With global eCommerce retail sales set to hit $4.9 trillion by 2021, there’s little doubt that eCommerce is a rapidly growing industry. This means more businesses will take to selling online, and existing businesses will look to sell more. The common denominator? The heavy dependency on various eCommerce software.
With an increasing number of people shopping on eCommerce sites and switching to social media shopping, an eCommerce Software can be an essential platform to boost your online sales as well as analyze and track sales for your eCommerce Business.
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There are several open-source and free eCommerce software platforms available on the internet that help to set up online stores as well as help businesses capture leads, generate revenue, and grow.
The Trick To Picking The Right eCommerce Software
Every eCommerce software is different and offers several benefits catering to the varied needs of an eCommerce business.
While the possibilities are endless, there are a few questions you should answer before selecting a suitable eCommerce software platform:
- Which is more suitable for your product and business model – selling on a marketplace or creating a dedicated eCommerce website?
- What features and tools do you need? Which features can you do without?
- Which eCommerce software platform caters to your current sales volumes? And can it potentially handle the volumes once you scale up your business?
- What is your budget? How much can you shell out to set up your eCommerce website?
Once you have answered the above questions for yourself, you can take an informed decision to select the most suitable eCommerce software platform.
5 Free eCommerce Software Platforms
We have shortlisted 5 free open source eCommerce software platforms you can choose from to not only create an eCommerce Website but also to analyze and track sales emerging from it.
WooCommerce‘s WordPress plugin, which can be installed for free once you have WordPress installed. It turns any WordPress website into an online store, complete with inventory management, product pages, etc.
A major benefit of WooCommerce apart from its free availability is that it connects to all major payment gateways. You can choose from the available templates and themes or customize your own using a third-party website.
The extension library allows you to offer discounts and coupons, and multiple other key features.
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2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most popular web analytics tools used rampantly across websites. It is a useful eCommerce software to track data related to website traffic, the business generated through the website, user interactions etc, for free.
It offers comprehensive reports and dashboards that help businesses understand customer behavior by tracking and analyzing large amounts of data.
Google Analytics can help you understand and improve your conversion rate and provide insights into several other factors important for the health of your site.
For someone not well-versed with the language and tracking parameters used by Google, it may seem a bit daunting initially, in which case it is advisable to go with a simpler analytics tool.
The best part about Google Analytics is that it only requires you to set up an account and link it to your website, providing you with data without any charge.
A paid service is available in the premium suite which is known as Analytics 360, which offers upgraded features and analysis compared to the free platform.
X-Cart is considered one of the fastest open-source eCommerce Software platforms in the market offering several features to eCommerce business owners.
It offers multi-lingual and multi-currency support which is especially beneficial if you’re running an enterprise store on the internet.
Being a free open-sourced platform, it offers great developer support and you can easily add additional features manually, giving immense control especially to advanced developers.
It is therefore scalable and more suitable for businesses looking to expand their sales volumes.
4. Zen Cart
For those without any experience in the development of online stores, Zen Cart is the most suitable eCommerce software platform.
Although you do need some knowledge of coding, it is as close as it can get to suit the needs of those who do not have any.
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Zen Cart is more user-friendly than other free and open-source eCommerce software platforms, making it suitable for those looking at scaling up their businesses without much knowledge in development.
Additionally, it is secure and provides detailed security information to its users thus ensuring your business and your customers’ data is well-protected.
It has multi-lingual options available in case you run an enterprise store and are looking to sell internationally. The templates available are not that great, but you may find some made by third parties which can be more impressive.
5. Magenta Open-Source
If you seek complete control over the design and functionality of your eCommerce site, then Magento Open Source is the right choice for you.
The features are very similar to that of WordPress with thousands of themes to choose from, several extensions that you can add, and a very strong community of users that is useful in providing support.
It is, therefore, one of the most popular open-source eCommerce software platforms and has more features than you could expect to use. This opens up multiple avenues of marketing to customers and creating membership plans, payments and discounts.
It is free with basic features, and there exists a paid version if you wish to scale up and upgrade.
There are more than a few options available for you to set up an eCommerce website for free.
Though most of the features can be found in the open-source platforms at no cost, you may opt to choose for a paid platform for ease of business as it will save you time and effort to research and come up with your customizations.
Some of the top paid eCommerce software platforms, some of which are not open source, are Shopify & Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Wix and Salesforce to name a few.
eCommerce software platforms such as these are suitable for scaling up businesses at a rapid pace and those that have developers of their own to run the website.
Each of the platforms mentioned in this article is constantly undergoing development and helps you save money and scale up your business.