Enterprise eCommerce Platform vs Professional and Open Source eCommerce Solutions

Comparison of Difference eCommerce Options


by Bernard Kohan

There are hundreds of eCommerce / shopping cart software choices - unfortunately, most of them have focused on a one-size-fits-all and mass sales approach.

Below are the main issues with most of today's eCommerce Platforms:
There is very little concentration on important elements such as:

Below is a brief description, and a list of advantages and disadvantages of different types of eCommerce / shopping cart software platforms.

Enterprise eCommerce Platforms

Enterprise eCommerce Applications are more tailored for large online retailers with a substantial number of transactions, solid security considerations, ample room for scalability, and many rich features and functionality.

Some of the most valuable elements of an Enterprise eCommerce Platform are the warranty, support and version release features.

The majority of the Enterprise eCommerce Platforms do provide design and branding flexibility.

In addition, some of the Enterprise eCommerce Platforms provide ease of management and support for customizations or tailored features.

The cost for Enterprise eCommerce Platforms varies from one company to another.

For example:

Professional eCommerce Platforms

Professional eCommerce Platforms are more tailored for small online retailers that do not require a substantial number of features, room for customizations and enterprise level support.

Most of the Professional eCommerce Platforms provide a limited warranty and support.

Majority of the Professional eCommerce Platforms do not provide design and branding flexibility.

The cost, warranty, and support for Professional eCommerce Platforms vary from one company to another.

For example:

Community / Open Source eCommerce Platforms

Community based / Open Source eCommerce Platforms are more tailored for online retailers that have the necessary experience and resources for deploying and maintaining open source application frameworks.

Usually, there is no direct commercial or enterprise level support from the maker of the open source eCommerce application. The support can be provided by the community or a third party specialized in one of the open source eCommerce applications.

In most cases, there is no warranty provided for the Community based / Open Source eCommerce Platforms.

Although there is no licensing fee for Open Source eCommerce Platforms, there usually are costs involved for installing and deploying the Open Source eCommerce application. There will more substantial development costs if customizations are required.

Below are the top open source eCommerce platforms:

Low-end Commercial or Open Source eCommerce Platforms

Low-end Commercial or Open Source Shopping Cart Applications are more tailored for small online retailers that are looking for a basic shopping cart, do not require customizations and do not anticipate growth in the near future.

Here are some of the disadvantages of the low-end commercial or open source shopping carts:


Cost: There is no licensing cost for the Open Source eCommerce Platforms. The cost for the Low-End Commercial Shopping Carts vary from one company to another ranging from approx. $50 - $500 (one time licensing fee).

Hosted eCommerce Platforms

Hosted eCommerce Platforms are more tailored for small online retailers that do not require control over the source code and operations of their eCommerce application; design and branding; and do not anticipate growth in the near future.

Here are some of the disadvantages of a Hosted Shopping Cart:


Cost: The cost for Hosted eCommerce Platforms vary from one company to another. The cost is usually based on a monthly rate and ranges from approx. $29 per month to $249 per month depending on the features and limited support provided (if any!).

Research for this article was completed July 5, 2010; pricing and other information may change.

 

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