OpenCart is a free open source ecommerce builder with multiple add ons and readily available themes. It is an online store management system that allows anyone to build their customised ecommerce web development and manage it with ease. It is an all-in-one ecommerce builder that allows the business to launch and manage the store.
It also has several features that aim to make the ordering process simple. Since it is open-source, the business can easily modify the existing platforms and add features that are either built-in or customisable. For customisations, one might require the basic knowledge of coding. But to start your ecommerce source, OpenCart is a great platform.
Let us now look into the benefits of using OpenCart and understand why it is popular.
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Advantages of OpenCart:
1. Completely free of cost
OpenCart has a visible edge over other store management systems because it is an open-source platform that offers all the services to build an ecommerce website at a free of cost. This is an excellent opportunity for all the small-scale businesses that are initiating the process of ecommerce website development.
2. OpenCart makes store management more effortless
Without a doubt, the purpose of OpenCart is to make store management easy. But can you imagine how easy it is? With over 13,000 readily available modules and themes, you can add and integrate everything you need for your ecommerce store to grow. OpenCart also offers social media integration through which you can integrate your business’s Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites for augmented sales.
3. Compatible with almost all the payment methods
Many small businesses try not to offer a “cash on delivery” option because many customers tend to fool them or take advantage of them. So they offer payment through UPI, Credit card payments, and other payment methods. OpenCart is compatible with all the payment options like PayPal, Amazon UPI, GPay, E-Way and many others. So you don’t have to worry if your customer can pay you quickly.
4. Offers multiple add ons and other features at a free of cost
Many tend to lure small businesses by using the simple word “free”. But do you know that all the services, add ons, themes and modules offered by OpenCart are actually for free?
There is no hidden charge anywhere in this. However, if you want expert suggestions and solutions,
OpenCart can offer one at a cost as low as $99! With some programming experience, you can make better customisations of your website in OpenCart, again for free. It is great especially when you are in the initial phase and don’t have much budget for ecommerce store development and management.
5. Offers an extensive support system
OpenCart is highly popular among ecommerce stores, which comes with some advantages to the newbies. Numerous people might have already experimented and mastered what you are doing right now. So at any point in time, if you feel stuck, the online community is vast enough to clarify your queries almost instantly. There is also paid technical service offered by OpenCart, which assures you of a 48 hour guaranteed response along with a full report of what has been done.
6. Offers facilities for multi-store management
OpenCart offers you to manage multiple stores simultaneously using the same platform. You would have created multiple stores for different reasons. For example, you might own a separate apparel and electronic items store. Managing both of these simultaneously can be highly time-consuming and draining. But with OpenCart, it is easy. Right from current orders to tracking of sales, everything can happen at the same section of your website.
7. Any preferred shipping method can be used
OpenCart is integrated with most typical shipping methods like FedEx, Royal Mail, UPS and even the national postal system. So irrespective of the country and the place your business is based, through OpenCart, it becomes easy to ship to the customers located anywhere in this world.
8. Offers detailed reports and metrics
Without the feedback, you will definitely not be able to tell how your business is working on that particular site. So OpenCart offers exclusive reports and metrics that allow you to analyse the business and work on the weak areas. Since it is visible in the dashboard, it takes very little time and effort to view and understand the metrics.
9. Enables you to create an international ecommerce presence
OpenCart has several powerful features, and the major one is offering multiple languages. You can write the product details and descriptions in multiple languages. You can also customise the languages based on your customer base. Through this, it offers an international ecommerce force with minimal effort.
Now that we have viewed the merits, it’s time to understand why OpenCart might not be ideal for your business.
Disadvantages of OpenCart:
1. Requires coding knowledge
To have better customisations, one must have good hands-on coding skills. For website development, we must have a good understanding of programming. But with a platform like OpenCart offering thousands of features to choose from and promising easy building, we might think coding might not be necessary. But in reality, it is a must.
2. Add ons compatibility issues
Even though all the 13,000+ modules and themes might tempt you to add as many as you want for your ecommerce store, it is practically impossible.This is due to the many add ons compatibility issues. With a primary feature, an OpenCart website is bug-free. But with additional add ons comes unnecessary issues that might eat the developer’s brain. With that, you might choose to neglect most of the features.
3. Not great for SEO
Once you start using OpenCart to build your ecommerce store website, you will realise that one major issue that this platform has is the creation of duplicate pages. Several links for the same page might confuse and frustrate the designer. For the same page, you might be popped up with different URLs. So if you have existing search engine optimization(SEO) techniques or you are planning to have SEO, using OpenCart might interrupt that process.
4. Difficult to support multilingual customers
Even though OpenCart allows you to describe your products in multiple languages based on your customers, it is ideally complicated. Most of the time, the software has interpretation issues. So if you are targeting customers across the world or have existing multilingual customers, you might have to switch to other alternatives.
5. Slow experience to the customers
OpenCart is ideal for small businesses with limited features and less number of add ons. But if you own a large retail ecommerce store, this might not be your ideal choice. As the number of features increases, the entire website and the process of ecommerce store becomes extremely slow. Many other ecommerce websites offer a high-speed experience so that the customers might prefer that over your free OpenCart website!
6. Not much marketing facilities are offered
OpenCart covers everything when it comes to online store management. But it misses one major element of every business, which is marketing. The marketing for the business and its services, products will not be done by this platform. You have to use your own marketing strategies to ensure that your ecommerce website stands out of competition every time.
To wrap up:
Now that we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of using OpenCart for your ecommerce website development and management let us now judge for whom it will be ideally suited.
It is an open-source platform that offers multiple features and accessible building facilities at completely free of cost. So if you are just starting your ecommerce journey, you can definitely make use of OpenCart and understand things. On the other hand, if you are already experienced, it might not be best suited for you.
If you are looking out for ecommerce website development agencies, have a free consultation call with our team and let us find the best-suited vendor for your website. Expand My Business can find the ideal service provider based on your requirements and the budget. Get your ecommerce website developed through us and grow your customer base manifold!
We are Team EMB the voice behind this insightful blog.