The eCommerce industry, in the last decade, has witnessed massive growth. While the US eCommerce retail sales have grown exponentially, there has been a shift in customer shopping behavior, increasing online sales. The increasing customer expectations have led to a competitive landscape between various eCommerce sites. With the help of the right technology to support online presence, successful businesses need to offer a seamless customer experience. For instance, you may want your shopping cart software to be connected to an already existing CMS. Or you may need to ensure whether it can sell on social media or not. As you search for technology that can meet these or any other custom requirements you may have, you may want an open source eCommerce platform for your business.
This blog will help you dive into open source eCommerce solutions and suggest some of the best platforms you may want to consider for your business.
What is an Open Source eCommerce Platform?
An open source software implies that a user has full access to the source code, that the user with developer resources can adapt and customize the platform to meet their business requirement. Such a platform offers a customizable option of launching an online store for a business. Open Source ecommerce platforms are slight different when compared to wordpress hosting platforms. It also provides how-to resources, active support communities, and directories of third-party developers. Although several established platforms have customizable themes, advanced core features, and a library of extensions, many have also hosted enterprise versions. With an abundance of open source eCommerce platforms in the marketplace, it isn’t easy to choose the right one suited to your requirements.
So, here is a compilation of the top 20 new and established open source eCommerce platforms that can help you build a smooth and user-friendly online shopping website.
A flexible, open source commerce platform, WooCommerce is built on the WordPress CMS. The platform comes bundled with the capability to accept bank transfers, major credit cards, cheques, and COD with over 140 region-specific gateways. WooCommerce enables you to sell simple physical products, members-only digital content, and appointments. It offers live shipping rates from leading cargo carriers, automated tax calculations, mobile apps for iOS and Android, options to print labels, and more. This open-source eCommerce platform is highly customizable with several plugins and over 600 extensions.
Yet another open-source eCommerce platform, PrestaShop is an actively maintained open-source solution with an official marketplace for extensions and themes. Unlike other mediums such as OpenCart, you may not get a one-click app on hosting services. But you can always download it from its official website, and it is easy to set up. It is easy to use and features a lot of options at the same time.
3. X-Cart Ecommerce
An open-source eCommerce platform, X-Cart Ecommerce offers a license for a lifetime. Its PHP shopping cart offers something that you won’t find in most freemium carts – a license for a lifetime. Built on a robust source code with an extensive feature set available for paid plans, X Cart offers hosted and self-installed options.
Another open-source eCommerce platform, Nopcommerce, was developed on ASP.NET technology. It powers over 60,000 live stores. This open-source eCommerce platform has been downloaded more than 3,000,000 times. Its flexible architecture makes it easy to build custom functionality and take care of business requirements. There are pre-installed versions for those who don’t have much technical knowledge.
nopCommerce offers robust marketing and sales tools for B2C and B2B, such as multi-vendor or multi-store out-of-the-box. While the platform is free of charge, there is a $250 white-label fee to get the ‘Powered by nopCommerce’ link removed from the footer of the site.
As the name suggests, Ecwid is not a unique eCommerce platform. Rather, it is a shopping cart that you integrate with a website to make it a fully-functional full-fledged online store. Since, essentially, the name translates to ‘eCommerce widgets,’ it requires some lines of coding. Ecwid offers three paid packages, but it also gives you a free option that comes with decent eCommerce capabilities. Apart from unlimited bandwidth, you get two product categories, a mobile responsive design and support for 10 items. It is unfortunate that it disallows you from selling any of your digital products at that level. Besides, online store functionalities would be limited to a single-page eCommerce website that is not appealing. To escape the situation, you can subscribe to one of the premium plans, starting at $15 per month.
6. Wix eCommerce
Wix is, undoubtedly, a renowned cloud-based online store builder. This open-source eCommerce platform comes with an extensive collection of elegant site templates and visually appealing themes. Professional experts have designed the platform for mobile optimization and extra responsiveness. You can leverage various apps from the extensive Wix App Market if you want to add additional functionalities to your premium website. Additionally, the other eCommerce website capabilities available at this level include payment processors, abandoned cart recovery, global shipping providers, and more. While the bulk of its packages are mostly premium, Wix also offers an extra option where you can set up a free website. And, even the free users can benefit from its intuitive drag-and-drop website builder. They can design an entire website without the need for coding. You can complete a basic, free website within a couple of minutes.
The free plan is best for beginners who are looking for powerful tools to build and host a standard business website, granting access to a diverse range of customizable predesigned templates along with other supplementary icons, images, and clip arts. And you need not be worried about space because it takes quite some time to exhaust 500MBs of free site storage. On the other hand, the corresponding bandwidth extends to 1GB on a domain created on the Wix platform.
Magento Open Source is a part of the Magento eCommerce platform, including the premium Magento Commerce, which is a hosted enterprise version with additional features and benefits. With the Magento Marketplace, you can configure your store with over 4,000 extensions along with a range of themes, support options, partners, and resources. Magento offers eCommerce training courses and a certification program.
