It’s never been easier to set up an online store. There are many tools available these days to assist you in getting started, including a variety of ecommerce store building solutions and ecommerce platform options. However, determining which service you should use can be difficult.
Do you require an online store solution that includes payment gateways and templates and add advanced features such as SEO functionality? Are you looking for an open-source ecommerce platform instead? Something you can create from the ground up and customize however you want? Shopify and OpenCart are two of the leading contenders in this category.
Shopify is an all-in-one solution that includes everything you’ll need to get your store up and running in a pre-made kit. Shopify is one of the most widely used ecommerce platforms, and it stands out from competitors such as Magento, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
OpenCart, on the other hand, is an open-source platform that allows you to create the functionality you need to sell from the ground up.
It’s tough to compare Shopify and OpenCart on a level playing field. This is because they are two quite distinct internet selling options. Shopify aims to provide entrepreneurs with everything they need to start selling online right now. All of the templates you’ll need are included in the price, so you can get started developing your website and shopping cart right away.
Despite having various customization options and plugins, Shopify isn’t quite as flexible as something like OpenCart, which is entirely open-source. When it comes to ecommerce solutions, the word “open source” usually refers to systems that provide you with the essential tools you’ll need to get started and plenty of room for customization through code.
To create an ecommerce website using an open-source system, you’ll need some basic development skills. If you have that knowledge, though, the flexibility of something like OpenCart could help your online business stand out even more.
OpenCart has a user interface and admin panel that are both easy and immersive. This implies that even if you only know the fundamentals of coding, you should be able to keep up with the latest developments quite rapidly. To get started, you’ll need a PHP 5.4 hosting ecosystem or higher and 500MB of free server space.
The good news for individuals looking for the best ecommerce solution is that it only takes a few minutes to set up OpenCart. However, customizing all of the components of this solution to meet your needs may take more time than customizing Shopify.
Shopify vs. OpenCart: Pros and Cons
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for selecting the most refined ecommerce platform in most circumstances. Instead, the most significant thing you can do is assess your circumstance and select the tool that is best suited to it. For people who don’t have a lot of coding skills, Shopify, for example, is typically an easier-to-use alternative. The Shopify platform also has a large app store with dozens of ways to customize your store. On the other hand, Shopify charges an upfront deposit and monthly transaction fees, whereas OpenCart does not.
Pros of Shopify
- Excellent app store for adding new features.
- It’s compatible with a variety of third-party applications.
- There are numerous prospects for multi-channel selling.
- Choose from a variety of premium and free templates.
- Everything you need is included in this user-friendly design.
- There is no requirement for you to manage security and upgrades independently.
- Support from a dedicated team of customer service representatives
- Beginners will enjoy it.
Cons of Shopify
- Consider transaction fees and monthly expenses.
- Some apps and themes are pricey.
- It can take some time to figure out what further add-ons are available.
- Customization of CSS and HTML is limited.
Pros of OpenCart
- You can alter it whatever you want because it’s completely open-source.
- Multi-store functionality is supported.
- Meta tag access makes it search engine friendly.
- Around 6000 extensions, as well as pre-designed templates and themes
- Various languages and currencies are supported.
- Customization options are available for almost everything.
- Download and use are both free.
Cons of OpenCart
- It has a steeper learning curve than Shopify.
- For problems and concerns, there is no direct customer support.
- Many add-ons and other functionality are required.
There’s a lot more to effective online selling than finding the cheapest option. It’s important to remember that while choosing the perfect tool for you, you’ll need to consider your budget. The good news is that, depending on your demands, both OpenCart and Shopify can be reasonably priced.
Pricing on Shopify
Starting with Shopify, business owners can add a button to an existing website or page for as little as $9 per month with the Shopify Lite subscription, but you won’t get any advanced capabilities.
The cheapest Shopify plan is $29 per month.
Other possibilities include:
- Shopify costs $79 a month.
- $299 per month for advanced Shopify
- Custom pricing using Shopify Plus
Because Shopify Plus is created primarily for large businesses, expect it to be rather expensive; most experts estimate it will cost around $2000 per month.
The good news is that if you prefer to pay annually rather than monthly, Shopify will give you a discount on any plan you choose. If you buy something for a year, you can save roughly 10%. Additionally, various internet discounts can help you save money on occasion.
Pricing for OpenCart
So, how does OpenCart stack up against the competition?
