17 Best Open Source eCommerce Software You Should Know About
With the evolution of technology, it makes sense that we are also witnessing a rapid increase in ecommerce. New platforms are constantly changing in order to meet the needs of retail companies, and the sales are expected to go over $5 Trillion this year. The estimated growth of ecommerce platforms is 44% by the year 2019.
It doesn’t matter if they are small or big; all ecommerce stores are turning to open source platforms. The main reasons for that are, to save money, and have more control. If you have skills with CSS, HTML, and Ruby on Rails, then this is for you. But even without that you can pay somebody to manipulate and control aspects of your ecommerce site, so with open source ecommerce platforms everybody wins.
Also Read: Why Most eCommerce Businesses Fail?
There are many benefits for using ecommerce platforms and we are going to name a few. They automate shipping and taxes, manage products, enhance overall user experience, etc.
We put together this list to show you some open source ecommerce platforms, to help you find the best platform that suits your needs.
Is Open Source Software Really Free?
With open source ecommerce solutions, you get a huge number of features and complexity. You need to decide which platform is best suited to your needs, considering your budget and programming knowledge.
Without strong technical abilities, you will be lost if a problem arises in the code, and you didn’t want to pay for premium support. With that in your mind, we hope that you are going to try some of these platforms out, and wisely pick the one that is the most suited to your needs.
We hope that this article helped you in finding the perfect solution in your ecommerce site.
Drupal CommerceVisit Site »
Drupal Commerce is developed by the Commerce Guys, and it is mostly used by big companies. It is very simple to use, it’s highly customizable, and it can be used by people without tech experience. Drupal is the most flexible, ecommerce system currently.
One of the pluses of this platform is that it is built on a CMS (Content Management System). This is a great solution, as it increases online and offline sales. Drupal Commerce is extensible, and it integrates with third party systems in order to change the properties of a website. It is open-source, although application support that is offered is going to cost you. We are going to name some of the many features that Drupal has, such as flexible checkout, shopping cart dedicated API, Advanced architecture, multichannel retail.
UbercartVisit Site »
This shopping cart plugin is built for Drupal websites, as it integrates with the stores only by using the Drupal content management system. Ubercart is pretty basic, and it doesn’t come with built in hosting or email capabilities.
It seems that time is slowly running over this platform and that it’s falling down on the list of the most popular ecommerce platforms. One of the rare good things of this platform is that it’s pretty easy to learn, but besides that, there isn’t a wide array of features that Ubecart offers. For this and some other reasons, it is recommended only for very small shops, with a small number of products.
CubeCartVisit Site »
Bright and promising future is in front of this popular British open source commerce solution. This platform offers customer support, social media plugins, unlimited product administrators, and it is very user friendly.
This platform is positioning itself high on the list of the best ecommerce solutions, but it doesn’t have phone support and it is not very suitable for large enterprises. It also uses a 100% template driven responsive skin, so it looks great on all devices. It integrates with MailChimp but it doesn’t have the ability for many third-party integrations.
Zen CartVisit Site »
Zen Cart platform started in 2003 when it separated with osCommerce. This ecommerce platform has a strong community with more than 150,000 users and it also has detailed documentation and big number of plugins.
It is based on PHP programming language, and it also uses MySQL databases and HTML. It is open source and it has support for a number of languages, and currencies.
WooCommerceVisit Site »
Without a doubt this is the number one open source ecommerce solution available. Number of downloads is over 20,000,000 and raising, and this platform is handling almost 40% of the online market.
It is designed to be used with WordPress, and it was acquired by a WordPress operator called Automattic in 2015. It has a high level of flexibility, and it can be used for any size shop, but it is mostly used by large enterprises. It is free to download and install, but you will have to pay for more complex features, and technical support. Some of the features that you get include, at least 100 GB of website space, 100 email accounts, a dedicated support line, and a dedicated IP, and others.
VirtueMartVisit Site »
This open source platform is designed to be used with Joomla or the Mambo content management system. It is powered by PHP code and it needs MySQL databases for storage.
This platform started in 2004 in Germany, and it has a strong and very inspiring community of over 400,000 users. There is a small team of a few developers that are working on the platform. It has a wide array of features, but it’s not really suited for people who are not familiar with Joomla CMS. It is mostly used by low to medium enterprises, and the majority of users come from USA and Russia. It is supported by iPhone, but be cautious with spending too much money on various plug-ins, and add-ons. The new generation of this platform VirtueMart 3 is out and it offers some nice features that include refined custom fields, API changes and extensions, and jQuery clearance. Overall we would recommend this platform for you.
WP eCommerceVisit Site »
This a very simple and easy to use platform, also it is a WordPress plugin that’s been downloaded over million times and it is powering over 36,000 shops. The majority of small businesses are built on this or similar WordPress plugin.
Like we said, this platform is simple and reliable and you can use it with some basic knowledge of CSS and HTML. For more complex things you can seek advice from online community or hire somebody with more expertise. Some good features that are included in this platform are great customer support, industry leading payment gateways, monitoring of sales and reports. The downside of this solution is that it has a lot of bugs, and although free extra features and support are going to cost you.
Magento Community EditionVisit Site »
Magento Community Edition is an open source platform that’s written in PHP programming language, and it was developed by a private company, from the USA. It started in 2007, and the last stable version was released at the end of 2016. Some of the biggest companies on the market like Nestle, and Coca-Cola are using this platform.
