WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress-specific ecommerce plugin. Perhaps its most attractive feature is that it is completely free and open-source. The platform is easily customizable and the WordPress community offers endless support. The plugin is also very regularly updated and very secure. Perhaps the biggest downfall is that WooCommerce requires a knowledge of WordPress because the two are tied together. However, WordPress’ ease of use enables even beginners to start and operate an ecommerce store without advanced technical knowledge.

When someone mentions a “free” ecommerce platform, that’s usually code for open source. If you’d rather devote money to other aspects of your business or you’re looking for the satisfaction of building an ecommerce store, open source ecommerce solutions could be the answer you’re looking for. While we’ve mentioned some of these platforms previously, here we will compare and contrast additional platforms that are considered “free.”
Live Music Archive is essentially a partnership between Internet Archive and etree.org, a community dedicated to providing high-quality, lossless versions of live concerts. You can think of it as a bootlegger’s paradise given the site’s sheer abundance of concert material, much of which focuses on jam bands such as the Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident, and Sound Tribe Sector 9. Still, there are a host of other bands to choose from — The Smashing Pumpkins, Jack Johnson, Animal Collective, etc. — along with plenty of genres to browse, ranging from jazz to reggae.
But, the devil is in the details. At the end of the day, Shopify seems like a more laser-focused solution. Everything that Shopify offers is geared at making your online store more functional and easy to use. With WooCommerce, the platform is extremely feature-rich and it doesn't lack any specific eCommerce features. However, it's still an add-on to WordPress, making it more complex to configure.
Digital River's MyCommerce offering is a cloud SaaS ecommerce solution that provides complete payments, subscriptions and recurring billing, with full-feature merchandising and a great checkout experience for your shoppers. Built for global, but designed for self-service and simplicity, MyCommerce empowers clients to grow their digital business with enterprise capabilities and developer agility. Digital River has a full suite of ecommerce solutions to meet your business needs and take the complexity out of global ecommerce. We remove the risk and challenges of running a global ecommerce operation: legal and regulatory compliance, language and localization, local payment methods and multiple currencies, banking relationships, fraud protection, tax collection and filing, and financial reconciliation. This low-cost, risk-free option offers flexibility, speed-to-market and instantly global presence to grow your online business. Sign-up for free at www.MyCommerce.com/sign-up.
Bigcommerce also has a nice library of themes for you, divided into multiple categories, and all of them responsive and fully customizable. They were developed to establish a more modern, fluid user experience, utilizing cool new merchandising features for categorization and differently sized catalogs. There are both free and paid options available, and I have to say that those free ones really are attractive-looking.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get more people to see your products. There are plenty of ways to market your ecommerce store on a budget, and once the sales start rolling in, you can scale up those same methods for even better results. For example, you can use social media sites like Instagram to market your products without spending a cent.
IBM WebSphere Commerce enables B2B and B2C merchants to deliver omnichannel shopping experiences. The platform supports ecommerce, mobile, social, and brick-and-mortar. Its B2B ecommerce offering has the capabilities to support complex products and makes digital and field selling more efficient. Its B2C solution on the other hand lets you engage customers with personalised content no matter what channel or device they’re using.
After the SWOT analysis is done, see how it fits into your overall vision. Where do you see your business in five years? In 10 years? This will help you set business objectives for the current year, for sales, profits, customers, traffic, new systems and new staff. After the objectives are set, you can set a strategy into place yourself or hire an e-commerce consultant to help you.
Business to Business or B2B refers to electronic commerce between businesses rather than between a business and a consumer. B2B businesses often deal with hundreds or even thousands of other businesses, either as customers or suppliers. Carrying out these transactions electronically provides vast competitive advantages over traditional methods. When implemented properly, ecommerce is often faster, cheaper and more convenient than the traditional methods of bartering goods and services.
International e-commerce has become more pervasive and sophisticated in recent years. In 2017, 1.66 billion people worldwide purchased goods online. During the same year, global e-retail sales amounted to $2.3 trillion, and that figure could grow to $4.48 trillion by 2021. E-commerce providers must continue to innovate to ensure they take full advantage of opportunities outside their home market. [More...]

