Free e-commerce platforms are increasingly popular alternative to paid ones. Many users notice and use the advanced functionality of the software provided under an open license. A huge user community is yet another advantage of using such platforms. It makes it easier to get advice and solve problems related to any online store function.

One of the most popular tools for operating and managing online sales is PrestaShop - free software available under the Open Software License, which allows you to create an online store from scratch.

What is PrestaShop?

PrestaShop is an extremely popular platform that is currently used by over 250,000 online stores globally. It is assumed that of all free e-commerce platforms, PrestaShop is the most suitable for those who are starting their adventure with online selling. In terms of functionality and efficiency, the software is best suited for small and medium-sized stores, offering all necessary functions to design an online store and managing its sales effectively.

Many interactive companies and agencies offer to build PrestaShop online stores. It is because of the fact that Polish entrepreneurs are very eager to use this popular platform. The price for implementing PrestaShop depends largely on the individual preferences in terms of graphics, plug-ins and functionalities. Although the software is available under an open source license, some PrestaShop add-ons and plug-ins are paid. However, it is worth considering the strategy of our online business and deciding whether we really need extended, paid functionalities.

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Most important features of the platform

The platform in its basic, free version offers a number of possibilities, allowing you to design stores on PrestaShop without major costs. For smaller companies and start-ups, it is very important. The software is equipped with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, provides decent SEO support and numerous optimisation tools. It allows you to issue invoices, manage payments and product deliveries, as well as offers easy management through the administration panel. Thanks to extensive rating systems, evaluation panels, comparison websites or analysis of consumer habits, we get a full-fledged tool for effective online sales management.

Advantages of PrestaShop stores

The possibility to design an online store adapted to individual requirements is by far the greatest advantage of the PrestaShop platform. Due to numerous free and paid templates, add-ons and plug-ins, it is possible to get the necessary functionalities while simplifying the store operation. The wide range of options applies to both the graphic side and the content of the website.

Benefits of PrestaShop

The advantage of using PrestaShop is undoubtedly the intuitive nature of the administration panel. Performing basic activities, such as adding products, preparing descriptions, adding photos or creating categories, is simple and less complicated than in more advanced platforms, such as Magento. So if we want to open our first online store, PrestaShop will be a good idea. The price of the entire project is also important. By choosing a free platform, we can save a lot at the beginning. Naturally, over time we want to focus on the development of our business. The extensive PrestaShop community, which offers many additional extensions and international technical support, allows us to improve the functionality continually, even after the implementation of the store.

The disadvantage of free software usually concerns store design. In the case of PrestaShop, we shouldn’t be worried about graphic options and website layout. The platform offers a number of both free and paid templates, so that our online store looks professional and modern. This has a significant impact on customer interest and often translates to a direct purchase decision.

Multilingualism of the store

If we plan to handle foreign orders and clients from abroad, we can use many language options and variants offered by PrestaShop.

An important functionality from the point of view of many entrepreneurs is the multistore version. Thanks to it, we can easily manage any number of online stores within one administration panel, regardless of the domain. Easy linking of several stores and sales platforms allows you to optimise your online business while reducing costs and the number of duties.

Integrations and multichannel sales

Online stores owners will surely appreciate the fact that PrestaShop platform is integrated with over 180 suppliers and warehouses offering a wide range of products from many different industries. If we plan to launch sales on popular selling websites, such as Allegro, eBay or Google Shopping, PrestaShop will allow us to control the status of orders also on these channels.

PrestaShop features

The software offers us over 300 functions which make both the implementation and administration of PrestaShop stores intuitive and easy. The platform features enable easy management of sales, customers and order processing. At the same time, PrestaShop is a powerful marketing and promotional tool, and thanks to numerous analytic solutions, it also facilitates reaching the target group. Effective presentation of products, comparing prices, the possibility of adding banners, organizing promotions or loyalty programs, are just some of the many functions to which we get access when opening a store on this free platform.

  • Thanks to the possibilities of creating categories and subcategories, we access various product display modes in the store. It is possible to design an online store with either basic or complex structure.
  • The software allows you to fully control stock levels. Naturally, you also can issue invoices and other documents.
  • System for adding products, photos and descriptions is extremely intuitive and easy to understand. Simple management allows you to quickly add new products to the offer and ensure their proper display. We can also edit the attributes of individual products or entire groups of products, differentiating individual items in terms of size, colour, kind and other parameters.
  • All online stores designed on PrestaShop can be operated in many languages. Also, payments can be made in different currencies. PrestaShop also offers support for discount coupons, gift vouchers and many other forms of loyalty programs, thanks to which stores can attract new customers by offering attractive offers. With PrestaShop, you can also generate gift vouchers.
  • PrestaShop offers many payment methods for purchased products. In stores created on this platform, we can pay by traditional transfer, cash on delivery, as well as by credit card or fast online transfers, such as PayPal or Tpay.
  • There is also a wide range of tools for traffic analytics and consumer behaviour on the store's website. We can learn about the clients’ habits because of these tools, find out what is the location of our customers or how much time they spend on the website as well as what the conversion rate is.
  • PrestaShop offers many sides of support in the field of positioning and optimisation of the store. The most important SEO features available on the platform include friendly URLs, heading support as well as extensive tags and metadata editing options. When adding individual products, we also have the option of adding keywords, descriptions or meta-titles, which also helps with a store's position in search engines.

Naturally, these are not all of the hundreds of functionalities offered by PrestaShop. Thanks to advanced features, we can optimise our online store, adapting its offer to the individual requirements of our customers.

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