Payment gateway software is usually delivered pre-integrated as part of an e-commerce platform. This type of software can also be used separately by companies who do not want to limit their options to the integrations provided by e-commerce vendors. While most providers of e-commerce platforms offer integration with the most popular payment gateways, other options may be preferable, especially for markets that aren't well served by the main players.
I know this might not look that useful right away, but please bear with me. This verdict comes down to the overall focus of Shopify on delivering basically every feature that a store owner may benefit from, and not only devoting 100% to the online side of things. Quite simply, Shopify is the only player here that’s equally suitable to work for you online and offline. But again, that’s just me.
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.
Even with all the advantages of Shopify mentioned above, there are some downsides with the platform. The most prominent downside is the additional transaction fee you'll be liable to pay if you don't use Shopify Payment. Moreover, plenty of useful and practical extensions require additional investment. Perhaps most challenging is "Liquid," Shopify's own coding language, which requires ecommerce store owners to pay an incremental price for customization.
With these developments in mind, I have assembled a list of top seven ecommerce platforms that can help you get started in 2018. Before we begin, let's acknowledge that amid this cutthroat competition, only the right combination of business model and ecommerce platform will survive because your traction in the ecommerce world depends a lot on the kind of technology you are equipped with. You have to choose a platform that can meet your own distinct feature requirements as appropriately and as uniquely as your individual business model. Whether you want to launch a conventional ecommerce store, or a multi-vendor marketplace, this list will save you some of the hard grunt work. Ultimately, however, only you can determine which platform is best for you.
Reduced costs. eCommerce businesses benefit from significantly lower running costs. As there’s no need to hire sales staff or maintain a physical storefront, the major eCommerce costs go to warehousing and product storage. And those running a dropshipping business enjoy even lower upfront investment requirements. As merchants are able to save on operational costs, they can offer better deals and discounts to their customers.
Version 1.2.0 of WooCommerce Blocks is now available as a feature plugin. It’s the easiest, most flexible way to display your products on posts and pages! Using the original “Products Block”, your displayed products can be filtered by category, sale status, or a variety of other fields. You can even make a custom list of handpicked products to display.
Also, the hosting thing. In the table above, I’m saying that it’s around $100 / year. I got that number from SiteGround. They have some hosting plans that they promise to be WooCommerce-optimized. Out of the three tiers available, I wouldn’t recommend going below GrowBig or GoGeek, which are $5.95 and $11.95 respectively. Hence, this adds up to $71.40 for the former and $143.40 for the latter annually.
Having an online storefront is one of the most straightforward ways to conduct ecommerce. The merchant creates a website and uses it to sell products and services using shopping carts and ecommerce solutions. The “right” solution will depend on the merchant and their products. Below is a list of some of the top ecommerce platforms. Check them out and see which one is right for you.

After disabling each plugin, test your site’s loading times to see if there are any improvements. If speeds remain the same – or the improvement is minimal – reactivate that plugin and try the next one instead. Keep in mind that there are likely to be some small variations during each performance test, so we recommend conducting a few and averaging the results for a more complete picture.
So let's recap. If you want to open an online store but don’t have the skills or the time to build it yourself, you can set up a WordPress site and then install WooCommerce on top of it. But what about the design? Well, that’s where our WooCommerce themes come into play! The collection includes multi-purpose themes, built to suit any kind of online business, as well as market-specific ones like Fashion and Furniture.
While other ecommerce platforms use drag-and-drop editing, or even let you create your store from scratch if you want to, GoDaddy does something different. It uses ADI, which stands for Artificial Intelligence Design. This means it simply asks you a few questions, and then uses your answers to create a personalized store for you. This is what makes it the easiest ecommerce platform to use on the whole market.
Load time is a pretty straightforward indicator of how fast your site is. Simply put, it’s the measure of how long it takes a page (or pages) on your site to fully load. A slow site is a killer in ecommerce – potential customers run away from slow sites, and as we mentioned earlier, each second you gain in site loading speed translates directly into sales gained.
If you’re a fan of classical music, finding free downloads is easy — after all, most classical compositions and many performances have long been public domain. Musopen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and accessibility of classical music, hosts an impressive library of songs and compositions without any copyright restrictions. Users can browse by composer or performer, or filter results based on the time period and instrument. Whether you enjoy the complex arrangements of the Baroque period or the fierce passion of the Romantics, Musopen probably has what you’re looking for.

Not every song posted on SoundCloud is free, but both big-name and lesser-known artists often offer free downloads if you can manage to find their verified profile. You can browse SoundCloud by artist, genre, popularity, or latest postings; you will be surprised at how many free tracks are out there. There is also a section of the site dedicated to tracks released under Creative Commons licenses, which means you’re free to download, remix, or tweak them as much as you like.
Modern 3D graphics technologies, such as Facebook 3D Posts, are considered by some social media marketers and advertisers as a more preferable way to promote consumer goods than static photos, and some brands like Sony are already paving the way for augmented reality commerce. Wayfair now lets you inspect a 3D version of its furniture in a home setting before buying.[60]
Thanks, most of all, to you - our amazing community! From the volunteers who helped us maintain the site and bring new artists on board, to the curators and bands whose contributions diversified our collections, to our funders, to the folks that used the site everyday and made it the legendary corner of the web that it truly was. It was an amazing nine years, and we are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

The devil is in the details, though, so when picking the platform for yourself, you should probably focus on things that are more niche in their nature, yet can mean the world to your business. And the complete list of those can be huge, so I urge you to do your own research and in-depth comparison once you have a general idea of the platform you’d like to try out.
Akshay is a passionate marketer and enjoys providing innovative and valuable insights to the blog. He is currently the Founder of a Global Content & Growth Marketing Agency, and loves to help startups, agencies and marketing managers grow their business. Interests that excite him include innovation, startups, health & fitness, meaningful experiences, golf & meditation.

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.
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.
Last but not least, there are the transaction fees. In essence, whenever you sell something with either of the platforms, they will charge you a small fee (for processing the payment, delivering the money to your account, etc.). Those fees change quite often, so I won't get into that here, but just be aware that they exist. Usually, they sit around 2%-3% per transaction but make sure to check the exact numbers before signing up with either of the platforms.
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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