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Top 5 E-Commerce Platforms to consider for Small Business

Ecommerce Platforms has been around since years from now and undoubtedly the market is expanding rapidly.

So if you are not into an online venture but holds your own brand & product, certainly you have a good option to enter into an online business.

Online e-commerce giants such as the Amazon, eBay, Alibaba is an example of huge online marketplace.

However to create such a huge platform, investment is too heavy and it is not viable for small business and enterprises.

So most of the manufacturing concerns have turned down their noses to sell on those giant platform instead of creating own e-commerce solutions.

And every business knew it, only launching an e-commence website won’t generate any revenue or sales without prior digital promotion.

So the picture is very clear, there is again an investment for digital promotion and advertising. 

And for branding online you have to consider all possible options today, because it is not only about SEO or Google Ranking factor.

The digital marketing scenario is changing and it is hard today without building a strategy for multi-channel marketing .

However keeping digital promotion aside for a while, you can always start small and invest only on what our need to build your store.

Today technology is very cheap so anyone can launch an eCommerce store easily.

There are a lot of option today, which would incur a fraction of a cost by adopting the right Open Source E-Commerce platforms.

And solutions as such open source eCommerce platform can grow your business

Why Open Source Ecommerce Platforms, and why should you adapt it?

You can think of open source as free distribution of codes for people and business to create your own eCommerce portal.

It is shared with the purpose of stetting up your business for free and add modules to integrate and enhance your own portal.

Behind every open source software, there is a community who is willing contributing to society for free and for business.

And community contribution is changing the lives of millions of store owners, making it easy for stores expansions and overcoming the shortfalls.

So to build a robust system, you don’t have to worry about hiring a development team, as there is already a predefined architecture to start with.

The open source community and developers has contributed thousand of modules and extensions for use by store owner for functional upgrades.

And most of them comes for free, however there is also a paid version for almost all extension.

Paid Modules and Extensions comes handy for every store owners to access the full functionality of any module.

So either you are in Retail, Wholesale or in Manufacturing sectors.

Today there is an evergreen opportunity of running your business online by adapting open source eCommerce application.

And this is where the opensource technologies such as Magento, OpenCart, WooCommerce etc. stands out for small business.

The incredible marketplace & community support for eCommerce store

In order to run a complete eCommerce store there are several modules that form an integrated part of your store.

From order management, shipping to payment integration, multi language support or multi store management you have a strong marketplace for these modules

And as open source technologies most of them are available for free.

Search for free extensions that you require for your store from the Online Marketplace or pay only for what you need.

So the total cost of building an eCommerce store using such technologies is very low as compared to core development of an eCommerce store/modules

Apart from modules and extensions the most important role played by above eCommerce technologies is the availability of predefined themes.

These themes caters to business and industry from different verticals and ready available designs to setup and run an eCommerce store if not in minutes but within hours.

And if any functionality is missing on your store, use modules from marketplace and hire a developer if any changes required.

There is a also a very strong strong support team to answer your query.

So here cost of setup is almost void or under your budget to a few dollars.

List of Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business & Entrepreneurs

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is widely used as an eCommerce platform, because it is easy to use, simple, cost effective and widely used as an add on with popular CMS system WordPress.

And WooCommerce is now the most popular eCommerce platform on the Web.

According to WooCommerce official website, there are around 58,048,818 downloads worldwide and it powers over 28% of all online stores.

The usage and statistics of WooCommerce is increasing day by day.

And with hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions, you can rest assured that there is an extension for your specific needs.

So building your online business with WooCommerce is undoubtedly relax able and popularly used by startups and online entrepreneurs.

For more information related to setup, documentation and WooCommerce Features you can visit the Official Website

osCommerce

As an online entrepreneur or a small business owner you require a simple web application to maintain your store

And osCommerce perfectly fills the gap keeping it simpler and sober.

So any one can use the tool to setup up a complete self hosted online store upon the osCommerce platform

Also it is free to use and most of all secured to sell your products using online payments

You have complete access to and total control of your online store and data.