8. Mailchimp Open Commerce
Mailchimp Open Commerce, formerly known as Reaction Commerce, is an API-first, modular commerce stack created using React, Node.js, and GraphQL. Every online store is built around an extensive catalog of products. You can set up your products in the admin dashboard and organize them with product tags to help shoppers navigate through the catalog. A wide range of plugins offered on this open-source eCommerce platform covers basic features, including shop configuration, backend services, and the shopper experience.
9. Spree Commerce
An open-source eCommerce platform, Spree Commerce built with Ruby on Rails for multi-language along with multi-currency global brands. The platform is available for free with a web store, a progressive web app, or even headless. It offers a multi-store for multiple brands, a responsive storefront, over 30 integrated payments, an advanced discounting system, and dozens of extensions. This platform has 10,100 GitHub stars, more than 780 contributors, and 1.1 million downloads.
OpenCart is yet another open-source eCommerce platform that can manage multiple online stores from a single backend. This platform comes with detailed products, orders, a mobile-friendly admin area, and customer management, marketing tools, sales reports, and more. Besides, OpenCart offers over 13,000 themes and modules. OpenCart forums have over 110,000 registered members and more than 550,000 posts.
An original open-source eCommerce platform, osCommerce, was launched in 2000. Its Online Merchant edition is a full-stack store system with a front-end. It also has an administration backend that can be easily configured and customized using 9,100 free add-ons. Around 21,000 live sites use osCommerce, and its forum has over 1.6 million posts.
It is a suite of open-source business apps, integrated, including eCommerce, point-of-sale, inventory, customer, accounting, and project management. Odoo’s eCommerce app features customizable themes and pages, integrated payment and shipping options, and more. With Odoo, you can design, share and track efficient email campaigns, run and promote your blog posts and create polished sales proposals.
13. Zen Cart
Zen Cart is not a very modern eCommerce platform, but it is one of the best open-source eCommerce solutions. It offers a host of old-school, primarily HTML-based templates and some of the basic features. It is not quite recommended for new projects, but if you want to experiment with this dynamic platform, you can do so.
Drupal is another open-source eCommerce CMS platform that is suitable for creating a full-fledged online shopping website. With its sophisticated APIs for multichannel publishing, powerful content management tools, and a track record of continuous innovation, this open-source eCommerce platform is ready to stand as the hub of your digital presence. With the extensive list of themes and modules it offers, it seems like you can do anything you want to for building an eCommerce platform.
Sylius is a headless, open-source eCommerce platform for mid-market and enterprise brands launched in 2016. Sylius offers a commercial edition called Sylius Plus. Sylius provides a flexible framework for integrating multiple currencies, easy customization and integration, cross-border commerce, an easily adaptable administration panel, out-of-the-box promotions, and scalable infrastructure. The platform is supported by 620-plus contributors and offers over 250 plugins.
VirtueMart is yet another open-source eCommerce platform that can be used with the Joomla CMS. It can be run in catalog mode or as a shopping cart. You can change the look and feel of your website by using Joomla templates and getting access to various commerce features. It includes tools to control stock, enhance search ratings, manage shoppers, provide shipment and payment options, and more. The VirtueMart eCommerce Bundle is another modification of Joomla with a pre-installed VirtueMart.
Joomla is an open-source CMS that can be used for small business websites, eCommerce, online reservations, and more, free of cost. Its core framework offers data reporting tools, inventory control systems, and custom product catalogs, among various other features. Joomla was launched in 2000, and its marketplace contains nearly 6,000 extensions and has 200,000 members.
18. WP eCommerce
Overshadowed by a cousin of WooCommerce, WP eCommerce is a solid WordPress plugin that doesn’t receive as much attention as WooCommer. They are technically unrelated. What you need to do is install WordPress on your hosting server, along with a WP eCommerce plugin. This will transform your regular WordPress dashboard into an eCommerce control center. As a next step, you add products, run promotions, create categories, and more.
A lesser-known open source eCommerce platform, Branchbob promises ease of use and simplicity. There are no monthly payments to worry about. The platform is straightforward, clear, and brilliant for beginners. Branchbob performs very well when it comes to page speed and optimized payment processes. Faster page performance implies that you get to deliver experiences that your target audience looks forward to.
Branchbob renders support to unlimited products like any other platform, where you can choose your design from a diversity of templates. Branchbob is one of the most functional eCommerce platforms for both developers and designers. You can access the complete source code behind the software to adjust it according to your needs. There are more than 100 APIs to experiment with. If you are unsure about making the most of the code, you can always take the help of Branchbob Experts. These are professionals who can help build your site for a fee.
Zeuscart is a developer-centric open-source eCommerce platform. The website’s homepage greets you with acronyms to chase off those who are not avid programmers, such as PHP, MySQL, GPL license, etc. Irrespective of how much programming knowledge you have, Zeuscart is an attractive open-source eCommerce solution that focuses on the UX of its platform. It makes the platform less intimidating than several other open-source eCommerce platforms. Zeuscart is designed for SMBs and built with a Bootstrap. It is market-friendly and feature-rich, boasting a decent community. It offers free support for the first 30 days, along with paid support. It could have been a fantastic eCommerce platform. However, unfortunately, the website and social media feed were abandoned in 2014. But you can still download the eCommerce platform from the Zeuscart website.
We hope you choose the right platform to build your eCommerce online shopping website with the information mentioned above.