Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how OpenCart and Storenvy stack up.
Daniel Adams and Mark Hammersley
Last updated 2o July 2020
4.0 Stackupp rating
Best forOpencart is ideal for small and medium-sized retailers that have web development experience.
3.6 Stackupp rating
$ 14.99 / month
Best forsmaller, independent retailers that want access to an active marketplace along with the freedom to design their own store.
Can't decide between OpenCart and Storenvy?
Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of OpenCart and Storenvy. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.
Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.
OpenCart occupies a unique space in the eCommerce platform market. It’s a free and open-source solution that’s ideal for small and medium retailers that want to exercise full development control on their own servers.
Immediately, this excludes two groups. First, small retailers that want a fully-hosted solution and don’t have coding skills will struggle with OpenCart. Secondly, larger stores, or stores expecting to scale, may find the feature-set somewhat limited. OpenCart doesn’t have the same functionality and scalability as other open-source platforms like Magento.
If you’re not in either group, however, OpenCart is well worth giving a go. As an open-source solution, it’s fully customizable. The feature set is pretty solid, and the interface is very intuitive for a self-hosted solution. You’ll also have access to a large user community and extensions library. Oh, and it’s probably worth mentioning the key selling point again: it’s free.
Use OpenCart if you’re a small or medium-sized retailer looking for a self-hosted solution that isn’t going to break the bank. OpenCart is a streamlined platform with an intuitive dashboard, a solid feature-set, and a friendly, active community of users.
Storenvy describes itself as a “social marketplace”. Shoppers can like listings, add items to “collections”, and message sellers directly. As an option for online retailers, Storenvy sits between marketplace-only platforms like eBay and self-managed solutions like Shopify and Magento.
One of the great things about Storenvy is that it allows users to build their own fully-customized store, with an array of more advanced features, that can be hosted on a unique domain. This is in conjunction with listings on the main marketplace.
Pricing is also very reasonable, with a forever-free plan and relatively low monthly costs for premium packages.
you’re a small or medium independent retailer (less than 5000 listings) looking for an easy-to-use solution that will provide access to an established marketplace.
Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.
Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.
We take a look at how simple the OpenCart and Storenvy platforms are to run.
There are two sides to the ease of use question when it comes to OpenCart.
On the one hand, users have access to an intuitive dashboard (which is slightly unusual for an open-source, self-hosted solution) and a large library of extensions.
On the other hand, installing, maintaining, and running a store built on OpenCart requires a certain degree of development experience.
If you’re not comfortable handling backend tasks, then it’s probably not the option for you.
Very good. Takes a while to get it setup to your own taste/needs, but worth the effort. Loads of online help for the most common stumbling blocks.
Having tried numerous e-commerce platforms opencart is by far my favourite.
I love that you can easily buy modifications from the marketplace for niche use case scenarios, and if not there are developers that are very knowledgeable of the product so custom functionality isn't a problem.
Storenvy is one of the easiest-to-use solutions we’ve reviewed. People with little design and technical experience will find it particularly appealing. It’s a browser-based solution and a central dashboard provides access to various areas for managing store operations, including orders, marketing, marketplace listings, storefront design, and so on. The website builder - which allows for limited CSS and HTML changes - is also very intuitive.
The initial set-up can be a little complicated, but overall we found that managing day-to-day tasks was straightforward.
"Storenvy is super customizable and I really appreciate that. Etsy is bigger and a bit more well known, though."
"I've been on Storenvy for awhile now and it's pretty simple."
"I like Storenvy! It's free to make a store and list stuff, but they take a processing fee."
It's a draw!
Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do OpenCart and Storenvy templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.
OpenCart comes with a straightforward, minimal theme that’s already installed. Users that want to change the design have two options: buy a theme from the marketplace or edit the source code directly.
The themes in the marketplace are relatively well-priced - most cost around $20 - and this is a definite plus. There are lots of options on offer, tailored for a variety of online sectors, so you’re certain to find one that fits your needs.
OpenCart doesn’t provide a site-builder for users. If you’re not comfortable editing code directly, then you’ll struggle to make small design changes. Again, development experience is a must.