According to osCommerce official website there is a growing community of over 339,550 store owners, developers, and service providers

And over 8,838 free extensions uploaded on the internet by osCommerce community make it easier for you to customize your online store anytime.

Also backed by free and commercial support osCommerce is loved by majority of small business owner worldwide.

osCommerce also provides a cloud hosted platform for business owners on monthly rental basis.

So as a non technical business owner you can easily host your business online

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is yet another eCommerce platform build on PHP framework at its core.

So it is a good option to build your store on this platform.

And it is one of the common addition and most popular eCommerce platform across Europe and America for online retailers.

Also PrestaShop provides both the options to build your eCommerce store between a fully-hosted option or a self-hosted one and both of these versions can be availed by users free of cost.

However there is a limited eCommerce site customization features.

So to overcome this, PrestaShop has also included thousand of modules and themes on the marketplace to customize your needs.

It also supports multi store management and store fronts for different countries to manage within a single Admin Panel and provides centralized in dept reporting features for store owners.

PrestaShop is an efficient and innovative e-commerce platform with all the features you need to create an online store and grow your business.

According to PrestaShop official website there are over our 270,000 merchants and it is growing.

And with a of community of 1 Million plus members, thousand of contributors and hundreds of agencies supporting the platform, makes it one of the largest and most active eCommerce communities in the world.

OpenCart

OpenCart is one of the best and free open source eCommerce platform that comes as a basic package.

However you can extend your needs and scale your online business with thousand of addons and themes from the marketplace.

Business owners can adapt to OpenCart because there is everything you need to create, scale and run your business online.

OpenCart is simple to start and easy to use.

Moreover it is Open Source and free backed by powerful store management.

According to offical website OpenCart powers over 342 000 eCommerce Entrepreneurs all over the world

And provides a marketplace with over 13000+ modules and themes for all of your custom needs.

There are a number of beautiful themes for just about any sector, service integrations, payment providers, shipping methods, social media, marketing, accounting, reporting, sales as well as language packs.

And with more than 110000 registered members you are a part of one of the biggest eCommerce communities with community support worldwide as well as dedicated technical support for your project.

OpenCart also offers a cloud hosted platform for business owner who don’t have technical background to start an eCommerce store without any delay to establish a strong online presence.

Magento

Magento is an highly powerful and scalable eCommerce business platform for small business.

And it is one of the prominent names in the eCommece industry today.

According to official site there are over 250000 businesses and merchants worldwide and a large thriving team of developers supporting the community to answer your query.

There are 2 different editions of Magneto, Community Edition and Enterprise Edition.

Magento Community edition is a free, open-source eCommerce platform that anyone can download and use to build an online store.

But the enterprise version will cost you annually for running your store.

Most of the big brands such as CocoCola, Ford, Nike and many other prominent brands has hosted their eCommece store on Magento

Also there are over 10000 modules and extensions on the marketplace to support your store.

Magento is free and open source so you take advantage of free available plugins, but some paid plugins may cost you even more than $5,000 per extension.

Also you can get the best eCommerce themes for Magento store on the marketplace for as high as $500 for a theme.

You also get an extensive resource library for all plugins, demos and other helpful resource for managing your store.

For business owner who has less technical knowledge Magento Commerce Starter is great platform to start with monthly recurring charges for as high as $2000 per month.

Magento also often hosts Live programs around the world to meet and connect with Magento leaders and anyone can take part in the program.

So whether you’re an user, a developer, CMO, or part of a Fortune 500 company you can always attend Magento seminars for staying up-to-date on top of the new features and innovation brought to you by Magento

In Conclusion

There are many open source eCommerce platforms but how to select that one best platform for your business.

In simple terms it is adviceable for micro enterprises to adapt to WooCommerce & osCommece solutions.

For Small and Medium Business PrestaShop and OpenCart would be a great fit.

And if you are a large enterprise Magento is undoubtedly the best fit for your business.

However Small and Medium Business can adapt to any eCommece platform depending on the budget and needs.

Dev
Dev

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