A Review of OpenCart eCommerce Solutions Software—Is It the Right eCommerce Platform for You?
OpenCart is a complete open-source ecommerce software solution designed for small- to medium-sized web-based retail businesses. It helps users launch their online store more effectively, add and manage products, lets customers use a shopping cart to store items they want to purchase and handles order processing and point-of-sale (POS).
This ecommerce platform caters to everything you might need to easily and effectively manage your online store. The software solution supports over 40 languages, so it is a great program to use regardless of your location in the world or your customer-base.
OpenCart eCommerce solutions software—How it works
OpenCart is essentially an open-source shopping cart that addresses most of the basic needs of an online retail business, from product management to point-of-sale. It is built on PHP/MySQL code and is a comprehensive and robust ecommerce platform.
This particular ecommerce solution is distributed as a free platform. This means the product is free to download, install and use. And since this is an open-source platform, you are free to modify the ecommerce solutions software as you see fit, that is if you have more than entry-level knowledge on coding.
The best part about OpenCart is that users, meaning businesses, also receive free support and software updates for life. If you want to use this ecommerce software solution, you must first download the product from OpenCart’s official website and install it on a web server you’re currently using for your online store.
The web server has to meet specific requirements, including PHP 5.3 and above, Curl enabled and has a MySQLi database. This ecommerce platform is best suited for small- and mid-sized online stores operated by individuals with basic knowledge about web setup and development processes. The following is an overview of the ecommerce solution’s main features:
- More than 20 payment gateways
- Over eight shipping methods
- Unlimited categories
- Unlimited manufacturers
- Unlimited products
- Product ratings
- Product reviews
OpenCart ecommerce solutions software—The benefits
Despite the fact that OpenCart is an open-source software solution, learning to operate the platform is actually quite simple. It has an interface that is clean and easy to understand and its features are user-friendly as well.
Once you’ve installed the solution and are familiar with its basic functions, you can start running your online store almost immediately. You can place your products on your online storefront, add descriptions and begin accepting orders and processing payments.
The online store design
If you decide to use OpenCart, don’t expect to get wide selections of storefront design templates like most paid ecommerce solutions. Remember that this is a free open-source solution, so there might be a few limitations in some of the components of the platform.
However, once you install the software solution, you do get a basic store design that is quite efficient, mobile responsive and professional- and modern-looking. This is great because we all know most consumers nowadays use their mobile device when shopping online. Here, you have an ecommerce platform that is already optimized for mobile users.
Online store product management
As previously stated, OpenCart is a user-friendly and practical ecommerce solution. When it comes to product management, i.e. adding products and descriptions to your storefront, accepting orders, processing payments and so on, OpenCart is really not that complicated to use. The admin interface alone is very simple to understand, the layout is clean and not convoluted at all.
The dashboard provides users access to a few crucial metrics, giving them a pretty decent overview of the goings on in their online store. Additionally, despite the fact that there are several fields and attribute tabs you have to deal with when adding new products to your storefront, it doesn’t feel difficult or intimidating in any way thanks to the clean and easy-to-understand interface.
The technology and features
OpenCart is the perfect ecommerce solution for online merchants and entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily consider themselves as tech-savvy. OpenCart is quick and easy to setup. It is a robust open-source ecommerce platform that provides users a wider range of functionality.
OpenCart ecommerce solutions software—The cost
As previously stated, OpenCart is a free open-source ecommerce solution. This means the product is free to download, upgrade and use. However, this doesn’t mean that operating this platform is completely free of any charges.
Here’s the caveat when using free open-source platforms like OpenCart:
- Finding a good hosting plan is your responsibility and it’s not free.
- Investing in security also costs you money.
- Registering your online store’s domain name is also an expense.
- SSL certificates cost money as well.
For sure there are plenty more ecommerce software solutions you can implement in your online store for free. The key to finding the right ecommerce platform is to determine what exactly your needs are, when it comes to managing your online store.
OpenCart is equipped with a lot of useful features that are user-friendly and practical. If you’ve just started managing a small- or medium-sized store, this ecommerce solution might be a good fit for you.