Choosing the best e-commerce platform is never been an easy task for anyone. Even for me when I first started eCommerce development, I was confused as well.
For small-to-medium-sized businesses, establishing an online presence to sell products or services is an absolute must to stay competitive in today’s (and tomorrow’s) marketplace.
Someone who wishes to be a developer, or want to start an eCommerce business, must know what platform can be his best choice. There are many different platforms on the market with advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s get started with the first choice we selected:
Largely considered the leading open source eCommerce platform for WordPress, WooCommerce boasts a large and rapidly-growing user community. Its seamless integration with WordPress makes it a breeze to install and manage, which is one of the main reasons why retailers like Cupcake Studio and EcoKitty have made it their open source eCommerce platform of choice.
Proud to power over 37% of online stores, WooCommerce has been downloaded 14,095,679 times. It is by far the most popular open source eCommerce solution available. Built to help users turn any WordPress site into an eCommerce store, this eCommerce solution was created by the equally popular WooThemes. When it comes to content, WooCommerce is the best cms for eCommerce.
With more than 200,000 users, the Magento Community Edition is one of the most popular open source eCommerce platforms available. Although it isn’t as robust as the Magento Enterprise edition, the Magento Open source Community Edition is still a strong choice for eCommerce stores that are committed to the idea of a free platform.
Another WordPress-based solution that’s been gaining steam is Jigoshop. Like most other open source ecommerce solutions, Jigoshop is rather lightweight on its own. For retailers looking to make the most of their storefront, themes, plugins, and extensions are available for purchase.
Like WooCommerce, Jigoshop is very easy to use – with one big exception. You can’t link variations on the software; meaning, if you were selling t-shirts in all different colors, you couldn’t just specify “blue” as the color for all sizes. You’d have to create a “blue small” option, then a “blue medium” option, and so on – which can be very time-consuming.
Most of everything that comes with Jigoshop is very basic, but you can purchase upgrades. This shop will ultimately have as much utility as you can afford to give it.
PrestaShop boasts that more than 250,000 stores use their eCommerce platform. The forum for PrestaShop has more than 850,000 members and customers include Zippo Lighters and Fashion Stork, among others. The popularity of this open source eCommerce platform extends to more than 200 countries and as a result, PrestaShop has been translated into 65 languages.
PrestaShop is so well liked by developers and users, the platform has racked up awards around the world:
- Packt Publishing’s Best Open Source Business Application (two times)
- 2013 BSOCO Award in the CMS category
- 2013 #1 Open Source Shopping Cart Software by EcommerceBytes Seller’s Choice Awards
Drupal readily integrates with numerous third-party applications. It’s currently one of the only ecommerce platforms built on a CMS (Drupal Content Management System), making it innately compatible with a strong content marketing strategy. Like many other open source platforms, it’s the support that will cost you – Commerce Guys offers Drupal Commerce application support is very expensive. That makes sense when you see their client list. Drupal Commerce is popular with large enterprises.
One of the most comprehensive open source eCommerce platforms available, Drupal Commerce was built by the Commerce Guys and offers multilingual, multi-currency, global functionality, making it the perfect fit for sits like Open Sesame, an e-learning language course provider.
Who’s Using Drupal Commerce?
- Open Sesame
- Lush Cosmetics
- Cartier Jewelers
Ultimately, it’s impossible to say what the “best” platform is, as your specific needs will determine which features will benefit you most. If you’re trying to do basic eCommerce, and you don’t need a scalable or customizable option, then one of the smaller, simpler eCommerce platforms could be perfect for you.
On the other hand, if you need a lot of versatility (or you’re willing to pay for a developer), then one of the more high-performance platforms is more likely to suit your needs.
You’re the only one who can decide what’s best for your business. Just remember, though, that people will judge your entire business based on your storefront…so choose wisely.