Open Source Ecommerce - The Inexpensive Way to Start a Business
The past few years has seen a practical boom of the open source ecommerce market. One
reason being, high quality and effective solutions are built on small budgets and in real quick
time. The other being, people saw the success stories of major ecommerce websites like eBay
and Amazon, and thus have followed the suit by bringing their businesses online and targeting
a larger niche of customers.
Building an online store is really simple. There are open source ecommerce software such
as osCommerce and
Magento which can be
customized to produce a fully functional online shopping store with desirable features, look,
and navigation. Moreover, open source ecommerce technologies like
Zen Cart even let the use of online
shopping carts to be personalized.
These online stores have lots of items that you can buy, bid for, and take them on rent.
And it does not stop here, you can even put up your items to sell, exchange, and put an auction
to it on such ecommerce websites. The items may range from electronics, to clothing, jewelries,
and accessories, to utilities, computers, and mobile phones, to even bizarre things such as
limited edition collectibles and unheard innovations.
An ecommerce website can be as versatile as you want it to be and thus you can build
an online store as per your requirements and specifications. This ecommerce software gives
you total control of all departments of your online business, and help enhancing merchandising
and promotions. An ecommerce website automates business processing making the process even
faster with more reliability; thus bring in more productivity and profits.
Now a question may creep up what is open source ecommerce and why choose it? Well, the
answer is as simple - open source ecommerce is an open platform for customization that has
a huge developer community that constantly updates and upgrades the software to remove glitches,
add new features and functionality, and round the clock technical support.
All of this comes for free, well if any price tag is put on any open source developing
tool it is really small and affordable. So all you have to splurge for is the production and
hosting costs. This really looks a lucrative and inexpensive way to start a business online.
An ecommerce website can have any features and functionality that you wish for, yet some
of the basic features of a typical ecommerce website are as follows:
o Multilingual and multi-currency support. Internet is accessible from almost any part
of the world, so the scope of your ecommerce website is not limited to just your local community
or a particular niche that you are targeting. People come from all countries, cultures and
ethnicities. To accommodate all, you need to have linguistic characteristics that make the
customer feel at home. Furthermore, you may ease the task for the buyer by providing a support
for accepting international currencies.
o Multiple payment gateways. A payment gateway is a gateway through which the customer
transfers a sum for the product that he is buying. Nowadays Internet allows some strikingly
easy options such as PayPal, Authorize.net, iPayment, 2Checkout, and credit card processing.
All these gateways have to be integrated into your open source ecommerce website and the money
transfer has to be ensured as secure and reliable.
o Product catalogue management. The product catalogue is the list of the items sold on
your ecommerce site with product details and prices. This list should be able to be manipulated
by adding new items, removing, and/or editing the existing items. Your product catalogue could
have an unlimited number of items and varieties.