CUSTOMER SERVICE – Additionally, with a commercial solution you benefit from the support structure. Open source solutions such as WordPress are often community driven and you are therefore dependent on that community to provide support. While that can also work very well – if you are in desperate need of help at 3 am on a Sunday, it’s nice to have a guarantee it will be there.
To make things easier, compare vendors using the spreadsheet you created earlier. Create a table listing all the things you need in your ecommerce platform, then put the vendors you’re considering in different columns. This will allow you to easily tick off the features that each vendor can deliver. If a platform doesn’t have a feature you need, write down if and how you can work around it (i.e. use a third party integration, develop a custom solution).
Using Magento is not for everyone, especially if the store owner is not a programmer, or doesn't have a team of programmers working on his or her team. And then there's the price tag; the basic version is free, but getting an enterprise version means you'll need to shell out at least $20,000/year. If you don't have programmers on staff, be prepared to invest in third-party programming costs as well.
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.

That said, if you take a look at a comparison on Google Trends, there's only one clear winner in terms of what people are searching and how many of them show interest in the popular consumer ecommerce solutions, but let's hold off on this for a minute. First, have a look at the popularity chart between five of our featured tools: Bigcommerce, Volusion, Big Cartel, 3dcart, Ecwid, across the past 12 months:
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.
CoreCommerce has a huge range of plans available, more than most other platforms. This makes it suitable for just about any business looking to break into ecommerce and start up a store. The amount of choices can be a bit dizzying, though, and CoreCommerce’s own website is not the most appealing. This reflects poorly on the options it can give to its customers.
NoiseTrade is part free music site, part promotion platform. You can download any individual track or album an independent artist uploads to the site if, in turn, you generously supply them with your email address and postal code. The freemium promotion platform also encourages you to spread the word about artists you like via Facebook and Twitter, while giving you the option to quickly tip the artist a suggested $4 donation.

Tracey Wallace is the Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she covers all things ecommerce: marketing, design, development, strategy, plus emerging trends, including omnichannel and cloud replatforming. She is often featured in publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and ELLE, along with leading BigCommerce partners like HubSpot and Square. She launched her career in ecommerce with Y-Combinator backed Shoptiques.
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.
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.
One of the oldest, open-source ecommerce solutions on the market, Volusion offers a very standard and comprehensive experience. For a business just getting off the ground, their Mini plan allows for 100 products, includes 1GB of bandwidth and only costs $15 per month. For those who have graduated and are generating more revenue, there are the Plus and Pro plans for 1000-10,000 products and 3-10GB of bandwidth. These plans are $35 and $75 per month respectively. If you are looking for a simple and clean online store with few products, Volusion could be good for you.

Particularly if you’re running Magento on your own servers, you could have complete freedom over the look, feel, and functionality of your store and you don’t have to rely on your solution provider to make changes to the site. That said, it also means that you’re in charge of maintaining and updating your servers and store, which requires an in-house team or agency. If you’re not up for all that, you may want to consider the Cloud Edition that Magento launched earlier this year.
Amazon, by contrast, is a primarily an e-commerce-based business that built up its operations around online purchases and shipments to consumers. Individual sellers can also engage in e-commerce, establishing shops on their own websites or through marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy. Such marketplaces, which gather multitudes of sellers, serve as platforms for these exchanges. The purchases are typically fulfilled by the private sellers, though some online marketplaces take on such responsibilities as well. E-commerce transactions are typically be done through a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.
While there are many types of software that you can use, customizable, turnkey solutions are proven to be a cost effective method to build, edit and maintain an online store. How do online shopping carts differ from those found in a grocery store? The image is one of an invisible shopping cart. You enter an online store, see a product that fulfills your demand and you place it into your virtual shopping basket. When you are through browsing, you click checkout and complete the transaction by providing payment information.
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.
Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Dutch (Belgium), English (Australia), English (Canada), English (New Zealand), English (South Africa), English (UK), English (US), Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French (Canada), French (France), German, German (Switzerland), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moroccan Arabic, Norwegian (Bokmål), Occitan, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Costa Rica), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Venezuela), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
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.
Shopify Plus is making enterprise ecommerce simple by providing high growth and high volume merchants multi-channel commerce software without the headaches. We empower merchants to sell online and off, across social channels like Facebook and Instagram and through marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Engineered for scalability and reliability, Shopify Plus is driving massive disruption in the traditional enterprise landscape by giving customers the power and capabilities they need to grow and succeed without the headaches, costs, lengthy timelines and BS of the traditional enterprise options. Shopify Plus works with the largest, most innovative companies in the world like Proctor & Gamble, General Electric, Budweiser, Red Bull and many more.
Want to stream instead of download? We keep a list of the best places to listen to free music online. You can even stream free music right from your phone. If you like to watch music videos along with the music, there are also free music video streaming websites. Also be sure to check out these free online radio stations that play all types of music, and this list of places to download royalty-free sounds.
The gap between B2B buyers and sellers has been growing. More than 70 percent of B2B buyers preferred to wait to engage a seller until the latter demonstrated a clear understanding of its needs, a CSO Insights survey found. Nearly 58 percent of buyers saw little difference among sellers, and more than 10 percent saw no difference at all among sellers. [More...]
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.
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.
BigCartel is a great platform for small businesses and creative independent ventures. They aim to make selling easy for small stores, with a “quick setup” feature that can get an ecommerce store up and running extremely quickly. They also have a range of free themes. Customizability isn’t super high, but apps and add-ons do allow for some flexibility.
Shopify – A popular choice among many SMBs, Shopify has features that let you sell online, on social media, and in-person. It lets merchants build and customize their ecommerce site through easy-to-use interfaces and templates. And it has features such as inventory management, reporting, buy buttons and more. It also has social selling functionalities for those who are active on sites like Facebook and Pinterest. 
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]

