nopCommerce is an open-source and ASP.NET platform for creating online stores. Growing out of CMS, it is now a full-fledged solution for ecommerce, mostly for the B2C sector. In the basic version, it is a free application; for more advanced functionality, you need to buy different plug-ins and support service.
Since the beginning of 2022, the development team moved to .NET 6 (LTS), which improved the overall performance for nopCommerce. Customers have also received a guarantee to keep the platform stable for end users until November 2024 according to Microsoft’s .NET product roadmap. Customers were given ample time to update their online stores and their plug-ins.
With the release of Microsoft .NET 6, developers are getting closer to having .NET provide a single development platform for all available application types, from desktop and web applications to mobile development. This unification has opened up the opportunity to implement a mobile app for nopCommerce in a single codebase in C#, which will certainly have a positive impact on the GitHub developer community in terms of immersion and understanding of the entire nopCommerce ecosystem.
The greatest feature of nopCommerce is
its continuously growing and supportive community,
which helps make it possible for you
to invest your time and money
on setting up an ecommerce platform.
nopCommerce’s Most Attractive Features
nopCommerce provides an easy way to manage all administrative work and sales monitoring. This platform is well-suited for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as evidenced by the impressive number of downloads.
Since nopCommerce is an open-source platform, users with some coding experience can adjust it to meet their specific business needs and demands. This makes it a very versatile and powerful ecommerce solution.
Some of the key benefits of using nopCommerce include:
- Ease of use: The platform is easy to use, even for those with little or no coding experience.
- Flexibility: nopCommerce is highly flexible and can be adapted to meet any business need or requirement.
- Cost: The platform is free unless you order customization service from the vendor, making it a cost-effective ecommerce solution.
- Multichannel system: In nopCommerce, you can create and manage multiple stores with just a single installation.
- Multi-vendor: Options to use multi-vendor and drop-shipping features are available. It is possible to start selling products that are not in your stock by connecting with other vendors and directing customers to them.
- SEO friendly: All nopCommerce stores are highly visible and rank well in all major search engines, making it easy to promote your products.
- Responsive design: Its style is all modern web. The platform provides the possibility to optimize the design of your website on any device, while retaining all functions.
What to Consider When Shortlisting eCommerce Platforms
There are a lot of things you need to take into consideration when choosing the best ecommerce platform for your company. While some people just want something simple, there's also those who would like their system with all the bells and whistles included. It can be hard figuring out what features will work well and which ones won't based off one or two bad experiences from other companies in this industry — but luckily, we're here, so let us help point out some important considerations before making any comparison about which system fits your ecommerce business properly.
When choosing an ecommerce platform, it's important to consider your needs and objectives, including security factor. If you have the coding skills to customize an open-source platform like nopCommerce, then it may be the right choice for you. However, if security is a priority, you may want to choose a closed-source platform instead.
With the open source vs. closed debate, it all comes down to one simple thing: if coding is a no-brainer and you have enough experience with computer science, then choose an OS that has been customized by its users like Linux.
Plug-ins and add-ons can expand the potential of your store, so always look for them. The platform should enable you to fully utilize it without breaking a sweat or spending too much money on technical know-how.
Technological literacy is also something to consider top priority. If you are going to hire a professional web developer, you do not have to worry about choosing an open-source solution (like Magento Open-Source). If not, opt for a sophisticated platform that allows you to easily build your website for a reasonable price (like paid version of Magento).
Below are some of the most well-known nopCommerce competitors that are open-source and/or based on .NET framework. Quite interesting is the fact that nopCommerce lists Virto Commerce as the first competitor and even dedicated a special page to its review. However, since this page was compiled by nopCommerce in 2019, some of the information about Virto Commerce is outdated.
For other open-source alternatives to nopCommerce, I suggest Magento Community Edition, PrestaShop, and OroCommerce.
Since nopCommerce identified Virto as its main competitor on its website, let's start there. The strength of Virto, from 2021-2022 onward, is seen by the great expansion of the product line. In addition to the classic Virto Commerce .NET-based platform, which can be installed locally or in the cloud, the SaaS version named Virto Commerce Cloud and the specialized Virto Marketplace version were introduced in 2021-2022.
For customers who want to focus entirely on their business, without getting sidetracked by technical issues, brand-new Virto Start version is offered, which includes full support for installation and customization from Virto Professional Services. Virto Start version has been available since May 2022.
Since its first release in 2011, Virto Commerce continues to be an open-source, enterprise-ready B2B and B2C ecommerce platform based on Microsoft framework, and Azure Cloud-ready since 2019. High-end technologies like Liquid and AngularJS were put into creating this ecommerce platform. Today's version is built on a .Net 6 framework (Microsoft supported 2021-2024), an open-source solution for both medium and enterprise-level businesses.
With Virto platform, you can easily upload your website on a Microsoft Azure Cloud and market it via multichanneling solutions that Virto Commerce offers. Flexible pricing, open-source, and great integrated features make this platform stand out. Virto is one of the few nopCommerce alternatives from the same technology stack that you can explore. Take advantage of Virto Commerce’s practices and start selling beyond your business hours.
Magento Community Edition
Magento Community Edition, also known as Magento Open Source, is a favorite ecommerce platform used by small and medium-sized (SMB) trade business and manufacturers. The Magento platform offers both an open source (free) version and a paid version. The free version requires significant technical expertise to set up and configure, so most users opt for the paid one. Magento offers a wide range of features and options, making it a good choice for trade and manufacturing businesses of all industry sectors.
One of the key benefits of Magento is that it is very customizable, but requires highly experienced developers. With this requirement, the cost to develop rises much higher than the other competitors. In the reviews in G2.com website, people write that non-technical person cannot handle the development part for Magento Community Edition. Nevertheless, in overall, Magento is a good choice for businesses looking for a robust, customizable B2B manufacturing ecommerce solution.
There are many reasons PrestaShop users love its free template. The support from private developers is quick and helpful whenever questions arise, which makes this option stand out in comparison to most others on today’s market. If you're looking for an ecommerce site that offers full features with no-fuss, just install it, PrestaShop is definitely worth considering one of the best choices. If, however, you want more control over design decisions, then check out some other vendors too.
In the reviews on the G2.com website, people also mention what they don't like is the limited availability of free modules in PrestaShop. The existing modules have quite high prices for someone who wants to start a business from point zero without sales.
OroCommerce is a flexible, open-source B2B ecommerce platform built from the ground up. The platform vendor promotes it as specially built for distributors, wholesalers, brands, and retailers. With out-of-the-box features, the platform can be customized for B2B, B2B2B, B2B2C, or B2B & B2C ecommerce sectors. The solution can be offered as an SaaS-cloud environment as well as an on-premise setup.
Pricing is not available on the vendor's website, but customers are invited to try a free demo version of the software.
nopCommerce is one of the most widely known and used open-source ecommerce platforms worldwide. Since the first versions in the 2000s, it uses Microsoft .NET framework and constantly updates with every new release of the .NET technology.
A large customer base is an indicator of the popularity of the nopCommerce software. For start-up retail and manufacturing businesses, there is a pre-installed, out-of-the-box version in the cloud, which is supported by hosting provider WinHost in California. However, there is flexibility in that you can install it for hosting through your favorite local provider.