Choosing the most effective eCommerce site for building, operating, and sustaining an online store is extremely important since it can be the element responsible for your business’s success or failure. For small enterprises, this is especially relevant since they have to compete with minimal capital and budgets.

There is a wide range of eCommerce store-building solutions options for businesses to choose from. However, it remains difficult to choose the right one since it is important to consider how the platform currently serves your enterprise beyond the concept of ongoing digital.

In this article, let’s have a thorough dive into the two popular eCommerce solutions: Shopify and nopCommerce. What is a better shopping cart suitable for your business? Let’s figure out things now.

>>> Related topic: Shopify vs. Amazon: Which one is best for your eCommerce business?

Major differences between Shopify vs. Nopcommerce

Shopify and nopCommerce are two eCommerce platforms that offer rich and transformative features from medium-sized retail stores to big businesses.

It is not easy to compare Shopify vs. nopCommerce since they are intended to be built without like-for-like features, and each has its strength and a weakness. While Shopify is an all-in-one solution that comes with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) eCommerce platform, nopCommerce is designed intended to be a popular open-source shopping cart.

Moreover, compared to Nopcommerce, Shopify has many useful features for online retailers, which also means that it has to be paid with an array of packages depending on your intentions, while Nopcommerce can be used for free (but with limitations as well). 

Basically, for a start-up with a simple yet unique concept, Shopify can work well. However, for developers who are used to the freedom of coding all on their own, Shopify will really feel constrained because of its limitations.

NopCommerce is powerful enough to allow you to build any workflow you need. However, the expense of nopCommerce is what you’re going to pay your developers to make it happen. The framework has recently moved to ASP.net Heart, and with new custom solutions, it continues to improve the structure.

Shopify vs. nopCommerce Detailed Comparison

HOSTING

Platforms that are hosted and self-hosted work differently. You don’t get absolute power over most hosted website builders in eCommerce. Sure, several of them allow you to write in CSS and HTML, like Shopify, but for Nopcommerce, you either don’t have access to core programming or need one of their developers to get in there for you.

Shopify is a complete hosting e-commerce solution, which means that every brand on the platform is hosted on Shopify’s servers. Those who choose Shopify find it convenient and will have additional benefits from this in various ways, such as setups with ease, no extra costs, instant software updates, and quick, stable loading around the world.

For instance, with newcomers on Shopify, you’ll get a free SSL certificate when you choose one of Shopify’s plans. This is important for eCommerce sites since they are intended to keep your website confidential and your customer personal details, such as credit card numbers, which are the least important things for clients.

Meanwhile, nopCommerce is a self-hosted platform. The rates for hosting NopCommerce differ; some simple plans will start at as little as $2.95 a month. The business owner will have to pay separately for hosting, themes, add-ons, an SSL license, and the cost of any customized development that business owners cannot complete.

In addition, users will have to buy some Microsoft assistance to use in combination with nopCommerce if they haven’t gotten it already. Moreover, if users need substantial help in implementing nopCommerce, they have to go for a support package, which can be very costly.

Depending on the criteria of online retailers, both hosts have good stuff on the side, from built-in oriented features and integrations to help customers.

B2B FEATURES 

Regarding business-to-business capability, the two rivals played to a scoreless draw. 

On the one hand, the three Shopify pricing plans don’t include crucial B2B features. Only Shopify Plus offers wholesale channels that merchants can benefit from. Some outstanding Shopify B2B features you can easily spot on such as:

  • Customized pricing: The admin user can set up to allow discount applications on the entire store/ across collections and assign different prices to specific customers;
  • Price lists: Replace original prices in your storefront with custom prices;
  • Optimized order processing and management: The system can be configured to deliver an invoice to be paid using the payment provider and allow customers to use purchase orders or pay in the store; 

On the other hand, nopCommerce shows fewer dedicated features for the B2B eCommerce community with:

  • Multi-vendor and dropshipping: Each vendor is provided with admin panel access to manage their products, review sales reports and order details regarding their products. Vendors do not interfere with each other’s activities, and the wide range of options for setting up and managing access rights allows you to make their activities automated.
  • Global multi-vendor store: With global trading features such as multi-currencies and multi-languages coming out of the box, nopCommerce allows you to create an international multi-vendor store.
  • Multi-store: The multi-store feature allows merchants to run many stores from a single nopCommerce installation. Every online store shares a single database: you can share catalog data between stores, and your customers can log in to all of your stores using the same credentials.

