Best Open-Source B2B eCommerce Platforms

A lot of different e-commerce web store owners, from small to large, are trying to work with free open source ecommerce platforms. It is true that selling things online is not cheap. Open source ensures that even if you pay, the fees incurred don’t break the bank. However, not all free platforms are suitable for business.

If you're looking for an open-source platform that is customizable and scalable, then you should consider using a solution that is specifically built for B2B and can accommodate all possible B2B scenarios.

Although Shopify is one of the most popular platforms for B2C, it might not be ideal for B2B companies and is not the only platform to launch your online store. It can prove costly, suboptimal for search engine optimization, inflexible, and rather inadequate for blogging and marketing your products and services. With that said, it’s still a great platform to use and an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals alike. However, since Shopify has its limitations, it’s worth considering other options.

Because a successful ecommerce store primarily depends on a good ecommerce platform, it makes sense to spend more time researching possible alternatives.

Without further ado, let’s deep dive into the best Shopify alternatives and see if there are other B2B commerce platforms that are worth considering for your online business. Included in our comparison list of TOP open source ecommerce platforms are also systems that are suitable for B2C businesses.

Definition of Open Source: What Is an Open Source eCommerce Platform?

An open source ecommerce platform is an ecommerce solution where users have full access to source code, and, depending on their business needs, can adapt and customize the platform. With that said, platform customization implies that users have sufficient developer resources or coding knowledge to perform modifications.

What is a self hosted ecommerce platform?

A self-hosted ecommerce platform is a piece of software that you install on your own web server. This means that you will be responsible for hosting the platform and keeping it running. While this may sound like a lot of work, it actually gives you a lot of control over your store. You can customize the platform to meet your specific needs and you can scale it as your business grows.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a self-hosted ecommerce platform. First, you need to make sure that the platform is compatible with your web server. Second, you need to choose a platform that is easy to use and configure. Lastly, you need to make sure that the platform can scale as your business grows.

Open source vs SaaS e-commerce platforms

There are two main types of e-commerce platforms: open source and SaaS (Software as a Service).

  • Open source platforms are usually free to use, but they require you to host the platform on your own server. This means that you will be responsible for keeping the platform running and ensuring that it is secure.
  • SaaS platforms, on the other hand, are hosted by the provider. This means that you don't have to worry about hosting or security, but you will usually have to pay a monthly fee.

When it comes to choosing an e-commerce platform, there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you want more control over your store, then you should choose an open source platform. If you want a hassle-free experience, then you should choose a SaaS platform.

Below we’ll look at both advantages and disadvantages of using open source solutions, before reviewing the best open source platforms.

Advantages of Open Source eCommerce Platform

  • Full control

    Not only does access to source code mean full control over the solution but also greater flexibility: even if an out-of-the-box solution doesn’t have a particular feature, your developer team can add it by altering existing or writing additional code. Open source works very well for businesses that need to accommodate specific logic into an ecommerce solution and have sufficient developer resources to build a customizable platform that suits a specific business agenda.

  • Community support

    Open source software is developed in a collaborative manner. Any developer who works with software can contribute ideas as well as seek answers to problems they can’t solve on their own.

Disadvantages of Open Source eCommerce Platforms

  • Complicated

    More modifications means software can get complex: any updates to the system become more time-consuming and difficult to accomplish.

  • Costs

    Even though open source platforms are free, you’ll most certainly incur additional expenses, such as licensing and hosting provider fees, developer wages, security and PCI DSS compliance expenses, and any other costs associated with running and maintaining the platform.

  • Security concerns

    Since ecommerce is a treasure trove of financial data and open source code happens to be open for everyone, the code can end up in the wrong hands and used by bad actors who might look for ways to exploit any potential vulnerabilities in the system.

How to Choose Open Source Shopping Cart Solution

There are a few things to consider when choosing an open source ecommerce platform. First, you need to decide if you want a self-hosted or hosted solution. Second, you need to choose a platform that is easy to use and configure. Lastly, you need to make sure that the platform can scale as your business grows. Actually, come to think of it – flexibility, functionality, scalability, security – your list of criteria can go on and depend on the nature of your business.

