Five best OpenCart add-ons for your ecommerce success

Choosing the right ecommerce platform is a problem that you need to face. Or is it?

Today's technological advancements had you learning some more SEO there, and some web design that, and other stuff you had to learn to "adapt" to today's online marketing advancements. At this point, you might be weighing options when it comes to your go-to ecommerce sites and extensions. There are a lot of open source ecommerce solutions in the market today.

nopCommerce, PrestaShop and OpenCart are only a few of these. The focus of this article is OpenCart and how to fully utilise it for the benefit of your online business. The truth of the matter is, if you already have it, you might be using it wrong. So in order to avoid that, read on and learn more.

What is OpenCart?

OpenCart is an open-source management system specifically designed for online stores. It is written in PHP, uses HTML components and a MySQL database. It supports numerous languages and currencies which means no matter where you come from, you can use this management system with ease.

OpenCart was developed originally around 1998 by Christopher G. Mann who, at that time, worked for Walnut Creek CDROM and eventually, The FreeBSD Mall. The said online store management system was first released to the public on May 11, 1999, and was among the first of its kind. However, unlike its latest version, it was not written in PHP, but in Perl instead.

Since Perl was very complicated, this has brought very little movement in terms of progress for the project. In February 2005, the domain for OpenCart expired. Luckily, it was revived by a UK-based programmer named Daniel Kerr. He released a newer version, written in PHP and that was the first stable version. He named it - version 1.1.1. It was released into Google Code around February 2010 and the rest is history.

Why choose it?

There are a lot of open-source management systems in the market today. Big boys like Magento and PrestaShop are getting many bad reviews because they can be slow at times, depending on how you code and source it. In addition to that, since there are so many users worldwide, the huge amount of traffic they create might slow the whole process, and even the website down (you know how it works).

OpenCart is open-source, where you are allowed to modify the code and tweak it to the advantage of your business’ website. It is also easy to install and customise.

Let's say that you have already decided you're going to set up an online business, and you are going to use OpenCart as the preferred online platform. If you don't have a clue abot the software, or the extensions that run within it, keep calm and read on.

1. OpenCart Fast Checkout by lizard2013

A young programmer with the handle of lizard2013 has garnered a lot of sales because he has coded an extension that enables online shops to have a fast checkout counter. This allows the customer to have an easier buying experience by having fewer steps required before purchasing a product. Aside from that, it has a nicer interface and is easier to integrate into your website. By having this in your repertoire, you are not only enhancing your customer experience, but also gaining lower turnaround and efficiency.

2. OpenCart Custom Shirt Design by WP Products

If you are in the web to print business, then you definitely need this OpenCart extension. This module allows your customers to design and upload designs, ultimately customising their shirts. They can upload whatever they want and put it on their shirts, providing customers with a fun and interactive way of shopping.

Pop up themes are built into this extension, making the background more pleasing to the eye. The customers can also shop for different shirts of different sizes, brands, colour and style. They can also upload logos, clip arts, texts, etc.

3. Colour and Size OpenCart by lizard2013

This is another great OpenCart extension created by lizard2013, which allows you to categorise your items, especially clothes. This will give you more control, and will make shopping a lot easier for your customers.

4. Ultimate SEO plugin for OpenCart by WdTeam

Despite the advantages mentioned above, OpenCart has a big disadvantage when it comes to SEO. Luckily, that problem can be solved with the use of an OpenCart extension that specializes in SEO. The SEO extension made by wdteam gives you canonical URL fix and ultimately removes URL duplicates.

5. Option Filter for OpenCart by BTechUnit

One good thing that online shops do not do is filtering their options. It makes shopping easier. With the help of an OpenCart extension that filters categories, the customers will more likely visit your store again because the shopping experience was pleasant and uncomplicated. It also makes them buy more, meaning more profit for you and for your team.

Obviously, there is no secret to success and there is no shortcut as well. In order to have that, you need to plan and execute with precision and accuracy. You also need to listen to what your customers need and what they want. Study as well the statistics and the demographics of your business because that will help you a lot in designing your online platform - and that includes ecommerce extensions.

So, before choosing a plug in for your OpenCart-based store, look at your store and find what you need in order to avoid spending on something you don't need. Meanwhile, PrintCommerce online product customisation products and services best fit to your customers' preferences is very advantageous so do be creative!

Amy Watson is an expert in eCommerce add-ons and software development technology