Originally there was an eCommerce solution with little room for anything else.
The largest player in the market was initially Oscommerce which has had a boom time until a product called Magento came along.
Magento allowed a type of CMS system and eCommerce which filled a gap in the market.
OpenCart gained market momentum which was a fork for the Oscommerce product but essentially remained as an eCommerce solution.
WooCommerce is attached to WordPress while Spotify remains as a cloud based product on it’s own servers.
It’s an interesting development as WooCommerce can take advantage of the CMS capabilities of WordPress.
Shopify is weak on the CMS side being mainly focused as an eCommerce solution.
Shopify does not provide any email hosting so you need to factor that cost.
There are Pros and Cons for both depending on how you want to market your product and the costs associated with each solution.
Currently it looks like a close battle where both solutions are worth looking at.
There is a lot of Spin in this market so if you need to do your homework carefully where you compare the ownership over a period of time.
It should be noted that OpenCart has just released a responsive version which could have been a factor which held this solution back.
Opencart does have plugins which give some CMS ability to the product.
From what we can see Shopify gets you and and running quickly if you have the required skills to modify the theme.
There is always a catch and that’s the on going costs you have to factor, plus a transaction fee per sale, depending on the package.
As there is no email facility you will have to still factor email costs.
With a product like OpenCart or WooCommerce you have the upfront costs of development unless you are a PHP wizard.
There are plenty of themes to choose from with OpenCart and WooCommerce some free themes and some you have to pay for.
You need to do your homework to what would be suitable for you.
January 26th, 2015