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DESIGN

Shopify has the best website design approach for you; the consistency and quantity of templates from Shopify are impressive and responsive (mobile-friendly). Hundreds of catchy website templates are available for your preference at the Shopify theme store, all of which have been designed by world-renowned artists. If you cannot find one of around 170 themes that suits your needs, you can either build your own or purchase one.

On the nopCommerce website, there are actually seven free themes to pick from. However, as you would expect from any free-to-download, open-source eCommerce developer, this solution has a good range of themes developed by third parties to choose from as an option.

Themes and Templates

Both carts have several themes available in terms of themes and templates and can be found in different external resources, whether free or paid. 

Shopify provides a wide variety of top-selling themes to work with, providing users with a simple way to add a trendy template to the user’s store. In addition, Shopify themes also offer some form of customization options, whether it be the ability to select from predefined color schemes or even a drag-and-drop creator that makes it easy to customize your store.

One thing that you should bear in mind is that nopCommerce does not work with third-party theme providers. NopCommerce has been extending its themes functionality recently and offering users fantastic high-quality themes in-demand. However, nopCommerce still allows the store owner to create a professional-looking website in minutes without coding skills.

APPS AND ADD-ONS

NopCommerce is considered an eCommerce solution suitable for small to medium-sized businesses on the market. Since it was established in 2008, it has racked up about 3 million downloads, which means that its range of apps and add-ons is not as large as some of its rivals, especially Shopify.

It has, however, a growing team of committed partner developers collaborating to offer fresh features and tools. Many of the best are, among others:

  • Feed administrators for social media
  • Optimization of store merchandise with SEO
  • Campaigns for email marketing
  • Many alternatives for payment

Although the platform is open, as things can get expensive, you should set aside a budget for any applications and plug-ins you choose to add to your store. For instance, you can create a smartphone app for your shop, but the plug-in to do so would set you back about $1,000. 

To better implement anything, you’ll still need certain developer talents. On average, other applications will set you back from $40 to $250 each.

Shopify app store is filled with helpful add-ons for your store (free and paid, such as email marketing integrations) so that you can quickly incorporate some additional features and functionalities to your online store with more than 3,200+ applications available, such as ratings, loyalty services, consumer wish lists, in-depth analytics, print labels, and more.

Shopify store owners will configure their website with the apps, drastically improving how they manage their organization and how clients communicate with them.

SECURITY

Since nopCommerce has had one security upgrade so far, it is deemed a more stable network. Shopify, however, continues to periodically refresh its security features, taking careful care of security matters in the past.

With nopCommerce, you will be accountable for preserving your own website most of the time. Typically, this can be achieved by purchasing an SSL certificate from your web hosting service. At the same time, SSL encryption from Shopify is also allowed for each Shopify store, which keeps the data of your visitors secure.

PERFORMANCE

The customers’ demand is higher than ever before. Usability is important for attracting consumers and making search engines satisfied. For customer happiness, performance plays a significant role.

In terms of performance, Shopify is one of the best. It’s the second-fastest platform ever tested (eCommerce CEO, 2020). Load speeds are fast on mobile, which goes a long way toward keeping customers’ attention where you want it. 

NopCommerce, on the other hand, is inferior to Shopify. According to the users’ review directly in the nopCommerce forum, most reviews pointed out that the speed is very sluggish and memory hungry since it wants to host marginally higher plans. NopCommerce’s EntityFramework also has low results against numerous other ORMs.

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

You won’t be disappointed with Shopify’s inventory features and integrations. With Shopify, you can automatically send your orders to a fulfillment center, so you don’t have to worry about keeping inventory on hand and shipping yourself. This gives you more control over how fast you scale your business. While with nopCommerce, inventory features include support for nopCommerce provides support for different warehouses, product attributes, and partial deliveries, which could also be helpful for users.