As explained earlier, although SaaS platforms have all the necessary features out of the box, restricted access to code makes customization difficult. For example, if you require a particular feature and it’s not available, you may request your platform provider to implement additional tools and functionality, and wait until the provider picks up on your request. With an open source platform, you don’t have to ask anyone and can start developing required features immediately, provided you have the necessary developer resources or coding skills.

When it comes to security, SaaS platform providers take care of both website security and maintenance. With open source platforms, safeguarding the store becomes the full responsibility of your technical team. Safekeeping and maintenance, against all the odds, gives greater control over website since your team can improve its infrastructure and increase page load speed. Should any support be required with open source platforms, however, you can only rely on yourself and your technical team. The bottom line is therefore as follows: open source can only be preferable if you have sufficient coding knowledge or developer resources, otherwise it might not be worth the effort.

Top 20 eCommerce Open Source Platforms

Here’s our rundown of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market that are also open source!

WooCommerce: Best B2C ecommerce platform for WordPress

Recent stats from WordPress show that WooCommerce has been downloaded more than 123 million times. This makes WooCommerce the most popular open source ecommerce solution available on the market.

WooCommerce was created by WooThemes to help users turn their WordPress site into an ecommerce store.

WooCommerce’s popularity, however, comes at a price. Most of the more complex features don’t come in a free package and need to be paid for. The same goes for store support. That said, WooCommerce is still a great solution that is easily scalable with little to no issues. That is why it is often chosen as the main platform by small to medium size businesses.


Benefits of WooCommerce

  • Flexibility: With WooCommerce, you can sell any product — physical or digital.
  • An abundance of customization options: There are hundreds of free and paid plugins that allow you to customize your ecommerce site. With a bit of coding knowledge, you can tinker with WooCommerce further and adapt it to your specific requirements.
  • Large and active community: WooCommerce community caters to more than four and a half million WordPress users, thereby ensuring that the WooCommerce platform doesn’t unexpectedly fold up in the nearest future and that everyone gets the support they require.

Downsides of WooCommerce

  • WordPress specific: No matter how sophisticated it might appear, WooCommerce is still a plugin that cannot be used in sites not hosted on WordPress.
  • Entails additional expenses: Although it’s free to download, you’re bound to incur additional expenses through apps and extensions that you need to pay for if you require specific features not included with the free package.

Magento Community Edition: Magento Open Source B2B ecommerce platform

Magento Community Edition (CE) is a well-known open source ecommerce platform that’s preferred by more than 270,000 merchants. Compared to Shopify, Magento CE has 24.8% of the ecommerce market share while Shopify caters to only 9%. While Magento CE lacks some features of the paid versions, such as Magento Enterprise Edition (aka Magento Commerce) and Magento Marketplace, it is still a good choice for anyone looking for a free open source platform.

Benefits of Magento

  • High flexibility and unlimited customization options: Magento can be easily tailored to your specific business requirements by working with the open source code and integrating third party applications. Thanks to its API-driven nature, Magento allows you to go headless and customize multiple front ends while maintaining one back office.
  • Extensive feature list: Magento is a powerful solution when it comes to user experience, marketing, and operational efficiency. It has an intuitive admin panel, multi-language and multi-currency support, SEO friendly features, analytics, and reporting.
  • Huge community: Magento community has over 360,000 members with nearly 6,000 contributors and 8,000 certified developers.

Downsides of Magento

  • Development costs: Even though there are no entry costs, you need to have a decent budget to develop the platform you want. Magento custom development, along with Magento extensions, can cost you a pretty penny, amounting to thousands of dollars. With Magento Commerce, expenses pile up even higher.
  • Hosting requirements & associated costs: Magento clearly articulates its hosting requirements, which include hosting the platform on VPS (Virtual Private Server), cloud, or a dedicated server. Plus, as with other open source platforms, you’ll need to think of domain registration, web hosting, SSL certification, and so on.

