For anyone who is planning to start a new ecommerce business in 2018, it's important to first understand how digital commerce has evolved in past 2-3 years and where it is heading. Beyond mobile and social, we've seen just about every aspect of ecommerce evolve. Let's have a look at the major highlights that will shape and influence ecommerce now and in the future.

For those who wish to start a multi-vendor store such as one on Amazon may find BigCommerce lacking some of the available support other ecommerce platforms provide with more integrated marketplace models. Another concern with BigCommerce may be the lack of free themes. With only 7 free themes, BigCommerce lags behind other ecommerce platforms, given the fact that most of them offer more than 20 free themes. But that doesn't change the fact that you get a multitude of premium themes and plenty of customization options to give your store a unique identity.
Wix is also very affordable. The baseline plan is only $5/month. Even their most expensive plan is only $25/month. Of course, with this low price and high ease of use comes a cost. Wix isn’t going to have the bells and whistles that fancier platforms boast, but it should be able to satisfy the needs of most small businesses looking for an ecommerce platform.  
Big names like Alabama Shakes, The Civil Wars, and Imagine Dragons all got their start on ReverbNation by sharing their music for free and building up their loyal fanbase. There is a mix of every genre on ReverbNation, but the site tends to lean toward more pop, alternative, and hip-hop than anything else. With a community of nearly 4 million artists, labels, and users, ReverbNation helps you sift through its immersive catalog by giving you cool features like the site’s Discover app and page that will help you find who is about to be the next big thing.
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.
Site123’s pricing model is simple: you can get started for free, with 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth per month, as long as you don’t need to use your own domain name (free sites are hosted on Site123 subdomains). However, you won’t be able to engage in eCommerce until you upgrade to the Premium plan. For $9.80 per month, a free domain is included for one year, you’re provided with an ample 10GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth, Site123 branding is removed and you can sell as many items as you wish.
The future trends in the GCC countries will be similar with that of the western countries. Despite the forces that push business to adapt e-commerce as a means to sell goods and products, the manner in which customers make purchases is similar in countries from these two regions. For instance, there has been an increased usage of smartphones which comes in conjunction with an increase in the overall internet audience from the regions. Yuldashev writes that consumers are scaling up to more modern technology that allows for mobile marketing. However, the percentage of smartphone and internet users who make online purchases is expected to vary in the first few years. It will be independent on the willingness of the people to adopt this new trend (The Statistics Portal). For example, UAE has the greatest smartphone penetration of 73.8 percent and has 91.9 percent of its population has access to the internet. On the other hand, smartphone penetration in Europe has been reported to be at 64.7 percent (The Statistics Portal). Regardless, the disparity in percentage between these regions is expected to level out in future because e-commerce technology is expected to grow allowing for more users. The e-commerce business within these two regions will result in a competition. Government bodies at country level will enhance their measures and strategies to ensure sustainability and consumer protection (Krings, et al.). These increased measures will raise the environmental and social standards in the countries, factors that will determine the success of e-commerce market in these countries. For example, an adoption of tough sanctions will make it difficult for companies to enter the e-commerce market while lenient sanctions will allow ease of companies. As such, the future trends between GCC countries and the Western countries will be independent of these sanctions (Krings, et al.). These countries need to make rational conclusions in coming up with effective sanctions.
Note. I don’t feel like I should make statements like, “I enjoy WooCommerce’s product management more than I do Shopify’s” here because it doesn’t actually bring much value into the discussion. I’m just a guy. A user. And my opinion is not any more important than the other person’s. Inevitably, the way WooCommerce does a given thing, for example, is going to be better for some of you than how Shopify does the same thing. And vice versa. So the key here is to check all those features out by yourself and compare which platform just feels better.
To start an online business it is best to find a niche product that consumers have difficulty finding in malls or department stores. Also take shipping into consideration. Pets.com found out the hard way: dog food is expensive to ship FedEx! Then you need an ecommerce enabled website. This can either be a new site developed from scratch, or an existing site to which you can add ecommerce shopping cart capabilities.
A noteworthy feature included in BigCommerce Enterprise is the one-page checkout feature which aids in conversion rates. However, BC Enterprise falls behind Shopify in available themes, integrations, and add ons. Another complaint about BigCommerce is the price lock down rule; companies who make a certain revenue are forced into the enterprise plan.

