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How to choose the right e-commerce platform for your e-shop?

According to the Czech e-commerce server, the turnover of the Czech e-commerce scene is expected to increase by 14 percent year-on-year to nearly CZK 223 billion in 2023, with e-commerce accounting for 13.5 percent of the total retail turnover. Compared to the previous period, the number of active Czech e-shops will increase slightly in 2023 and there are currently 51,000 e-shops in total, an increase of 3 percent year-on-year. 

The e-commerce sector today offers great potential. However, before entering the e-commerce scene, entrepreneurs need to decide which e-shop option to choose for their venture. They can choose mainly from open-source platforms and commercial (or boxed) solutions. 

Boxed e-commerce platforms 

Looking into today's e-commerce sector in the Czech Republic, it is clear that the dominant position is held by the so-called box solutions. According to the Czech e-commerce server, more than 62 percent of domestic e-shops operate in this way. And no wonder. If you are just starting out in e-commerce business and do not want to invest several tens of thousands of crowns right from the beginning, a box solution should be enough for you. 

The most commonly used box solutions in the Czech Republic include:

  • Upgates
  • Shoptet
  • Shopify
  • Webnode
 Krabicové platformy e-commerce Shoptet

Which specific box solution to choose?

As you can see from the table below, all of the above platforms are noticeably different from each other. For the cheapest option, there are different monthly fees, choice of marketing tools, client support language or language versions of the e-shop.


Monthly price of the basic variant

Number of products

Number of users

Number of emails

Free payment gateway

Number of languages


340 Kč














32 USD













Apart from the pricing policy or the number of language versions, however, every start-up entrepreneur should also think about other factors that are important for deciding on a particular box variant. These include the number of available templates or reviews of individual users, which can give a pretty crucial hint with a particular choice.

For Webnode, for example, a possible switch to another platform is basically impossible and would have to start from scratch. The downside of Shopify is that there are also several percent transaction fees for each transaction. 

Advantages of boxed platforms

Boxed solutions are popular because of their many useful features as well as their relatively friendly price. In exchange for a monthly fee, the operator addresses the security issue, regularly updates the system and adds new functionalities. 

The implementation of such an e-shop is usually simple, intuitive and fast. The system can adapt to the specifics of carriers or price comparison sites. But there are other advantages that are typical for box solutions. For example:

  • A choice of dozens of templates
  • Optimization for mobile devices
  • Support and help (often directly in Czech)
  • Quality prerequisites for proper SEO optimization
  • Relatively affordable price 
  • Web hosting already included in the monthly fee

Disadvantages of boxed platforms 

But even boxed solutions have some disadvantages. Often it is not possible to connect the e-shop to any billing or warehouse system. Choosing from predefined graphic templates may not appeal to everyone and individual customization of functionalities is very limited. Other disadvantages of boxed solutions include:
  • High dependency on the box solution supplier
  • Buying the entire solution is often not possible 
  • Impossibility to develop further possible functionalities

Open source platform

Some entrepreneurs rely on open source solutions when starting their e-shop. Compared to boxed platforms, they are more technologically demanding, but there are no regular monthly fees for the solution apart from hosting and domain. Therefore, the acquisition costs are absolutely minimal and the e-shop is yours forever. The most used solutions in the Czech e-commerce world include:
  • Prestashop
  • Magento
  • Opencart
  • WooCommerce
  • Drupal Commerce
 Open source platformy Prestashop

Benefits of open-source solutions

Open-source solutions are those whose software you can download and install at any time. But besides zero acquisition costs and virtually no monthly fees, open source solutions have other advantages that may appeal to some entrepreneurs. These include, for example:
  • E-commerce license ownership
  • Access to the source code
  • Open development system
  • Large number of programmed modules

Disadvantages of open-source platforms

However, open source solutions may not be suitable for many businesses and freelancers. The disadvantage is that the entrepreneur has to be careful about the security requirements of the e-shop as well as regular updates. It's hard to do without a programmer, marketers, graphic designer or user-friendliness expert (UX specialists). However, there are other disadvantages that may discourage open-source solutions. For example: 
  • Large time investments when adding additional functionality
  • Security risks 
  • The need to regularly test the functionality of the entire system 

Best e-commerce solutions for CBD and HHC products

If you intend to set up an e-commerce store for CBD and HHC products, keep in mind that you may face minor limitations in practice. These are mainly related to the possible use of open source or boxed solutions from abroad. Some of them are not hemp-friendly and you won't even be able to set up a site like this.

Other inconveniences may arise when choosing a payment system or bank, as some do not accept payments for transactions involving cannabis products.

However, even due to the relatively friendly regulation of CBD and HHC products in the Czech Republic, you may encounter a similar problem especially when you are planning to expand abroad with your cannabis e-shop. With Shopify, Webnode or even Shoptet, you won't encounter problems around cannabis-oriented e-shops. 


Choosing the right e-commerce platform is very important for any business. If you are a technical type and would like to make extensive modifications to your e-shop, reach for an open source solution. However, if the technical side of things doesn't mean much to you and you'd like to have your e-shop ready as quickly as possible, you can't go wrong with a boxed solution.
If you do go the boxed route, choose a suitable provider. In fact, there are huge differences in practice between Shoptet, Webnode or even Shopify, which you need to research thoroughly. 



Photo: Shutterstock

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