Storenvy has a website builder along with an HTML and CSS editor. Users with coding experience can make virtually any changes they want. Non-technical users, on the other hand, have more limited control over their storefront. Using only the site-builder, it’s possible to change colors, text, banners, background images, and certain parts of the layout. Retailers have access to a range of themes, some of which have an extra charge (usually around thirty dollars). It’s also possible to purchase a custom domain name for your store.
While the design features aren’t out of this world, they’re very easy to use and among the best we’ve seen for an independent store that’s coupled with a third-party marketplace.
OpenCart is our winner for design
Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if OpenCart or Storenvy offers better value for money.
It’s difficult to fault a free platform. So why only eight out of ten?
First, let’s take a look at the positive side of things. The OpenCart feature-set is superb for a free, open-source platform. Users can take advantage of unlimited products and categories, multilingual and multi-currency support, product reviews, a shipping calculator, analytics reports, and more.
Where OpenCart starts to flounder a little is in regards to extensions and support. Dedicated support is $99/month. And extensions which provide extra functionality, such as integrations with third-party platforms, regularly run into the hundreds of dollars. Finally, retailers will have to take care of all hosting and maintenance costs themselves.
Storenvy provides very good value for money, especially when compared to other ecommerce platforms, which can run up to hundreds of dollars.
There are three plans available. “Hobbyist” is free and allows for up to 1000 listings. “Plus” is $14.99/month and has additional features like discounts. “Pro” is $29.99/month and includes automation tools.
Payments are handled via either Stripe or Paypal, and associated fees apply. There are no additional fees for products sold through your store. If an item is sold via a listing on the marketplace, you will be charged 15% of the final sale price (which includes shipping).
Retailers can also opt in to the “Managed Marketing” scheme. If you decide to do this, Storenvy will advertise products on your behalf on sites like Facebook and Google, taking 25% of each sale.
It's a draw!
If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does OpenCart's and Storenvy's support measure up?
OpenCart support comes in three forms. Reviews of the quality of support are generally positive.
First, users have access to a free community forum. The forum is active and has over 110,000 members.
Second, a one-off paid option is available. For $99 you get a one-time technical fix with a 30-day bug-free guarantee.
Finally, a subscription option for $99/month provides you with a monthly maximum of five extension installations and three bug fixes.
Customer service for sellers is a bit of a mixed bag on Storenvy. Technical support is via email or the contact form. There is no phone or live-chat assistance. What’s more, it can take up to twenty-four hours to receive a response. There are no premium support packages on the paid plans.
Reviews online of individuals who have interacted with the support team are mixed, with many citing poor experiences. That said, it’s important to remember that the majority of online reviews are from customers (not fellow sellers) and independent store-owners are often responsible for handling issues, so Storenvy isn’t always to blame.
Retailers also have access to extensive documentation and a Facebook community group.
OpenCart is our winner for support
The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.
We liked OpenCart. It’s a great free solution for retailers that want to manage backend tasks themselves. If you have a small or medium store, and don’t want to deal with the complexities of a platform like Magento or PrestaShop, then it’s well worth giving a go.
Where OpenCart stumbles a little is in regards to paid extensions and support. Add-ons often run into hundreds of dollars. And for the amount you pay for monthly support, you might as well opt for a fully-hosted plan like Shopify or BigCommerce that comes with support included.
Just remember, if you don’t have development and IT skills, you’ll likely struggle with OpenCart. If, on the other hand, you’re more of the DIY orientation, you’ll certainly value the intuitive dashboard and extensive, easy-to-use features.
We think that Storenvy is one of the best solutions available to small independent sellers. It combines all the benefits of a fully independent store with access to an active marketplace. What’s more, additional services like “Managed Marketing” (Storenvy will market your products through third-party sites like Facebook) can be immensely useful to retailers without much advertising experience. It also has an excellent free plan and a fair, transparent pricing structure.
Larger retailers will find it insufficient for their needs and a more feature-rich platform like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, etc. will be preferable. That said, there are still opportunities for these retailers to take advantage of the marketplace.
Overall, we found OpenCart to be the better ecommerce platform.
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