The enhanced rate of internet penetration all over the world has made lives easy for everyone. Now you can get anything delivered to your doorstep, thanks to e-commerce. The increase in demand for goods and services across the world has risen to a level that many medium or small e-commerce businesses are being set up every day. The e-commerce market had crossed the valuation of 9.09 trillion US dollars in the year 2019. Further, it is projected to grow at an astonishing CAGR of 14.7% within the years 2020 to 2027.
The e-commerce industry has become extremely competitive. Many new platforms are being developed and launched each day to satisfy the varying needs of online shoppers. With this massive increase in the creation of new online businesses, open-source platforms have come forward as the most feasible option
The open-source platform’s source code is freely available without any cost and is maintained by the top professionals of the IT industry. You can change the code as you like and transform it to fulfill your purpose without any kind of restrictions. The most interesting fact about open-source platforms, it’s free in terms of downloads and certain parameters. In laymen’s terms, open-source e-commerce platforms allows you to modify it as per your needs; it’s free and developer-friendly. They are packed with a bunch of unique features which can be used to make your business stand apart from the competition.
Benefits of Using Open-Source E-Commerce Platforms
The fierce competition in the e-commerce industry has compelled business owners to come up with unique features and designs that awe the users. The need for unique features and functionalities can only be fulfilled by custom e-commerce development; that’s where the open-source platforms come into the picture, you can modify them as per your needs. There are numerous benefits of using an open e-commerce platform besides being free to download. Let’s look at the top benefits that come along with these platforms.
No License Fee: When you download any open-source e-commerce platform, you don’t have to pay for the license as every license attached to the program gets automatically transferred to the users who downloads them. Unlike any proprietary software, you don’t have to renew your license at a fixed interval.
Customizability: The platforms come with a ton of flexibility and custom options. With complete access to the source code, you can ask your developers to mold it to fit your business needs.
No need to Replace Anything: When you purchase licensed software, it comes with a specific system requirement, which can cost a lot in some cases. However, with open-source e-commerce platforms, you don’t need to change a thing; you can just build on what you already have at the time.
Security: There is a myth about these platforms that are prone to various security risks. The reality is far away from these allegations. These platforms allow the users to modify and enhance as per their needs which encourages developers from all around the world to fix any glitches, bugs, systems patches, etc., which enhances the security.
Top 5 Open-Source E-Commerce Platforms
There is an abundance of open-source e-commerce platforms on the internet; the selection of this platform totally depends on your needs and choice. We have listed the top five open-source platforms here along with their benefits to help you understand better.
Magento is among the top open-source eCommerce platforms on the internet. It offers a ton of amazing features to the users. With Magento, you can create a variety of marketing plans for your customers, such as developing membership plans, discounts, discounts, and much more. It offers complete control to the users over the design and functionality of the website. It is similar to WordPress in some ways; you have a big community along with tons of extensions to choose from.
Benefits of Magento:
- Along with a free version, it offers a paid version.
- Tons of features and extensions are available to use. These features are highly compatible with the e-commerce business, such as coupons, sitemaps, bulk import/export, order tracking, and much more.
- You can notify your customers with various alerts such as back in stock, new offers, etc.
- Customize the language of the website as per your user’s location.
- It allows you to customize the UI and the backend of the website as per your business needs.
WooCommerce has a huge user base in the open-source eCommerce development platform market. It offers a ton of WordPress plug-ins that are extremely beneficial for any e-commerce business. You can use WooCommerce to develop your unique e-commerce platform with extensive features and a wide variety of plug-ins. The popularity of the platform has fetched it 1.6 million downloads. More than forty percent of the online businesses run on WooCommerce. If you are struggling with the analytics of your current platform, it is recommended to migrate to WooCommerce as it delivers better options.
Benefits of WooCommerce:
- It offers a huge choice of website themes for your business.
- Unlike other platforms, you can change the color of the selected themes.
- It has multiple features that enhance customer engagement and ultimately increases revenue.
- It offers great analytic tools to analyze various stats such as total sales, orders, customers, etc.
- You can easily integrate various APIs for third-party extensions in your website.
PrestaShop may be new in the market but has already attracted great reviews and a ton of customers with its astonishing list of features and innovative UI. If you don’t have any countable experience with installing new plug-ins on the website, PrestaShop is a perfect match for you. It has been seen that most of its users are small businesses and start-ups. PrestaShop is considered as one of the most robust open-source e-commerce platforms on the internet. It serves more than 250,000 clients from all over the world.
Benefits of PrestaShop:
- Delivers a user-friendly interface with great inventory management and an extremely easy process to maintain the store.
- It offers a demo to get you familiar with all the tools and extensions required to build your store.
- It delivers an innovative user interface with tons of features, including multiple languages and currencies.
- PrestaShop offers an amazing browsing experience to your users as it is extremely light in terms of processing and rarely slows down.
- You can open multiple stores on this platform as it delivers multi-vendor support.
4. Zen Cart
Zen Cart is one of the leading open-source eCommerce development platforms in the market. Apart from being extremely user-friendly, it offers a number of exciting features that you can use to scale up your e-commerce business. It is a free, open-source PHP platform that does not require any development knowledge to set up a store. If you don’t have a development degree and want to scale up your online business, this is the platform for you. Yit can be installed easily with a basic understanding of websites. With Zen Cart, you get a number of custom templates to choose from, along with the feasibility of editing the product information right from the dashboard. Zendesk has been downloaded for more than 7,500,000 times.
Benefits of Zen Cart:
- Zen Cart delivers a great level of security and documentation.
- It offers a wide array of features along with complete customization options. You can get access to various pre-developed modules created by various developers.
- With Zen Cart, you get the feasibility of sending HTML emails directly to either your potential prospects or existing customers.
- You get to be a part of the extensive community of Zen Cart.
- It delivers multiple language options with extensive customization. A multilingual website always helps in selling internationally and build a brand.
nopCommerce is among the list of top open-source e-commerce platforms. Similar to many open-source platforms, it is free to download to build an online store. NopCommerce offers an extensive range of features to make your online store stand apart from the competition. It has achieved more than 2.5 million downloads since its launch. If users want to get a Microsoft ASP.NET-based platform, you can check its website. There’s even a one-click install version available for download, and it comes without the source code. If you prefer developers, you will find it easy to work with the alternative version or get the free source code from GitHub. It supports both beginner merchants and demanding experts in the e-commerce industry.
Benefits of nopCommerce:
- It is free to download and does not require any investment in long-term use.
- It offers two versions; one version is a simplified one that doesn’t come with source code and doesn’t require any coding knowledge. It can get installed with a single click. Another version comes with a source code that requires code knowledge and can be used for extensive customization.
- nopCommerce offers the users a set of essential features required to set up an online store. Users can sell various types of products while managing all the SEO settings and e-commerce parameters.
- Users can build multiple e-commerce stores and control them with only a single admin panel.
- It has an extensive community of developers from all around the world that continuously enhance its performance and security.
What should you choose?
E-commerce open-source platforms come in different shapes and sizes; any platform that perfectly aligns with your business needs is the best for you. The open platforms are always in the development phase and are free to use. In the long term, you can save a ton of money and scale up your business as required.
Despite being free and easy to use, many of the industry experts don’t believe in open-source platforms. Instead, they prefer to use the non-free platforms that charge a monthly fee but do all the work for you. If you have neutral expectations from your e-commerce business, Magento might work for you.
Matellio has been helping clients with e-commerce development for the last 15 years. Our proficient team of engineers is highly skilled and possesses hands-on experience with various open-source e-commerce development platforms. For more information on the subject, book a 30-min consultation call with our experts.
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