E-commerce has become synonymous with shopping for many, and most businesses have realized that an online store has to be a part of their strategy. Some smaller ventures may even choose to sell only online, and forego the idea of a brick-and-mortar store completely. This approach also makes sense for brands that deal with virtual products like e-books or website themes.
Whatever your business, the look and functionality of your online store is very important. It is the first point of contact with your customer, and that first impression needs to be a positive and lasting one. To a large extent, this is determined by the solution that you choose to set up your store. Magento, OpenCart and WooCommerce are the ones that are proving to be frontrunners in this area. Let’s take a closer look at these 3 main contenders to help you decide which one would fit your need.
Magento is a very popular solution, and it has definitely built up a great recall value for the brand. Here are some pros and cons offered by it:
- It is rich in features and functionality and offers its users an in-depth and powerful platform for their stores. It can also be easily customized for your requirement.
- With the right infrastructure support, Magento can offer a very good speed and performance for your store.
- Due to being a tried and tested solution, its usage of SEO is very efficient.
- The ease of scalability ensures that your store can seamlessly grow along with your business.
- Due to its features like easy language translation and currency conversion, Magento is a good option for businesses that need an international reach.
- The free Community edition comes with a lot of support from an expert team of developers.
- Magento is a complex solution, which means that it might lead to a longer learning curve. Once it is mastered, though, the range of features offered is immense.
- The Community edition is available free of charge, but moving to the Enterprise edition may prove to be cost-intensive for small businesses.
OpenCart is a good choice for a basic ecommerce store, and can be summed up as below:
- It offers users a good set of features, including a powerful catalog functionality and a good mechanism for order processing.
- New users would go through an easy learning curve, which means they could set up and start using OpenCart quite fast. This is because the interfaces offered by this solution are very straightforward and simple ones.
- OpenCart comes with some very good documentation, which guides users through all the initial setup and other functionality. Screenshots are also included to make the documentation more efficient.
- The cost of setting up a store with OpenCart is quite approachable even for small businesses.
- OpenCart does not promise a very high performance, unless users opt for additional plugins such as for SEO.
- A store that is set up with OpenCart is not very easy to customize, and might be constricting for some businesses.
- Caching is not provided by OpenCart, and must be added using an extension for improving performance.
WooCommerce works in partnership with WordPress to enable users to create an online store within their blogs or websites. It is a newer solution when compared to OpenCart and Magento.
- It works very well with WordPress, and offers a seamless interface to users who are already using that platform.
- It is very easy to use, with a very short learning curve especially because the users are already knowledgeable about the WordPress ecosystem that it is a part of.
- WooCommerce offers a simple feature set that is sufficient for setting up a basic store.
- It is tightly linked with WordPress and cannot be used without it.
- While basic themes and plugins might be free or inexpensive, the premium ones might cost a lot more.
As can be seen from the above lists of pros and cons, each of these solutions could work well for different groups of users. The choice depends on what your requirements are, and also the current size and scaling needs of your organization.
We hope this quick run-through of Magento, OpenCart and WooCommerce helps you make your decision more easily. Do let us know if you think any other pros or cons should be added to this list.