If you’re looking to make a living online, e-commerce provides a lot of lucrative possibilities. Almost anyone can start an online store, but setup costs can be a bit discouraging. Fortunately, there are several open-source e-commerce platforms that enable you to set up your own shop without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best open-source e-commerce platforms. We’ll also discuss their main features to help you choose the right solution for your online store. Let’s get started!
Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Start Your Own E-Commerce Business
Online shopping is on an upwards trajectory and will only become more popular. In 2021, there were an estimated 2.1 billion digital buyers worldwide.
It’s easy to see the appeal of buying online. Shoppers don’t have to leave the comfort of their own homes; products are delivered to their front doors.
Online shopping is also cheaper for retailers as they don’t need to have so many overheads. Those savings can be passed on to the consumer in the form of perks, such as free shipping, to encourage more sales.
It’s also worth noting that an average e-commerce site earns nearly $330,000 in monthly revenue after 12 months in business. Now is a great time to find a niche, build your site and brand, and try your luck at becoming an entrepreneur.
When deciding on which e-commerce platform to use for your online store, it’s always best to choose an open-source solution. This is because open-source solutions are more customizable than closed-source systems like Shopify or Etsy. This means that you can build your own dream store from the ground up and modify it as your business grows.
4 Best Open-Source E-Commerce Platforms
Are you ready to set up your own online store? Here are four of the best open-source e-commerce platforms available to you.
If you have a WordPress website, the best open-source platform to use would be WooCommerce. As well as being absolutely free, WooCommerce integrates seamlessly into WordPress. Basically, if you know how to use WordPress, you will quickly get the hang of WooCommerce.
WooCommerce comes with hundreds of extensions that extend the functionality of your store. For example, you can set up alternative payment methods, integrate a customer newsletter, and display international shipping rates. You can even create a pop-up showing what recent customers have been buying to entice new visitors to make purchases. However, not all of these extensions are free.
With WooCommerce, you can sell anything, whether it’s a one-off physical product or a subscription. Customers can also choose to be billed once or on a recurring basis. Moreover, many features are automated, saving you a lot of time and hassle.
WooCommerce only works with WordPress, and some users may find this platform too simple for their needs. However, for someone just setting off on their e-commerce journey, WooCommerce provides a pain-free way to get started.
OpenCart is another great e-commerce platform, which wins major points for its design. Like WooCommerce, OpenCart comes with extensions (called ‘modules’) and there are over 13,000 to choose from. These modules cover everything you need to run a successful business, from invoicing to social media to even language packs for your international customers.
The dashboard gives you a complete overview of your shop’s activities, such as your current sales, what’s to be shipped, sales analytics, and how many people are currently on your site. You can even manage multiple stores from the same dashboard.
Since selling online is a competitive business, you have to be able to lower your prices and offer discount codes without too much hassle and time delay. OpenCart enables you to generate coupons and special deals at the click of a button. You can also run your own affiliate scheme. Therefore, OpenCart is an ideal option for those who want a bit more power and flexibility.
Magento is an e-commerce solution from Adobe. This platform is a free “limited” edition. Users will need to upgrade to the paid version for more features.
Like the other recommendations on this list, Magento has its own extensions. The Magento Marketplace runs the gamut with things like integrated customer newsletters, payment gateways, social media marketing, accounting tools, and much more.
The open-source version of Magento is rather basic, but when you add on extensions, you can turn your site into a fully-functional online shop. It won’t have all the same bells and whistles as Adobe’s paid version, but it won’t be too bad either.
Magento also offers training in various aspects of e-commerce business. Therefore, you may want to consider this option if you’re looking for a bit more guidance, or want to learn valuable skills from a successful company.
Square Online is an e-commerce solution powered by the popular payment processor Square. This platform makes it super easy to design and set up your online store. You can simply drag and drop text and images onto your pages, no coding required.
Naturally, Square Online stores are seamlessly integrated into Square’s payment system. However, other payment gateways are supported as well, including PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. Your store also integrates with sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Google to help you drive more sales.
As with OpenCart, you can create discounts, coupons, and gift cards to compete with your rivals. Moreover, Square Online enables you to run a rewards program. It’s an option worth considering if you’re looking for an easy way to build a base of loyal customers.
As the offline high street economy continues to decline, e-commerce is booming by comparison. If you’d like to take advantage of the surging popularity of digital shopping, there are several open-source platforms that can help you set up your own online shop, including WooCommerce and Magento.
Do you have any questions about the e-commerce platforms featured in this post? Let us know in the comments section below!