SEO

In Shopify or nopCommerce, SEO features are fully covered. All directories are optimized with full links to tags and URLs for keywords using general search engine terminology. Both have XML sitemaps as well.

Shopify is an agile framework, and users’ online stores can load easily if you select a ‘lightweight’ design. It is also completely SEO-armed and comes with the key SEO options expected by most shop owners. For other on-page SEO implementations, Shopify SEO is simple to introduce as its backend is very intuitive. The pace of it is also amazing.

Shopify also offers users reliable support to contact when in doubt is a great thing for SEOs. Moreover, many useful Shopify SEO apps can help users’ stores.

From my point of view, Shopify SEO drawbacks (such as locked-in SEO functionality or URL strings) would annoy those store owners who want to have full control over SEO optimizations on the website. Generally speaking, sitemaps and Robots.txt files are not something any shop owners will need to touch either.

Meanwhile, nopCommerce also has a nice range of software and plug-ins, or you can configure almost any part of your shop and do your own SEO optimization. The choices include:

  • Templates that can be completely localized have separate metadata for different languages and geographical areas
  • Override metadata from the manufacturer if you market to a third party
  • Simplify navigation on the website
  • Integrate with Google Analytics

In terms of overall marketing, both Shopify vs. nopCommerce offer users an option to run blogs and forums. Users find non-native applications like Shopify for this, but content-heavy directories aren’t really suitable for it. The blog will have to be run externally by you. Otherwise, the overall efficiency of the site would be compromised. Due to scaling and site pre-load, the most common concern in the typical nopCommerce analysis often happens to be conducted to be equal.

EASE OF USE

NopCommerce requires users to have fundamental technical skills, and if you try to use this platform, assume a great learning curve. HTML/CSS familiarity is important. You might recommend having a veteran developer on board if you don’t have the tech skills.

Shopify is simple to use and has a tidy, up-to-date, and intuitive interface. Fortunately, contrary to nopCommerce, you do not have to think about technological things at all. Shopify has excellent beginner tips and detailed documentation of nearly all that can be accomplished with a few taps.

SUPPORT

Nopcommerce and Shopify both have great community support from both company members who are trying actively to help users out of the problems and the users simultaneously. Both platforms also have comprehensive product documentation that acts as a perfect guide for learning. Paid support is also available on all platforms. While Nopcommerce provides quarterly and annual subscription support, Shopify includes pricing support depending on the customer’s intent.

The community and ecosystem of NopCommerce are broader because of the open-source product. Meanwhile, Shopify has a 24-hour help service that really does a fantastic job and offers customers an impressive outcome in solving issues. The platform also provides paid service with $299 for 3 months or $799 for the whole year.

In other words, all groups are involved, and a helping hand is still available to answer every question a store owner may have.

ADVANTAGES AND DRAWBACKS

What is Easy for users at nopCommerce?

  • Free to download, and you can get to build straight away
  • An engaged group of users makes it easy to find answers to problems through the forum.
  • Highly flexible, easily customizable and manageable, helping users render a strong eCommerce platform if you have the requisite developer skills
  • Search engine friendly for users 
  • Responsive, ready mobile commerce
  • Offer marketing features with guiding instructions related to products for upselling, cross-selling, discounts and coupons, gift cards, affiliate program, product reviews and ratings, etc.) 
  • Easy to Scale
  • Multi-vendor support along with Drop-shipping

What is Easy for users at Shopify?

  • World-class site performance
  • Adding products as well as managing payment and shipping options and processing orders is absolutely painless.
  • Their layouts (templates) can be modified to a large degree without any programming knowledge.
  • By downloading new templates and applications in seconds, users can change the store’s look and add extra features.
  • Users will have full control of your online store customization whether they are a programmer (or employ one)
  • Integrates with multiple providers/apps

What is Difficult for users on nopCommerce? 

