Manage, Control your own
Using Open Source Ecommerce solutions such as Joomla, Magneto, Opencart, Oscommerce plus many more.
In 2013 91.9% of Australian businesses had internet access, less than half (44.6%) had an online presence. If we drill down a little further, we see that its 41.6% for small businesses (0-19 employees) and 44.4% for small and medium businesses combined (0-199 employees). This compares to 97.0% of large businesses (200+ employees).
According the to ABS , when it comes to online orders, the proportion of businesses that placed orders online increased from 50.8% in 2010-11 to 55.3% in 2011-12. However they still see a noticeable gap between those businesses placing orders online and those accepting orders online. There was very little movement when it came to the latter, with 27.8% of Australian businesses accepting orders online last year. It was 28.0% the year before.
Despite the stagnation in the share of businesses that accepted orders online, the income earned from online orders has grown significantly. In total, $237.1 billion was earned by Australian businesses through online orders, which is an increase of 25.6% from 2010-11 ($188.7 billion).
When you consider that statistic in conjunction with the earlier finding that the share of businesses accepting orders online fell 0.2%, it suggests that those businesses that continue to hold out are missing out.
If you are one of those businesses that is not yet engaging online, there is information available on the ABS Website that can help explain what you could be doing and how you can do it
"Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013, Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2011-12, cat. no. 8166.0."
Australia Bureau of Statistics Website -http://www.digitalbusiness.gov.au/2013/07/02/latest-abs-statistics-many-australian-businesses-still-not-engaging-online/
Paul Dickson Design can Design, Development and Maintenance of your Ecommerce Website.
Open Source Ecommerce Solutions
When it comes to open source ecommerce platforms, finding the perfect platform is not easy. However the information below should help guide you in the right direction.
Each Open Source Solution has its own set of pros and cons and has been designed with a slightly different user in mind. Uploading products and customising your store can be very time consuming. To save you time I can make recommendation as to which solution I think will be best suited for your business. However I encourage you to do as much research as possible before making your final decision.
General Trends in Open Source Ecommerce Software
It’s quite clear that Magento is dominating the space right now.
osCommerce and Zen Cart seem to be on their way out — interest in these e-commerce solutions is decreasing. There was a time when osCommerce was extremely popular, but those years are done. Zen Cart didn’t even reach the peak of its glory because of new platforms like Magento.
The entire landscape completely changed with PrestaShop and then OpenCart jumping into the scene.
PrestaShop’s popularity grows steadily and, in the near future, I think it’s going to surpass its rivals.
OpenCart grew the fastest out of all the open source e-commerce software we’ve discussed, I think even faster than Magento. It’s popularity has doubled over the past year. This is indicative of the project’s ability to provide a good e-commerce platform to online entrepreneurs.
Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.
Joomla comes with a range of Extensions which allow you to use Joomla as an Open Source Ecommerce Solution. This can be achieved by using some popular Joomla extensions such as Virtuemart, Hikashop, Joomshooping, Mijoshop and that's just naming a few. Some of these solutions have commercial licenses attached to them however there are non-commercial solutions available also. At the end of the day you get what you pay for. I always believe it is worth paying for a commercial solution as you're guaranteed that the developers will always keep that commercial extension up-to-date and one step ahead of the competition.
Learn more about Joomla by clicking here
OpenCart is a turn-key ready "out of the box" shopping cart solution. You simply install, select your template, add products and you're ready to start accepting orders.
It has order management and multiple payment gateways already built in and we provide lifetime free support and free software updates.
Not only does OpenCart look great, it’s extremely scalable. You can create an unlimited number of categories, sell an unlimited number of products, accept multiple currencies, use multiple languages, and choose from over 20 payment and 8 shipping methods. It’s user-friendly and search-engine-friendly too, so will help your prominence in Google. Customers can even review and rate the items you sell. It’s not as popular as osCommerce, so help and guidance is not so freely available, but it’s a darn sight better looking.
OpenCart’s administration panel is intuitive and easy to control. What I like about OpenCart is that you’re not overwhelmed with a lot of functions you probably won’t ever use; it just has a well-thought-out set of extremely useful features.
Being a relatively new shopping cart, you should be aware that OpenCart is still under development. Though OpenCart is new, it looks to be a very strong e-commerce solution. It’s a good choice for first-time online merchants.
"A powerful Open Source Shopping Cart system that is designed feature rich and user friendly"
Opencart Website - Source: http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=common/home
You’ve only got to look at Magento’s client list to realise what an excellent piece of open-source software it is. Samsung, The North Face, Stussy and Nespresso all use it to power their online stores. It’s used by 30,000 merchants and is the world’s fastest growing ecommerce platform. You have to pay for the Enterprise Edition, which is packed full of extremely useful features, but the Community Edition, meant for developers only, is free to download and use.
Magento can be compared to WordPress in that they both revolutionized and dominated the space they targeted — Magento in e-commerce, WordPress in blogging and content management.
Magento can be the best solution for those who must manage multiple stores from a single admin interface and database, and for large enterprise stores that expect to spend a lot on website maintenance and customization.
