Unlike a high street retail outlet your online store is open for business 24/7, able to meet customers needs quickly, effectively and ahead of your competitors as well as having countless tools to improve your business. You are aware of the the benefits an online store could bring in to your business but you are not sure where to start from.
There is various options and platforms to launch an online store on. You can choose between a customized CMS, SAAS platform like Shopify where you pay a monthly fee to maintain your online store and open source platform you have full control over. Open source platforms gives you full control over themes , customisation, extensions and future developments on this article we will focus on Open cart and benefits to you as a business owner as we do think it is one of the best tools out there to build your online business on.
We have gathered 10 of the numerous reasons why to choose OpenCart for your online store. Let’s go
1. OpenCart is free.
Cost of using OpenCart is zilch, nada , nothing. So it is free. No monthly fees , no annual licences. Free as in free beer. Your only cost is buying a domain and webspace to host your platform. Of course, there are paid modules and extensions or functionalities to it but they are not needed for every scenario and strictly individual – use it if you need customisation in certain way or according to particular need.
So, OpenCart is a free platform – and this means that anyone can download it and therefore go through its code. Therefore, wouldn’t that make it easier to hack? The answer is NO. When a system is open source, it is even more secure. OpenCart, for example, has huge numbers of followers and communities that contribute to its development. When there are issues, they are detected much faster, and respectively, their solution is also rapid, more efficient and free!
As a contrast, SAAS (Software as a Service) platforms are on a subscription basis, whereby one must pay a monthly fee or a transaction fee based on order value. These platforms also impose much restrictions and limitations on the store itself and its development. In OpenCart there’s no limits – in categories, products, customers, development, payment options and many others. Since it is open source you can modify the code itself to your business needs.
2. Easy for development
Anyone who has experience with PHP and knows the MVC structure well can very quickly get familiar with the code of Open cart, and respectively, start making modules, extensions and modify topics. But even if you’re not so familiar with all this, this platform is built as extremely pleasant one and easy to work with. So you will mould OpenCart platform to your needs in no time.
Hence, there is a huge diversity and free and paid solutions that can save you days, even months of work. (You can find a list of extensions, for example, here: https://opencart.com, https://codecanyon.net/)
Themes do not differ too. Many people think that if they use the same platform (and an open source platform in general) their website can easily be copied, cloned by its design, appearance and functionalities. But this is not the case. OpenCart offers a wide range of themes, through which you can customize your shop in different ways and make it look unique, different and “yours.”
3. Open cart is SEO friendly.
OpenCart is one of the best (maybe even the best) optimized e-commerce platforms. The things we need for a good optimization, OpenCart provides. From fields for meta titles and descriptions, alt tags, inserting metadata as schema.org, to modules that allow us to automatically manipulate all main pages, categories and products on our online store (eg, SEO Mega Pack) – most settings are even required – in that way we can fully protect ourselves from unpleasant results at Google.
We also have space for a personalized URL for each product, category, information page, where we can put the so-called “Pretty URLs.”
So if we have a product iPhone7, with which option you will rank better in Google?
http://domain.com/indexp.php?route=product/product&productid=69 or http://domain.com/iphone-7
Another very important factor in SEO is the loading speed of the website. It is in fact important not only for good positioning in search engines, but also for your users. Even if you have only interesting products, great promotions, innovative design, etc. if each click around your site it takes more than a few seconds to load (this goes especially for the opening of the home page), the customer will lose his patience and interest and his desire to shop you will evaporate. Expect our new article that will show you how to speed your online store soon.
4. Analysis and statistics
With Opencart you can make various statistics which will help you analyze the success of your online store. For example, you can check which are the most viewed products on the website or which are the most purchased one; you can check the number of orders by day, week, month, year; can fully analyze the behavior of your customers and visitors and their activity (including registrations orders, entering the website, even which customers have ordered most from your website). OpenCart gives us the ability to extract data for the overall behavior of our customers and our online presentation. On this basis we can build new marketing strategies, corporate policies and change if needed our online behavior. For everything else there is Google Analytics.
5. Possibility for more than one store, language or currency
OpenCart allows us to have more than one store with only one administrative panel. Often when our business is performing very well in a given territory, we want to go in a foreign market and expand our business there. Instead of having to copy the whole website with any change, functionality, extra or addition we have made, to complicate our work and “store” duties for day and sometimes weeks ahead, we can simply “add” it to the one we have now . Technically, we create another shop with a different description, name, logo, and even we can add another theme.
