Most of us probably did not know that the first electronic commerce transaction occurred in the NetMarket website way back in 1994. Since then, e-commerce has turned to be one of the reasons why people go online in order to do different things related to it such as buying, selling, performing financial transactions that are available for commercial purposes over the Internet.
The choices can make your head spin. In this regard, it is just right to be informed about the many popular ecommerce platforms and its advantages and disadvantages for your digital enlightenment.
One of the most popular open source ecommerce platforms and is based on PHP or Hypertext Preprocesser e-commerce solution for online traders is Open Cart.
This platform is excellent for start ups and if you need greater speed to market as it is enhanced with very powerful ecommerce tools like shopping cart and you only need minimum investment to use this platform.
This is probably one of the oldest ecommerce platforms. It is used by large ecommerce websites due to many arresting features such as being an open source platform and you can download it free of charge.
As it is an open source ecommerce solution, programmers can modify the source codes and introduce more features and functions either by installing or creating plug-ins or add-ons.
Another open source and can be downloaded free and customized when needed is SpreeCommerce. However, you need to pay for hosting and gateway fees.
There are no transaction fees involved and it supports all usable merchant gateways. Integrated features are supported by Wombat which is an ecommerce operating system of this platform. This platform is fast becoming the standard when it comes to open e-commerce solutions.
This is an open source ecommerce platform and designed to serve as an extention for Joomla or Mambo CMS (content management system).
It is PHP based and needs MYSQL data base management for storage. It is suitable for low to medium sized websites with between low to medium levels of traffic. Some of its amazing features include unlimited number of categories or products, provides catalogue mode, multiple pricing, and allow usage of different payment modes.
PrestaShop is used by more than 125,000 online stores and with a community support of over 350,000 members. Indeed, this is a very popular ecommerce platform considering that this one just started in 2007.
This is a good platform for start-ups; however, many experienced programmers are lured into this platform too. It boosts of quality features such as automated email follow up, SEO optimization, catalogue management, mobile themes, multi-payment options, international shipping, recent product views, and promo tools like coupons and vouchers.
This is the ecommerce counterpart of WordPress. Thus, if you can easily install WordPress, then you can do the same with this platform and it is free also. This has become a very popular ecommerce platform due to its high level of usability and functionality, ease of use, and flexible customization.
Web developers and designers can have total access to source code which can provide unlimited options in terms of function and design customization. As an open source platform, you get basic features like shopping cart, marketing tools, database management features, and among others.
This ecommerce platform is free to use for 30 days and once the free trial is up, you can buy any of their available plans which will cost you anywhere from $29 for basic plan and $179 for the diamond plan.
This is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms with over 150,000 stores using it. This could be due to its robust features which allow adding tags, page titles, and URLs for SEO, multiple product supports, multi-tax options, easy shipping rates configuration, multiple payment options, multi-language support, and statistical data on your dashboard for example.
Clearly, there is no such thing as a perfect ecommerce platform. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The process of selecting the right platform depends on many factors such as number of stores, online coverage, product and category mix, payment options, scale of business and its operation, just to name a few.
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