OpenCart: Top B2C ecommerce platform for small to medium size businesses

One of OpenCart’s catchphrases might as well be “looks do matter” as it offers more than 15,000 modules and eCommerce themes. There are currently more than 150,000 live ecommerce stores running on the OpenCart open source ecommerce platform, with the number of online stores growing by 5,8% in the third quarter of 2021.

Benefits of OpenCart

  • Large and active community: OpenCart’s active and welcoming community is one of its main advantages. Apart from its open source community, OpenCart also features commercial support.
  • Customizable themes, modules, and extensions: the versatility and abundance of ecommerce modules and themes make OpenCart a desirable choice for those with little technical knowledge.
  • Powerful store management: OpenCart offers product and order management, promotional and marketing features. The platform also supports multiple languages, currencies, shipping provides, and payment methods.

Downsides of OpenCart

  • Limited scalability: If you plan to scale up your shop, then OpenCart might not be an ideal solution.
  • SEO issues: Unfortunately OpenCart can create canonization issues for SEO.
  • Slow checkout experience: If the cart abandonment rate is something you might be struggling with, then give OpenCart a pass.

Drupal Commerce: Top B2B ecommerce platform open source

Drupal is a free open source web content management system written in PHP. Drupal provides a back end framework for at least 13% of the top 10,000 websites worldwide – from personal blogs to government portals. Drupal Commerce is one of the most sophisticated open source ecommerce software that augments Drupal CMS.
Drupal commerce

Benefits of Drupal Commerce

  • Powerful CMS: Drupal Commerce is one of the few ecommerce platforms built on CMS, which makes it an ideal candidate for those who need a powerful content marketing strategy.
  • Customization options: Drupal is highly customizable and can be integrated with a multitude of third party applications. It also supports multiple languages and currencies.
  • Development resources: Drupal has been in the business for more than 20 years, meaning that the company had enough time to become top-notch in developer documentation.

Downsides of Drupal Commerce

  • Complex: Unlike other ecommerce software, Drupal was created as a framework that is focused on what you can build as opposed to what you can do, which means that besides basic features out of the box, you’ll be expected to create everything else and compose your own solution either out of the available modules or modules you develop yourself.
  • Pricey: Besides web hosting, SSL certification, and whatnot, you can purchase professional support from the Commerce Guys that run Drupal Commerce; however, it’s expensive as it starts from 3,000 dollars for a setup and almost 600 dollars in monthly fees.

X-Cart Open Source Top B2B & B2C eCommerce Platform

X-Cart is a fine open source ecommerce platform that, unlike other free platforms, offers a lifetime license. As a PHP-based ecommerce software built on solid source code and a user base of 30,000 merchants, X-Cart offers multiple features. While the list and number of features are impressive, the cost of upgrading to get the most out of this list is expensive.
X-Cart shopping cart software comes in a cloud-based hosted version or downloadable software that you install on your site.


Benefits of X-Cart

  • Plenty of features: X-Cart functionality includes a dozen free and responsive CSS-based themes, built-in SEO and marketing tools, as well as solid inventory management. The shopping cart is compatible with multiple payment gateways, and X-Payments integration is PA DSS certified and PCI compliant.

Downsides of X-Cart

  • Complex and pricey: Setup requires manual coding, and technical support will cost you extra.

PrestaShop: Top B2B & B2C open source ecommerce platform

More than 300,000 ecommerce websites worldwide run on PrestaShop open source ecommerce platform. According to the company, PrestaShop particularly leads the charts in Europe and Latin America. The platform is indeed popular among merchants in more than 200 countries, which explains why it was translated into nearly 70 languages.


Benefits of PrestaShop

  • A high degree of customizability: PrestaShop Add ons Marketplace features more than 2,400 free and paid PrestaShop templates. There’s also an extensive list of B2B add on features. Overall, the platform supports more than 500 built-in features, some of which are unique, such as Intelligent Merchant KPI and Forecasting, among others.

