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Open-Source E-commerce for Business Success

An open-source E-commerce platform is vital for facilitating business sales and helping your organization grow and thrive.

Pablo Chamorro

By Pablo Chamorro

As Chief Revenue Officer, Pablo Chamorro leads BairesDev's sales teams to boost revenue while ensuring the effectiveness of company-wide strategies.

10 min read

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In today’s world, a digital presence is mandatory. As of 2021, more than 2.14 billion people across the world were expected to make purchases online. In part due to the pandemic, the e-commerce business is clearly booming, with many customers taking their purchases online over shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.

In response to the incredible demand, companies of all types are implementing e-commerce solutions to facilitate online purchases. But many of the options are costly. That’s why numerous businesses are turning to the open-source e-commerce platform

Already, there are plenty of options. Some of the best open-source e-commerce solutions available are:

  • Bagisto
  • Drupal Commerce
  • Joomla
  • Magento
  • Mailchimp Open Commerce
  • nopCommerce
  • Odoo eCommerce
  • OpenCart
  • osCommerce
  • Pimcore
  • PrestaShop
  • Shopware
  • WooCommerce
  • X-Cart
  • Zen Cart

What Is an Open-Source E-commerce Platform?

There are plenty of options for e-commerce platforms. You’re probably familiar with top brands like Shopify and Squarespace. These are usually software as a service (SaaS) models, meaning businesses that use them pay a regular subscription fee. The tools allow organizations to conduct online sales.

Open-source e-commerce platforms are tools that leverage source code that is freely available for anyone to use or modify as they wish. Because you don’t have to pay a licensing fee, this option is a cheaper alternative to the SaaS model. It’s also more flexible since you can alter and customize it. 

Using an open-source shopping cart model has a lot of advantages. For example:

  • It is cost-effective.
  • It is more conducive to customization and personalization.
  • Many options offer third-party integrations.
  • You can design it to suit your needs.
  • You have full control over the platform.
  • It is scalable.

Comparing Open-Source E-commerce Platforms

So, if you’re looking for an open-source e-commerce platform, how do you know which one to choose? Of course, you want a tool that will maximize your profits and offer the most advantages to your business. You also want to ensure that you have a platform that is secure and user-friendly.

These are the biggest considerations when you’re selecting your e-commerce tool. Additional questions to ask yourself are:

  • What language is the platform coded in?
  • How many stores can the platform accommodate?
  • What integrations, plugins, and themes are available?
  • What additional features does it offer?
  • What kind of community and resources surround the platform?
  • What level of technical proficiency does it demand?
  • How easy is it to maintain and scale?
  • What is the performance like?
  • Will you be developing the platform in-house, or are you looking to hire an external development firm?
  • How does it process payments? Which forms of payments are accepted?
  • What is the breadth of the search functionality?
  • What support is available for the platform?

It is in your best interest to compare open-source e-commerce platforms, taking note of the features that are available in each option and determining which one will best suit the needs of you and your business. 

How To Choose the Best E-commerce for My Business

Your first decision, when it comes to e-commerce solutions, is whether to go with an open-source model or an SaaS/paid platform. This choice will depend on a number of factors.

For example, if you do not have a robust development team in place, an open-source e-commerce platform will be challenging to customize, install, and maintain. It requires strong technical skills, and without them, you will not be well equipped to leverage this type of solution for business. In that case, a closed-source, SaaS platform—one that essentially does all this work for you—may be a better option.

With an SaaS e-commerce platform, your provider will be responsible for setup, updates, security, and essentially anything else you need with regard to the tool. 

However, if you do have access to developers with the necessary technical proficiency and tools, and want to have more control over your e-commerce platform, an open-source model may better suit your needs. You also won’t need to continue to pay fees because you’re not using a subscription. Scalability and maintenance depend entirely on your team. And you will have the full ability to customize your platform as you wish.

It is, however, important to note that open-source models are not quite the same as free e-commerce platforms. There are sometimes fees associated with installation, customization, security, and maintenance. So, you shouldn’t necessarily assume that they are the cheaper option—although it’s possible that they are.

So, when it comes down to it, consider factors like your budget, how your business plans to use the platform, the technical proficiency of your team, and other needs.

Customizing E-commerce Platforms

Do bear in mind, however, that even if you don’t have the requisite professionals and technical skills in-house, it is still possible to outsource development and have an experienced software team build and customize the platform for you. This is more possible with open-source e-commerce solutions. While this does mean added cost, it is still usually cheaper overall, and you have the added benefit of retaining ownership over the finished product.

Many outsourcing development teams will also provide you with ongoing support and maintenance and will help you scale your e-commerce platform as your business grows and your needs change.

No matter which option you choose, one thing is clear: An e-commerce platform is essential for any business that makes sales of any kind. In today’s age, you simply can’t afford to be without one.

Pablo Chamorro

By Pablo Chamorro

Pablo Chamorro is BairesDev's Chief Revenue Officer and is responsible for leading and developing the sales department in their plans to increase overall revenue streams. Pablo ensures that interdepartmental strategies are effectively applied for further expansion.

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