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We have reviewed the 10 most popular open source ecommerce platforms for Joomla and Drupal and would like to share our thoughts with you. In our two articles there is a list and short analysis of the 10 open source ecommerce software products to help guide you in finding a solution that best suits your needs.
Our first article will cover the following 5 products/vendors: Hikashop, SimpleCaddy, OpenCart, redShop and RokQuickCart.
1. Hikashop – www.hikashop.com
Developed by the private French company, Hikari Software, Hikashop is used as an ecommerce Joomla extension. The application provides a wide variety of marketing tools, statistics and a convenient dashboard to suit any website ecommerce needs.
- Easier to configure in comparison to similar products.
- Excellent customer service and great support.
- Provides the ability to make modifications on-the-fly.
- Access to forum support is available and very helpful.
- Does not provide choices to process payments, other than via PayPal.
- A number of sections need to be configured.
- When assigning modules, it can get a bit tricky to configure.
2. SimpleCaddy – http://atlanticintelligence.net/
Created by Atlantic Intelligence, a private company owned by Mr. Henk Von Pickartz, that develops other open source software (Raw Content, Simple Photo History) for various markets. SimpleCaddy provides a multitude of tools for easy and quick shopping cart setup.
- Excellent support, with quick response time from the developers.
- Quickly integrates with PayPal to provide fast payment processing.
- Simple to install and very customizable.
- Once initial extension setup is complete, expanding the product line can be somewhat challenging.
- Lacks a lot of the flare and features available by similar product developers.
- Unable to setup customer accounts, whereby they can login, to link to a current database.
- Does not provide any reporting features.
3. OpenCart – http://www.opencart.com
Started in 2005, OpenCart is a private company that offers an open source shopping cart for Internet merchants. The company provides a large amount of extensions that can be used within a number of website types (i.e. WordPress, Joomla etc.)
- The default layout includes most of the necessary features required by an average ecommerce site.
- Provides multi-language and multi-currency features.
- Support is better than most similar open source vendors.
- A fair amount of additional modules are available, including a large number that are free.
- A Joomla component is available, called JooCart, which integrates with any Joomla-based site.
- Customization is very difficult to implement, and requires advanced coding knowledge.
- A fair amount of small bugs currently exist, and they don’t seem to be addressed by the developers.
- Developer’s assistance is offered for a fee, and documentation is not structured in an easy to read/understand manner.
4. redShop – http://redcomponent.com/redshop
Developed by the Red Component, the company offers several Joomla extensions including redShop, redMemember, and redEvent. In addition, RedComponent also provides hosting services for Joomla specific websites.
- Provides great configuration capability and installation takes a very short period of time.
- It comes with a large number of flexible templates that can be assigned to each product, or category.
- Support is very quick, via the company forum.
- Allows the ability to handle volume shipments and calculate the cost of each; something not common in other similar products.
- Software requires a fair amount of space for hosting. Not recommended for self-hosting users.
- Does not provide support for a number of payment gateways (i.e. EBS, CCAvenue)
- The software is not as stable as many similar products, and has a number of bugs that still need to be resolved.
- Priced higher than similar products on the market.
- A fair amount of configuration is needed, and a basic knowledge of html is required for a number of options.
5. RokQuickCart – http://www.rockettheme.com/extensions-joomla/rokquickcart
With headquarters in Golden, Columbia, RocketTheme develops a number of Joomla templates and Drupal and WordPress themes. The company provides membership services, whereby a set rate of $50 will provide access to all of their Joomla templates. The company also designs a number of add components to their templates.
- Very easy to install and configure – installation time is significantly less than similar competitive products.
- Provides the ability to make easy adjustments.
- Major payment platforms can be used, including Google and PayPal.
- Great for vendors selling a small quantity of products, i.e. less than 20 items.
- Has not been upgraded to the latest version of Joomla, still running on v.1.5.
- There are compatibility issues with certain browsers, i.e. Google Chrome.
- Does not provide the ability to calculate or process shipping by weight.
Hopefully our first of 3 articles on open source ecommerce platforms has been of interest to web developers and online retailers. Our second article will cover the following 5 vendors: VirtueMart; Wazala ecommerce; Ubercart; Tienda; and LiteCommerce.