After the installation, OpenCart comes in English by default, but we can always download any language we want, install and add it – so easy and our shop is now multilingual.
By completing just a few fields we can add any currency as a payment option to our online store and therefore give the opportunity our clients to easily choose and change the currency according to their location or preference.
6. Clients and client groups
One of the best features of the platform is the possibility of dividing our customer into groups. We can literaly divide our clients into countless subdivisions. For example, we can create a separate group for our wholesale clients and respectively make them special offers and have a certain price displayed only to them. We can add a different price for a set of products – for example, the price of a kit with 10 products can be discounted. We can create promotions for some customers groups. For example, if you have a group of loyal customers, we can make it so only they can see a certain discount on some items in our assortment, or provide to them a completely different (and often better ones) promotions.
If, for example, we work with different distributors or are representatives of some brand, we can make sure that only registered customers see certain prices in the online store.
Affiliate marketing is the way in which our customers or people not involved in our business become a part of it. In brief – they “promote” our products and earn commission for each sale that is made thanks to them. There is a huge amount of resources on the topic. We recommend that you read about the history of Amazon, because in addition to obtaining new and useful information, you will become really inspired. Thanks to OpenCart, we can start an affiliate program with just a few clicks. The platform enables us to easily tune commissions and to approve affiliates. All that’s left is for them to start working for us.
8. Extras such as coupons, vouchers, promotions and others
With such a wide range of functionalities we can easily become not only professionals in our niche but also ones with a professional and qualitative online store.
Coupons – we can easily create a code with which we give a certain discount on our prices. We can make it valid just for a certain amount of time and give it minimum value at which to activate. And these are just some of the settings that are available.
Vouchers – many consumers hesitate when they shop especially when it comes to buying gifts. Do you like it (and is the person you are buying for going to like it), can you find something better, is it appropriate? To save all these hassles to our customers, we can just give them the opportunity to buy vouchers of a certain value. That way they will not worry whether their gift will be liked. Additionally, in this way we can win not one but two new customers.
Reward Points – every client who purchases our product receives a number of points based on its value. After he has collected a certain number of points he can buy a new one free. This functionality seems to follow a quite obvious sequence, but needs a fairly complex logistics. OpenCart is one of the platforms that maximum facilitates all its planning and execution.
Promotions – we can run a promotion for some of our products and we can do it oh, so easily. We just have to choose any extra settings that follow – what will be the products, for which customer group will it be and the length it will be active.
We easily can optimize the process associated with Christmas promotions, for example. They can be prepared at any time of year that is convenient for us, and when the time comes, to launch them only with a touch of a button.
9. Payments methods and methods of delivery
All methods of delivery and payment are made on a modular basis, which is an extremely practical solution, knowing that otherwise they cannot all be covered. Thus, at any time we can find or purchase method of delivery and/or payment, install it with just a few clicks and minutes later, the website has a working module. Thanks to the good structure of the system, we created a delivery method with ECONT that automates the operation of the controller by over 50% and it done by only 2 clicks. With the installation we receive nearly 40 payment methods, the most commonly used by us are actually the most popular ones at the moment – PayPal, cash, bank transfer – credit and debit card, and others.
10. The administrative panel is a very easy one to get used to.
Quicklyweb is a company that has been a part of this industry for nearly seventeen years now. For this period we have developed over 100 successful online store. After completion of the project for us comes the period of integration for our customers – they have to get used to their new online store system and way of work. For all stores developed we have used the platform OpenCart and we must say that it has eliminated this problematic and time-consuming integration period of training our clients. We now need only one meeting to explain them how to use the platform, the functionalities that are included and what they offer. Therefore, our clients succeed to understand better the logistics of managing their online store. Most are not only impressed by the ease of handling, but also of all of the included features such as: adaptive design, the ability for the administrator to work from from his tablet or phone. It often happens that our customers learn on the fly during the project itself because they like to familiarize themselves fully with the capabilities of the platform.
If you want to be among the many overachieving online businesses, trust our experience and expertise with OpenCart for building your online store! Contact us right now.