If you are a company that consists of an online store or ecommerce division, then ensuring you have the best platform in place for its transactions will be key to the success of your bottom line. In recent years, the internet has given companies access to a whole new world of customers by literally connecting the organization to a limitless number of buyers from around the globe. By shattering the traditional boundaries that used to limit a brand’s following, business growth over the years has been infinite.
What is Ecommerce?
E-commerce is the activity of buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
Which Ecommerce Platform Should I Use?
The mechanism through which you collect a customer’s personal information and place the order for either the goods or services rendered, is called an ecommerce platform. Whether you are involved with a seasoned, large-scale company that has an entire ecommerce division, or are running a completely internet-based business with online sales as its core competency, finding the most efficient option to support your commerce traffic volume and the financial goal is critical. Using a program that is open source means that there is little to no cost for its implementation. It also means the general public can assist in updating and improving the platform, ensuring that it is constantly updated to include the latest technology available.
Below you will find the top seven open-source platforms (in no particular order) that should be highly considered to run the ecommerce segment of your business:
More than a quarter of a million organizations across 200 countries use PrestaShop for all of their ecommerce transactions. This fairly new, yet award-winning platform has made waves in the industry. It is known for its high performance and ability to be translated into 60 languages seamlessly. Prestashop also has an incredibly unique variety of more than 4,000 themes to choose from to best fit your brand. This is one of the most user-friendly platforms in existence and is relatively simple to start.
OpenCart is another popular and reliable platform that has been around for a decade. One of the fan-favorite features is its fraud management services. Safety and security are very important when choosing how to manage your online sales. OpenCart also has a support team for various currencies in different languages. It is considered a great option for smaller businesses. Though it helps to have someone with a basic knowledge of website creation to install it properly, it does not necessarily require an expert to do so. Regardless of your technical skill level, the community forums are a great place to turn if you get stuck along the way. Another great feature of this particular platform is its capability that allows an organization to run more than one store simultaneously.
This platform goes beyond traditional ecommerce mediums to include more multi-dimensional and sought-out options like membership tiers and regularly recurring payments. The extensions available for this top open-source platform are expansive, and even allow you to incorporate valuable marketing tools like search engine marketing and new product alerts as items are added to the ecommerce platform. Magento is most seamless when used or installed by someone who has web development experience. Separate hosting is also required.
4. Zen Cart
Zen Cart is the open-source platform in this list that perhaps best known for its security. When collecting consumer data and personal information, this strength is extremely vital to not only protect your customers but also protect your reputation in trying to avoid any fraudulent orders. Other benefits include the fact that your team can send out email marketing or choose multi-language options directly within Zen Cart, which gives you the ability to connect with every customer around the world.
This ecommerce tool has had a very loyal following for more than 16 years. Due to the length of time in existence, the OsCommerce forums are extensive with more than 1.5 million topics available for review and even more currently in discussion. This platform also has thousands of additional features that can be added or customized at no cost to the end-user. Many medium-sized companies flock to this platform.
The user interface and back end admin system for Zeuscart has received much positive feedback over the years. Unlike some of the other platforms, this one is hailed for its coding and catered toward developers as it can be completely customized and tailored according to what you’re looking for. It is not a one-size-fits-all platform, rather it allows for flexibility. They even have features that help retarget and market to past customers, a fabulous tool to help capture repeat business.
TomatoCart is a spin-off of the OsCommerce platform and is the newest platform of the seven on this list. Despite its more recent creation, don’t jump to any sort of stereotypical assumptions about its quality. In TomatoCart, the number of important digital marketing features available is vast for an open-source platform. Its load time is also pretty quick, which can lead to more sales and lower bounce rates. TomatoCart also has capabilities for content marketing integration and even has an analytics platform, which can be critical to driving additional visitors and hopefully life-long customers. Though basic, these features can also greatly benefit the organization, especially if for a small team.
Overall, using an open-source ecommerce platform to conduct the business transactions on your site can be both reliable and extremely cost-effective. Choosing one of these seven low to a no-cost option does not mean that your site will perform any differently. In fact, hundreds of thousands of companies around the world have relied on them with amazing success. These top seven open source ecommerce platforms, many of which have been around for years, are frequently improved by the public to change with evolving technology. PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento, Zen Cart, OsCommerce, Zeuscart and matoCart have great forums and support systems that can help ease any hesitations and answer questions that you may have from implementation to operation.