PrestaShop is a free and open source shopping cart platform. That means if you are looking to build an ecommerce business, and you need to keep costs down, PrestaShop just may be the product for you. But what if you're not on a budget? Is PrestaShop also for you? That's the question I attempted to answer in this weeks review.
Honestly, the first word in my mind upon logging in was “wow”. The interface is wonderfully simple yet powerful, with a range of impressive features.
All categories and subcategories for the store are along the left side with a quick-access navigation bar across the top for account details, messages, and most recent items.
The interface offers a lot of color, but not so much as to distract. The colors, in conjunction with intuitive icons, help to separate the items. PrestaShop’s Dashboard is quite dazzling but its real quality comes from the extensive functionality.
What it Does Well
PrestaShop's left-hand navigation is so intuitive and simple that I did not have any difficulty traversing the options. Each category contains numerous, logically named subcategories that fly out when selected.
The Dashboard contains a wealth of information arranged in graphs and charts with at-a-glance statistics. Sales, orders, visits, and conversion rates are interactively graphed with each item clickable for further detail. Active shopping carts, notifications, last 10 orders and more are displayed alongside the main dashboard graph. Standard data filtering such as day, date, or range is included.
The Catalog section contains applicable subcategories for your products, product attributes and features, categories, manufacturers, and tags. Each subcategory allows you to edit, delete, or duplicate the item. These can be filtered, sorted, and searched as well. For Products: SEO, combinations, and associations are configurable and give you the essential control that you need for successful eCommerce.
The Orders section contains subcategories such as orders, returns, invoices, statuses, and order messages. You can generate and print PDFs as well as configure settings for statuses, customer email, templates, icons, and delivery options.
The Customers section shows the customers’ basic information as well as revenue generated by your customers and their activity. Information such as total sales, registration information, newsletter signups, and last visit date and time are just some example fields. Having newsletter signup information in this area is a terrific feature.
Price Rules allows for cart and catalog setup and marketing. Shipping and Localization areas handle your carriers, preferences, locales, languages, taxes, and translations with ease.
Advanced Parameters include import/export, database backup, and web service capabilities among many other features. The Administration section is complete with employee, profile, permissions, and menu options.
Open the PrestaShop Admin Demo and click “sign in” to check out each section for yourself!
Why PrestaShop Excels
If this all sounds “basic” it’s because PrestaShop really does have ALL of the basics. However, the aforementioned features are not even half of what you get from this eCommerce system. The ease-of-use and outstanding add-ons set PrestaShop apart from its competitors. Let’s take a look at some of the features that really push PrestaShop from “basic” to “advanced”.
Reporting: While not a section in itself, almost every category that you would want reporting from has an export feature. This is one thing that really impressed me about PrestaShop; the second that you see the data that you want reported, you click a button and it’s exported! There’s no need to visit a separate area.
Awesome Drill-downs: each section in PrestaShop where lists of data are presented, there is not only filtering and sorting, but the ability to drill-down in detail; this with editing capabilities as well. Just like Reporting, you can access whatever you need from the screen you are already on and make changes, updates, and save.
Multi-language WYSIWYG Editor: this is a very convenient feature for product and category descriptions, along with short descriptions for products. Various formatting options, table insertion capabilities, and source code editing make their WYSIWYG tool quite useful.
Modules: PrestaShop offers over 100 modules available for installation. These seem similar to WordPress’s plug-ins. Modules for analytics, fraud prevention, SEO, and even front-office modules are available for desired improvement on the system. The Payment Module allows for payment gateways such as PayPal, Authorize.net. First Data, and World Pay.
Pricing & Availability
Being open-source, PrestaShop is effectively free. There is no monthly fee or commission on sales. You do, however, have to provide your own hosting or use PrestaShop’s partnered provider.
Though PrestaShop is a web-based application available through a regular web browser, they offer a convenient Android mobile app with a configurable widget.
What we would like to see in future updates
PrestaShop’s Android application is great for mobile users, but what I could not find was an official application for iOS. There are a number of 3 rd party applications (ranging from free to $19.99) but nothing developed by PrestaShop, Inc.
PrestaShop is one of the most impressive and expandable eCommerce tools that I have ever tested. The interface is awesome, it is feature-rich, and you can have the support and knowledge of an active forum as well as their expert support team.
To sum it up in one statement: PrestaShop makes me want to start an eCommerce shop.
View PrestaShop in our Marketplace for more detailed information.