Pimcore||PHP, Symfony, My SQL||Midsize to enterprise||GPL-3.0|
|PrestaShop||PHP, Symfony, My SQL||Small business||GPL-3.0|
|Saleor||Python, Django, GraphQL||Midsize to enterprise||BSD 3-Clause License|
|Shopware||PHP, Symfony||SMB, growing business||GNU Affero GPL|
|Spree Commerce||Ruby on Rails, REST, GraphQL||Growing business||New BSD license|
|Spryker||PHP, Symfony||Enterprise||“Open code”|
|Sylius||PHP, Symfony||Midsize to enterprise||MIT|
|VirtueMart||PHP, MySQL||Small stores||MIT|
|WooCommerce||PHP, MySQL||Small stores||GPL|