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20 August

Open source or SaaS – which type of online store is the best?

Everyone who wants to create an online store, expects only the best solutions. Parallel to the online store number, increases the number of online stores software. For us, the choice is only one - open source. It guarantees almost unlimited possibilities in the case of improvements and customizations. But our state of mind can be subjective, so let's jump into detailed comparison.

Open source versus SaaS – overview

According to name, Open source is a software based on open license. Everyone has access to the source code, but it's only the advantage. On its security take care programmers from the whole world. You can be pretty sure that each security vulnerability will be fixed much faster than in the SaaS tool. The fundamentals are based on open source. Linux The Linux operating system regulates the operation of Web servers, and the Apache Web server application negotiates data transfer between the worldwide server infrastructure and personal devices. Thanks to Twitter Bootstrap you are able to create themes and websites easily. What is important, many mainstream companies became open to open source, for example Facebook and Google made their solutions public to gain as much as they can from open source community. 

Open source in numbers - only on GitHub you can find almost 5 milion of respositories. If you add SourceForge and Ohloh to this ranking, we can say that this industry is big. 

nopCommerce is an open source software, its success has been created by the members of the community. You can check the official nopCommerce community forum to see, how many active users try to help beginners in their stores creation. As nop4you, month by month, we are in the peak of the active users, because we know why it's important. In our team you will find certified nopCommerce developers, MVP of the community and that's the proof of our words, that open source is important.

Open source versus SaaS – the simplest differences

The most important difference is a fact that open source is for free and you are the owner of source code. In the case of SaaS application, you don’t have access to source code. SaaS mostly are ready to use Solutions. After first payment you receive the ready store with complete functionality. Mostly is less advanced than open source softwares and have smaller marketplaces with third party plugins.

Open source versus SaaS – pros and cons

Advantages of the SaaS Solutions:

- ready to use a few minutes after registration,

- simple configuration,

- ready integrations implemented out of the box,

- support from the application provider,

- software provider creates backups,

- automatic updated delivered trhoughout the entire subscription period part,

- no need to have specialized technical knowledge to run the store,

- low cost of launching store in the first year,

Disadvantages of the SaaS Solutions:

- dependence on the software provider,

- new functionalities depend on the software provider,

- the possibility of data loss if the service is shut down by the provider,

- no code interference,

- closed list of integration,

- extended waiting time for updates,

- only one man is responsible for security

Advantages of open source:

- Price – you don’t have to pay the monthly subscription fee

- Customization – open source has much better possibility to customization and personalization

- Extensions – you have a large number of third party extensions ready to download or purchase

- Themes – larger database of themes, that can be used in your store,

- Community – each open source software has an active community, If you have a problem, you are able to receive help from the active, helpful community. The biggest Open source providers, have their own forums or groups where programmers are able to contribute to its development. Sometimes users also create meetups, community groups and regional groups.

- Updates – the creators of the platform want to constantly improve their product. So you can count on regular system updates, that guarantee the security of your online store and make it meet all the latest technical requirements. However, the system updates are not as automated as in SaaS software.

- Specialists - you will most likely need them if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the given Open Source software. They will help you in the development of the store - updating the platform, making changes and any corrections or installing modules on a regular basis. The upside is that the more popular the platform, the easier it will be for you to find subcontractors for its implementation.

- Development - thanks to having full control in building your store, you have greater development opportunities for Open Source platforms than for SaaS solutions.

- Advanced options - Open Source allows you to run several online stores on one engine: you can have several language versions, different currencies, multi warehouse or multi tenants.

Disadvantages of Open source Solutions:

- Implementation costs - as we mentioned earlier, implementing an Open Source platform involves costs. You must consider the expenses associated with employing professionals who will be able to help you implement the online store. Depending on the platform and implementation method, the costs may be several thousand, for the simplest system and store based on template graphics, or several hundred thousand, for the largest stores based on individual designs and advanced features.

- Technical support - the creators of Open Source platforms do not offer direct technical support. You must provide them for yourself. This usually means employing a subcontractor and further costs. For less advanced platforms, support will be needed mainly for implementation, updates and development. However, if you have a large store, built on the most advanced systems, then it is worth using monthly, constant support.

- Updates - they don't happen automatically and you have to do them yourself. This is not a problem for individual, small updates. However, if you have to make a lot of changes in the structure of the store, it may require more attention or the employment of a specialist who is familiar with the subject. Hosting - for a store placed on an Open Source platform to work efficiently, you must meet advanced technical requirements. This is often associated with the purchase of a dedicated hosting platform.

