OpenCart Shopping Cart Review

opencart-review-logoContinuing to compare popular open-source solutions, where differences are less obvious than hosted ecommerce platforms, we take a look at the OpenCart shopping cart software. In addition to this review of OpenCart, we’ll continue to review other top ecommerce platforms and shopping carts.

Check out the master document of our ecommerce platform comparison of 14+ solutions here.

OpenCart Review: What Kind of Merchant Should Use the OpenCart Shopping Cart Software?

OpenCart is a FREE open-source shopping cart. Like Zen Cart, OpenCart is based on PHP/MySQL code and was developed to to be an affordable, user-friendly, and potent piece of ecommerce software. OpenCart is definitely not as dated as Zen Cart, but the two are very comparable. To compare the two, OpenCart provides an overall more intuitive and well-designed user-interface as well as a higher selection of extensions while Zen Cart adds a bit more built-in functionality.

Straight “out-of-the-box,” OpenCart is very basic in terms of functionality and doesn’t touch the sophistication of Magento’s open-source shopping cart. Like with all open-source software, the potential for your store only rises with how skilled your web development resources are so these will  be very necessary when customizing an OpenCart site and installing extensions.

OpenCart is a great solution for ecommerce business owners who are just starting out because all the base needs are covered and there’s not all these (sometimes unnecessary) bells and whistles that can become overwhelming. The biggest costs for owning an OpenCart site will be web programming resources and extensions for added functionality.

Ideal for: Small to medium-sized ecommerce stores

ecommerce-platform-comparison-migration-guidebook

OpenCart Review: Good OpenCart Features 
Ecommerce Platform Comparison: OpenCartFeature Grade
Supports unlimited products / product categoriesA
Solid SEO capability (good review here)B
Neat and navigable admin interfaceB+
Built-in customer-friendly options: guest checkout, product reviews/ratings, discount coupons, 23 payment gateways accepted (but no one-page checkout - can be purchased, however)B-
Easy launch - store can be implemented very shortly after downloadB
Over 2200 themes (free and paid)B+
Developed, active community forumA

OpenCart Review: Bad OpenCart Features 
Ecommerce Platform Comparison: OpenCartFeature Grade
Basic functionality - will need to purchase extensions (which are generally affordable)C+
Poor transitions from updates (many customizations can become error-prone)C
Very basic reporting for default (amount of sales, products viewed, products purchased)C+
No hosting - recommended hosting hereC+
Minimal support for use of purchased extensions or OpenCart-provided troubleshooting (pretty bad review here)C
Many complaints about the OpenCart development team (tends to dissuade experienced developers looking for support)*D

You can view many of OpenCart’s features here.

*This is definitely a recurring theme. Here are a few quotes from different EcommerceSpot customer reviews about the OpenCart team:

  • Unfortunately, bad attitude of the main developer and his forum moderators keeps serious developers away from using OC. On a daily basis, negative posts about OC or their business partners are being removed.
  • To top it all off, the forum moderator is one of the rudest people on the planet. This is not the type of support people should be receiving: ‘Can’t you people read,’ ‘I’ve said it 50 times and I’m done saying it.’ Keep in mind that his fix fails to resolve the issue.
  • Try putting any piece of constructive negative comments on it (like your extension is not working and here’s why) and see what happens, it disappears, but not before the developer makes it appear that it is you that is the problem.
  • And the real clincher is this amusing comment thread on another OpenCart review.

BUT, regardless of the online antics of the OpenCart team, it should NOT detract from the high capability and ease-of-use of the shopping cart.

OpenCart Review: Submit Your Product Data Feed from OpenCart to Google Shopping

There are 100+ product feed extensions in the OpenCart extension store. I’ve found that the Google Base ($10) and the Google Product Feed ($22.50) extensions are most popular for Google PLAs. Their comments are also pretty built-out with troubleshoots. If you have feedback on the use of these extensions, I’d love your feedback.

Overall, OpenCart has been around and popular long enough where there are enough purchasable resources out there that should make feed creation and export pretty straightforward.

OpenCart Review: Notable OpenCart Examples

Mix Wig

Gorgeous Couture

Cellside

OpenCart Review: Our OpenCart Bottom Line

Despite being around for about 4 years now, OpenCart is still an immature solution (in comparison to other open-source software on the market) in terms of its out-of-the-box robustness, and this is where purchasing a wide host of extensions plays a role. A small to smaller medium-sized retailer will have no problem using the OpenCart shopping cart because it includes most base ecommerce functions, yet a quickly growing medium to enterprise-sized ecommerce business may want to consider comparable, more complete open-source solutions like PrestaShop or Magento.

It’s become clear that OpenCart users have very polar experiences with the cart, where many customer testimonials either rave about or smash the ecommerce software. Nevertheless, with sound and capable web development resources as well as a clear vision for the store, an ecommerce business owner can have a very functional and sleek store on their hands using the OpenCart software.

OpenCart Ecommerce Platform Comparison Grade: B-

How do you think this shopping cart stacks up against the rest? Have your voice be heard and your opinion known!

Email jon@cpcstrategy.com and request to have your experience be part of this OpenCart Review.

View the master list of our ecommerce platform comparison to make the most informed choice when choosing your ecommerce platform software.

 
*Note: Grades are subjectively based on analysis and comparison to other ecommerce platforms, based on availability, significance, and functionality of the platform feature and overall value.

 

Best Practices For Migrating Online Ecommerce Stores

Learn How to Make Your Online Store Transition Smooth As Possible

 

About the AuthorJon Gregoire is the Director of Demand Generation at CPC Strategy. Jon heads up email marketing, content strategy, co-marketing, and revenue cycle efficiency. A UC San Diego grad, Jon is a Chicago native and full-time San Diego tourist. He enjoys Bear Grylls-like backpacking trips, archery, weekend getaways in Southern California, watching his beloved Chicago Bears, and bidaily coffee consumption. Want to pitch a story? Reach out directly at jon(at)cpcstrategy.com. See all posts by this author here.