Depending on who you ask, this is a challenging question. Although OpenCart is technically free to download and use, it does not allow you to run your platform without incurring any costs. You’ll be in charge of security and hosting, so there will be costs to consider right away. In addition, you’ll need to spend some money on extensions.
The good thing is that you can see what the admin and storefront sections look like without hosting your solution by looking at several demos online. Extra costs like domain names, hosting, security, and developer assistance can soon mount up if you’re not careful.
For many business executives, pricing is a crucial concern, but it’s only one puzzle element. You should still ensure you’re obtaining the capabilities and functionality you require to meet your objectives.
Fortunately, OpenCart and Shopify are both willing to assist.
Features of Shopify
Shopify comes with almost everything your business needs to start selling online, which is one of the reasons it appeals to so many entrepreneurs. This is one of the complete tools available, and businesses of all sizes can use it. You can also accept payments from up to 70 different sources and gain access to various features through applications and add-ons.
Certain editing features offer you access to your website’s CSS and HTML parts, and Shopify has both premium and free themes to pick from. You can also accept various payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and support for many currencies. Thanks to reporting and analytics tools, Shopify will even provide you with the tools you need to track how certain effective products are.
To begin selling, all you have to do is select a Shopify theme or design. There are also the following features:
- For security, an SSL certificate is required.
- Fulfillment via dropshipping
- Online app store with a vast selection
- Access to the domain name
- Themes are available in both free and premium versions.
- There are numerous payment options available.
- Currency assistance on a global scale
- Accounts and profiles of customers
- Recovering abandoned carts
- Drag-and-drop functionality on websites
- Testimonials and product reviews
- Templates for marketing and email
- Blogging and SEO capabilities
- Product and inventory management
- Integrations with social media
Shopify is also constantly evolving, so there’s no telling what you’ll be able to do with it in the future. Right now, you can access advanced reports or create apps for your website that your consumers can use on their phones.
Features of OpenCart
While listing all of Shopify’s features at once is complex, the same cannot be accurate for OpenCart. Although you may add the functionality you require, this open-source solution does not come with all you’ll need to get started. You can list many categories, items, subcategories, manufacturers, and brands on your OpenCart site, and you can even mix physical and digital products.
Even though the admin portal defaults to English, you can list products with prices in various currencies to cater to international customers. There’s also the option of adding additional languages and currencies as add-ons.
Because you may own and administer multiple stores from the same admin panel, multi-channel selling is possible. There’s also the option of integrating your store with various shipping providers. Guest checkouts, which reduce abandoned cart issues, and registered user checkouts for customers who want accounts, are two other options.
Subscription-based products can have recurring payments, and you can have customers leave evaluations to help your business grow through social proof. Coupons and discounts are also available through OpenCart. There are SEO tools and reporting and analytics tools to help you get your pages indexed.
There are also the following features:
- Integrations with many add-ons and plugins
- OpenCart modules for your integrations
- Filters to help you narrow down your consumer search
- Tools for data backup and recovery
- Integrations across many platforms
- Blogging and SEO functionality
- Integrations with social media and several channels
- Products that are both digital and physical
Design and Customization
You can’t just sell the cheapest things if you want to succeed in today’s competitive ecommerce world. Customers desire brands with which they can identify, and to establish a relationship with them; you must ensure that your company stands out from the crowd.
Adjusting your website to meet your needs is a breeze with Shopify. Although there isn’t a drag-and-drop builder like some other major programs, updating the look of your website is simple. You begin with one of Shopify’s hundreds of professional-looking templates, which you can customize by adding and removing items.
Shopify gives guidelines and helps at every step to ensure that you can develop the best website for you. It can also assist you in making changes to your website to be more SEO-friendly. Specifically, Shopify’s various themes are geared toward distinct sectors. Choosing the proper theme for your business could result in a better design and more useful functionality, such as restaurant reservation systems.
While Shopify isn’t as versatile as some other options, it does make it pretty simple to make your site look professional. Just be sure to get the theme correct the first time because it’s difficult to change after everything is in place.
If you know what you’re doing with code, OpenCart has a lot of customization choices. Because it’s an open-source solution, you can customize the look and feel of your site to any extent you choose. Though making these modifications isn’t as simple as it may appear for most people. If you don’t know how to use anything like Open Source Theme Editor, you’ll need to hire an expert to assist you.
