A number of capable e-commerce platforms are on the market. Generally, selecting a platform is of less concern than the software engineer’s ability use the platform to craft processes that help maximize volume and revenue within your desired workflow and branding experience. Automated display of custom content based on criteria such as the season or the site visitor’s location, language support, and multiple currency support may all be considerations. Tailoring the installation to help mitigate security risks also should be top of mind.
A simple out-of-the-box-installation is seldom suitable for any but the simplest, lowest-volume needs. With these observations in mind, here is a quick recap of some common questions about eCommerce products:
We are thinking of using Magento—is that a good choice?
For some years Magento has been the most popular eCommerce platform and that continues. The product is very customizable and scalable. It also provides multi-lingual and multi-currency support that is helpful for maintaining a cross-border presence. An advantage of the enterprise edition is that it can be privately hosted, so you have complete control over your platform.
Is Magento a good option for less large businesses?
That depends on the specifics. Magento serves small and midsized businesses as well as enterprises, but some users express that it is complex to work with and it has a relatively steep learning curve. Also, its hosting and infrastructure costs can be comparatively high. For this reason, we tend to see Magento as a better fit for enterprise organizations that are looking to maintain tight control.
What is your recommendation for a small or midsized firm, then?
Xcart can be suitable in many cases. It is simpler to learn than Magento though it comes with fewer features and less capability to customize. Another solution for smaller firms is OpenCart. It is relatively easy to install and set up, but it lacks customization and strong SEO tools. Also, OpenCart has had some security issues.
And what about Shopify?
Shopify has excellent customization capability though some users have reservations about the checkout process. Unlike Magento and Xcart, Shopify is a hosted solution, so it is not applicable to firms seeking to self-host. It also has some other limitations like not being ideal for handling a large amount of content or for supporting multiple currencies.
Have another question, or want a broader project discussion?
Let us know what questions we should add to this page. Or schedule a conversation with one of our specialists to explore in more detail the right eCommerce platform for your requirements.