Downsides of PrestaShop

  • Development issues: There have been reported problems with a correlation of PrestaShop ecommerce modules.
  • Scaling and performance issues: PrestaShop might not be an ideal solution for handling spikes in traffic.
  • Costs: As with other open source solutions, PrestaShop might be free to run but requires additional investment whenever you want to add more features.

Spree Commerce: B2C ecommerce platform for small businesses

Spree Commerce is popular among small to medium-size companies, with 10 to 50 employees on average and no more than ten million dollars in revenue. The Spree Commerce open source ecommerce platform was created back in 2007 and has since had nearly 800 contributors and over one million downloads from RubyGems. The platform runs on Ruby on Rails, and it’s something to keep in mind if you plan to tinker with the code as you might have a hard time figuring your way around it.


Benefits of Spree

  • Might be an ideal solution for small online businesses: Spree Commerce features a streamlined set of core functions that can be quickly customized to suit your particular business needs.
  • Decent community: As of now, Spree Commerce has more than 9,500 stars, 4,000 forks, 18,300 commits, 4,000 slack members, and nearly 800 contributors, all willing to work together or help you solve Spree-specific issues.

Downsides of Spree

  • Lack of comprehensive customer service: Outside its Slack Channel and developer community, Spree doesn’t offer customer service or technical assistance.
  • Complex: Spree runs on Ruby and is pretty complex in general for anyone who is not familiar with the language.
  • A limited number of extensions: Compared to Magento or Shopify, Spree has way fewer extensions and add ons. Moreover, there are also restrictions on integrations.

VirtueMart: B2C ecommerce platform open source

VirtueMart is a Joomla!-based open source ecommerce platform with an impressive number of features, a number of active ecommerce stores globally, and an active developer community. The platform’s official user count is well over 300,000.

With that said, it’s worth noting that even though the company was founded back in 2004, its development team is still small, there are only 3 to 5 people actively engaged in the project.

Despite having limited manpower, the VirtueMart developers are always happy to help and are grateful for any kind of input from their thriving community.

VirtueMart might not be an ideal solution for those with limited coding skills or a tight budget, as you can easily spend a small fortune buying all kinds of add-ons and plug-ins for your site.

Benefits of VirtueMart

  • A high degree of customizability: You can virtually create any store you want as long as you have some coding knowledge and patience.

Downsides of VirtueMart

  • Limited support options and development complexities make VirtueMart hard to recommend for anyone with little technical skills.

WP ecommerce: B2C ecommerce platform open source for WordPress

WP ecommerce is an original WordPress e commerce plugin with a download count of over 3M and an active developer community. With WP ecommerce, all you require is some basic CSS and HTML knowledge.
WP ecommerce

Benefits of WP ecommerce

  • Popular and has a large developer community: Because WP is used by a large number of people and has an active developer community, improvements are a part of a continuous delivery process with regular updates and everything else such process entails.
  • Ease of use: WP ecommerce is easy to install, set up, and use. It works well with other plugins and extensions as long as they are WP-specific.

Downsides of WP ecommerce

  • Limited functionality for larger online stores: Since WP APIs have limitations, you may find that you cannot add some advanced features.
  • Security concerns: WordPress’s popularity comes at a cost, making it a constant target of cybercriminals.
  • WordPress specific: WP ecommerce is nothing more than a plugin and cannot be used in ecommerce websites that are not hosted on WordPress.

CubeCart: B2C ecommerce shopping cart software

CubeCart is a feature rich open source ecommerce software that has a decent developer community.


Benefits of CubeCart

  • A decent number of different features: CuebCart is easy to set up, supports an unlimited number of products, categories, and users, offers sales reporting and analytics, supports multiple currencies, has plenty of marketing features, and provides decent inventory management and stock control options.

Downsides of CubeCart

  • Still not as feature rich as other platforms.
  • The website looks outdated, which makes you question the platform’s capabilities.

