Setting Yourself Apart From the Rest With an Open Source Platform
The term “open source” (when referring to an ecommerce platform or other software) describes a platform that is able to be customized by developers. Differing from an out of the box platform which has a distinct set of features that can only be minimally adjusted-if at all, an open source platform allows you to implement any feature you need and make drastic changes to already existing features. An open source platform is also built for smooth integrations with other software systems so that the flow of information can translate from one platform to another.
In general, it is a widely shared belief that the benefits of an open source platform far outweigh the negative aspects. The one thing that some people believe prevents them from getting into an open source platform is the need for a developer. Because the software will be so complexly tailored to fit your unique business, there are many more details to implement than there are for an out of the box software. A closed source system is much easier to implement. Often times, there is no need for skilled developers to build it for you, as it comes straight out of the box “pre-built.”
On the other hand, having something built specifically for your business means that it will be original and unique to your company’s needs. It’s features and functionalities will be a reflection of exactly what you want your website visitors to experience, and it will be unlike any other website because it was personalized for you. This personalization can be echoed throughout both the visual design and navigation of your site. The colors and visuals which represent your brand can be seen throughout your site, ensuring that the design reflects your company’s voice. In addition, the specific style that you’d like your site to have can be created through things such as navigation and page layout. As trends in ecommerce websites change, you are able to go in and make your adjustments to your site as well.
In addition to customizing visuals and layout, the features that you feel will be needed to provide your clients with an optimized online experience can be chosen and implemented be developers. For example, if you notice that many of your site visitors are coming from Canada, and would like to enable an easy way to ship products there, you can implement the Canada Post Module. Any unique aspect of your business can be accounted for by adding an extension. Another example of needing features specific to your business can be seen in Business to Business transactions. When getting started in the B2B space, many online retailers need to make drastic adjustments to their website’s feature sets in order to accommodate for their new B2B client base. Business to business transactions require special functionality to be present in order for purchases to be made smoothly.
Choosing a Platform that Offers the Features You Need
When selecting an eCommerce platform for your online store, there are a few things you need to look for. First, you need to decide if open source is right for you. Smaller businesses which may be less complex may not have a need for open source capabilities. As your business grows, however, you will most likely find yourself needing an open source software which can grow with your business as it thrives. If you have decided to go with open source, you should choose a platform which makes finding and implementing the features you need a clear and easy process. Magento, for example, is an eCommerce known to many because of its open source capabilities and large market of extensions made specifically to be integrated with Magento sites.
The Magento Marketplace is full of modules made to enhance the experience of online shoppers coming to your Magento site. This includes modules focused on B2B, B2C, Shipping, Subscriptions, Coupon Alerts, Price Quoting, Product Visuals, and much more. Getting your eCommerce site onto Magento has been known to drive growth in revenue by 49% and growth in conversion by 39%. It’s clearly navigable admin back end makes it easy to maintain by merchants, and its open source capabilities make it endlessly customizable to suit your business.
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