eCommerce is one of the fastest growing industries this century alone. RJMetrics reports that: “eCommerce is the only trillion-dollar industry growing at a double-digit percentage each year.”
Over 12% of the Internet is made up of eCommerce platforms, according to the same article. All of them couldn’t be using the same content management software, right?
Right. Since the object of our article is the nopCommerce platform, we’ve decided to compare it with some competitors.
If you’re planning to add to the list of successful e-stores, the following content management systems (CMS) should help out.
We’ll start off with the “star” of this piece, so you get to know a bit about it. In case you didn’t, already.
You wouldn’t think nopCommerce is free for what it offers. It comes packed with some features that only Pro plans of other platforms give out.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- The option of anonymous checkout
- Secure SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates
- PDF receipt exporting
- Live chat functionality
In any case, if you want to build a store with nopCommerce, you will love its Model-view-Controller (MVC) architecture. Developers’ jobs are made easier. They can scale your store to suit your growth or upgrade it whenever necessary.
It’s also suited for optimizing your store for the mobile market. That’s particularly helpful, considering the number of mobile Internet users has reached 2 billion this year.
We offer integration with this platform (and others) as part of our cloud-hosted servers. If you’re looking to build a store, know that we are there to offer you 24/7 support and a seven-point security platform to safeguard your data.
In any case, let’s head on to the next item on our list – Magento.
This is a very popular platform for eCommerce and shopping cart sites. According to BuiltWith, about 249,000 pages are using Magento right now.
This study puts that number way lower, at about 20,000. Either way, it’s pretty impressive.
As for the benefits of this solution, here’s what you need to know:
- Much like any open-source eCommerce software, it offers support for add-ons and extensions. That means you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to building your online store.
- Speaking of flexibility, Magento offers a modular architecture. That means you can add and replace any component of your e-Store without affecting others.
- Easy payment gateway integration.
Like nopCommerce, Magento also gives you the possibility to develop multiple sites without a fuss.
Some will not like that the platform uses PHP, as it can create a lot of issues. For example, the application can be a RAM-hog when there are heavy processes involved. Just a heads up.
And now, we head over to Prestashop, the next platform we have in store for you.
Another free CMS for your eCommerce needs. This time, you’re offered some tools to manage everything related to the online part of your business, in real time.
What does that mean? Well, Prestashop comes with a “what you see is what you get” editing tool. With it, you can:
- Manage the descriptions of store items
- Add images to products to showcase your brand
- Modify prices on a whim
- Edit discounts for your merchandise
- Create gift vouchers for use in your store
Everything we’ve described above is part of an effortless editing process. But that’s not all Prestashop brings to the table.
Like Magento before it, you can integrate different payment methods for your site, including PayPal and personal bank accounts. Transferring funds has never been easier.
Now, Prestashop may have a lot of modules to offer, but they can get quite expensive. Plus, you will often find yourself needing those modules either way, so it’s not a case of them being an “optional buy.”
If you’re looking for a more developer-oriented platform, however, Zen Cart should peek your curiosity. That will be our next and final CMS for today.
4. Zen Cart
As we’ve mentioned above, Zen Cart is the choice for programmers and developers especially.
It branched off as a separate project from another CMS named osCommerce. The changes were aesthetic for the most part.
But, they’ve also implemented a template system, which osCommerce didn’t have.
If you want your store to stand out from the rest, you have the ability to integrate your own unique features and designs.
Not happy with the plug-ins and extensions provided by alternatives? Build your own third party modules and integrate them into your shop.
Or, you can just use some of Zen Cart’s own plug-ins to modify it as you see fit.
Zen Cart might also interest you if you plan on selling to foreign markets. Its customer management component has all sorts of templates you can customize in terms of:
- What currency will be used for transactions
- Which tax regulations apply to the sales
- The language your foreign customers will see your site in
Now, while Zen Cart is a favorite choice for programmers, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to use. Its navigation is quite user-friendly.
Just remember that Zen Cart is PHP-based. As with Magento, the issues it could create are not easy to ignore. Tread lightly.
Conclusions (and Where to Start from Here)
So, how does nopCommerce compare to the other platforms on our list? The truth is, it all comes down to preference at this point.
With millions of online stores all using one of these different platforms, it’s difficult to recommend only one option.
The best way to go about it is to try the free alternatives first. Luckily, most of what we’ve presented today has a free option. Magento is the “odd one out” because only its Community Edition is without licensing fees.
Since the mobile market is increasing exponentially, we recommend you start with nopCommerce. After all, it’s no use concentrating on the stagnating desktop market.
That isn’t to say you won’t give desktop users the required attention. It’s just that you will be better equipped for the mobile future of eCommerce.
But before you choose a CMS, you also need to find a host for your website.
If you choose to start with nopCommerce, you get the benefit of having Applied Innovations as your trusted hosting partner.
As we’ve mentioned before, we guarantee 24/7 US-based support. Besides, you will never have to worry about the integrity of your site again.
With our managed CDP (Continuous Data Protection), any changes made to your data are continually backed up. That means you can restore information from any point in time.
Give us a call today at 1.866.706.8691, or have a chat with us. We’ll put you up-to-speed with everything you need to know and aid you in your goals.