Overall, Bigcommerce seems to be offering a bit more design customization possibilities than Shopify. There are just more elements that can be adjusted or fine-tuned about the way your store looks and feels. At the end of the day, though, I still consider Shopify’s interface a bit more friendly, and I get the impression that Shopify’s designs need slightly less work before you get them looking 100% right.
For self-hosted, you’ll be running your site on your own server, so you have full control over management and maintenance. This means that if you want to make updates to the main code of your site, you’re able to do that on your end without relying on another company or web host to process your request. You can do pretty much anything on your site if you’re running it on your own machine, and this makes self-hosting an attractive option for many.
The Free Music Philosophy used a three pronged approach to voluntarily encourage the spread of unrestricted copying, based on the fact that copies of recordings and compositions could be made and distributed with complete accuracy and ease via the Internet. First, since music by its very nature is organic in its growth, the ethical basis of limiting its distribution using copyright laws was questioned. That is, an existential responsibility was fomented upon music creators who were drawing upon the creations of countless others in an unrestricted manner to create their own. Second, it was observed that the basis of copyright law, "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", had been perverted by the music industry to maximise profit over creativity resulting in a huge burden on society (the control of copying) simply to ensure its profits. Third, as copying became rampant, it was argued that musicians would have no choice but to move to a different economic model that exploited the spread of information to make a living, instead of trying to control it with limited government enforced monopolies.[4]
BigCommerce is most easily compared to Shopify. Both platforms offer a similar experience when building an ecommerce platform. Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers a range of prices and packages tailored to different types of businesses. The platform is highly customizable if you are comfortable with some light coding. It is also possible to use themes and templates to build your website, but some of these will come at an additional cost.
Contemporary electronic commerce can be classified into two categories. The first category is business based on types of goods sold (involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce). The second category is based on the nature of the participant (B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C);[39]
Cost of the ecommerce platform – Ecommerce platform costs will vary depending on the business’ size, sales volume, and of course, the solution itself. Some solutions (such as Magento) charge yearly licensing fees while others (like Shopify) require monthly subscription fees. In some cases (such as Demandware) the provider takes a cut from the retailer’s sales.
Specially designed for startups and SMBs, YoKart is a turnkey and features rich ecommerce marketplace solution to build multi-vendor stores such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. While many other ecommerce platforms do offer a multi-vendor version, YoKart specializes in this particular field. YoKart, with its latest upgrade (YoKart V8) now packs an even bigger punch. It's multilingual and multi-currency features allow store owners to expand their reach on a global level. And then there is the plethora of payment gateways, in-built analytics tool, rewards and discount coupon management features.
BigCommerce is similar to Shopify in that it offers a range of powerful ecommerce features packaged in an easy-to-use SaaS platform. It’s almost neck-and-neck with Shopify in terms of pricing too, and currently enjoys a decent amount of popularity with users. Ultimately, it’s Shopify’s superior app developer support that keeps BigCommerce from being the best ecommerce platform for small businesses.
Hey Darren; that’s really a fantastic article! I assume you’ve put a lot of effort into that but believe me that’s the best comparison of eCommerce platforms I’ve seen so far 🙂 One question popped up on my mind. Do you believe that an eCommerce platform lacks certain competencies if a merchant using that platform needs external apps to support his/her store? I work for an app developer company – so I may be subjective in that sense – but for me eCommerce apps add a lot of value on top of the standard offering of the platforms. For instance, we provide AI powered personalization for the eCommerce websites. An eCommerce platform’s development team do not need to bother creating these competencies in house – and they may not succeed – as this is not their expertise. I’d love to hear about your thoughts 🙂
SquareSpace is comparable to Wix and WordPress more than a dedicated ecommerce platform like BigCommerce. However, it offers many features that are attractive for smaller websites. If your ecommerce business is on the smaller side and you’re not looking for advanced features, SquareSpace will make setting up an online store pretty simple and painless.
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