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.


One of the oldest, open-source ecommerce solutions on the market, Volusion offers a very standard and comprehensive experience. For a business just getting off the ground, their Mini plan allows for 100 products, includes 1GB of bandwidth and only costs $15 per month. For those who have graduated and are generating more revenue, there are the Plus and Pro plans for 1000-10,000 products and 3-10GB of bandwidth. These plans are $35 and $75 per month respectively. If you are looking for a simple and clean online store with few products, Volusion could be good for you.
Oracle Commerce is the industry's top-ranked commerce solution that powers the world's best brands, and delivers a consistent, personalized cross-channel customer experience. Oracle Commerce offers a complete commerce software platform that enables you to deliver a personalized customer buying experience across all customer touchpoints, including the web, contact center, mobile devices, social media, physical stores, and more.

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.

Shopify – A popular choice among many SMBs, Shopify has features that let you sell online, on social media, and in-person. It lets merchants build and customize their ecommerce site through easy-to-use interfaces and templates. And it has features such as inventory management, reporting, buy buttons and more. It also has social selling functionalities for those who are active on sites like Facebook and Pinterest. 
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.

Let’s start with a fact. When it comes to e-commerce plugins for WordPress, WooCommerce is definitely the world’s most popular. There’s no doubt about it, since it powers about 30% of all online stores out there. That’s huge! And if you wonder where all this success comes from, we’ll let Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin answer for us in her course A Beginner’s Guide to Using WooCommerce:
IBM® Digital Commerce is a flexible cloud commerce platform that gives brands the best of both worlds by combining cloud convenience, ease of use and low cost of ownership with the ability to customize the brand experience for seamless customer engagement across any digital touch-point. With a micro-service approach and the latest container technology, IBM WebSphere Commerce simplifies the creation of omnichannel experiences and makes upgrades for IBM provided enhancements simple and fast so you can focus on the things that matter most to your business. Coupled with unmatched omnichannel commerce platform capabilities for delighting customers and artificial intelligence to speed and enhance commerce professionals’ decision making, WebSphere Commerce gives you the tools to innovate rapidly and keep up with your customers and markets.
However, e-commerce lacks human interaction for customers, especially who prefer face-to-face connection. Customers are also concerned with the security of online transactions and tend to remain loyal to well-known retailers.[65] In recent years, clothing retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger have started adding Virtual Fit platforms to their e-commerce sites to reduce the risk of customers buying the wrong sized clothes, although these vary greatly in their fit for purpose.[71] When the customer regret the purchase of a product, it involves returning goods and refunding process. This process is inconvenient as customers need to pack and post the goods. If the products are expensive, large or fragile, it refers to safety issues.[64]
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.

Please note that this material is copyright protected. It is illegal to display or reproduce this article without permission for any commercial purpose, including use as marketing or public relations literature. To obtain reprints of this article for authorized use, please call a sales representative at (818) 461-9700 or visit http://www.ectnews.com/about/reprints/.
CUSTOMER SERVICE – Additionally, with a commercial solution you benefit from the support structure. Open source solutions such as WordPress are often community driven and you are therefore dependent on that community to provide support. While that can also work very well – if you are in desperate need of help at 3 am on a Sunday, it’s nice to have a guarantee it will be there.
When Last.fm was initially created in 2002, it functioned as an internet radio station in a similar fashion to Pandora and iHeartRadio. In 2005, however, the site adopted Audioscrobbler, a music recommendation system that collects data from dozens of media players and music streaming websites to craft individual user profiles that reflect musical taste and listening habits. Last.fm has now “scrobbled” info from nearly 100 billion plays, which total more than 7 million years’ worth of listening.
×