Choosing the best eCommerce platform is as subjective and tricky as trying to find the most beautiful woman in the world. eCommerce solutions comparison shows that each of existing platforms has its own advantages and strong points suitable for some clients but totally improper for others.
All e-commerce platforms may be divided into 2 big categories according to code and data access:
- Open source solutions
- Hosted solutions.
‘To host or not to host?’ - this is an eternal question, since it’s a choice between the complicated freedom and limited simplicity. If you prefer an Open source platform, you are not obliged to host it and you can delegate hosting responsibilities to the company that has developed the platform, meaning Enterprise versions of Open Source products that provide full customisation freedom and take care of store hosting. Hosted solutions like Shopify or Bigcommerce offer a narrower range of customisation opportunities, but since most if the hosted out-of-the-box solutions have pretty standard functions to offer, a hosted eCommerce platform can become the best choice for you.
For those of you who are not looking for an easy way, we have compared TOP 5 Open Source eCommerce Platforms:
Magento is a well-known enterprise-level player and it is a great fit for large-scale retailers with high sales load.
This platform has already gained recognition of the world’s leading brands and it is capable of handling massive amounts of data and traffic, which is considered to be one of the most important requirements for big enterprises. However, such success is quite predictable stores built on Magento can easily handle up to 4M page requests and 50K orders PER HOUR! Such high performance is a proven advantage over other platforms, and magento keeps its position as one the most robust eCommerce platforms.
Furthermore, it has a very high security level and in case any detects or vulnerability issues occur, the security team immediately reacts to them and launches security patches. Due to these regular updates Magento stores can be protected from malware attacks.
Magento is fully customizable and scalable, which might seem to be a strange advantage over other open source platforms which claim to be flexible as well; but keep in mind that all of them have some restrictions while Magento is absolutely tailor-makeable. This customization freedom is another side of the medal though, since the cost of adjustments may be quite high. Professional Magento development with its $60-120 hourly rate is considered to be relatively expensive in comparison with other platforms’ development which can cost 2-3 times cheaper. But such investments in Magento base store will pay off with increasing sales rate, time and money saved due to lack of unnecessary operations and automated processes.
OpenCart is a lightweight system and it requires less resources than Magento, but it can also serve a limited amount of users and it has certain restrictions in the number of products being handled and your store’s bandwidth is not promising a very high performance.
In general, OpenCart looks like a great solution for startups and small companies that are going for independent web store development. The tremendous advantage of this platform is its clarity and user-friendliness, and the fact that it’s suitable for less experienced users. Also, it can save your a ton of money, since its development costs about $10/hr. Its another obvious advantages for novices is that its management is clear and intuitive due to convenient Admin panel.
WooCommerce is the most highly used tool in the eCommerce category worldwide. Its community includes a lot of professional developers who can release vast array of options and customizations for your web store and both of them are equally flexible with the wide range of ready solutions, so if you couldn’t find the required feature installed by default, it’s highly likely someone has already developed such extension and it is available at the system marketplace. And this huge community can easily help you to resolve your issues. WooCommerce allows to uploading and managing an infinite number of products, run a blog, perform SEO and marketing activities.
WooCommerce is a leading eCommerce platform in the entire web due to its big target audience of WordPress users and small companies that are familiar with this CMS. All you need to do is install a shopping cart plugin, run and customize it to your requirements and you are ready to create products. Manage orders, coupons, reports, inventory, linked products, shipping, settings, add-ons, add tags and categories to all of your products effortlessly.
Woocommerce security mainly depends on the hosting company.
If you’re new to eCommerce environment or you targeting on a marketing niche in general or have a slim range of products, it may be reasonable totry out WooCommerce.
Prestashop numbers about 250.000 customers, 30.000 Community and 850.000 forum members. Despite the fact that it extends to more than 200 countries and has been translated to 65 languages, Prestashop community forum is only available in English and French.
Hire a PrestaShop developer will cost you less than hiring the one for Magento, but you’ll have to pay those extra money for quite expensive modules for this platform.
PrestaShop is pretty easy to set up if the hosting company supports one-click installation, but in order to install it manually, you must have technical knowledge.
There are about 11 306 web stores built via Shopware. From the first glance it may seem like an unfair competition with other platforms, such as Magento or WooCommerce, but what if we stopped comparing platforms globally and scaled this research down to a specific country? If we take a closer look, it becomes clear that this competition has a distinct local character on the German eCommerce market, since there are 13 463 live Magento stores and 7 848 active Shopware stores in Germany. And these numbers are impressive, especially if you pay attention to the fact a big part of new Shopware adherents actually switched from the Magento platform. Shopware mainly targets on German market where it owns 3.76% share.
Shopware developes its community and its events are quite similar to those held by the Magento. Shopware community is mostly German speaking, so it’s quite challenging to find information and user reviews of this solution, especially in English.
This platform still looks like a mysterious eCommerce platform and you might have heard its name before but it has always been complicated to describe its key features. Keep in mind that for bigger projects you will need to use paid editions, so if you’re going to build a multi-store system, be ready to go to an expense of a license that significantly raises the initial costs. Also, despite the Shopware’s flexibility and prominent design opportunities its usage is limited geographically to german-speaking countries.
Average Shopware developer hourly rate is around $35-70.