Virto Commerce: Best B2B ecommerce platform and marketplace software open source

Virto Commerce is a professional enterprise grade asp net ecommerce open source solution. Virto Commerce’s unique functionality include its complex catalog, inventory and order management systems, and a custom made CMS, among other advanced ecommerce features. For example, Virto Commerce’s flexible pricing management module allows you to control each segment of your pricing logic. Being a headless API-driven ecommerce platform, Virto Commerce supports multiple sales channels and can easily integrate with third-party systems.
Currently, there are several paid editions available that have a more extensive set of features, including Virto Start and Virto Marketplace.

  • Virto Start is a B2B eCommerce Package that includes a B2B ecommerce platform, B2B storefront, and support of a dedicated digital expert and an implementation team.
  • Virto Marketplace is a full-fledged composable marketplace solution that supports both first and third-party marketplace models and connects to virtually any existing ecommerce solution without replatforming. The resulting application can be further adapted, extended, or recomposed to accommodate different marketplace requirements and business scenarios.

Virto commerce

Benefits of Virto Commerce

  • Provides superior ecommerce functionality: Virto Commerce is a fantastic solution for both medium size and large companies as it has an extensive list of advanced ecommerce features that can be further customized to suit your online business requirements. Moreover, the solution can be further adapted per your specific business model, be it B2B, B2C, D2C, or B2B online marketplace. Virto Commerce architecture is atomic, cloud-native, API-driven, and headless.
  • Constantly updated: Virto Commerce is constantly improving to stay ahead of the market and provide its customers with unparalleled technical support services. Virto’s updates are released as often as once or twice a month.

Downsides of Virto Commerce

  • Requires resources: Although you can download Virto Commerce free of charge, you’ll require sufficient developer resources to make the solution work for your online business. Alternatively, you can pay the Virto Commerce developer team to work alongside your team or build a solution for you.

Square Online: B2C ecommerce platform with a free version

Square Online is built on open source. That said, you won’t be able to download the whole platform package as open source but a few internally developed libraries that you can later use to build something of your own. Square Online ready made platform, however, might be an ideal option for those selling on social media. The platform is specifically tailored for Facebook and Instagram merchants as it allows for easy integration of Facebook marketing campaigns or transformation of an Instagram feed into a one page shopping site.
square online

Benefits of Square Online

  • Flexible payment plans: Although not entirely open source, the Square online store builder comes as a part of several payment plans, including a free version, and includes unlimited products, seamless integrations with Facebook and Instagram, self-serve ordering, pick up and shipping, syncing with Square POS, and SEO tools. Square Online includes a free SSL certificate and lets you accept online payments from major credit card companies. Using Square Online's open source code you can customize the platform to suit your particular needs.
  • A fine set of features: Square Online readymade platform has templates, tools, and features that are essential for smooth running operations. For example, Square Online allows you to integrate tools like a real-time rate calculator, label printing, and premium shipping rate discounts.

Downsides of Square Online

  • Not entirely open source: Square Online provides only a few internal libraries.
  • Transaction fees: Even if you’re going for a free version of Square Online, you’ll incur transaction fees on every sale, 2.9% + 30¢.

Ecwid open source ecommerce plugin & a single-page site

Ecwid is an ecommerce plugin in the likes of WooCommerce that can be added to an existing website on WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Ecwid also offers a single-page website that the company calls the Starter Site or Instant Site, which is quite limited in functionality and hence, not suitable as a long-term solution.


Benefits of Ecwid

  • Free customizable website: Ecwid provides a free customizable and responsive instant site with a built-in online store, which is the only solution hosted on Ecwid. Although limited in functionality, it might work well short term.
  • Works as a plugin to any website or blog: With Ecwid you can choose whether you want to add a fully-fledged storefront, market a certain category of products, or sell individual products with Buy buttons. All you need to do is to copy a corresponding code from your store admin and paste it to a relevant website page.

Downsides of Ecwid

  • Not entirely open source: There’s however an Ecwid open source library that you can use to extend the existing functionality.
  • A free version has very limited functionality: Although the Ecwid Instant website is free, it has very limited functionality, so you’ll need to subscribe to paid plans to take advantage of other Ecwid ecommerce features.