- Add-on compatibility – enormous number of extensions can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. The creation of add-ons by various creators can be problematic. When choosing specific solutions for your store, you need to make sure that they are compatible with each other and do not cause site instability. Finally, you have to choose only the best extensions, because sometimes you may encounter Solutions that don’t work.

Open source or Saas – what should I choose?

The companies that can benefit most from Open Source software are mainly:

smaller stores, which care about rapid development and need an efficient platform for this,

medium and large stores, which this type of platform will be allowed to develop freely without additional restrictions imposed by SaaS platforms,

- stores that value flexibility and want to tailor the entire site to their needs,

stores that are at a high level of development and care about the extensive capabilities offered by the most advanced Open Source platforms.

No article will give you a clear and ready answer which is better - Open Source or SaaS. The decision is yours, but before you make it. then check your needs. Prepare a list of requirements, compare it with features that gives you particular solution and then make decision. If you are not sure, what will be good for you, just ask us, as a specialist in the e-commerce industry, we will help you with pleasure.

If you are not conviced if open source e-commerce softwares are extendable and advanced, please check our offer of nopCommerce plugins and nopCommerce themes. We've developed over 100 extensions, that's why we are the biggest nopCommerce partners.

Everyone who wants to create an online store, expects only the best solutions. Parallel to the online store number, increases the number of online stores software. For us, the choice is only one - open source.
16 August

ShipStation shipping plugin which allows you to integrate your nopCommerce store with ShipStation. Print branded packing slips and labels from 30+ couriers (Royal Mail, Canada Post, Australia Post, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) by connecting any selling channel. No matter the courier, streamline and handle orders all in one workflow.

https://www.nop4you.com/shipstation-nopcommerce-plugin

We are happy to announce that we've released the newest plugin to nopCommerce. ShipStation integration is ready to get on our marketplace!
13 August

Advanced Bootstrap Theme for nopCommerce is ready! Previous Bootstrap Theme was a bulls-eye. Now, we've decided to improve it, we've already got feedback from web developers that it's the real huge time saver for them! Please meet our newest kid - Advanced Bootstrap Theme, responsive, clean and powerful nopCommerce template which can be a standalone theme or a perfect base for personalization and customization! https://www.nop4you.com/advanced-bootstrap-theme-nopcommerc…

Advanced Bootstrap Theme for nopCommerce is ready! Check our newest nopCommerce Theme!
11 July

We are happy to inform that we've released new plugin. Advanced Background Changer for nopCommerce is ready to get.

Beautify your store with Advanced Background Changer which allows you to change the whole background of your store. It's a perfect choice for those, who doesn't want to purchase nopCommerce theme, but want to personalize the Default Clean theme. Highly functional background slider for changing promotional banners. Advanced Background Changer for nopCommerce gives you possibility to brand manufacturer pages, category pages or create custom background for your online store. With Advanced Background Changer you are able to create time limited promotional backgrounds to highlight discounts, promote new products or whatever you want.

Here is the link to the plugin: https://www.nop4you.com/advanced-background-changer

We are happy to inform that we've released new plugin. Advanced Background Changer for nopCommerce is ready to get.
03 July

We are happy to announce that we've released a top-notch plugin for nopCommerce stores. Shipping method inPost Lockers (in Poland known as inPost Paczkomaty) is ready to get on nop4you.com marketplace. 

It was created for people who want to send packages through inPost Lockers, Thanks to the built-in map, and a system of full list of self-service lockers, customers will be able to choose easily and quickly the locations of parcel collections from InPost lockers.

In the store checkout, the user will be able to select InPost Lockers as a delivery method for their order. Additionally, the user will be able to specify the destination locker that their order will be delivered to.

Present in more than 20 countries, among others in UK, Poland, France, Italy, Canada, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Hungary and more.

You can get this plugin on nop4you.com here:
https://www.nop4you.com/inpost-lockers-nopcommerce-shipping-method

First step is to find the desired inPost Locker on a map

Map

Second step is to choose the desired inPost Locker on a map:

If you are not convinced about your choice, you can check the details of choosen inPost Locker

We are happy to announce that we've released a top-notch plugin for nopCommerce stores. Shipping method inPost Lockers (in Poland known as inPost Paczkomaty) is ready to get on nop4you.com marketplace.
01 July

We've changed for you! Over 90% discount for package with the majority of our plugins. We've decided to change the price of our package plugin. With it you are allowed to purchase the package with the majority of our products. 

