Today in the blog we are sharing an approach to choosing a platform for an online store from one of our clients. Irina is a business person, everything is pragmatic and step by step. Her task was to transfer a successful offline cosmetics store to the online store. Before contacting us, Irina conducted a small research on the topic and determined the basic provisions for herself: the site should be on a CMS with a simple and convenient admin panel. Irina compiled a checklist of important points, on the basis of which she compared the platforms. In my opinion, this is why the review came out from different points of view: a view from the side of the buyer, and from the side of the site administrator.
Three years ago I opened my own cosmetics store. Probably due to the fact that it was my dream business, things went well. Therefore, soon there was a question of expansion, namely, "access to the network." I have never been interested in the topic of website development and for me the task of choosing a platform was not an easy one. But as a cosmetics store is my brainchild, I approached the issue with all seriousness. To decide, I had to spend many hours re-reading forums and blogs, a lot of money for consultations with experts, a lot of my husband and friends' nerves for advice and discussion.
Ultimately, we settled on two versions of the CMS - the Russian version of OpenCart and OkayCMS . In short, the main reasons for this choice were, in the case of OpenCart, a large number of studios and developers, in the case of OkayCMS, the presence of live and responsive technical support. For comparison, we took the OkayCMS Lite version, since it is a completely free engine for an online store , like OpenCart in the basic assembly.
Both platforms have demo sites, so you can easily test the CMS to see what is more convenient.
For online stores with products for a female audience, a stylish website design is the most important requirement. I thought at first. But after reviewing several of the most popular sites on a similar topic, I realized that the main task of an online store design is simplicity and ease of use. Everything else can be finalized later, the main thing is a good base.
At first glance, the demo sites of the selected CMS are very similar to each other - a large banner on the main page, below is a block with recommended products. But I'm used to paying attention to such trifles as store contacts, the contact button with the manager. In OkayCMS it is prominently displayed in the header of the site. While in OpenCart too little space is allocated for such information, and there is no callback functionality at all. I understand that all this is being changed and refined, but at that time we did not count on the help of a programmer. Therefore, OkayCMS was given 1 point.
Experience with OpenCart
After adding an item to the cart, you have two ways - either go to the cart itself, or proceed to checkout. If you decide to place an order right away, then a quest of six awaits you! steps with fields for filling in data. In my opinion, this is not very convenient. But something else upset me. If you have a discount coupon, this does not mean that you will be able to use it. Because the field for entering the coupon is in the Shopping Cart, and this stage drops out of the chain if you clicked the "Checkout" button. It sounds confusing, but it is.
Experience with OkayCMS
When you click on the basket, you will be taken to the basket itself, which combines both a list of products with the ability to edit it, and an ordering page with possible methods of payment, delivery, and a contact information form. Everything is consistent, logical, and, most importantly, does not lead the buyer into the wild. For me, this is a definite plus, so I added 1 point to the OkayCMS piggy bank.
Cart page and order placement on OkayCMS
The first thing that we see when we go to the administration panel is a very good analytics of the site's work: the number of orders, the amount of sales, the number of customers, online users, quick access to the last orders, etc. You can get started and not think about integrations with third-party analysis resources.
There is no such thing in OkayCMS.
Therefore, for convenient and useful functionality, OpenCart deserves its 1 point.
In the table below, I compare the catalogs of both CMS for the most important functions, which, in my opinion, should be easily accessible in the product catalog.
adding a new product
duplication of goods
quick price editing
quick quantity editing
on / off product activity
quick product addition to XML file
filter by product categories / brands
filter by product status
- / +
filter by quantity of goods in stock
You can add a few more items that are in OkayCMS and not in OpenCart. But I think this is unnecessary, tk. the table speaks for itself. OkayCMS score.
Experience with OpenCart
When creating a product in OpenCart, the main thing is not to get lost. Eleven tabs with different fields provoke you to abandon the idea of creating a website. What is only one tab "Options" for product options - here you can choose in what form the options will be displayed on the product page. Not that a useful feature, but an interesting one.
