If you too are wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of PrestaShop, then you've come to the right place. In this handy article, you'll additionally learn how much it costs to use the French e-commerce platform and see its strengths and weaknesses in direct comparison with other e-commerce solutions like Shopify or WooCommerce. After reading this article, you will have a clearer picture of whether you should use PrestaShop.
PrestaShop is a freely available open-source online shop system that started as a student project in 2005. As such it is an attractive solution for both newly built up online shops as well as established e-commerce companies. While the French e-commerce platform was originally called phpOpenStore and was only published in French and English, the company PrestaShop SA was founded in 2007. After that, the internationalization was fast-tracked so that by 2022, more than 300,000 websites are making use of it.
For online merchants, a variety of e-commerce platforms come into question. And yes, there are several factors to consider when making your decision. PrestaShop is part of the consideration set of e-commerce merchants like you in many cases. It is ahead of the competition in certain areas, while for some use-cases it is still lagging behind competitors.
Choosing an e-commerce platform is a huge step, hence, before you decide on one, you should give enough thought to what it needs to offer. These considerations include:
In this case, you should be clear in advance about what you expect from your online store system. Of course, the requirements will change over time, but you should still think about what you want your customers to see on your site, what the navigation in your webshop looks like, and what role, for instance, the search function plays in your potential PrestaShop.
Another factor that is often not initially considered is the availability of interfaces and integrations. As an example, a PrestaShop fulfillment integration is available at many, but not all, 3PL companies. This technical requirement enables quick and easy outsourcing of logistics, which is an important strategic option, especially for larger or fast-growing companies.
If you run an online store, the security of your visitors is certainly of utmost importance to you. Make sure that your shop system has PCI compliance, SSL, fraud protection, and data backups. These precautions will save you a lot of trouble no matter which one you are using.
Particularly, in the beginning, it is usually difficult to estimate how fast and how strong your online sales will grow. However, it is key to ensure that your e-commerce platform is suitable for the planned growth so that you don't have to switch to another one after a short time. In the worst case, it would make you lose your momentum. Thanks to numerous add-ons PrestaShop can keep the step and improve according to your business in most cases.
A big advantage of leading e-commerce platforms is the variety of apps, extensions, and themes on offer. PrestaShop offers standard solutions, but also numerous themes and templates for and from the community. As an example, the company site includes an add-ons marketplace with thousands of templates with prices ranging from 84€ to 280€.
Speaking of the community, PrestaShop claims to have an active ecosystem of more than 1 million members. This enables an interactive exchange in the forum to find solutions for very specific problems.
Offering trusted and popular payment methods, alongside shipping time and shipping price, are the most decisive factors for a high checkout rate in the shopping cart - in other words, offering popular options will lead to higher sales. PrestaShop provides connections for all leading payment methods.
Most people would agree that the technical infrastructure of an online store is complex and demanding. In order not to have to invest a lot of time and resources yourself and at the same time not to spend a large part of the budget on specialized agencies, proper technical support is of great advantage for any solution. In PrestaShop’s case, there is certainly room for improvement in that regard.
This brings us to the topic of money. E-commerce platforms mainly charge 3 types of costs:
There are also differences when it comes to billing periods. Shopify, for example, charges a monthly fee, Magento, on the other hand, relies on annual billing, while other store systems make the fees entirely dependent on sales.
Initially, PrestaShop is free. There are no costs for downloading or using it, and there are no commission fees on your sales.
|You can find the source code for PrestaShop and all updates at GitHub|
Too good to be true, right? Unfortunately, that is right. When setting up your store, consider the costs for hosting, domain name, and security of your store. The options range from a few Euros to hundreds of thousands of Euros per year.
For the beginning you can expect the following minimum costs:
These values should only be used as a rough estimate, but they show that a store can be started with just a few hundred Euros per year. However, you must also be aware that many add-ons can quickly drive these expenses into other, much higher, dimensions.
For example, the Amazon Marketplace integration costs €279.99, and a SEO Starter Pack can be purchased for €246.99.
PrestaShop is one of the most successful webshop solutions in Europe and Latin America. Especially in countries like France, Italy, Spain, and Poland, it is one of the leading or even the leading option. What advantages does PrestaShop offer that makes it so popular? Here are a few:
Sometimes even more interesting than the advantages of an e-commerce solution are its weaknesses. So what are the disadvantages of PrestaShop?
PrestaShop vs. Shopify
Comparing Shopify and PrestaShop in terms of the possibility of customization, the French company is a step ahead. Moreover, it is possible to initially kickstart your shop free of charge. Another advantage is that PrestaShop offers a good and intuitive solution for international sales. Like any e-commerce platform, Shopify has numerous advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage in comparison with PrestaShop is probably the better predictability of expenses. Moreover, even with the Basic Plan, numerous payment methods and other free integrations and configurations are available. Finally, when scaling fast, the switch to the Shopify Plus enterprise platform is smooth.
PrestaShop vs WooCommerce
PrestaShop and WooCommerce are similar in many ways. They both are initially free and a good solution for the first steps in e-commerce. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress and is a popular option, especially for online stores that generate a lot of revenue through content and blog activities. At the end of the day, it's hard to give a concluding recommendation. Rather, your decision should be made depending on which plugins or add-ons you find most useful for your project.
Due to the free basic solution, it is obvious that PrestaShop is an interesting option for smaller online stores. However, while it is a nice option for entry-level e-commerce, the French online store system is also particularly attractive for medium-sized and larger companies. Thanks to numerous add-ons, PrestaShop webshops can be flexibly and individually customized. This, however, can easily result in high costs - hence, an appropriate budget is essential. The fact that more than 300,000 customers including international players such as Danone, are using PrestaShop raises trust.
While other e-commerce platforms have other focus areas (i.e. one of the advantages of Shopware is that it is much more popular in Germany), PrestaShop is one of the absolute market leaders in France, Spain, Italy, and Poland.
Do you use the French e-commerce platform and want to improve storage, shipping, and returns handling? Then byrd is the best solution for you. Thanks to the existing fulfillment integration with PrestaShop, your company's store can be smoothly connected to byrd's software. This gives you access to live data in a handy dashboard and logistics is no longer one of your biggest challenges. With byrd, you can outsource your fulfillment and offer fast and efficient delivery in Europe.