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Benefits of Using Open Source Software in E-commerce

What does Open Source Mean?

Ecommerce bannerOf the many good things in life, some things are for the larger good of the community. Open source software is a part of this initiative.

Developers choose to make the source code of their software publicly accessible by publishing it without charging a license fee. Other developers are free to pick this up for their own use and work on improvements and fixes. The end result is a product of superior quality which is being constantly modified and enhanced by users to weed out bugs and resolve glitches in real time. This brings it at par with any proprietary software out in the market and gives the vital option for companies to save billions of dollars.

Open Source Software for E-commerce Website

Running an online store can be intimidating to business owners, especially when dealing with complex inventories, regular content updation, technical issues, etc.  There is so much to do and you don’t know where to start.  We understand it is hard deciding on your choice of open source software to run your e-commerce website.  Some of the pointers below will help you make a choice.

What are the Key Benefits?

Easy on Pocket:  Open source online shop e-commerce solutions are available for free.  You can have a feature-rich, out-of-the-box online shopping cart system that allows you to set up, run, and maintain your e-commerce store with minimum effort and with no costs, fees, or licenses involved.  But total cost of ownership can depend on whether you need technical help for your e-commerce website development and maintenance.

Quality Software:  There is a large community of developers who are continually modifying and adapting the software to make it better and free of bugs.  The quality is usually at par with proprietary software which comes at a huge cost.

Reliable and Stable:  Having the source code in hand puts the choice in the hands of the user whether to upgrade or continue on an older version of software.  You don’t have to worry about vendor push or costly upgrades.  A healthy e-commerce business yet may need some upgrading and maintenance to keep up with new requirements and industry trends.

Superior Support:  With a huge community behind it, support for open source software is abundant.  You can access online forums for help and there are many e-commerce web application development companies which can provide you with free service as well as paid support.

Freedom and Flexibility:  An open source software can be customized and modified to almost any specifications if you have a creative development team.  You are not locked in or over-dependent on a particular vendor.  There is no limit to possibilities as there are thousands of modules and extensions available in the market to customize your e-commerce shopping cart system.  You are only limited by imagination.

Some popular open source e-commerce shopping carts:

Magento (PHP/MySQL)

Magento holds pole position when it comes to e-commerce shopping cart preference among mid to large size businesses.  This software offers everything you need to launch and manage your online store.  It is endlessly customizable and has thousands of plug-ins and extensions available.  Magento Community edition is the free version of Magento which you can host on your own server.  Its greatest ability is to handle large number of products and traffic.  Large businesses can operate multiple online stores from a single Magento account.  A good Magento development company can help you to set up a functional e-commerce store as the process can be complex.  The Magento Enterprise Edition is the enterprise grade paid option of this software which may require substantial investment to implement and is suitable for high budget corporates.

PrestaShop (PHP/MySQL)

Another equally popular open source e-commerce platform is PrestaShop.  It is a flexible, reliable and powerful shopping cart software with over 1 million community members contributing to the system.  It is available as both a cloud service and free software download.  Since the cloud version is limited in features and templates, the downloaded version offers more options for a professional online store.  With plenty of free and paid extensions available and ample support from the community, PrestaShop is a good choice to set up and start running your online store.

Drupal Commerce (PHP/MySQL)

Drupal Commerce is the only open source e-commerce platform built upon an enterprise CMS (content management system).  E-commerce store created via Drupal application development provides online retailers a powerful and flexible platform to create a rich user experience by connecting content and products seamlessly.  As an e-retailer, you can expect this open source software to drive your online and offline sales with the use of optimized merchandising tools, proven SEO tools and engaging web experiences.  It is highly extensible and can adapt to the changing needs of your e-commerce business through third party integration and feature enhancement.

OpenCart  (PHP/MySQL)

OpenCart is yet another professional and reliable open source PHP-based e-commerce solution.  This shopping cart solution features a sleek administrative dashboard, multi-currency and multi-language support, unlimited categories, products, and manufacturers and guest checkout option.  It also offers multiple payment gateways, 8+ shipping methods and both free community and commercial support.

osCommerce (PHP/MySQL)

osCommerce is a complete self-hosted online store solution that has been around for quite a long time.  This community of store owners, developers and service providers is almost 280,000 members strong with around 13,300 registered websites.  You have more than 7000 free add-ons to choose from to customize your online store, and complete access and total control of your online store and data.

The choice of an open source e-commerce software for your online store can be confusing considering the wide number of options available.  We are primarily a PrestaShop development company but our developers have extensive experience providing Magento and Drupal based solutions to e-retailers just like you.

Let us help you create something fantastic.  Talk to us today.

 

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