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Which E-commerce Platform?
E-commerce and multi-channel retailing are sectors that rely on technology to provide the route to market and mechanics of merchandising and selling products. Selecting the right technology platform for your business is therefore of paramount importance, much the same way as selecting the right retail premises is of paramount importance in ‘bricks and mortar’ retailing. Unfortunately, identifying the best technology involves navigating a crowded market with options ranging from free software as a service (SaaS) platforms, through to multi million pound bespoke builds. Which route to take will very much depend on?

Business Requirement
If you require a number of bespoke features that are unique to your proposition or want to really differentiate your website from that of competitors, an ‘off the shelf’ shopping platform is unlikely to be fit for purpose. However, it may be possible to enhance an open source solution since you have access to the source code.

The cost of e-commerce platforms can be broken down into licence fees (if proprietary technology), design costs, development costs, hosting and management costs. For most retailers, the single biggest cost is enhancements and development, as it is this that enables them to tailor the platform to meet their business requirements.

Just like any business venture, launching an e-commerce website is an investment that needs to deliver a return. Whilst a free SaaS platform will provide a quick to market, low cost option, it is unlikely to provide the functionality, customer experience or scalability to grow a significant market share unless the product is open source and has been around long enough to ensure that it has the track record that you can rely on.

Here at Store Integrator, we are listing the differences between the Shopintegrator, Catalookstore and Nopcommerce as shown below the table:
  shop catalook nopcommerce
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Supporting Platform Any sites (PHP, Asp.net,
DNN, wordpress etc.,)
It is an extension for DotNetNuke It is a CMS and a Shop combined
Enhanced content management system Uses tokens in your DNN/WordPress or Basic HTML pages yes Limited CMS for News, Blogs and some other features
Shopping Basket & Checkout yes yes yes
Appearance Customisation yes yes yes
Online Shop Admin Console yes yes yes
Multiple Website Integration Possible yes no no
Open and Close your Shop yes no yes
Number of Products Varies depends upon different
plans from 25 to 3000
Unlimited Unlimited
Realtime Stock Quantity Control yes yes yes
Discount Usage History yes yes yes
Product Categories yes yes yes
Special Offers yes yes yes
Buyer Choice Options yes yes yes
Accept Purchase Order yes yes yes
Multi-Currency Pricing in your Webpage yes yes yes
Multiple Shipping plans yes yes yes
Sell Digital Downloads yes yes yes
Customer File Download Controls yes yes yes
Order Management yes yes yes
Discount Codes yes yes yes
Wish list no yes yes
Multi language support no yes no
Fully customizable design & layout yes yes yes
Customer subscription management no yes yes
Marketing and Promotions yes yes yes
Google Checkout no yes yes
Unlimited Categories & Sub-Categories no yes yes
Price and Weight Sensitive yes yes yes
Additional shipping charges yes yes yes
Products Import yes yes yes
Products Export no yes yes
Search Engine Optimization yes yes yes
E-Coupons no yes no
E-Mail to a Friend  no yes yes
Reward Points System no yes yes
Web Services API yes yes yes
Payment paypal processor yes yes yes
Product attributes yes yes yes
W3C compliance yes yes yes
Downloadable products yes yes yes
Shipping tracking number yes yes yes
One-page Checkout no no yes
Facebook and Twitter authentication no yes yes
Anonymous checkout yes yes yes
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