We are excited to announce a new test release ( v 0.2.0 ) of our wc-admin feature plugin. If you haven’t heard about wc-admin, it is a new JavaScript-driven interface for managing your WooCommerce stores that is focusing on creating new and improved reports, a notifications system to help keep your store running smoothly, and a dashboard to monitor all the important key metrics of your site. You can read more about the background of the project in our Alpha announcement post – or watch the keynote from WooSesh.

Earlier this year, in response to reports that Russian actors had used Facebook to disrupt the 2016 election, I wrote a few pieces about how one might go about fixing the problem. I am not sure I have solutions for everything, but what motivates me is the sagging feeling that settles in whenever society throws up its hands and punts. We can do better. [More...]


Thanks for your comment. Shopify is the best ecommerce platform on the market today but that’s not to say it’s not for everyone. Depending on how comfortable you are on a computer, and what your ecommerce business actually is, other options may be more suitable. Wix and Weebly, for example, are more beginner-friendly and still give you pretty great ecommerce features, they’re just not quite as powerful as Shopify. We’d say that unless you’re selling tons of products, or need to scale up fast, maybe start off with Wix or Weebly then see how things go.

You’re probably used to using this online retailer to buy everything from the best headphones to dog food, so why not add some free music to your shopping list? Believe it or not, Amazon has a massive assortment of thousands of free tunes available via its digital music arm, allowing you to pick through everything from obscure indie and classical music to hits by the Foo Fighters (whose songs Saint Cecelia and Iron Rooster were available for free download on the service, last we checked). Checkout is quick and painless, and it works just like buying a song that costs money on Amazon, sans payment. Simply add a song to your shopping cart, check out, and the tunes are yours.
An increase in demand for convenience and accessibility within the online shopping world has bred subsequent cutthroat competition among ecommerce platforms. Powerful features and useful tools are updated or released daily. In a market chock-full of awesome ecommerce platform solutions, it can be daunting when faced with choosing the best one for your business. 
E-commerce allows customers to overcome geographical barriers and allows them to purchase products anytime and from anywhere. Online and traditional markets have different strategies for conducting business. Traditional retailers offer fewer assortment of products because of shelf space where, online retailers often hold no inventory but send customer orders directly to the manufacture. The pricing strategies are also different for traditional and online retailers. Traditional retailers base their prices on store traffic and the cost to keep inventory. Online retailers base prices on the speed of delivery.
Unilog is a global technology company that delivers powerful, affordable eCommerce solutions for the B2B marketplace. Our cloud-based eCommerce platform and product data enrichment services help distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers increase online sales, reduce cost to serve, and enhance their digital channel. Unilog is an ISO 9001:2008- and ISO 8000-certified company with North American headquarters outside of Philadelphia, PA and international headquarters in Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.unilogcorp.com.

Your first step should be to learn about what WooCommerce is and what it can do for your ecommerce site. Then, you can begin to make sense of the platform’s main features, how they work, and the steps you’ll need to take to turn your fledgling store into a successful one. This may sound like a lot of ground to cover, but if you have the patience for some upfront work, you’ll reap the rewards over the long term.
The sites mentioned on this list mostly provide English MP3 songs and tracks with the exception of SoundCloud, which offers a small but decent collection of Hindi songs. Recently I found that a lot of readers search for free and legal sites to download Hindi songs as well. So I was thinking of covering that too in another article. Do let us know in the comment box whether you’d like us to cover Hindi songs websites as well!

