Ecommerce Platforms – OpenCart Review
OpenCart is an open-sourced shopping platform. It works similar to Woocommerce in that there is a large marketplace of independently developed themes, add-ons and extensions which can be used to build and customize your store.
Unlike Woocommerce, which is designed for WordPress (an all-around website building platform that leads the way for blogs), OpenCart has been designed specifically for e-commerce. So, it has solid e-commerce tools, but if you want to run another kind of site with your store, this has a little less to offer.
The reason I mention this is that there is research that shows that stores with a blog can increase their traffic by 162%.
For the technical minded – this is a PHP based platform that has been able to incorporate the use of HTML and MySQL Database.
This platform is a fit for those with website development experience as it is open source and you need to install it on your own. So, you have to be prepared to do some work putting the pieces together — this is not a ready-to-go option.
Best for small and medium-sized businesses, this platform has all the basic functions a user would need from an e-commerce solution.
People tend to like this platform because you have a great deal of control — so long as you have the development skills.
The basic software is open-source and free
It also has a dedicated technical support
There’s a large marketplace for themes and all the add-ons you might need
You can manage multiple stores from one interface
It doesn’t have the same all-round functionality of a WordPress e-commerce site
A system may be too light, especially for large scale users
Scaling up has costs that aren’t readily apparent
Ease of Use
While development skills are good to have for building on the platform, the store management interface is well-organized and user-friendly.
It comes with one basic design, but there are a great number of themes in the marketplace for you to choose from.
It is mobile-friendly, though you need to ensure that your site is as well, and there are apps available to make mobile use even smoother.
It is quite easy to maintain because of the readily available support forums and a well-designed user-friendly interface.
It offers both community-based and fee-based dedicated support which costs $99 for a single fix or an ongoing $99 per month.
The basic marketing functions of tracking, email campaigns, and coupons are covered.
As you scale up you need to begin purchasing new modules that can start to cost. So, this platform may be a good place to start but scaling up may have its issues.
Free for the basic software, but add-ons have a wide-range of prices.