E-commerce and Open Source Platforms: An Overview of 3 Leading Platforms
Considering starting an e-com business? Well, you are not alone.
Yes! The hype is real and is supported by numbers. In a recent study by Google and Bain & Company, the MENA eCommerce market is worth $8.3 billion with an average annual growth rate of 25%, growing slightly ahead of the global average.
So, If you’re looking to invest in eCommerce, there are tens of open source platforms to consider. However, this blog is dedicated to the three platforms, that according to Builtwith.com make up 53% of the open source market: Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify.
Note to remember: Choosing is all about your needs because no platform is fool-proof for every business. Connect with AddBloom so we can help explore your options on what works best for you.
Magento is one of the more popular and trusted eCommerce platforms. Having been around since 2008, the platform is available for individuals and enterprises alike.
Originally built for developers, so they don’t need to start a project from scratch, Magento requires an advanced level of PHP programming expertise.
7 Key Highlights:
- Magento is based on a PHP based framework
- Flexible, customizable and SEO friendly
- Offers more than 4300 extensions
- Comes with multiple extensions allowing easy integration to relevant third party apps with the ecommerce store.
- Available in a free version (Magento Community Edition) and a paid module one, (Magento Enterprise).
- Scalable in the sense that it allows for implementation of long-term growth plans and can handle hundreds of thousands of products
- Better suited for growing middle-sized businesses and enterprises.
WooCommerce is a self hosted eCommerce platform, designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. Officially released in 2011, the plugin is used by over 3.3 million website and offers an array of interesting features and capabilities that require intermediate PHP programming expertise.
7 Key Highlights:
- The platform is completely free to install, but businesses still have to pay for extensions
- Has more than 2000 WooCommerce themes
- Can be used for non-physical products (services and subscription based businesses)
- Best single platform to run both an ecommerce and an affiliate WordPress under one roof.
- The code is optimized for SEO
- Requires a hosting plan and SSL certificate
- Easy, user friendly CMS
Shopify originally a store to sell skateboards, has, since 2004, scaled to become one of the leading cloud based e-commerce platforms with more than 820,000 thousand merchants. Available in three modules and pricing structures with different features designed to service businesses across all stages from starting to scaling.
7 Key Highlights:
- Provides a powerful administrative office
- Commands a monthly fee, with a percentage and a fixed fee per transaction
- Hosting is part of the actual service
- Handles both the ecommerce and point of sale sides of the commerce process
- Makes good use of social traffic – mostly from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest
- Has 24/7 customer support via email, live chat or phone
- Offers thousands of customizable ready designs and 3rd party shopping integrations
So, what platform works best for you? The main thing to note is that the e-commerce platform needs to be chosen wisely to help you scale your business. Factors to consider include your business plan, budget, front and backend features among others.
Our consultants are ready to walk you through. Connect with AddBloom for a complimentary consultation.