The logic of adding a product property and displaying it in a filter in a product category turned out to be very confusing and incomprehensible to me. For such chaos, I was ready to deduct the point from Opencart. But this gave me the understanding that it would not be possible to quickly train a manager to add new products to the site. With such a wide field for maneuvers, there will be a lot of jambs.
Experience with OkayCMS
If it was possible to give a prize for "The most understandable and compact product creation page" - I would give it to OkayCMS. I managed to add a new product in 5 minutes and the first time! Marketing chips “Promo-images” and “Product rating” turned out to be a pleasant bonus. My work experience can be summed up in three words - made for people. For this OkayCMS +1.
For me, as the owner of the store, and sometimes its manager, some points in order processing were important:
- the ability to quickly view the goods in the order (without having to go to the order itself);
- the ability to create your own order statuses;
- the ability to add a comment to the order for the manager;
- the ability to add a discount to the order;
- formation and printing of invoices;
- the ability to view the history of order changes.
- From the list of orders, you can get a minimum of information - order number, customer name, order status, amount and dates of addition / change. This means that you will not be able to quickly view the products.
- There are a lot of order statuses in OpenCart. It upsets that you cannot choose certain ones for yourself, and turn off the rest, so as not to interfere.
- There is a separate field for order comments.
- It happens that we provide some clients with a discount on the order after its registration. In OpenCart, I did not find such functionality to be able to do this. Possibly due to the fact that in the OpenCart demo site most of the order editing functions are blocked.
- I liked how the invoice and the invoice for the courier are formed.
- The history of changes is saved in the order. This helps keep track of how quickly orders are processed.
- In the order list, you can immediately see what products the customer ordered.
- There is a function for creating order statuses. This allows you to customize all statuses to suit the needs of the store.
- On the order page there is a field for the manager's comment. In addition, there is the ability to create labels for orders, for example, "Call back", "Product expected", etc. I found it very convenient. This makes it easier to navigate the order list.
- On the order page, there is a field for entering a coupon or discount.
- There is a button for generating an invoice.
- The history of order changes is not displayed anywhere.
A brief overview of the main functionality for working with the order of both systems showed that it will be more convenient to use OkayCMS for my store.
The convenience of working with the site from a mobile phone was important for me. Now you need to be in touch at all times and promptly process customer orders. Therefore, the mobile version of the site admin panel should be the default. Both CMS I am considering have a responsive admin panel. But working with Opencart from a mobile device is simply impossible. What not to say about the OkayCMS admin panel. Some functions are hidden in it, but the main tasks can be performed without any difficulty. For this +1 OkayCMS.
One of the definite advantages of OpenCart is that the SEO module is already there by default, while in Okay the SEO module is available only in the PRO version. Therefore, I give a point to OpenCart.
In OpenCart, the installation of modules is carried out through the admin panel, but in Okay - only in code or with the help of technical support. OkayCMS is not a modular system, due to this, it is easier to do something individual, but it is more difficult to install ready-made modules and templates. You should at least know the basics of HTML.
OpenCart is a free CMS, OkayCMS has both a free version (Lite) and a paid version (Pro). But, as is usually the case, all the most convenient and useful things are in the paid version. Therefore, I give my OpenCart point for the opportunity to create a website on my own without investment.
|Analytics (admin panel)||one|
|List of products (admin panel)||one|
|Product creation (admin panel)||one|
|Order processing (admin panel)||one|
|SEO module||one||only in PRO|
Yes, in the end I settled on OkayCMS, I like it more. And as a newbie in the Internet business, I often resorted to the help of technical support.
I ordered a standard template and a change in the site header. The work is in progress. Until the site is perfect - its own design has not been developed, there are few products. But we are only at the beginning of our journey and we believe that we will succeed!