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.

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 🙂
Internationally there is the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), which was formed in 1991 from an informal network of government customer fair trade organisations. The purpose was stated as being to find ways of co-operating on tackling consumer problems connected with cross-border transactions in both goods and services, and to help ensure exchanges of information among the participants for mutual benefit and understanding. From this came Econsumer.gov, an ICPEN initiative since April 2001. It is a portal to report complaints about online and related transactions with foreign companies.
Determine compatibility – Skill level and expertise aren’t enough. You should also ensure that the consultant has a great relationship with you and your staff. Take time to evaluate cultural fit and see if they’re compatible with your team. Look into their work ethic. How do they operate? How do they interact with others? The answers to these questions can help you determine if they’re a good fit.
One thing that all of the platforms have in common is the fact that their dashboards are all very easy to navigate. Furthermore, most of the platforms offer some sort of a setup wizard that will guide you through the creation of your first store. Inventory management, design functionality and the setup process all tie into how the overall ease of use is classified in this comparison.
Big Cartel is an ecommerce solution designed for smaller merchants who do not need a sophisticated platform. Typical Big Cartel merchants are bands, clothing designers, jewelry makers, crafters, and other types of artists. The platform is very easy to use but has a limited feature set. Big Cartel likely won’t fill your needs if you have a large product catalog.
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.

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.
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.
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.
Any viable ecommerce software will enable customers to buy your products and services from your online store. Where solutions differ is the degree to which they can unify and leverage both front and back-office applications with both their unique and shared data. Ecommerce platforms provide the unification of core business processes, where businesses can gain complete visibility across their company and ultimately meeting their most discerning customers' expectations. An ecommerce platform should:

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]
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]
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.
Volusion allows you to focus on selling products and leaves the technical stuff, like getting bogged down by servers or getting frustrated with the back end of your site, to them. Volusion does not charge any transaction fees so you keep all of the revenue you make. Volusion has 359 (82 free and 277 paid) ecommerce template design options including some that are very mobile-friendly. Volusion also enables you to run your store on the go with their mobile app.
The DoJ has revealed an unsealed indictment of eight defendants for crimes related to their involvement in widespread digital advertising fraud. The DoJ alleges the eight individuals were behind two global schemes, 3ve and Methbot, which stole tens of millions of dollars through a scam that used fake Web traffic and fake websites to reap ad view revenue from unwitting advertisers. [More...]

Product management — is essential for companies using e-commerce platforms, since they usually sell many types of products. A complex offering of products and services means that a lot of product data needs to be managed and maintained to ensure that the online store accurately represents what the company sells. Product information is also important to track sales and revenues by product, a mix of items, packages, or product types.

What it all comes down to is that although WooCommerce is technically the cheaper solution, it will require much more work to set it up, and you'll need to be more careful not to go over your budget, as every additional extension comes with a price tag. In the end, with WooCommerce, you're spending more time on setup and management, which translates to dollars.

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.
Shopify has been in the business for a very long time. It is one of the most successful platforms out there and gets good reviews from users. It offers light and reduced cost plans for small businesses that aren’t too expensive. And Shopify’s themes allow for a large amount of customizability. Generally speaking, it is extremely easy to setup and use, so much that you don’t really need to hire a developer. For small businesses, we consider it to be the best ecommerce platform out there. 

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.
But not all online stores are alike, are they? You’re not going to be selling the same thing as someone else, or perhaps not in the same way. Enter WooCommerce plugins! These software packages are built on top of WooCommerce to introduce functionality into the core software. Consider them as extensions to your e-commerce platform that will allow you to do a lot more with your store.
WooCommerce has attracted significant popularity because the base product, in addition to many extensions and plugins, is free and open-source. In 2018, WooCommerce has near 330 extensions and over 1,000 plugins.[22] In addition, there are thousands of paid add-ons for fixed prices. Many Premium Themes now offer capability with WooCommerce as well as plugins that make a theme framework compatible.[23]
Features, including: SEO tools (sitemaps, customizable metadata and URLS, bulk editing), fuzzy and exact product search, ability to send abandoned cart emails, blog, mobile store, coupon and discount capabilities, integrated ratings and reviews, multiple product photos with zooming capability, ability to handle subscriptions/recurring product orders, drop shipping integration, ability to sell customizable products, fulfillment by Amazon integration, real-time shipping and tracking, reward points program compatibility, Google trusted stores
Black Friday made its debut sometime in the 1960s as the day to help retailers move from the red to the black in profits. The day-after-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza has grown well beyond its roots since then. Last year, at the peak of Black Friday, shoppers were spending nearly $1 million per minute. However, the origins of Black Friday were pre-Internet. [More...]

Ecommerce has emerged as the single biggest growth driver in the worldwide marketplace. eMarketer, a leading independent market researcher, predicts global B2C ecommerce sales will reach $1.5 trillion this year, a 20 percent increase from 20131. And according to Forrester Research, B2B ecommerce spending in the U.S. alone reached $559 billion in 20132. If ecommerce is important to your business then the solution you choose is arguably one of the most important business decisions you will make.
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...]

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]
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.
The world of dropshipping is often considered the easiest way to sell products online. The biggest difference between drop shipping and the standard retail model is that in drop shipping, the selling merchant doesn't stock his own inventory.  Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually dropshipping wholesalers or manufacturers – to fulfil orders.
Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a complete and robust eCommerce platform designed to help online store owners thrive in a competitive market. With hundreds of features built directly into its software, merchants can effectively open, operate and maintain a successful eCommerce website with relative ease and efficiency. 3dcart currently powers more than 17,500 global merchants, and its support team is always available, at no additional cost, 24/7/365. 3dcart is an Inc. 5000 company, a Visa PCI Certified provider and a pioneer in mobile commerce and social media marketing. Fully scalable and completely customizable, 3dcart continues to be the solution of choice by industry experts all over the world.
Hi. Every marketplace site should offer their vendors the option to feature their listing. This means that for a small fee, their listing can appear ahead of other listings in that category. The plugin should make this listing last a limited time; this option should appear at the end of the 'create a product listing' page. It should offer a (PayPal) payment option so that the vendor can pay for the featured listing. Once this is done, the listing should go live automatically. These listings should also ideally be automatically deleted from the system after the expiry date. Thanks.
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.
Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a complete and robust eCommerce platform designed to help online store owners thrive in a competitive market. With hundreds of features built directly into its software, merchants can effectively open, operate and maintain a successful eCommerce website with relative ease and efficiency. 3dcart currently powers more than 17,500 global merchants, and its support team is always available, at no additional cost, 24/7/365. 3dcart is an Inc. 5000 company, a Visa PCI Certified provider and a pioneer in mobile commerce and social media marketing. Fully scalable and completely customizable, 3dcart continues to be the solution of choice by industry experts all over the world.
Demandware is a fully-hosted, cloud-based ecommerce platform with built-in omnichannel and predictive analytics capabilities. Demandware’s Commerce Cloud has a native data model which leverages a shared view of customer data, order history, inventory, and promotional information across all channels to give its retail clients valuable shopper insights that can be used for benchmarking and analysis.
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.

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!
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