Open Source Ecommerce Systems: Why staying in house for technology makes sense

In the last 6 months, I have been closely paying attention to the development and maturation of Magento Commerce – the latest and by far greatest open source eCommerce solution. After implementing it on a few development domains here at Trinity, I quickly realized that this solution is head and shoulders above OS Commerce – the long standing king of open source eCommerce platforms.

Even in a standard installation, with no customization from a technology perspective, I was blown away at the level of functionality that is provided. Here are some snapshots of what this software can provide.

  • Catalog Promotional Pricing by percentage or fixed amount with ability to restrict to stores, categories, products
  • Free Shipping Option
  • Multi-Tier Pricing for quantity discounts
  • Customer Group-specific pricing and group-specific tier pricing
  • Landing Page Tool for Campaigns
  • Search Engine Friendly URL’s
  • URL Rewrites
  • Recently Viewed Products
  • Recently Compared Items
  • New Items Promotional Tool
  • Up-sells in Shopping Cart
  • Cross-sells on product pages
  • Send to a Friend for all visitors, or registered users only
  • Send Wishlist to a Friend by Email or RSS
  • RSS Feeds for New Products, New Specials and New Tags

Wow. I know many enterprise level platforms that do not have this type of functionality. Most impressive to me was the ajax based cart page that allows a user to progress through a transaction without having a page load as well as the guided navigation functionality that is allowed to be customized through the back end by aligning attributes to the taxonomy.

What is a bit of a challenge at this stage is finding developers for the software. Being that is so new to the marketplace, you have to hunt to find someone with experience.

I highly recommend loading the software on a domain and having some fun with the customization capabilities.