Ecommerce software solution NopCommerce: unknown but not unloved
NopCommerce is not a very well-known provider of ecommerce software. Still, the company has clients such as Volvo, BMW and even the unmatched singer Céline Dion. Ecommerce News Europe interviewed Alexandra Lykova, the marketing manager of this Russian ecommerce software solution.
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NopCommerce is a popular open-source ecommerce software solution. In Europe, among its customers are Volvo Accessories (Volvo Car Lifestyle Collection), Casio UK, Turkish Airlines (Shop and Miles) and BMW Netherlands. But as it isn’t well-known among the general ecommerce industry, it is time to get to know this company better.
What does NopCommerce has to offer its customers?
“NopCommerce offers a free, scalable and flexible ecommerce platform, constructed in such a way that it is capable of handling both enterprise and SMB projects.”
To be fair, NopCommerce isn’t really a very known name in the ecommerce software industry, still you’ve managed to attract Volvo, BMW and Elton John as your clients. How did that happen?
“We managed to get these companies to use NopCommerce due to the platform’s technical capabilities. Usually, we are chosen by head developers and CTO’s who examine the solution’s effectiveness. NopCommerce was a perfect fit for their project in terms of performance and price.”
Who are your biggest competitors and why are you different from them?
“In our technology stack (ASP.NET) we are undisputed leaders by features and by the number of installs. Concerning the PHP world we have the same flexibility and power as Magento but use fewer resources. We draw really close to the territory of enterprise platforms like Demandware, yet, we remain a 100% free solution offering all our functions to users without any reductions. NopCommerce also regularly releases new versions, while most other carts rarely update their free open-source versions.”
Your software is being used by over 27,000 store owners. But you only have a team of 7 people? How do you manage this?
We don’t interact with all the users directly. The solution is free and available for download to any new user. We are mostly busy with the continuous platform improvement.
Store owners do require support though, and for that, we are lucky to have a great community at our forums that helps us addressing various questions related to NopCommerce. We have premium support too, for big projects and solution partners.”
Could you tell us more about your activities in Europe?
“The majority of our European store owners come from the UK. There are two main reasons for this. First of all, the British market itself is the biggest one in the European ecommerce space. The second reason is that our solution comes in the English language by default. There are many language packs available, however, development of local communities is indeed needed and is one of our priorities now.”
“In Europe, the UK is followed by the Netherlands (where we hosted two NopCommerce conferences), and Italy by the number of stores. We launched a big campaign for translating the documentation to all European languages. All local markets are equal to us and we support active community members from all countries equally.”
What features can your customers expect for the coming months/year?
“We have just released a new version (3.90), where we made NopCommerce PCI DSS 3.2 compliant and reworked discounts and reward points to greater flexibility, among other improvements. The full list of upgrades can be found in our release notes of course.”
“In the next version, we plan a big change in terms of technology. We’re switching to Microsoft’s latest framework for building applications – ASP.NET Core. Improvements in functionality will include store credits, phone order support, and many more. Our customers can always suggest features for next versions because we care about their needs: 80-90% of all features are suggested by our community, vendors and clients.”
What are your thoughts on the European ecommerce software industry?
“Europe is very diverse in terms of languages and cultural specificities, that’s why there are many local ecommerce platforms for local markets or in-house built platforms who win their audience because of insights on their markets and good marketing in a native language. We also admire the EU state initiatives for stimulating ecommerce around the Union.”
Could you tells us the biggest differences between ecommerce in Russia and ecommerce in the rest of Europe?
“We would say there are several distinct features. First of all, the Russian ecommerce market is more monopolized: while in Europe there are more small and medium-sized businesses, in Russia, we have some giant companies making most of the sales. Secondly, the geography. Cities are more remote in Russia, so logistics is more challenging, delivery is more expensive, which makes people prefer to shop offline in many cases. Another difference is that in Europe, business and technologies are more evenly spread throughout the countries, whereas in Russia they are more concentrated around the biggest cities, so this affects spreading of ecommerce as well.”