Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction's life cycle although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail. Typical e-commerce transactions include the purchase of online books (such as Amazon) and music purchases (music download in the form of digital distribution such as iTunes Store), and to a less extent, customized/personalized online liquor store inventory services.[1] There are three areas of e-commerce: online retailing, electric markets, and online auctions. E-commerce is supported by electronic business.[2]


In order to grow, brick-and-mortar stores realize they must use their digital touchpoints to enhance their customers' in-store experiences. Online retailers recognize they need to separate themselves from the pack through faster and more informative shopping experiences. And omnichannel sellers and brands are aware they need to provide their customers with a seamless, cross-channel experience. [More...]
Catalog management — displays products by category in a way that’s easier to navigate than scrolling or searching through lists of hundreds or thousands of products. Most basic e-commerce tools do not provide this type of functionality because it is not critical for small companies. Medium and large businesses that sell a high number of products and services can significantly benefit from using catalog management software by creating custom catalogs for various consumer segments, and sometimes even for individual B2B customers.
The Free Music Philosophy was reported on by diverse media outlets including Billboard,[5] Forbes,[6] Levi's Original Music Magazine,[7] The Free Radical,[8] Wired[9][10] and The New York Times.[11] Along with free software and Linux (a free operating system), copyleft licenses, the explosion of the Web and rise of P2P, the cementing of mp3 as a compression standard for recordings, and despite the efforts of the music industry, free music became largely the reality in the early 21st century.[12] Organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Creative Commons with free information champions like Lawrence Lessig were devising numerous licenses that offered different flavours of copyright and copyleft. The question was no longer why and how music should be free, but rather how creativity would flourish while musicians developed models to generate revenue in the Internet era.[4][13][14]

Finding (then subsequently deploying) a new ecommerce solution is a massive undertaking. It will likely take a lot of time (and for enterprises, money) to take on this project. But here’s the good news: picking the right solution can enable you to scale your business, improve operations, and increase sales, so while the process of selecting an ecommerce platform can be challenging, it’s completely worth it.


If you have an enterprise level business that already uses WordPress, WooCommerce might be perfect for you. However, it is very simple and not intended for a hugely complicated ecommerce experience. If you have a lot of products, you’ll need to import a bulk product extension which runs at around $200. This solution is simple and straightforward but if you are an enterprise level company you might consider opting for a digital experience platform so your site can scale.
Instead of a certification program WooCommerce uses an official partnership program. WooCommerce recommends users to use these WooExperts for their WooCommerce projects.[26] Suppliers can apply to become a partner and by doing so will undergo a multi-stage application process that includes skill evaluation and an interview. Throughout the process WooCommerce aim to assess familiarity with WooCommerce core and extensions. The partnership program had either a Gold, Silver or Bronze level[27] until late 2017, when it moved to a flat "verified WooExpert" system.[28]
An ecommerce platform is not a "one size fits all" solution that will work for everyone. All the ecommerce platforms discussed in this article are built for different kinds of business requirements. The pros and cons outlined are not about what's wrong with them. The curated list is designed to help you make a calculated decision and choose a platform that serves your needs best.

Handshake: B2B customer ordering and sales rep order entry solutions. Handshake is for companies like brands, manufacturers and distributors who are selling to retail stores or other business customers. For customer ordering - Handshake helps you provide a modern B2B eCommerce experience for easy online ordering and a mobile app for shelf-side orders when your customers are out on the floor. For sales rep ordering - Handshake provides a dedicated sales rep app that gives them the customer, product, pricing and inventory information they need to have better customer conversations. Orders can be entered fast and submitted instantly.
Targeted marketing. With access to such a wealth of customer data and an opportunity to keep an eye on customer buying habits as well as the emerging industry trends, eCommerce businesses can stay agile and shape their marketing efforts to provide a better-tailored experience and find more new customers. Just consider for a moment that you have a chance to address thousands of your customers by their first name; that is something already.
The Nexternal eCommerce Platform is a PCI Service Level 1 hosted system that enables brands to sell products directly to consumers or other businesses online, in person, or over the phone. The platform has been continuously evolving since 1999 and has features that will not be found in simpler applications. The software is a single database solution that provides a holistic overview of customer activity regardless of the channel the purchaser is utilizing. All orders can be managed in a web base Order Management System that is integrated with the major shipping carriers, allowing for efficient order processing. Our newest application, TrueCommerce Engage is a mobile point of sale solution that, uses the same database as the online catalog.

