It is a human tendency to look for free stuff, especially in the software realm. This is understandable and, sometimes, free software can be surprisingly powerful. This happens in the case of open source software, especially in the e-commerce segment. Then you have developers who use the open source platform to offer e-commerce suites and implementation at affordable prices. Take a look at the free and inexpensive stuff. You may arrive at a conclusion that for serious e-commerce business you need custom eCommerce solutions.
The freeware in e-commerce
Open source free eCommerce platforms offer a surprising number of features such as the design of your storefront, inventory, tracking orders, and customers and payment gateway integration. Some of the most widely used eCommerce platforms are:
- Presta Shop
- OsCommerce and
The above power some of the best known online marketplaces in addition to being the basis of online business for small and large enterprises worldwide. The catch here is that most of these are self-hosted. This means you have to take care of some minor development and customization and then install it on a hosting service. It does need some tech skills to set up your store, manage it, take care of payments, updates and also security. These need time and effort and prove more expensive. Then there are hosted solutions like Shopify, VirtueMart, and HipKart. The difference here is that it is easy to set up shop on the hosted eCommerce platforms since the software provider takes care of configuring Magento or any other backend platform. In addition, you have full support. Hosted solutions are cheap and may be subscription based, a one-off payment type or pay as you go model or revenue-based model. Ecomz is another hosted and inexpensive eCommerce platform with a high degree of flexibility.
Nothing is free really
The platform is free. However, it does require technical skills and expertise as well as time to set up an eCommerce platform or rope in a custom eCommerce solution provider to set it up for you. Magento, for instance, is free but it is quite complex. It does need an expert in Magento to set up an online store for you. You pay the service provider and still have to stay within the constraints of free platform, missing out on the advantages of a tailored solution to fit your eCommerce model.
The next best thing
The best solution if you plan to set up an online eCommerce store is to opt for an open source platform like Magento. It is jam-packed with features that you need and is amenable to plugins and customizations to extend functionality even more. Get a provider of eCommerce development solutions like Smart Sight Innovations to come up with a custom eCommerce solution based on open source technologies. Depending on your business model even OSCommerce or Open Cart or WooCommerce may be chosen. It proves inexpensive but what you pay the custom eCommerce developer is more than recouped by way of increased sales.
What you get with inexpensive custom eCommerce development
E-commerce developers like Smart Sight Innovations have full knowledge of Magento and other open source technologies. They will first analyze what your business needs and then come up with custom eCommerce design and develop your storefront based on these open source technologies. Alternately, they may find that something Shopify fits you in which case they will take care of fine-tuning it and launching your store on this platform. You get standard features and custom features such as:
- Features such as custom invoicing, tax and link to inventory as well as buyer database
- Social media integration into your eCommerce platform for better customer experience
- Easy integration of various payment channels and management of payment gateways with high-security levels
- The ship, deliver, track
- Upsell, cross-sell and make product recommendations based on data gathering and analytics.
- Rewards and loyalty program
E-commerce is all about business and revenue generation so forget about free eCommerce platforms unless you are tech savvy enough to take on Magento or anything similar. It makes sense to rope in professionals offering eCommerce development solutions based on open source free platforms. This way you pay for their services and are assured of flawless performance plus ongoing support to keep refining your store. Engage Smart Sight Innovations for custom eCommerce development and it will make a world of difference to your online sales.