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.
BigCommerce is the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce platform, powering more than 90,000 stores. You’ll get everything you need to create a successful online store, including a securely hosted site, shopping cart, product catalog and more. Themes and point-and-click design features make it easy to build a gorgeous site without any design or technical skills, while powerful built-in marketing and conversion optimization tools help you promote your business and sell more.
hybris has a robust product content management capabilities that allow companies to collaboratively build and manage product data across multiple touchpoints. It also provides centralised order management so merchants have a single view of order information across all channels. This makes back office management easier and merchants are able to offer a better shopping experience by implementing flexible pickup and fulfilment options to customers.
All you have to do is click on the gateway you want to add, and you’ll be sent to its official extension page. There you can choose which type of license you want to use and download the files you’ll need to set it up. Keep in mind that not all WooCommerce extensions are free, so you’ll want to focus only on the payment gateways you think your customer base will actually use.
Demandware Commerce delivers the speed, agility, innovation and superior economics required to master the new retail reality of constant and unpredictable change. Our enterprise retail solution is powered by a central cloud platform to drive consumer engagement across all devices, channels and geographies. Our cloud platform is open and extensible, and provides retailers with the enterprise scale required for complex operations. It includes a flexible retail data model with core commerce functions that remain consistent across user applications and channel delivery. It also includes a platform API that allows unique development without disrupting the flow of Demandware’s continuous updates. Demandware Commerce enables both business and technical users within a retail organization to work with intuitive commerce applications. Leveraging omni-channel merchandising and marketing functionality, retailers can develop unique capabilities and create engaging shopping experiences that differentiate their brand and convert consumers to buyers. Unique consumer experiences and business logic are stored centrally and can be quickly deployed across the retail enterprise through the commerce accelerator, a combination of reference applications, Open Commerce APIs and LINK integrations. With this combination, Demandware Commerce removes the barriers and complexities of traditional licensed and hosted software, and allows retailers to execute the strategic business initiatives that drive growth.
At its simplest form, ecommerce software enables a business to sell products and services online. Traditionally, businesses had to purchase on-premise, standalone ecommerce software that required extensive IT setup and in-house management with specialized development teams. These solutions were generally costly, not scalable, challenging to work with, and time consuming to customize and integrate with other systems.
If you do short run custom products like engraved jewelry or even wall decals, you’ll need custom product fields for customization. Plan on managing a large inventory of various products? You might need a back-in-stock email notification feature or dropship integration to keep your orders leaving the warehouse as fast as they enter your ecommerce system.
One important thing to point out is to not get overly excited with WooCommerce’s seemingly attractive pricing too much. While, yes, the platform itself is free, and all the components needed to make it operational (including PayPal payments, etc.) are free, you might need a number of paid extensions to get some helpful additional features. This will grow your bill.
Serving niche markets. Running a niche brick-and-mortar business is extremely difficult. There’s almost no chance of scaling it unless a niche product becomes mainstream. By tapping into a global market, on the other hand, eCommerce retailers can build a highly profitable niche business without any further investment. Using online search capabilities, customers from any corner of the world can find and purchase your products.
With the holidays fast approaching, are you looking to buy presents online? The holiday season has become synonymous with online shopping. This isn't really surprising as physical stores usually attract crowds of deal hunters. This often conjures up images of throngs of people waiting in line outside the store, some even camping out. This activity is tolerable for some and even fun for others. [More...]
For my money though, comparing SaaS and deployed platforms is a bit too big of an ask. Comparing Apples with Apples is a good ambition but by their nature you have two very different types of fruit there. Magento site performance, for example, is almost entirely dependent on how well set up the store is. A good Magento developer can make it sing – but it takes time and expertise…. As a SasS solution the variance between Shopify sites should be much smaller.

Weebly has four price plans, all of which support ecommerce. It might not really matter which Weebly plan you choose – you can sell online with any of them – but the best plan for you will depend on the size of your business. You can only sell up to 10 products on the cheapest Starter plan, whereas if you want to sell unlimited products, you’ll need the Business plan at $25 a month. This also removes the 3% transaction fee placed on the cheaper price plans.
If you’ve got a following for your #WordPress site, consider adding a swag store with WooCommerce and Printful to give your followers a fresh way to show their loyalty.https://woocommerce.com/posts/building-the-longreads-store-with-printful-and-woocommerce/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce&utm_content=Building%20the%20Longreads%20Merchandise%20Store%20with%20Printful%20and%20WooCommerce …
There are two ways for marketers to conduct business through e-commerce: fully online or online along with a brick and mortar store. Online marketers can offer lower prices, greater product selection, and high efficiency rates. Many customers prefer online markets if the products can be delivered quickly at relatively low price. However, online retailers cannot offer the physical experience that traditional retailers can. It can be difficult to judge the quality of a product without the physical experience, which may cause customers to experience product or seller uncertainty. Another issue regarding the online market is concerns about the security of online transactions. Many customers remain loyal to well-known retailers because of this issue.[66][67]
Ecommerce can be a very rewarding venture, but you cannot make money overnight. It is important to do a lot of research, ask questions, work hard and make on business decisions on facts learned from researching ecommerce. Don't rely on "gut" feelings. We hope our online ecommerce tutorial has helped your business make a better decision in choosing an online shopping cart for your ecommerce store.
WooCommerce is used by a number of high-traffic websites such as Small Press Expo.[11] For the 3rd week of September 2015, Trends indicated that WooCommerce ran on 30%[12] of e-commerce sites and millions of active installs.[13] Ecommerce is rapidly growing worldwide and WooCommerce has over 39 million downloads as a plugin and is currently active on more than three million websites and is the most popular eCommerce platform in 2018.[14] WooCommerce has approximately 4% of the top million HTML pages.[15] In 2018, statistics show that the percentage of online stores that utilize WooCommerce through Wordpress.org's plugin is more than 30% of all stores.[16] WooCommerce has complete control of the market share with an outstanding 42% of all online stores being powered by Woocommerce.[17]
X-Cart is an eCommerce platform that is used to create an online store. X-Cart is available both as a downloadable self-hosted licensed software and as a cloud-based cart, hosted by X-Cart team, yet with your full access to the code for customisations. It supports tons of eCommerce features either out of the box or as a ready-made extension. Installing a new module does not require technical knowledge or access to the server: the marketplace is App Store - like, right within the admin backend of the store. X-Cart offers 24/7 technical support. Besides, you can get a full stack of services directly from the software vendor: custom development, web design, eCommerce hosting and SSL certificates.

