Episode #5 of the course Guide to choosing an eCommerce platform by Adam Bastock
Prestashop is a free, open-source eCommerce CMS founded in 2007. Prestashop can be installed on your own hosting, or take advantage of their “Prestashop Cloud” that gets you up and running without the technical headaches.
The main attraction is that it is free, with no transaction fees.
Ease of Setup and Use
Prestashop sits somewhere in between Shopify and Magento, being relatively easy to set up and use with more flexibility than Shopify. If you have no technical experience, you may struggle to set up Prestashop without a considerable time investment working out some of its grittier details.
Products are listed clearly, with both top-level details and more complex attributes quickly accessed. The use of “modules” and “hooks” to display elements around the front end can take some getting used to and is not as obvious
One feature of Prestashop that makes it very attractive for B2B and B2C users is the ability to set different access levels and pricing structures based on customer groups. This is ideal if you wish to host both a trade and retail site.
The SEO is well optimized, with URL structures and product titles/tags easily changed. Friendly URLs and metadata can all be updated with rich snippets and schema.org compliance built in.
Prestashop is 100% free for all users. However, you can purchase levels of support if you require assistance with troubleshooting or setup starting at $33 a month. Failing that, you may choose to contact a developer or an agency to set up the store. There are plenty listed via their partner site; however, they do not have quite as many as Shopify.
Prestashop’s add-ons feature a wide range of free and paid modules to enhance and customize your store, adding features that may not come standard.
If you are a small company or an individual with technical patience, then Prestashop provides significant cost savings over other options. Setup fees are likely to be higher but not exceptional, with the basics certainly possible to self-manage.
The lack of transaction fees make it even more attractive if you’re selling higher-value items or large volumes; however, changing and optimizing on-page elements can be trickier.
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