As if e-commerce companies didn't have enough problems with transacting securely and defending against things like fraud, another avalanche of security problems -- like cryptojacking, the act of illegally mining cryptocurrency on your end servers -- has begun. We've also seen a rise in digital credit card skimming attacks against popular e-commerce software such as Magento. [More...]
Let’s start with a fact. When it comes to e-commerce plugins for WordPress, WooCommerce is definitely the world’s most popular. There’s no doubt about it, since it powers about 30% of all online stores out there. That’s huge! And if you wonder where all this success comes from, we’ll let Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin answer for us in her course A Beginner’s Guide to Using WooCommerce:
For those seeking something in between Magento Go and Magento Enterprise, Magento Community is your go-to. It is free with paid extensions, features mobile integration, plenty of themes, and multi-store functionality. Magento Community will best serve retailers with high traffic and a large inventory and is ideal for mid-sized to upper retailers. Essential, with a series of extensions and excellent programming, retailers can achieve an Enterprise level site and a sophisticated ecommerce experience.
That said, if you take a look at a comparison on Google Trends, there's only one clear winner in terms of what people are searching and how many of them show interest in the popular consumer ecommerce solutions, but let's hold off on this for a minute. First, have a look at the popularity chart between five of our featured tools: Bigcommerce, Volusion, Big Cartel, 3dcart, Ecwid, across the past 12 months:
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that is primarily used for selling products or services online. Regardless if your products are digital or physical, WooCommerce makes it easy to build an online store that is customized specifically to your business needs. WooCommerce also makes it easy to manage your inventory, take secure payments, manage shipping, and will even apply taxes accordingly.
WooCommerce was designed specifically for WordPress, one of the most powerful and respected building platforms in use today. With the fundamentals handled by WordPress, WooCommerce then takes the guesswork out of creating your online store, by handling everything from inventory management to payment methods and even your store's overall appearance.
Since its inception, BigCommerce has more than 55,000 online stores to its credit and is lauded as one of the most prominent ecommerce software providers. From famous companies such as Martha Stewart & Toyota to many SMEs, BigCommerce has helped businesses of all sizes launch their online storefronts. For ecommerce storeowners who lack basic coding skills, the vast list of BigCommerce's built-in features come in really handy.
Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Dutch (Belgium), English (Australia), English (Canada), English (New Zealand), English (South Africa), English (UK), English (US), Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French (Canada), French (France), German, German (Switzerland), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moroccan Arabic, Norwegian (Bokmål), Occitan, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Costa Rica), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Venezuela), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Depending on if you are a small business with the intention of doing most of the set-up on your own, or if you are a larger business who’d prefer to take a hands off approach, there is an ecommerce platform for you. Ability to customize, scalability, affordability, bandwidth, mobile accessibility, the number of apps, your amount of technical knowledge and user experience are all things to consider when choosing the right ecommerce platform.  
Too bad its pricing is a bit outdated. While you get a decent number of features in its starter plan, it is limited at 4,000 visitors (actually it’s limited on bandwidth, but it does the math for you). It’s also limited at 100 products, which equals 20 visits per product. That’s not enough for a decent conversion rate. Even when you pay $129.99 a month you only get 90,000 visitors, which isn’t that much. Its High Traffic Plus plan will give you up to 500,000 visitors (at a staggering cost of $499.99/month).
Particularly if you’re running Magento on your own servers, you could have complete freedom over the look, feel, and functionality of your store and you don’t have to rely on your solution provider to make changes to the site. That said, it also means that you’re in charge of maintaining and updating your servers and store, which requires an in-house team or agency. If you’re not up for all that, you may want to consider the Cloud Edition that Magento launched earlier this year.

The first step to starting an eCommerce business is deciding what products you’re going to sell. Finding a profitable idea can be hard work, so be prepared to do some serious digging and thinking. It’s essential that you choose products with healthy margins that will allow you to turn a profit and scale the business in the future. Once you know what you want to sell, you’ll need to decide how and where you’re going to source the products. The four main methods of sourcing products and inventory are making, manufacturing, wholesale and dropshipping.
Among emerging economies, China's e-commerce presence continues to expand every year. With 668 million Internet users, China's online shopping sales reached $253 billion in the first half of 2015, accounting for 10% of total Chinese consumer retail sales in that period.[43] The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online.[44] e-commerce transactions between China and other countries increased 32% to 2.3 trillion yuan ($375.8 billion) in 2012 and accounted for 9.6% of China's total international trade.[45] In 2013, Alibaba had an e-commerce market share of 80% in China.[46] In 2014, there were 600 million Internet users in China (twice as many as in the US), making it the world's biggest online market.[47] China is also the largest e-commerce market in the world by value of sales, with an estimated US$899 billion in 2016.[48]

Weebly’s range of price plans and various features make it great value for money. You can easily scale up through the price plans as your store grows, but for large or fast-growing stores, it’s not the best option. Weebly is developing its ecommerce focus and releasing some promising updates. With Square now opening up Weebly’s ecommerce abilities, we definitely recommend watching this space.
Imagine an ecommerce platform that allows customer service reps to have a single view of a customer across all channels, a centralized order and inventory management system that can efficiently fulfill orders from all your sales channels, including brick and mortar stores, or utilize a customer's order history data to provide personalized and relevant offers. The possibilities brought to light with the advent of a complete ecommerce platform for business optimization and improved efficiencies as well as deepened customer engagement and satisfaction are limited only by one's creativity. 
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