When it comes to building an online store, there is a wide range of platform options available to merchants. From fully-hosted platforms like Shopify to open-source options like WooCommerce, the choices for eCommerce website development can be overwhelming. One platform, with a 1.76% market share in the eCommerce industry, that is often overlooked but deserves more attention, is OpenCart.
OpenCart is a free, open-source eCommerce platform that is designed to make it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to set up and manage an online store. It is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database to store data. OpenCart is designed to be user-friendly, with a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy for merchants to handle tasks related to running an online store. It is also supported by a large and active community of developers, who are constantly creating new extensions, themes, and other resources to help merchants enhance their online stores.
Here are some of the main features of OpenCart:
OpenCart allows merchants to easily add, edit, and delete products, as well as manage product categories and attributes. It also includes tools to help merchants manage their inventory, including the ability to set up low stock alerts and track product quantities.
OpenCart includes an order management system that allows merchants to track and manage orders, including the ability to view and update order status, send invoices and shipping notifications, and generate reports.
OpenCart supports a wide range of payment gateways, including popular options like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. It also includes support for multiple currencies and languages.
OpenCart includes features to help merchants manage their customers, including the ability to view and update customer information, create customer groups, and send newsletters.
OpenCart includes a range of built-in marketing tools, such as support for SEO, an affiliate program, and the ability to create discount coupons and gift vouchers.
OpenCart allows merchants to manage multiple stores from a single installation, which can be useful for merchants who want to sell in different regions or who want to manage multiple brands.
OpenCart includes features to help merchants stay up-to-date on their orders, including the ability to set up order alerts and notifications.
OpenCart has a mobile app that allows merchants to manage their store on the go, including the ability to view and update products, process orders, and handle customer inquiries.
Read also: Should Your eCommerce Store Have an App?
OpenCart includes advanced shipping options, such as support for multiple shipping methods, weight-based shipping, and the ability to set up shipping zones and rates.
OpenCart includes support for customer loyalty programs, which can help merchants reward their most loyal customers and encourage repeat purchases.
To effectively manage an online store, it is important to collaborate with various individuals who hold different responsibilities. This becomes increasingly important as a business grows. Even when running a small online store, at some point you will likely require the assistance of a developer for maintaining the online environment. With OpenCart, you have the ability to assign different roles and access levels to multiple administrators.
There are several advantages to using OpenCart as compared to other eCommerce platforms:
One of the biggest advantages of using OpenCart as an eCommerce platform is that it is open-source, which means that the code is available to the public and can be modified to suit the specific needs of a business. This allows for easy customization of the platform by writing custom code, such as adding new features or integrating with other systems. This can be a great advantage for merchants who want to add unique functionalities to their online store, or who want to fully customize the look and feel of their store to match their brand.
OpenCart is designed to be easy to use, even for those who are not familiar with web development. It has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy for merchants to add and manage products, process orders, and handle other tasks related to running an online store.
As mentioned earlier, OpenCart is supported by a large and active community of developers, which means that there is a wide range of extensions, themes, and other resources available to help merchants customize and enhance their online stores.
It also has a large user base, which means that there is a wealth of resources and support available for merchants who are using the platform. This can be especially helpful for merchants who are new to eCommerce or who are not familiar with web development, as there is a strong community of users who are willing to help and answer questions.
OpenCart is a lightweight platform that is easy to set up and manage, even for merchants who are not tech-savvy. It is also designed to be fast and efficient, which can help improve the user experience for customers.
OpenCart is free to use, which makes it an affordable option for merchants who are looking to build an online store on a budget. In addition, it has a low cost of ownership, with no recurring fees or commissions to worry about.
OpenCart comes with a range of built-in features that can be useful for merchants, such as support for multiple languages and currencies, a built-in affiliate program, and the ability to create discount coupons and gift vouchers.
OpenCart is designed to be secure, with features like SSL support and the ability to set up secure payment gateways to protect sensitive information. It is also regularly updated to address any security vulnerabilities that may be discovered.
OpenCart is designed to be responsive, which means that it looks and functions well on a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets. This can be especially important in today’s mobile-first world, where many customers shop online using their mobile devices.
Overall, OpenCart can be a great choice for eCommerce development, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses that are looking for an affordable and user-friendly platform to build their online store on. If you’re thinking about building an online store, give OpenCart a try – you might be surprised at what it can do!
Shrutarshi Das is a purveyor of all things digital, with a particular interest in new technological innovations, photography, and gaming.