  • If you don’t have any development experience, this isn’t the solution for you. To get the best out of the framework, users need skills in .NET, CSS, HTML and MS SQL.
  • Customer service is not easy to come by, either. Beyond the forums, you can not get help until you sign up for one of the subscription bundles.

What is Difficult for users on Shopify?

  • Difficult to customize a theme, there are various themes, but these built-in themes need customization. A skilled developer can only achieve this adaptation or if you learn to code in that language.
  • No Email Hosting: Web hosting is included with all plans provided by Shopify, but it does not provide you with a stable email hosting offer. This suggests that you can’t get an email like this with your shop name: info@myshopname.com.

USERS REVIEW

Here are some reviews from the users of Shopify and nopCommerce, all of the data and information were taken from TrustRadius and Capterra.

TrustRadius: Shopify (8.8/10 with 261 reviews and ratings), nopCommerce (8.9/10 with 10 reviews and ratings)

Capterra: Shopify 4.5/5 (with 3507 reviews), nopCommerce 4.7/5 (with 81 reviews)

  Nopcommerce Shopify
Suitable for  B2B, B2C, SMB, Enterprise stores Small to medium-sized and enterprise companies 
Ease of use – With standard Microsoft software, the framework seems to be well maintained and easy to use.
– NopCommerce is more powerful than any other platform. A stable, scalable, and modular eCommerce solution with a management module for shop management, goods, customers, orders, etc.
– Excellent modular building design, making it very simple to adapt for multiple types of needs.
– Intuitive and customer-friendly, designing your eCommerce website among many awesome models makes it very simple.
The best to use on the backend for customers was a big incentive over the other channels for them. It had all the functionality customers wanted.
– It is straightforward to handle all the features needed for a simple store. While coding is needed for some deeper customization, it does not hide the code from you and offers many developer tools.
Support  – For NopCommerce, the community is fantastic. It is the best foundation on which to build and allows almost everything to be personalized.
– Support is solid, and on the platform, there is a very excellent group where you can get a solution to your problem. Well-maintained and standardized code that can be customized quickly.
– Massive and active community. The community forum provides free support.
– Outstanding Customer Support (24/7) assistance is great even during business or off-business hours. They still have a large group where individuals are willing to contribute.
– It has been a joy to partner with this business, and the customer service has been excellent.
Features & Functionality – The coding is an example of great software engineering, and its own customizations are easy to the plugin.
It was easy to install.
– NopCommerce and fast to get up and to run. The setup is free and comes with several simple ways to configure the architecture of the shop.
Built-in features are ideal for most big businesses and suitable for professional and non-technical customers.
This is perfect because we couldn’t afford to pay for a full-blown website. Great for any company that is rising.
Cost – Implementation and customization ease. The product for starter sites is really nice and cost-effective.
– The overall impression is pretty good. It saves costs and helps clients set up with ease.
– It’s inexpensive since it’s easy to use and doesn’t take much effort for developers; running is so much cheaper.
– Require a small budget to start and the solution that encourages you to get more sales in your shop. And the amazing templates that were very professional for my clients.

WRAPPING UP 

The solution to what is better and what is bad, for all of the above, lies in the right fit. Shopify vs. nopCommerce compares poorly when very distinct forms of targets are accomplished.

You may be more likely to try Shopify if you begin your first individual business and don’t have any technological experience. It really offers you the chance to put up a gorgeous store in a few hours with your bare hands. If you want to create a big business with numerous stores and complicated personalized customizations that you can scale while expanding your business, you would certainly want to stick to the features of nopCommerce. You would need to assemble a squad of tech experts for this approach. Plus, it will cost you more time and resources at the outset, but it will help allow you to evolve smoothly.

Bringing business online requires learning from the ground up, which is not very easy. Here, we’ve tried to compare each platform’s main aspects. We hope that this guide will help you pick the best base for your potential sprawling online shop if you’re new to eCommerce.

For those who might never use an eCommerce platform before, we have developed a complete Shopify comparison series among the top choices on the market. Check it out!

Otherwise, Shopify offers 14-day free trials, check it out!