CS-Cart: Top B2C and B2B marketplace software open source

CS-Cart is a decent open source ecommerce platform with a fine set of features and customization capabilities. The marketplace version of the software, CS-Cart Multi Vendor, allows you to add different merchants to your store.

cs cart

Benefits of CS-Cart

  • Feature-rich: CS-Cart has multiple important features that are included with the CS-Cart license, such as a built-in layouts editor and CMS, 200+ storefront themes, integration with multiple payment and shipping providers, SEO tools, and CDN support.

Downsides of CS-Cart

  • Has hidden fees: Although CS-Cart is open source, you’re expected to buy a license to get lifetime access to code and software. Moreover, expect to pay more if you want multiple storefronts and vendors, as well as for any updates after a year of use.
  • Marketplace for add-ons has multiple issues: Unfortunately, some of the add-ons represented on the CS Cart Application Marketplace might not even work with CS Cart.

nopCommerce free B2B ecommerce platform

nopCommerce is a free open source ASP.NET shopping cart based on Microsoft technologies. nopCommerce open source ecommerce platform has been on the market for 12 years: during its presence on the market, the company has partnered with more than 150 partners across 40 countries and helped to launch more than 60,000 live online stores.


Benefits of nopCommerce

  • Large open source community: nopCommerce has gathered quite a following — its worldwide community boasts more than 250,000 members and more than three million downloads.
  • Updated regularly: nopCommerce is constantly upgraded with updates coming out every six to seven months on average
  • Free: It’s absolutely free with no hidden transaction/subscription fees.
  • Unlimited customizability, rich built-in functionality, integration with multiple payment and shipment services, marketing tools, warehouse management, and so on.

Downsides of nopCommerce

  • Basic CMS: Because nopCommerce offers only basic CMS functionality, it might not be ideal if you need to manage a lot of robust content pages.
  • Lack of templates: nopCommerce offers only a handful of free templates.
  • Microsoft technologies: Since nopCommerce is based on Microsoft technologies, it best works with a Windows server infrastructure environment. If you’re working with, say Java or PHP, give this platform a miss.
  • Complex: nopCommerce has a steep learning curve if you need to do a lot of customizations, so if your coding knowledge is just above average, you might want to consider other solutions.

Solidus open source B2B ecommerce solution

Solidus is a free, open source ecommerce framework with a complete suite of essential e-commerce features in a fully modular package. It’s professionally developed by open source community experts with popular ecommerce software like Ruby, PostgreSQL, MySQL, RESTful API, and GraphQL.


Benefits of Solidus

  • Customizability: Although Solidus is highly customizable, there are some features that it provides out of the box, including product catalog management, integrations with multiple payment providers, multi-carrier shipping, accounting for returns and exchanges.
  • Flexibility: Because of its API-powered nature, Solidus provides greater flexibility in terms of customization of both back and front ends.

Downsides of Soludis

  • Complex and requires investment: Although the platform is open source and built on modern technologies, it will require some developer resources for full setup and customization.
  • Complexity around inventory and stock management makes Solidus a difficult option to recommend for smaller businesses as they would hardly require even half of those sophisticated features.

MailChimp Open Commerce stack for B2C

MailChimp Open Commerce [previously known as Reaction Commerce] is an open source API-driven modular commerce stack that’s primarily catered for online retailers.


Benefits of MailChimp Open Commerce

  • Built on modern technologies: API built on modern frameworks like Node, React, and GraphQL.
  • Flexibility and customizability: You can use MailChimp Open Commerce alongside or instead of your existing stack; implement only the services you need; customize any part of the platform with any new technologies, channels, models, and so on.
  • Has great extensive documentation and a large open source community which will be appreciated by any developer.

Downsides of MailChimp Open Commerce

  • Complex and requires developer resources and additional investment.
  • Provides only a handful of templates.
  • Still has inferior automation features.

