This article is in response to a question on Quora, about open source ecommerce platforms, but, seemed a little long for a Quora post, so, I moved it here.
Open Source Ecommerce Platforms and Developer Communities
First of all, Magento, by far, has the best community of developers behind it. According to Built With, the only other open source platform whose market share is on par with Magento.
Razoyo’s experience with Woo Commerce is that its dependence on the WordPress database structure leads to some critical limitations when dealing with larger catalogs. The critical limitation, however, in our eyes is that it is susceptible to the many security vulnerabilities of WordPress and that the platform is simply not adequately securable for serious eCommerce. If you want the content power of WordPress and great ecommerce, we recommend integrating WordPress into Magento with Fishpig or a custom integration.
As for ZendCart andOpenCart, and so forth, the communities are limited. I expect these platforms will die over time as Magento and Woo communities out-innovate them.
SaaS Ecommerce Platforms as Alternatives to Open Source
Some have suggested Shopify, Big Commerce, Volusion or other Saas Solutions. These systems have great advantages such as a relatively low cost of implementation. There might also be single company that manages all of the tech projects.
The downside to these platforms is that you have to accept their vision of eCommerce as your vision. If they don’t have a plug in to an external service you must have, your only option is to create a microservice middleware, which, is usually much more expensive that having a developer create a custom module on Magento. Creating custom experiences is limited from a design standpoint.
For small merchants who rely on infrequent flash sales, Saas platforms are better. One advantage the SaaS platforms is the ability to scale up for the flash sales and handle the traffic. You need to be on the enterprise version to take advantage of it but, replicating the same in Magento will be very expensive from a hosting perspective.
Comparison of Emerging Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
There are some emerging platforms that we highly recommend you take a look at.
For B2B commerce, you should consider Oro Commerce. With the ability to modify workflows from the admin panel, it could take over the B2B space. Oro has taken a very strong stance in creating a ‘gated’ developer community with developers whose reputation and results earns them a spot. Razoyo was honored to be asked to join that community. We feel like we are in good company.
If you want a platform that feeds a web store, apps, potentially IoT or other non-browser based interactions seamlessly, you may want to try schema.io. This system separates the concerns of front end and back end completely. Schema isn’t ready for production environments, Razoyo has experimented using Angular and Schema. We feel that this sort of refactoring of components into micro-services shows an enormous amount of promise for the future.