Magento is not the solution for everyone! Andrew Bleakley who is a successful Web Developer from Byron Bay Australia has created a page discussing alternatives to Magneto.
"Magento stormed onto the scene several years ago as a new open source shopping cart. It was highly configurable and full featured and the developer community jumped on board with great enthusiasm. Then normal people tried to use it and the wheels fell off. It was difficult to use, very slow and unresponsive and for free software small businesses seemed to have to spend an awful lot of money keeping there stores maintained properly"
Andrew Bleakley Website - Source: http://andrewbleakley.com/alternatives-to-magento/
PrestaShop is another robust, professional-grade e-Commerce solution that you can download, install, and use for free. On the back end, you’ll use a full-featured back-office application to manage your online business (including inventory, orders, shipping, and customers) in real-time. Your customer’s payments are sent directly to your commerical bank account using the latest security technology.
Being not so highly targeted towards web developers, PrestaShop has an emphasis on user-friendliness. Though in order to do some advanced customization which may require a developer.
PrestaShop has been around for more than five years and it currently powers 130,000+ active online shops. This open source e-commerce solution has been downloaded 2.6 million times. PrestaShop, out of the box, provides shoppers with a smooth shopping and checkout process.
PrestaShop is a great choice if you find Magento or osCommerce overwhelming or too complicated.
PrestaShop is a very powerful shopping cart solution aimed towards both developers and end-users. It’s much simpler and more user-friendly compared to your other options.
PrestaShop will definitely surpass its competitors in popularity. It’s hard to point out any major issues with PrestaShop. It’s ideal for all types of online stores.
"PrestaShop is the most reliable and flexible Open-source e-commerce software. Since 2007, PrestaShop has revolutionized the industry by providing features that engage shoppers and increase online sales. The PrestaTeam consists of over 70 passionate individuals and more than 500 000 community members dedicated to innovated technology."
Prestashop Website - Source: http://www.prestashop.com/
osCommerce is absolutely free under the GNU General Public License and caters very well to most people’s needs. Unsurprisingly, considering how easy it is to set up and run, it’s extremely popular, powering over 228,700 online stores. Such popularity does come with a significant downside however- it makes it harder for you to differentiate your store from the thousands of others out there. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’re going to need to use some of the 5,800 add-ons available, some of which cost money.
osCommerce is one of the oldest open source shopping carts available in the market, being around in existence since March 2000. The project originated from Germany.
This popular open source e-commerce solution is used by close to 13,000 websites. In the course of over 12 years, osCommerce has formed a huge community around it consisting of 270,000+ members, so you’ll be able to lean on thousands of osCommerce experts and web developers specializing in the e-commerce platform.
osCommerce is known to be a modular system — that is, you can enhance its out-of-the-box features by installing add-ons. There are over 7,000+ add-ons that will allow you to extend the software’s functionality.
Throughout its history, osCommerce has been vulnerable to major security issues. For example, in 2011, 4.5 million osCommerce web pages were infected due to a security hole that permitted the attackers to inject affected sites with malicious code. These security issues are generally patched quickly, though.
"Have you seen old screenshots of Internet Explorer 4 — remember when it came out and it was cool but now you look at it and laugh and remember the good old days and Melrose Place and what not. osCommerce is the Internet Explorer 3 of shopping carts. Technically it might still work but it will be the worst online experience of your life. Please think of the children, don’t even visit the site it just encourages them."
Andrew Bleakley Website - Source: http://andrewbleakley.com/six-second-shopping-cart-reviews/
Zen Cart is very similar to osCommerce. The similarity is not surprising because Zen Cart was originally developed using the osCommerce code base.
Zen Cart provides online retailers with a greater number of customer management and marketing tools such as gift certificates, coupon codes, discount and sale rules, automatic email order confirmation, and much more.
Zen Cart is mainly targeted towards developers and advanced users. Creating and managing websites built with Zen Cart, as well as editing or updating Zen Cart templates, is a complex affair compared to newer online shopping cart software like OpenCart or PrestaShop.
Zencart is easy to install, easy to customise and easy to manage, Zen Cart is perfect for those who want a straightforward ecommerce platform without the fuss. It comes with a newsletter manager, discount coupons, gift certificates and all the basic features you’d expect. Users can make the most of the numerous add-ons available to customise their store and make their admin experience a little easier. Too many add-ons, however, and the UI does get rather cluttered, which is a downside of the platform.
"Zen Cart® truly is the art of e-commerce; free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software. The ecommerce web site design program is developed by a group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think ecommerce web design could be, and should be, done differently."
Zencart Website - Source: http://www.zen-cart.com/
So why Paul Dickson Design?
PDDesign can create a website for any purpose. Whether you are looking to refresh your existing site, start a new business website or manage your own content management system, I have a solution to fit your requirements.
What makes me stand out above the competition?
What other solutions do I offer?
- Competitive Web Hosting Solutions
- Site Hosting + Email + Domain Name from $150 for 2 years
- Custom Designed Responsive Websites
- Built using HTML5 and CSS3
- Ecommerce Websites
- Need an Online Shopping Cart or Ecommerce Website?