Broadleaf Commerce open source B2B/B2C platform and marketplace software

Broadleaf Commerce is both a commercial and open source ecommerce solution. Broadleaf comes in two versions, one is for community and another one for enterprises. The solution also comes in several commercially available editions, such as Marketplace Edition, B2B Edition, B2C Edition, and Multi-Tenant Edition.


Benefits of Broadleaf

  • Fully extensible and customizable: Broadleaf Commerce is built with complexity in mind, meaning that it’s suitable for enterprise-level business logic and hence, might be a good solution for both medium and large organizations.
  • Microservices architecture, cloud-native, scalable by default, built with modern front end technologies (React, Jest, NodeJS, Babel/Webpack).

Downsides of Broadleaf

  • Complex and therefore not suitable for small businesses with a tight budget or individuals with average development skills.
  • Even though the community version is free, the paid version comes with a heavy price tag (and we’re talking thousands of dollars).

Odoo eCommerce open source software for small business owners

Odoo Commerce is a modern open source ecommerce application that is specifically created for small business owners and less experienced users: the solution features an intuitive interface and a user friendly experience overall.


Benefits of Odoo eCommerce

  • All the essential features out of the box: Odoo has all the basic e-commerce and marketing features neatly packed in a standard package along with third party integrations (multiple payment and shipping options), so you can start selling asap.

Downsides of Odoo eCommerce

  • Out of the box user interface might be better. However, since code is open source, you can modify it as long as you have enough coding knowledge to do so.
  • Lack of customer service.

Bagisto free ecommerce framework

Bagisto is a custom-tailored open source ecommerce framework built on open source technologies such as Laravel and Vue.js.


Benefits of Bagisto

  • A solid PHP framework with multiple features that can be further extended to meet your business requirements. Bagisto includes support for multiple channels, locations, currencies, multistore inventory and order management systems.

Downsides of Bagisto

  • Complex: Although Bagisto has documentation, it might have been a bit more comprehensive. Users report issues with integrations and installation of new modules, as well as UX/UI issues. To use Bagisto you need to have solid coding knowledge.
Conclusion on Choosing the Right Open Source eCommerce Platform

So, is open source ecommerce actually free? Yes and no. The source code might be free but everything you do with it will most certainly come at a cost.

The first step in choosing a specific open source ecommerce platform is being honest about your coding skills and budget.

One of the most significant benefits of any open source ecommerce platform is the worldwide community of web developers and other people working on improving specific software; but even then, these people have daytime jobs and won’t be there for you whenever you need them.

If there’s no technical assistance available and no budget to hire developers, chances are – you’ll struggle with open source.

On the other hand, if you’re confident in your coding skills and have experience working with open source technologies, then go for it!

Apply for Demo for Complete eCommerce Software
If you’re looking for an open source B2B ecommerce platform, then Virto Commerce might be your best option from the list. It’s specifically built for B2B and can accommodate business scenarios of any complexity. It’s also headless, API-driven, cloud-native, composable, and extensible. If you’d like to see the platform in action, as well as ask any other questions regarding free and paid versions, please do not hesitate to contact our sales team or schedule a demo!


How long does it take to build an ecommerce website?

It depends on many factors, including a company’s industry, business model, corporate and individual needs/wants, available budget, time constraints, and so on. Most estimates range from a few weeks to a year. For example, if you want to build a simple online store with the available open source technology, it might take as little as two weeks to get it up and running, provided you use all the features out of the box without any advanced customizations. At the same time, if you want to develop custom functionality for your e-commerce site, then it might take a while, say up to six months, depending on the complexity of the required features and modifications to existing code.

What is the difference between open source and free software?

Open source license focuses on the availability of source code and the possibility to modify and share it. Free software usually focuses on the user’s ability to use the product free of charge, aiming, perhaps at the product’s possible monetization in the future.

Why are open source ecommerce platforms better?