Package is available here: https://www.nop4you.com/all-products-collection

We've changed for you! Over 90% discount for package with the majority of our plugins.
27 June

Keep customers and users engaged with less work and manual effort, after successfull configuration of Marketing Automation plugin.

Nowadays customers expect individual approach to them. If you don’t care, they won’t make purchases in your store. First of all, I should ask you few questions. Do you always remember to reach out customers who left your store after purchases without further reactions? Do you know your best customers and you are able to describe them? Your customers usually abandon their shopping carts, do you try to recover them?

If you answered no for at least one question, it’s the proof that you should consider using the marketing automation plugin in your store. As DMA (Digital Marketing Association) prooved, the segmented and targeted emails, generate 58% of all revenue.

Marketing Automation allows you to create personalized emails that will be send to all abandoned carts in your store. For you, as a business owner or marketer, important should be fact that emails generated by abandoned carts have a 40,5% open rate (according to eMarketer studies).

How to create the most simple abandoned carts personalized email with Marketing Automation for nopCommerce?

First of all, go to Admin Panel -> nop4you -> Marketing Automation -> Customer Reminder -> Add new. Below you can check my basic configuration of the reminder.

Abandoned cart reminder

Now it’s time to click the Save & Continue Edit button. After that, please go to Reminder Level tab. We have to create our personalized email. For the first time, we will create only one level. I think for the beginners it’s enough. When you see the results, you can change the number of levels, delay of send.

Now it’s time to enable the scheduler, to automatically send our reminders. Go to Admin panel -> nop4you -> Marketing Automation -> Scheduler. Press the Edit button next to Abadoned Cart reminder and set the preferred time. I want to run it every minute, so in the Occurs field I setted the Hours and in the minute fields – 1. That’s all.

Follow up customers who trusted you and made purchase

The most important action for increasing your revenue is to take care of existing customers. That’s why you should use the Marketing Automation plugin to create reminders for users who made order in your store.

It’s very important to check if everything is ok with their order. To check their satisfaction.

Follow up customers who made order, but didn’t pay for it

Have you ever send emails to customers who didn’t pay for the order? If not, why? They've already trusted you, so why you don't want to reach them? 

Engage customers to sign up to your newsletter

Everybody loves a discount – that’s why Discount Newsletter plugin may do the trick. It allows you to create a attractive popup with input to sign up to the newsletter. As a reward, you can give your customers discount for next purchases. Discount can be created manually or generated automatically after popup creation.

Plugin mentioned in this article:

Marketing Automation

Discount Newsletter

 

Nowadays customers expect individual approach to them. If you don’t care, they won’t make purchases in your store. First of all, I should ask you few questions. Do you always remember to reach out customers who left your store after purchases without further reactions? Do you know your best customers and you are able to describe them? Your customers usually abandon their shopping carts, do you try to recover them?
19 June

We are glad to announce that we released our next theme for nopCommerce - Scroll Theme.

Scroll - nopCommerce Theme is probably the best first choice for each new online store. Your search for the best nopCommerce Theme is over, super fast nopCommerce Template appeared. Build your brand with Scroll, powerful e-commerce theme with included and designed CMS features like blog, news, forum sections.

Scroll Theme is a part of our All Products Collection, which includes 15 plugins and 11 Themes for nopCommerce.

Scroll - nopCommerce Theme is probably the best first choice for each new online store. Your search for the best nopCommerce Theme is over, super fast nopCommerce Template appeared. Build your brand with Scroll, powerful e-commerce theme with included and designed CMS features like blog, news, forum sections.
17 June

We are happy to announce that we've released a new widget for nopCommerce! Sticker Widget is a customizable plugin, that allows you to create a promotional stickers, ads in your store. It will create a small sticker sticked to your users screen on specified pages in your store.

Get it here: https://www.nop4you.com/sticker-widget-nopcommerce-plugin

We are happy to announce that we've released a new widget for nopCommerce! Sticker Widget is a customizable plugin, that allows you to create a promotional stickers, ads in your store.
10 June

We are happy to announce that we've created a new plugin for nopCommerce community! Klarna Payments for nopCommerce 4.20 and 4.10! Klarna Payments are used to ease up the purchasing process in your store. It's a typical payment method in the appropiate checkout step. Because the work on the plugin started some time ago, and in the meantime a new version of nopCommerce came out. 

Plugin is available here: https://www.nop4you.com/klarna-payments-nopcommerce-plugin

We are happy to announce that we've created a new plugin for nopCommerce community! Klarna Payments for nopCommerce 4.20 and 4.10 is ready to get on nop4you marketplace!
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