Software packages for online shops contain all the tools you need to run your own virtual store: from the creation of the website and the addition of products to the implementation of the sales system. Besides, most of these platforms have been developed with a “responsive” design that allows the shop to adapt automatically to the size of any device, i.e. personal computers, tablets (horizontal and vertical) and mobile phones.
There are a variety of platforms on which you can create an online shop. The vast majority of them have basic features that are very similar, like the ability to add an unlimited number of items, zooming of images of products and different payment systems. The main difference between these software packages lies in certain specific features and the workflow. The latter is very important when choosing a platform, as generally speaking they are all quite complete systems. Below we present those we consider the two best e-commerce systems available today.
This is one of the most complete e-commerce software packages in the market, with a great community and also plenty documentation available in Spanish. Furthermore, Prestashop is an open source platform that allows you to have control over the programming of the store and make changes.
Among its main features:
– Ability to apply discounts to products.
– Generate discount coupons, choosing the products or categories for which the coupon applies.
– Management of orders.
– Manage subscriptions and deletion of customers to newsletters.
– Unlimited payment methods.
– Labelling of products and tag cloud.
– Product comparison.
– Invoices in pdf format for the clients.
– Unlimited categories and subcategories.
– SMS alerts.
– Bar code.
– SEO optimization.
– Friendly URLs.
The platform has three versions, ranging from the 9.90 euros per month of Prestashop 300, to the 29.90 euros per month of Prestashop 1000 and the 229 euros single payment of Prestashop Tuya. To evaluate the platform users can try an e-shop demo and see its admin panel, where they can manage the store and configure its different options, add products and categories, manage orders, shipping and payment methods, etc.
Magento, backed by eBay, is also an open source platform. Its main features include some we have already seen, such as multiple images per product, promotional coupons, zoom of images and comparison of products. We can also highlight:
– The ability to create a list of the most recently viewed products.
– The creation of a tool to promote new items.
– Free shipping options.
– Management of newsletters.
– The possibility of sending wish lists of users by e-mail.
Magento has three versions: Magento Community, Magento Go and Magento Enterprise. The first one is free and can be downloaded directly from the web. This version is recommendable for those who want to start any kind of business, as it has information on development issues, design, etc. accessible from the discussion forums. Furthermore, this free version can be installed in any computer or in a hosting service. Magento Go: it is similar to the Community version, but one hundred percent cloud-based, which means that for a monthly fee you can have your e-shop stored in the cloud. Magento Enterprise is the most complete version. It is advisable to choose this option when you have a website with several shops, thousands of articles, and a high volume of transactions.
Before you start…
Before jumping into the creation of an online shop you have to be aware that these platforms require an implementation time, as it is usually necessary to download the software and install the system (application server, database, etc.) and then configure the store according to your needs. To do this there is information online and also professionals dedicated to the installation and maintenance of e-shops in these platforms (they can even help you develop a more advanced design or create new features.) In addition, the most basic versions of these packages have many templates that can be installed in the virtual store without having much experience.
Once the e-shop system is installed, you just have to add the information of your business and, little by little, configure the different modules and introduce the products through the administration area.