Open source is better as long as you can work with the source code and have enough tech skills to customize the platform to suit your particular business needs. Suppose you have the technical knowledge and coding skills required to modify the code. In that case, open source provides unlimited opportunities to become as creative as you want – both in the design and functionality of your online store.

Which framework is best for ecommerce website?

Speaking of front end frameworks, you might want to consider JavaScript-based frameworks, such as React or Vue, which are reputed for their excellence when it comes to user experience development and interactivity. For the backend, consider Laravel, an open source PHP framework, Node.js, a JavaScript framework, or ASP.NET, a Net-based framework from Microsoft.

What is the most effective ecommerce platform?

It’s safe to say that Virto Commerce is the best open source ecommerce platform when it comes to business and operational efficiency. It’s open source, API-driven, and headless. Virto Commerce platform is built on modern technologies and has a modular, flexible architecture that runs on microservices. Virto offers a superior UX/UI experience, features a user friendly admin panel, and has plenty of marketing-specific tools and SEO friendly features.

What is the cheapest ecommerce platform?

If we’re talking about readymade platforms, then Square Online and Big Cartel both have free plans. If you’re working on WordPress, then go for WooCommerce, a free ecommerce plugin. 

What is an open-source shopping cart?

An open source shopping cart is an ecommerce software which source code is readily available for use and modification free of charge.

How do I start an ecommerce website for free?

To sell online, without incurring initial costs, you may want to download an open source ecommerce platform and tinker with its code on your own. Otherwise, download a readymade platform and subscribe to a free plan.

What is the best free online store builder?

Most free online store builders are not really free — they might have free plans, but they are oftentimes very limited in functionality. Those website builders also have paid plans, sometimes called enterprise versions, that can cost a pretty penny but have plenty of features and often provide premium support services. 

Do I need a CMS for ecommerce website?

Yes, you do. CMS, which stands for Content Management System, is a software application for creating, editing, collaborating on, publishing, and storing digital content. Typically, CMS comes as a part of the ecommerce platform’s suite.
What is the best free ecommerce website development tool?
You might want to consider downloading any of the above-featured open source ecommerce solutions or otherwise, download a readymade platform, such as those featured in our previous Glossary entry on Shopify Alternatives.

What is multi store ecommerce?

Multi store ecommerce allows you to launch several stores under a single ecommerce platform.

What are the best ecommerce platforms?

Among the best ecommerce platforms are Magento, Virto Commerce, and Drupal Commerce. All three are also the best open source ecommerce platforms.

Which ecommerce platform is best for B2B?

As mentioned above, Virto Commerce is the best ecommerce platform for B2B: it’s cloud-native, API-driven, composable, and built on Microsoft technologies.

What is open-source ecommerce?

Open source ecommerce is a type of software that is available for anyone to use and modify. Open source ecommerce software is typically developed by a community of developers who are passionate about ecommerce and open source technologies. Such solutions are usually free to use, but may require to purchase a license to make changes to the code.

Is Shopify a open source software?

No, Shopify is closed-source software, which means that users don’t have access to the Shopify code and therefore cannot easily modify their stores. However, Shopify does offer a platform for developers to create apps and add ons that can be sold in the Shopify App Store. These apps are not open source, but they do allow users to extend the functionality of a Shopify store.

Is WooCommerce open source?

Yes, WooCommerce is an open source ecommerce platfrom that’s built on WordPress.

Is Magento still open source?

Magento is an open source ecommerce platform built on PHP. Currently, there are several Magento versions available, including a free community edition that’s called Magento Open Source. 

Where to find best ecommerce platform API?

eCommerce platform API can be divided into several subcategories depending on the API function, such as general platform functionality, payment, inventory, marketplace, and marketing. For example, a store can integrate with PayPal to provide customers with an option to pay for products/services using the PayPal payment system. These are a few examples of ecommerce APIs that you might find useful: WooCommerce API, Magento API, Shopify API, Amazon APIStripe, PayPal, Google Content API for Shopping.

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Marina Conquest
Marina Conquest
linkedin icon Technical author and eCommerce advocate