True eCommerce Magic: Shopify or OpenCart?

If you work in the world of eCommerce you obviously know that there are two types of shopping carts to power your business: hosted and open-source. The first option is more user-friendly and easier to start with. The second one will require some technical skills but can offer more features and customization possibilities. And though the choice is up to you and depends on your needs exclusively, we’ll be glad to give you some tips on both platforms. Let’s get familiar with the two best eCommerce platforms from either camp. Shopify vs OpenCart - the competition between the hosted and open-source solution.

Why these two? Well, because both solutions are known to be highly intuitive and functional, which makes them perfect platforms to start or bring new life to online business. OpenCart vs Shopify who will become you perfect match? Read and decide.

Brief Shopify Review

The platform’s name itself sounds like a magic spell from a popular book series. And it really does work like magic! It is a hosted platform, you can establish your store in a few clicks. Right after that you will enjoy all the main advantages of Shopify: compatible hosting, 99.9% uptime, full data security, professional support and one of the most intuitive admin panels in the industry. Your shop will be ready to do business right after installing -- just add some products and you are ready to start.

Though as any SaaS solution Shopify has limited customization capabilities, this fact doesn’t make the templates less beautiful. You can easily choose one of 60+ professional default templates right from the admin’s panel or purchase one from an official App Store. You get both user-friendly design editor and full access to CSS and HTML files -- everything you need to make your store shine brighter than others.

Brief OpenCart Review

OpenCart is a free open source solution known for extreme simplicity and powerful range of features. Being a self-hosted solution, you’ll need to go through a platform’s installation procedure, as well as find a decent hosting provider. All these can be done without much efforts.

Unlike most open source platforms, OpenCart is fairly easy to customize. Thanks to an advanced template system, you can modify the look of your OpenCart e-shop easily and effectively. Keep in mind that going deep into store customization may require some sufficient efforts and appear to be more complicated than doing so on Shopify.

And What About Features?

Though both platforms have powerful sets of features, each of them has its own strong and weak sides.

Shopify vs Opencart

Shopify Advantages

Shopify will help you to concentrate on your business and avoid any technical issues. That is why the platform makes a strong emphasis on marketing and SEO tools -- everything you need to boost your sales.

  • Marketing tools include coupon codes and discount system, email marketing system, free advertise credits and social media integration
  • Built-in CMS that allows to utilize content marketing strategy by establishing a blog
  • Default possibility to set up a mobile version of your Shopify shop
  • SEO friendly URLs, meta descriptions and automatically generated sitemap
  • Multiple shipping and payment gateways right out of the box
  • Painless checkout
  • Built-in business reports
  • Multiple currencies, languages and taxes

For these reasons the software solution has become the choice of the major eCommerce leaders. The companies that use Shopify include: Budweiser, The Economist, Sunday Somewhere, Penguin Books, Tesla Motors, Red Bull, The New York Stock Exchange, Kylie Cosmetics, and many others brands well-known.

Shopify Disadvantages

Unfortunately, monthly plan fee makes just a part of the money you pay Shopify for its service. Except that, users are obliged to pay 1-2% fee on every transaction. The cheaper the plan, the less functionality you get. While OpenCart offers everything at once, you’ll have to pay extra for additional functionality when using Shopify. So, the magic is a bit pricey. Shopify pricing might be costly for particular types of businesses.

Opencart vs Shopify

OpenCart Advantages

Straight out-of-the-box, OpenCart can offer you almost all the same features as Shopify does and even a bit more.

  • Free-of-charge
  • ECommerce Templates and Design
  • Multiple-store functionality
  • SEO meta tags per product and category
  • 13 000+ extensions
  • The fullest freedom of customization
  • Customer Support

OpenCart Disadvantages

Despite it remains one of the easiest solutions among open-source platforms, OpenCart still loses in usability if compared to Shopify and its advanced eCommerce functionality. An extensive shopping cart customization requires sufficient programming skills. Medium-sized businesses that have their stores on Opencart might feel that limited functionality prevent their companies from growing and at this point, online merchants are advised to migrate their store to another, more enhanced platform.

Shopify vs Opencart - Who the Winner Is?

We have two highly intuitive and user-friendly options that both worth considering. The best advice would be to try each of them before doing a final decision evaluating advantages and disadvantages each of them. Since OpenCart is totally free to download/use and Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, you have a perfect chance to go ahead and test each of them yourself!

And if you feel comfortable with any of these -- don’t hesitate to migrate your online store either to OpenCart or Shopify! You have an opportunity to perform OpenCart to Shopify and Shopify to OpenCart migration using Cart2Cart -- easily and effortlessly. Have you decided on Shopify vs Opencart winner? Perform Free Demo Migration to check the benefits automated migration with Cart2Cart offers!