Designs and themes
There are currently seven free themes to choose from in the nopCommerce store, but these aren’t going to blow you away.
However, as you might expect from any free-to-download, open-source eCommerce builder, this program has a decent range of themes developed by third parties to choose from as an alternative.
If you want a good looking online store you should expect to pay between $40 and $250 for one of the premium theme options.
Most of the themes come bundled with a number of plug-ins to help get your store up and running, like a built-in Facebook store and optimized SEO options.
There’s a good variety of colors and designs on offer under the paid theme options, and the store is easy to browse through to find what you’re looking for.
Apps and add-ons
nopCommerce is one of the smaller eCommerce solutions on the market and has racked up around 3 million downloads since it was founded in 2008.
This means its selection of apps and add-ons isn’t as large as some of its competitors, especially when compared to the giants like WordPress.
However, it has a growing team of dedicated partner developers working to bring new tools and features. Some of its best include:
- Social media feed managers
- SEO optimization of store products
- Email marketing campaigns
- Multiple payment options
While the platform is free, you should set aside a budget for any apps and plug-ins you want to add to your store, as things can get pricey.
For example, you can develop a mobile app for your store, but the plug-in to do so will set you back around $1,000.
You’ll also need some developer skills to properly integrate everything. Other apps will set you back around $40 to $250 each on average.
You can create a multilanguage store in any language you like. However, this won’t be easy and will require a good understanding of various coding languages like .NET, HTML, and CSS.
Social integration and sales channels
Due to its customizable nature, you’ll be able to integrate just about any of your social media and sales channels into your online store, including:
You’ll also find several plug-ins that can help you with social media management.
nopCommerce has a nice selection of tools and plug-ins to get you started, or you can customize just about every aspect of your store and do the SEO optimization yourself. Options include:
- Fully localizable templates - Have different metadata for different languages and geographical regions
- Override manufacturer metadata if you’re selling for a third party
- Simplify site navigation
- Integrate with Google Analytics
The good news is that this program already comes with a lot of useful default fields, and can collect information like customer age, gender, address, and newsletter sign-ups.
If you can’t find the field you like, you can customize your store to add anything you’d like.
The bad news is that this can be quite difficult for non-technical users to do. It definitely isn’t a tool for beginners, but you can find advice and instructions on coding help in the forums.
The range of reporting tools on offer isn’t as extensive as some competitors, but nopCommerce still manages to provide some basic analytics data, including:
- Customers per month
- Performance of individual products
- Daily, weekly and monthly orders
- Payment history
One of the best features of this program is how well supported it is by email marketing plug-ins. In fact, you’ll be able to integrate MailChimp marketing campaigns into your store completely free of charge. You’ll also be able to automate follow-up messages, monitor email analytics to measure campaign effectiveness, and customize your emails for different market segments.
Importing and Exporting products
NopCommerce supports importing and exporting products via Microsoft Excel. You’ll only need to upload your products once, and any online stores your account is connected to will be updated. You can also make bulk edits easily, for instance, if you have price increases across all products, you can update everything in one go.
The software is open-source and free to download. However, you’ll need to budget for your theme, your web hosting, and any add-ons and plug-ins you want to use.
This will depend entirely on your personal preferences, but most add-ons tend to range from around $40 to $250, meaning costs can start to mount up the more complicated your store needs to be.
Given that nopCommerce also requires a solid understanding of coding and development, you could alternatively sign up to a premium support program.
For the price of $799 for one year, staff will assist developers in getting the most out of the platform and can answer any coding and customization queries you might have.
For those not signed up to the premium support program, you’ll find customer service a little limited. As with many other open-source eCommerce builders, you’re mostly on your own to work through any issues.
Your first port of call will be the community forum, which is very active and should give you most of the answers you need. nopCommerce also has a number of blogs and articles with tips and helpful how-to guides.
You can also sign up for premium support at $799 per year. This will let you raise tickets with customer service and give you the option to let staff carry out customization on your site.
You’ll be responsible for maintaining your own site’s security. This will usually be done through the purchase of an SSL certificate through your web hosting provider.
nopCommerce can integrate with most major shipping carriers including the US Postal service, UPS, and FedEx.
You’ll find a wide range of payment processors including Paypal, Mastercard, Stripe, and Worldpay.
This program has a number of free tax extensions that will give you real-time tax calculations across more than 12,000 jurisdictions. You can also choose paid extensions that can provide detailed tax analytics.
You can create your own customizable dropshipping store and allow multiple vendors to sell via your site.
Abandoned cart recovery
There’s an add-on available that covers abandoned carts. It costs $29 and lets you set up timed intervals for sending abandoned cart emails, provides customers with a link back to their cart in the email and allows fully customizable messages.
Managing store on a mobile device
You can manage your store via the admin mobile app. You can do everything you can via desktop management including adding, editing and deleting products.
What is Easy for Users at nopCommerce
- It’s free to download and you can get developing straight away
- It has an active user community making it easy to find answers you need to problems via the forum
- It’s highly customizable, and if you have the necessary developer skills, you can make a powerful eCommerce site
What is Difficult for Users on nopCommerce
- This isn’t the platform for you if you don’t have any developer skills. You’ll need knowledge in .NET, CSS, HTML, and MS SQL to get the most out of the platform
- Customer service also isn't easy to come by. You’ll get no support beyond the forums unless you sign up to one of the premium packages
Best nopCommerce Stores
Alternatives to nopCommerce
Wix - If web development isn’t for you, Wix provides a good alternative. You can have a working site and marketplace set up in just a few hours and don’t need any advanced developer skills.
Woocommerce - This free WordPress plug-in offers you similar levels of customization, but the interface is easier to get to grips with
WordPress - One of the most established eCommerce builders on the market, with excellent SEO plug-ins
Magento - This is another option for those who love coding. Magento has near limitless customization options and is also open source