Fortunately, some internet tools can assist you. On OpenCart forums, you might be able to find themes that are already ready to use, and many people specialize in building beautiful websites with this open-source platform. If you require assistance, you will have no trouble finding a good developer or designer.
Furthermore, OpenCart has a library of over 13,000 extensions and add-ons that you can quickly integrate into the functionality of your online business.
Sales Management with Shopify vs OpenCart
For many reasons, Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available today. One of its most attractive characteristics is that you can start using it immediately and access a wide range of capabilities. A complete back-end allows you to track sales in real-time, and you can access all of the integrations you can think of.
To succeed with Shopify, you don’t need to be a coding specialist.
Shopify makes your life easier by giving you immediate access to everything you need, unlike other sophisticated open-source systems like Magento. Our OpenCart vs. Shopify comparison indicates that Shopify is the quickest to get up and run.
Like many other online ecommerce platforms such as WordPress and Prestashop, Shopify allows you to link with social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram to increase your online sales. You may link with Amazon and eBay, and small businesses can use SEO and marketing tools to improve their internet presence.
The more money you spend on Shopify, the more capabilities you get, but popular features include access to over 100 external payment processors, tax administration, and the ability to sell both physical and digital goods. Shopify can also assist you with launching your ecommerce business using the dropshipping method.
From a dropshipping inventory management standpoint, add-ons and integrations like Oberlo will care for your needs.
Because OpenCart is not a hosted solution like Shopify, it does not come with as much functionality out of the box. Of course, this does not rule out the possibility of running a successful ecommerce business without a hosted platform. Open-source options like OpenCart and Magento 2 may be even more appealing if you know how to code.
You’ll still be able to establish your integrations with marketing platforms like MailChimp and use add-ons to manage inventory. The admin dashboard, which is reasonably simple forward, allows you to add a wide range of SaaS capabilities.
If you’ve ever used an open-source platform for store management and customization before, OpenCart is very standard. Although there aren’t many extra things to learn, some of the functionality isn’t as user-friendly as it may be.
Your store’s product information is frequently spread out over several tabs, but it’s not ordered correctly, making it difficult to find information like where you should include the list price of each of your products.
Although OpenCart allows you more flexibility in modifying and customizing your store and POS systems, there are still certain limits.
There are roughly 53 built-in payment methods to choose from and several payment gateways such as Square, PayPal, Authorize.net, and others. You can also access over a thousand other payment gateways if you have the necessary technical skills to construct your connections.
Suppose you’re experiencing problems with any part of OpenCart shop management. In that case, you can always turn to the community for pre-built integrations and solutions to make your life a little easier. Unfortunately, you won’t have the same ease of use and access out of the box as you would with Shopify.
Which Should You Choose Between Shopify and OpenCart?
It’s never easy to choose between two web development and shop building options that don’t compare apples to apples. While both Shopify and OpenCart allow you to list an endless number of things for sale online, the route you’ll take to developing your store and brand with each application is fundamentally different.
These options enable you to create a successful online store for both physical and digital goods. However, there aren’t many parallels between the two. Shopify is a hosted service that comes with everything you need to start an online business. Adding more functionality, such as email marketing integrations, is as easy as pressing a button.
OpenCart, on the other hand, is an entirely open-source solution that you must host and develop yourself. The original technology is free to use, but you will have to pay for hosting a domain name and possibly additional developer assistance.
Shopify is likely to be the superior option for entrepreneurs looking for a quick and easy way to get started online with little to no learning curve. There’s a tonne of functionality to check out and a variety of methods to make your company stand out online.
OpenCart, on the other hand, may be able to provide you the opportunity to make some considerable modifications to your store on a deeper level. To begin with, this open-source solution is free to use, and it’s jam-packed with features if you know how to use the open-source coding system.
Which Is Better?
Comparing OpenCart vs. Shopify isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison; they’re two entirely different platforms for creating an online store. However, both will help you make sales and make your business stand out. Shopify is one of the most popular solutions on the market if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box service that includes everything you need to start selling online. It’s jam-packed with payment processing choices, ecommerce functionality, and inventory management tools, making it ideal for new business owners.
If you want something more open and adaptable, OpenCart can provide you the option to go deeper into your store’s development. Keep in mind that other open-source alternatives to OpenCart are a little more user-friendly. While this product appeals to a wide range of clients, it has some limits in terms of versatility and convenience.
Good luck deciding on the proper ecommerce system for you – and if you can, try out the products before you buy them!