Some parts of the economy may have been in a slump lately, but not e-commerce. In the third quarter of 2011, online sales climbed 13 percent. And market researchers at Forrester predict that online commerce in the U.S. will see 15 percent growth during the 2011 holiday season, with online vendors ringing up $60 billion in sales.
If you'd like a piece of that action, it's not too late to set up your own online store. A number of open source projects offer tools that make the process inexpensive and fairly easy.
For this list of open source ecommerce software, we found dozens of open source shopping carts and other solutions that offer good alternatives to proprietary tools. We also listed open source ERP solutions that include e-commerce support, as well as some other open source tools you'll need to set up your site, such as content management systems, databases, and Web page editing tools. To make the list more manageable, projects are sorted by category, and then listed alphabetically within each category.
As always, if you know of other open source e-commerce solutions that we didn't list, feel free to note them in the comments section below.
E-Commerce Solutions (With Commercial Support)
Java-based Broadleaf claims to be "the most cost-effective enterprise e-commerce solution available." While Broadleaf does not offer commercial support directly, consulting firm Credera does offer support and related services. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Based on osCommerce (see below), Digistore offers a full list of e-commerce features and requires no coding knowledge to set up and manage. Customization and consulting are available from the Digistore team, and the site also includes links to third-party vendors who offer hosted solutions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
This ASP.Net-based package offers a "no frills" solution that is easy to install and highly customizable. It's also available on an SaaS basis (with prices in Euros). Operating System: Windows
Interchange has been around since 1995, and it supports a wide range of uses, including sales, content management, customer service, reporting and analysis, personalization, B2B, parts re-ordering, auctions, supply chain management, project management, online collaboration and even an MP3 jukebox. Professional support is available from a variety of third-party partners. Operating system: Linux, OS X
Acquired by eBay earlier this year, Magento boasts more than 100,000 users, including OfficeMax, Harbor Freight Tools, K-Swiss and The North Face. It's available in three different editions—free community and paid professional and enterprise—as well as a hosted SMB solution called Magento Go. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Nominated for a 2011 Packt Publishing award, OpenCart offers a long list of features and user-friendly operation. Commercial support is available from a variety of international third-party partners. Operating system: Windows, Linux, OS X
This flexible e-commerce solution offers marketing integration, search engine optimization, easy admin management, an integrated CMS, couponing, reviews, ratings and more. In addition to the community version, it also comes in paid professional and enterprise versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Winner of the 2010 Packt Best Open-Source E-Commerce Application Award, PrestaShop runs more than 100,000 e-commerce shops worldwide. Commercial support, training, customization and other services are available through the site. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
This newer e-commerce platform calls itself "the world's most flexible." In addition to the free download, it's also available as a Rackspace-powered SaaS solution, and the site also offers discounts and easy sign-up for payment processing. Operating System: OS Independent
This fork of osCommerce (see below) includes unlimited product categories, a review and ratings system, search box with auto-completion, product image zoom, 26 built-in payment methods, one-page checkout and more. Hosting with support is available from several third-party partners. Operating System: Windows, Linux
This fork of Zen Cart (see below) offers features like unlimited products and categories, multi-currency and multi-language support, extensibility and simple PHP-based templates. Commercial support is available through Mixed Matter. Operating System: OS Independent
Downloaded more than 400,000 times, X-Cart is 100% PCI-DSS compatible, SEO-friendly, and it supports many payment processers and shipping carriers. In addition to the free community version, it also comes in paid Pro and Gold editions, with additional modules and services available for sale as well. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Smarty-based xt:Commerce is a mature, German e-commerce solution with an English version available. In addition to the free community version, it also comes in premium supported versions with prices in euros. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
This open source shopping cart boasts a rich interface, good usability, comparison-driven shopping, SEO-friendly URLs, gift cards, coupons and more. Paid support services, including installation and upgrade help, are available. Operating System: Windows, Linux
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