Published on February 18th, 2013 | by Sergiu79
Best Free Ecommerce Solutions On The Market
You’ve only got to look at Magento’s client list to realise what an excellent piece of open-source software it is. Samsung, The North Face, Stussy and Nespresso all use it to power their online stores. It’s used by 30,000 merchants and is the world’s fastest growing ecommerce platform. You have to pay for the Enterprise Edition, which is packed full of extremely useful features, but the Community Edition, meant for developers only, is free to download and use.
Despite being completely free, StoreSprite offers many features that you’d expect to find only on paid-for and more popular platforms. These include loyalty points, customer ratings and reviews, status notifications, order tracking, special offers, best sellers and shopper accounts. The main drawback of the platform is that your store will come with visible StoreSprite copyright notices, unless you pay to have them removed.
RokQuickCart is a very, very simple cart for Joomla! Its simplicity, however, is both a help and a hindrance as although it can be set up in minutes, it lacks some features which you’ll find in other platforms in this list, for example, it only accepts payments through PayPal and Google Checkout. Having said that, it generally looks good and product image display is impressive.
ubeCart is great. It integrates really well into all kinds of sites and looks very professional from the customers’ point of view. CubeCart 3 is free and CubeCart 4, the premium platform, costs £110.
Easy to install, easy to customise and easy to manage, Zen Cart is perfect for those who want a straightforward ecommerce platform without the fuss. It comes with a newsletter manager, discount coupons, gift certificates and all the basic features you’d expect. Users can make the most of the numerous add-ons available to customise their store and make their admin experience a little easier.
If you want to keep your ecommerce platform really, really simple, then Afcommerce could be the option for you. It’s not particularly good looking, neither on the customer nor the user side, but it works right out of the box and is ideal for beginners. It has a speedy one-page checkout, customer help pop-up windows and customer accounts are generated automatically from orders.
osCommerce is absolutely free under the GNU General Public License and caters very well to most people’s needs. Unsurprisingly, considering how easy it is to set up and run, it’s extremely popular, powering over 228,700 online stores.
Not only does OpenCart look great, it’s extremely scalable. You can create an unlimited number of categories, sell an unlimited number of products, accept multiple currencies, use multiple languages, and choose from over 20 payment and 8 shipping methods. It’s user-friendly and search-engine-friendly too, so will help your prominence in Google. Customers can even review and rate the items you sell.
Spree is an open-source ecommerce platform for Ruby on Rails. Using Spree’s extension system, you’ll be able to customise your store and mark yourself out from your competitors. Useful features include support for over 50 payment gateways, single page checkout and custom tax logic, which can save merchants lots of time and effort. It also comes with Google Analytics built in.
PrestaShop is another robust, professional-grade e-Commerce solution that you can download, install, and use for free. On the back end, you’ll use a full-featured back-office application to manage your online business (including inventory, orders, shipping, and customers) in real-time. Your customer’s payments are sent directly to your commerical bank account using the latest security technology.
VirtueMart, which has been designed to work alongside Joomla!, is a really neat cart which customers feel instantly comfortable with. Not only does it let customers buy things, it lets them create an account, add addresses and access their order history. Multiple languages and currencies, and unlimited products and categories are supported. 2.5 million people have downloaded VirtueMart so far and the vast majority is happy with the results.
Ubercart is specifically designed for people selling things like file downloads, event registrations, website access passes and event tickets, rather than physical products.
The best thing about Zeuscart is its user interface, which is rich, attractive, user-friendly and generally less boring than most of the open-source UIs that I have to look at on a daily basis. Designed with small and medium businesses in mind, users can make the most of SEO friendly URLs, gift cards, discounts, email templates and tier-pricing, which makes it possible to decrease prices for bulk orders.
Shopify is an easy to use hosted e-commerce solution that lets you create your online store within minutes. It comes loaded with secure shopping carts, beautiful e-commerce templates as well as web hosting. Before you purchase Shopify, you can also opt for a risk-free 30-day trial.
BigCommerce lets you sell your products on Facebook and eBay as well as your own store. If you wish to sell unlimited products on your website, you’ll have to opt for the Platinum Plan at $149.95 per month. There is also a free 15-day trial.
Highwire is a unique solution in the sense that apart from setting up your own store, you can also use it to sell on eBay or Facebook. Plus, you can sync your inventory across multiple channels of e-commerce.
AlegroCart is a free open source e-commerce shopping cart solution based on MVC Framework. You can have your own shopping cart operational in a very short time, which can be managed through administration by you and your staff.
Axis commerce is a powerfull open source e-commerce platform. Axis commerce is a provides Multiply stores management, Admin Ajax user interface, One page checkout and SEO friendly.
Volusion is an all-in-one hosted e-commerce solution. So unlike Zen Cart, you won’t really be able to download-and-install Volusion for free, but their pricing is competitive, and Volusion also comes with a 14-day free trial. The product is backed by 24×7 support as well.
FoxyCart is a unique e-commerce product – unlike the rest, it does not claim to be the one-stop solution to all your e-commerce woes. It is not a CMS in its own right, and does not come with specialized tools for analytics or inventory. Instead, FoxyCart simply integrates itself seamlessly within your existing design and functionality.
SolidShops is a flexible e-commerce solution that comes loaded with web hosting as well. It offers you features such as daily backups, custom tax settings, Facebook stores and stock trackings. Plus, SolidShops also has native support for SEO.
Cart66 is a plugin that transforms your WordPress-powered website into an e-commerce store. You can track your inventory, charge tax on the basis of ZIP code, specify currency, and perform several other functions. Cart66 also offers a Lite version that is free to use, but has limited functionality.
1ShoppingCart is actually spread across two separate products – you can either choose a simple shopping cart software, or opt for the entire e-commerce solution. 1ShoppingCart boasts of features such as real-time shipping rates, PayPal integration, etc.
Big Cartel is a simple shopping cart primarily meant for designers and artists. It comes with a Free version, wherein you can sell maximum 5 products and cannot use your own domain. If you need additional functionality, you can opt for their paid plans.
Loaded Commerce is a platform that offers features such as shopping cart, inventory tracking, PayPal integration, and so on.
Demandware is recommended for medium- to enterprise-level businesses that want to sell online without having to develop the necessary IT infrastructure. The solution is developed for you, runs out-of-the-box, has many advanced features, and operates from one integrated dashboard. Demandware also has many expert partners in online marketing and ecommerce consulting. This solution is completely hands-off.
Oracle ATG is consistently one of the best-rated enterprise-level applications. We recommend it for any enterprise-level organization with extensive sales and in-house IT infrastructure. Its advanced reporting, as well as integrations with call centers, enterprise CRM, mobile commerce, and nearly every aspect of an established multi-national platform makes it best-in-class. Developers love ATG for its robust and infinitely scalable framework, and marketers love it for its advanced market targeting tools. The cost depends on the solution, but expect to pay enterprise-level prices.
WHMCS is an all-in-one client management, billing & support solution for online businesses. WHMCS handles everything from signup to termination, with automated billing, provisioning & management. With WHMCS, you’re in control with a very powerful business automation tool.
Avactis, available as a free version or for a fee, integrates flawlessly with your existing website. Its web based help manual, video tutorials and setup wizard are adequate for most people to install and manage without the help of expert developers. Advanced features comprise newsletter management, marketing and sales reports which you can export to Excel, multiple storefronts, numerous payment ways including Maestro, the aptitude to export accounting data to QuickBooks and support for tax systems around the world.