You can see why Shopify scored top marks in this area. Features like these don’t just make running your online store possible – they make it easy and enjoyable too. Put simply, Shopify was designed to help people build an online store. That’s why it’s packed with these high quality sales features, which were specially created to support your ecommerce business.
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.
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 🙂
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]

Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. Ecommerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.


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.

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...]


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.
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.
For the uninitiated, the dot-com bubble burst occurred from 1997 to 2001. The rapid growth of Internet usage and adoption at the time fueled investments at incredibly high valuations and companies that haven’t even turned a profit went public. The hype wasn’t sustainable, though, and capital soon dried up. As you’ll learn below, this was ultimately one of the reasons why Boo.com (among others) shut down.
And even better, they do offer a Theme editor within the platform that you can use for customization. You can choose to hide sections within the theme editor without removing them. Hidden sections will still be customisable in the theme editor but not visible on the store front-end. This allows you to start sections for future releases and remove the need for theme duplications ( a common issue most developers face with WordPress).
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]
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.
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.
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.
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. And it's available for free. Packed full of features, perfectly integrated into your self-hosted WordPress website. Add powerful shop facilities to your WordPress website with our free eCommerce plugin. Powering over 24% of all online shops, WooCommerce helps you sell anything. Beautifully.
In this online music streaming community, the content is uploaded by independent artists and famous musicians. You can search for songs through bands or artists tags in the search bar. SoundCloud was also recently featured on our list of India’s best music streaming services. It contains a relatively small but a very enjoyable collection of remix Hindi songs that can be downloaded for free.
WooCommerce is free to download and easy to setup, making it ideal for the small business using a WordPress website. The interface is modern and intuitive and creates beautiful websites using extensive and mobile-friendly themes. Plenty of add ons such as Instagram integration, table rate shipping and wholesale pricing can be purchased if businesses want to take it up a notch. It’s by far one of the best options for small businesses, due to its affordability and ease of content creation on WordPress to bridge the gap between content and commerce. 
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.

In contrast, some of Volusion’s best features are its analytics and insight reports. These let you keep track of all your stock in one place. This is super useful, especially if you’re making the most of multi-channel selling over Facebook. This takes a lot of stress off your shoulders – with Volusion, you can sit back, relax, and easily keep your store organized.
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.
Before the advent of copyright law in the early 18th century and its subsequent application to music compositions first, all music was "free" according to the definitions used in free software or free music, since there were no copyright restrictions. In practice however, music reproduction was generally restricted to live performances and the legalities of playing other people's music was unclear in most jurisdictions. Copyright laws changed this gradually so much so that in the late 20th century, copying a few words of a musical composition or a few seconds of a sound recording, the two forms of music copyright, could be considered criminal infringement.[3]
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]
Really cool infographic. You’ve got just about everything covered. I actually sell a product just using paypal since I thought it might be the easiest for me to set up and it is what I am most familiar with. I guess really lots of ecommerce solutions even integrate with paypal however I do not run the sales of my products as a store just individual sales pages for a pay per product approach.

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.
"As a wedding filmmaker and YouTuber, I am constantly searching for new music. Soundstripe helps fill this need by giving filmmakers like myself an incredible gift: high-quality music from talented artists that is legal to use in our films. With constantly updated playlists for wedding films, I can find musical inspiration that matches my couple’s vibes quickly and easily. Likewise, if I need a song for a YouTube vlog, Soundstripe is there with a plethora of options to choose from."
Site123 is an eCommerce platform with a pricing system that is very easy to understand, and its standout feature is its sidebar-based website builder, which makes laying out pages much more efficient than traditional drag-and-drop builders. Site123 is the perfect option for those who want to get their store up and running without any development skills, and who want to be sure that they won’t be priced out of the market as they build their businesses.
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.
The site combines two different approaches to posting tracks: First, it indexes free music posted by all of its partner curators, and second, it allows users to post their own music directly to the archives. This synthesis of sources creates a mind-boggling library of tracks that you could literally spend months browsing through, whether you choose to do so by curator or genre. In addition, the site hosts a myriad of podcasts, and renowned radio stations such as Seattle’s KEXP frequently post live cuts from their studio sessions with big-name acts passing through. The smash tracks may lack some post-production, but they’re also free.
But that wasn’t the only factor that led to its failure. According to ABC News, “during its first holiday shopping season after going public, the site was swamped with orders, as were other online toy sites. EToys sold more than any of its competitors, but the publicity over late shipments dogged the company. Analysts say it also made customers wary of holiday Web shopping during the 2000 holiday season.”
Any update on this for 2017? As I’m currently on Volusion (for many years) and being forced to switch to their responsive system. I know this is rather a necessity. But as such, I might as well now compare to other platforms. So, in your evaluation of Volusion, were you basing the performance and SEO ratings on a newer, responsive site or everything on their platform? I know I need to move to response. But I’m hesitant to lose SEO traction in the process. Any hints in that regard as we lean into migrating forward?
Recent research clearly indicates that electronic commerce, commonly referred to as e-commerce, presently shapes the manner in which people shop for products. The GCC countries have a rapidly growing market and characterized by a population that becomes wealthier (Yuldashev). As such, retailers have launched Arabic-language websites as a means to target this population. Secondly, there are predictions of increased mobile purchases and an expanding internet audience (Yuldashev). The growth and development of the two aspects make the GCC countries to become larger players in the electronic commerce market with time progress. Specifically, research shows that e-commerce market is expected to grow to over $20 billion by the year 2020 among these GCC countries (Yuldashev). The e-commerce market has also gained much popularity among the western countries, and in particular Europe and the U.S. These countries have been highly characterized with consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) (Geisler, 34). However, trends show that there are future signs of a reverse. Similar to the GCC countries, there has been increased purchase of goods and services in online channels rather than offline channels. Activist investors are trying hard to consolidate and slash their overall cost and the governments in western countries continue to impose more regulation on CPG manufacturers (Geisler, 36). In these senses, CPG investors are being forced to adapt e-commerce as it is effective as a well as a means for them to thrive.

Rap lovers rejoice! Since the mid-aughts, the hip-hop community has become a veritable breeding ground for free music, much of which comes in the form of mixtapes. Some are original compilations by artists looking to cop some shine, some feature rappers freestyling over popular instrumentals from their contemporaries, and some are just dropped by artists looking to reward their loyal fans with some free tunes — we’re looking at you, Curren$y.
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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