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OpenCart or PrestaShop – Ideal Open Source eCommerce Platform for SMBs

16 Mar 2016

Retail and eCommerce are two of the fastest growing industries of all times. Recession or war, hail or sunshine, people are going to shop. They may reduce the frequency of their purchases, but there are very few instances where people will completely stop shopping. In a consumerist world like ours, it is survival of the fittest (in this case – a store!). As shoppers look for ways to avoid the hassles of shopping in actual malls, eCommerce is booming.


Coupons, free shipping and personalized customer experiences are just some of the ways e-tailers are wooing shoppers. Large or small, anyone who has a product to sell, wants to now do that online. SMBs too have joined eCommerce bandwagon. With modest budget and limited online selling experience, your choices may be limited to some free, open-source shopping solutions available in the market.


Which is better PrestaShop or OpenCart?

In this post, we compare PrestaShop and OpenCart – two of the freely available popular eCommerce development platforms used by millions of SMBs globally. The comparison looks at how both of them perform on various aspects such as ease of use and features.


    1. Scalability: OpenCart can handle a large number of products and group them by certain attributes or manufacturer. So, an OpenCart store can easily manage say 1000+ products without the development server going kaput. PrestaShop is a lot more ambitious on this front. They claim to support unlimited products and attributes that can be displayed and sold on user stores.
    2. Multi-Store Setup: Having more than one stores in the same eCommerce site is very useful for businesses who are highly diversified. Both PrestaShop and OpenCart let you manage number of stores using a single admin panel.


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  1. Search Engine Optimization: SEO is no longer a fancy marketing buzzword. Having a good and high search engine ranking is a reflection of how your business is perceived. Including the right mix of key words related to a store’s products can impact the sales and also visibility on search engines. The great news is both PrestaShop and OpenCart are SEO friendly. So, pages can be indexed for majority of search engine rankings and support is also included for customized category and product meta tags.
  2. Availability of Themes & Extensions: In the past, OpenCart’s themes and extensions were said to be under-developed when compared with PrestaShop. So businesses often had to get external help for OpenCart custom development. However, with each product iteration, the range of themes and add-ons has drastically improved. The latest version, OpenCart 2.2 may ensure that users get even more options to choose from in terms of extensions and themes in order to enhance their online stores.
  3. Administration Panel: In the OpenCart vs PrestaShop debate, the main functionality to compare is the admin panel. OpenCart’s admin panel is quite user friendly and does not include complex steps or an odd navigation design that can make simple tasks a nightmare. However, eCommerce users who have worked on both the platforms do find the admin panel of PrestaShop to be little better than OpenCart.
  4. Shipping & Logistics: eCommerce businesses have understood the importance of being flexible with shipping options as online stores serve customers across borders. OpenCart and PrestaShop have flexible shipping modules and are completely integrated with major national and international carriers. This in turn lets businesses provide secure and reliable shipping options to their customers. Businesses will also be able to control other logistics aspects such as weight restrictions, fees and more.

A store that is set up with PrestaShop does have a learning curve which could be difficult for SMBs to master. Similarly, in the past, OpenCart did not offer highly advanced extensions. However, this has changed now and the organization keeps updating the modules and extensions it provides. So, both the options have their own pros and cons. According to the information presented above, whether you choose OpenCart or PrestaShop for eCommerce web development – your project’s or company’s requirements will take precedence over everything else.

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