Choosing the right e-commerce platform to create an online store can be a daunting task. There are many available options, and at a glance it may seem as though they are quite similar. However, much like any other product, certain e-commerce platforms are a cut above the rest. This list of the top five platforms on the current market will help you narrow your choices, and gain insight into desirable characteristics to keep an eye out for when choosing the platform that is right for you.
Magento is consistently recognized as one of the best available platforms. It boasts a wealth of features, including an extensive tech-support team, the ability to operate multiple stores through one administrative page, the availability of a recurring payment option, and a wide range of design templates. Its excellence is recognized by many top retailers who use it to power their online stores, including The North Face and Samsung. However, it is admittedly complex for beginning users, and is on the expensive side, although there is a free package available that is designed strictly for developers. Magento is best for those with experience looking to run a large store.
2. Zen Cart
Zen Cart is a popular open-source platform, which holds the advantage of being relatively user friendly, especially compared to Magento. It is also a free platform, which may make it appealing to those making their first foray into the market. It is exceptionally easy to create a basic store in a relatively short amount of time, and the format may be changed with ease. Zen Cart also offers a number of free add ons that can be very useful, but also run the risk of cluttering things up.
Like Zen Cart, VirtueMart is a free open-source platform that is generally easy to use. It has a reliable built-in search function, and customers are able to create their own accounts within a VirtueMart store. It features easy customization and multiple add-ons, although these are also the source of some criticism. The program may be free, but certain templates and plugins are not which can make customization a less alluring option. It is also intended to be used in tandem with the content managing system Joomla — a complication that some users may not want to deal with. However VirtueMart’s range of features still makes it a strong option for websites receiving low to medium traffic.
OpenCart is yet another free platform with an easily customizable design. OpenCart’s major distinction is its support of an unlimited number of categories. This makes it easy to create a larger and more diverse store, which can be an issue with other platforms. It additionally features multiple language and currency options. Although it is relatively new compared to other platforms, which can make support a slight issue at times, it is still an excellent choice for small to mid-sized stores.
osCommerce rounds out the list as a final free and user-friendly platform option. It offers a range of add-ons, but it is important to note that not all of these are free. It features the ability to set prices in different currencies and pay through multiple gateways. osCommerce is unquestionably one of the most popular platforms available, however this can also be a turn off for potential users. Although it is undoubtedly one of the easiest to use platforms on this list, it is employed by well over 200,000 online stores. Those who wish to create a store that is truly unique in its look as well as its stock may wish to consider another platform.
Category: Website Tips