Prestashop is an e-commerce platform that allows users to create online stores for their businesses. Initially introduced to the market in the year 2007, the platform has evolved over the years to ensure a better user experience, and currently there are over 250,000 businesses run on this platform. The platform also boasts of a rich community of over 700,000 members, comprising of developers, web agencies, and business owners drawn from all corners of the world. This e-commerce platform won 2 awards in the best eCommerce Solution for small and medium sized businesses two years back, and this speaks volumes about Prestashop functionality and overall customer experience.
Prestashop is user-friendly and easy to customize, even for novice programmers. The platform is also open source, which means that it is free and therefore ideal for business owners working with a tight budget. Unlike other free e-commerce scripts, however, the platform integrates cloud technology and open source, making the platform a powerful e-commerce solution that is great for business and comes with minimal if any costs. For users who want more than the basic package, additional modules that come at a reasonable fee are also available.
Templates and Designs
Prestashop comes with over 1500 customized eCommerce themes, giving users numerous options to choose from. Most of these templates are designed by certified designers, meaning that they are professional and built to the highest standards. Over 600 of these platforms are premium templates and come at different prices.
Functional Front Office
This platform’s front office is both functional and easy to use, making it possible for users to manage their sites with minimal strain and shoppers to go through the products listed in the catalogue. For online store owners, the front office provides numerous features that can be edited to suit the business. For shoppers, the front office provides a quick view function, search filters and an easy to access shopping cart. In summary, shipping and payment options are also straightforward and easily accessible. It is important to note that most of the free templates are nothing compared to the premium templates that come with all the above features but at a price.
Sleek Back Office
Otherwise known as the dashboard, this back office looks appealing without all the text and pages found that make other platforms look busy and a bit untidy. The straightforward and neat back office allows easy access to different functions such as registrations, latest orders and messages, just to mention but a few. This dashboard works pretty much like a control center where users can control multiple functions and get accurate and quick facts about their online store.
Product Creation and Quick Access Menu
This platform comes with a detailed product creation page that also incorporates important functions, such as image functions, detailed description and shipping options among others. Users can also preview the products before posting them. The quick access menu on the dashboard makes adding new products to the catalogue much easier, especially when you have numerous new products to add.
As indicated above, this platform is open source and comes at no cost at all, so there are no fees and hidden charges to think about. That said, most of the professional themes and modules designed to make running an online store easy come at a cost, and users who want to enjoy them have to pay for them.
While additional modules and premium theme are not exactly free, the truth is that the overall cost to be incurred in building and running an eCommerce site is much lower, especially when compared to other platforms that regularly take a percentage of revenue generated from sales or charge license fees.
- Free and open source platform that can either be downloaded or work as a cloud-based system.
- Easy to build and customize e-commerce sites, even for users with minimal if any experience in programming.
- Numerous functionalities designed to suit small and medium business owners.
- High standard templates with great features and legible fonts.
- Efficient platform that runs smoothly with minimal strain, if any, on server resources.
- Quick install features that make it possible for business owners to come up with an online store in a matter of minutes.
- Modern dashboard that looks great and is easy to use.
- Unique features that provide detailed statistics for users who like to keep tab with how the online shopping is performing in different areas.
- Designer guide that comes with everything users need to build an online shop.
- Large community that offers great support in forum discussions.
- Paid functionalities are a bit pricey and may add up to quite an amount for users looking for professional looking online stores.
- The platform may sometimes come with bugs that can pose a threat to security. To counter this bug, fixes are released at least twice in a month, and while these fixes are effective, users need to apply the fixes as they do not update automatically. Bugs are especially a problem with older versions.
- Script architecture is not as good to work with especially for programmers who would like to develop the cart further.
- Minimal built-in marketing options
All things considered Prestashop is a great eCommerce platform. First of all, it is generally free, and users only pay for functionalities they deem important. It is also easy to use making it possible for business owners looking to get an online store for their business to do so with relative ease and without having to hire a programmer to do the work for them. Even better still, the numerous features also work to ensure that customers enjoy their shopping experience, which means that business is much better at the end of the day. This possibly explains why Prestashop usage has been steadily rising over the years with more people embracing it and incorporating the platform into their businesses in a bid to increase their revenue from online sales. If you could get past the bugs and minor flaws here and there, this platform would be an ideal choice for a cheap and easy to run eCommerce platform for your business.