Magento works with MySQL/MariaDB database system, and includes some elements of Zend Framework. With the latest release we got some great features, like smooth navigation, CSS preprocessing using LESS and CSS URL, new file structure with customization, and others. They had some security issues, but they managed to overcome them. We recommend taking this platform for a test run.
TomatoCartVisit Site »
Similar to Zen Cart, this platform was also developed from osCommerce. It owes its popularity to some cool features that include customization, and a built in CMS. We should mention that this platform is pretty light, so it can load pretty quickly.
It doesn’t have a lot of problems in terms of SEO, and its versatility, it is also good for content marketing, and it even works multiple payment gateways. But there are also some downsides to this solution that we want to point out. For instance there are a limited number of extensions available, shipping options are limited, and the design can be somewhat unpleasant. But still, we would recommend trying it; maybe it will grow on you.
X CartVisit Site »
There is one thing that sets this ecommerce solution apart and makes it unique, and that’s a lifetime license. This platform was developed by a Russian company that also worked on Ecwid. It was the first shopping cart software created with PHP in the world.
It offers a lot of features but they are going to set you back for about $495 or more. It is written on PHP code, and it is highly customizable. It will be great for somebody who is familiar with HTML, and who is able to manually change code to get the most out of this platform. It also offers hosted and self-install options. It offers integration with shipping carriers like, Australia Post, Canada Post, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. They also include a feature that prevents frauds. If your store is doing good, and you want a solid platform that has a lifetime license, we say go for it!
PrestaShopVisit Site »
This is a very solid ecommerce platform, that’s available in over 200 countries, on 65 languages, which is not a small thing. This started as a student project in 2005, in an IT school in Paris, and at first it was available only on French and English language.
It also has more than a million users, and over 250,000 shops run on PrestaShop. It has a strong, supportive community that you can approach for advice and discussion. This platform has some cool features like responsive web design, huge number of templates, and it gives you complete creative control. Their partners include big companies like PayPal and Google. We would recommend this solution, also you can check out their website for documentation, and their blog for news, and updates.
Spree CommerceVisit Site »
This open source ecommerce solution was created in 2007, and it is based on Ruby on Rails. It’s been downloaded more than 420,000 times and more than 45,000 stores are using it. It has a large community and it was acquired by First Data in 2015.
This platform is great for people who are developers but it can be difficult to comprehend for non-tech people. This solution has a lot of investors who are investing huge amounts of money, like Thrive Capital, Vegas Tech Fund, Red Swan and also AOL ventures, so we can expect this platform developing more and more in the future. This platform is very popular among users, it has been translated on 30 languages, and it is more suitable for bigger companies. There is also pretty good and detailed documentation on their website that we recommend you check out.
JigoShopVisit Site »
This is another popular WordPress ecommerce platform that enables WordPress users to use it with ease. It offers a wide array of features and it’s been downloaded over half a million times.
On the JigoShop website, there is an announcement of a new version, that’s going to bring much improvement to the users. For instance, the new version is going to be two times faster, with redeveloped extensions, some interface changes, and no problems with stability. We recommend that you check their website for more information about the new version.
simpleCart jsVisit Site »
This platform can be used with any language, but it is not offering a lot of backend features. The good thing about this platform is that it is pretty straight forward, and you can use it with basic knowledge of HTML.
You can find everything that you need on their website, including documentation, tutorials, and other features. The biggest downside to this platform is that it hasn’t been updated since 2010.
ZeuscartVisit Site »
We would recommend this platform to people who are beginners in the world of programming. It has a great community. It is mostly made for small and medium shops, and it offers a lot of possibilities like, attribute driven product catalogs, category management, SEO friendly URLs, E-mail templates, and many others.
This platform presents a solid ecommerce solution, with great support, and focus on the UX. This platform is designed with Bootstrap, and it has many features to offer to its users. They also provide e-commerce consultancy services, and shopping cart customization. Zeuscart is working under a GPI license and we recommend checking more documentation on their website. We expect this platform to rise in the future, too bad that they neglected the website, and their social media output.
RokQuickCartVisit Site »
RokQuickCart is a very simple solution for Joomla that’s going to make your shopping experience more enjoyable. It works with Google Checkout, PayPal, and Amazon and it displays products as block items in a grid structure. You can add items to your cart and the rest like shipping and sales tax is taken care of.
This software is lightweight, so it’s not going to slow you down. You have a high level of controlling and customizing this solution and it also works with 23 currencies. It has a nice community and on their website you can check out documentation and other details.
Some of the cons of using this platform include some compatibility issues with Google Chrome and the fact that it doesn’t provide an ability of calculating or processing shipping by weight.
OpenCartVisit Site »
This is a relatively small platform but it’s used by almost 600,000 sites, which is an astonishing accomplishment. The looks of your shop really matter to OpenCart and this is a great thing from a customer perspective.
Made in China, but with majority of users from the USA, it has a vibrant and welcoming community. The users like this solution because it is very simple to use, there is no need to tinker with the code. It also offers more than 20 payment gateways and it works with multiple languages and currencies. Overall we would recommend this to all users and we predict this ecommerce solution a bright future, if they keep up with this pace.
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