Weebly has four price plans, all of which support ecommerce. It might not really matter which Weebly plan you choose – you can sell online with any of them – but the best plan for you will depend on the size of your business. You can only sell up to 10 products on the cheapest Starter plan, whereas if you want to sell unlimited products, you’ll need the Business plan at $25 a month. This also removes the 3% transaction fee placed on the cheaper price plans.
An example of e-commerce between individuals, or between two consumers, would be an online marketplace such as eBay.com. Similar to the example above, anyone with Internet access and a credit or debit card can browse and purchase available products. The difference here is that products are being sold by individual sellers (other consumers) rather than one large online store.

The changing market represents a vast opportunity for businesses to improve their relevance and expand their market in the online world. Researchers predict e-commerce will be 17 percent of U.S. retail sales by 2022, according to Digital Commerce 360. The U.S. will spend about $460 billion online in 2017. These figures will continue to climb as mobile and internet use expand both in the U.S. and in developing markets around the world.
Research from BigCommerce has found that Americans are about evenly split on online versus offline shopping, with 51% of Americans preferring e-commerce and 49% preferring physical stores. However, 67% of millennials prefer shopping online over offline. According to Forbes, 40% of millennials are also already using voice assistants to make purchases, with that number expected to surpass 50% by 2020.
Magento is an open-source platform offering maximum flexibility as well as third party integration. It comes with an abundance of features other platforms are missing, including multiple locations, sites, languages, and currencies. Magento also happens to be very scalable and it suited to grow your small or enterprise business to a thriving online store.
Fortunately, a new breed of business software integrates all the needed commerce and business functionality into a single ecommerce platform via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. With an infrastructure that unifies business applications and the data that feeds them, it is possible to create relevant, engaging and personalized online experiences.
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.
Below are a few of our favorites, so you can keep the tunes going even when your car rounds the next bend or Comcast decides to cut you off. Many of these sites are void of Billboard artists like Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar, but if you look in the right spots, you’ll find a few hits from some big names, along with scores of independent artists that should keep your ears happy and your wallet heavy.
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.
Cybersecurity has been becoming a larger and larger concern for organizations. Nowadays, most organizations -- regardless of size, industry, location, or profit vs. nonprofit status -- find themselves directly or indirectly impacted by cybersecurity. Even though the topic itself is increasing in importance, many smaller organizations don't have specialized security expertise on staff. [More...]
Spree Commerce empowers the world’s sellers by providing them with a versatile, modular open-source ecommerce platform that allows for easy integrations with every major third-party service. Spree benefits from a vibrant, international community of over 500 designers, developers and other professionals who have enthusiastically contributed to the growing platform since 2008, making it one of the top open source projects in the world. In 2013, the company launched Wombat, a sophisticated piece of integration software that connects any store to any service or application. Wombat automates the backend operations of storefronts running any ecommerce platform including Magento, Shopify, Bigcommerce and Prestashop.
At this stage, you’ll be itching to get the store out into the World Wide Web. However, make sure you’re well prepared to measure the success of your launch – defining your key performance indicators upfront will help you track your progress and performance and fix any issues as they emerge. Other important things to take care of include setting up your social media profiles, getting the email marketing ready, installing Google Analytics, doing keyword research, defining your shipping strategy and finalizing the launch promotion plan. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but a good start is half the job done. When you complete the checklist, try running your store through the Shopify store grader to catch errors if there are any.
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 🙂
One important thing to point out is to not get overly excited with WooCommerce’s seemingly attractive pricing too much. While, yes, the platform itself is free, and all the components needed to make it operational (including PayPal payments, etc.) are free, you might need a number of paid extensions to get some helpful additional features. This will grow your bill.
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