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Shopify Vs. Zen Cart
Here at TheGenieLab, we’re big fans of Shopify. We think it’s one of the smoothest, quickest and most adaptable eCommerce options out there – far more so than other open source options such as Zen Cart.
So, we’ve knocked up a quick guide to Shopify and Zen Cart which explains why, as web developers, we love working with the Shopify platform.
But first, the bad news for Shopify users:
Zen Cart is cheaper than Shopify
Zen Cart is free, and Shopify (after a 14-day no-obligation trial) costs between £29 and £179 a month. But please don’t let that stop you – we think that’s a small price to pay for the extra features you’re given by a platform like Shopify. Some of those features include:
Free set up
Great storage options
Shopify is easier to use than Zen Cart
One of Shopify’s biggest selling points is, without doubt, its ease of use for both customers using the site and your web developers and designers working behind the scenes. It’s fast, powerful and simple, while the checkout process is much speedier than Zen Cart – ensuring that a lower percentage of visitors will dawdle or leave at that all-important payment stage.
That’s not to say Shopify doesn’t have depth – but it makes it very easy for you to do what you want to do.
From a design perspective, you won’t need extensive HTML and CSS knowledge to get a theme to look great – all you need is an eye for design.
Shopify is more flexible than Zen Cart
Although both Zen Cart and Shopify are open source platforms – meaning that anyone can design new themes, apps and features to work alongside and within them – Shopify is almost completely customisable, letting you do whatever you’d like to do, with a system that suits you.
Updating pages and products is simple, with a fast, usable CMS.
Shopify’s customer service is top-notch
Shopify’s blog is a great resource for anyone who’s interested in eCommerce and online marketing and far more accessible than Zen Cart’s alternative.
What’s more, because the higher-spec Shopify invariably attracts a more ambitious brand, the feedback and tips from other interested users on the blog are invaluable in developing your own site.
When it comes to customer support, Shopify beats Zen Cart too, with a dedicated team available 24-7. Zen Cart offers no phone or email support.
Shopify has better marketing tools
Search engine optimisation is a key aspect of creating leads online, and Shopify’s specialist SEO services and analytics can help you to attract, convert and analyse customers brought in from Google, Bing and other search engines.
Shopify’s app store is also one of the best out there, with a huge range of marketing tools and essentials to make the most of your Ecommerce store. For instance, if you want to develop your email marketing, you’re offered a choice between a range of trusted emailers like MailChimp, Mad Mimi and many more.
Shopify looks great
Shopify has a range of free design templates to get the aesthetics of your site up and running. And while these can look a little samey, the platform is so easy to use and it’s not hard at all to make a site your own.
Read more: 9 of our Favourite Shopify Designs
What’s more, if you don’t fancy designing a site yourself, teaming up with Shopify experts like TheGenieLab can get the job done for much less than on other platforms like Zen Cart.