Of course, you could use a standard WordPress theme – many fully support WooCommerce. However, WooCommerce-specific themes are built from the ground up with the ecommerce platform in mind, so they’re often a smarter bet. There are some excellent free choices out there, and you can also find premium options that include more features for a set price.
When someone mentions a “free” ecommerce platform, that’s usually code for open source. If you’d rather devote money to other aspects of your business or you’re looking for the satisfaction of building an ecommerce store, open source ecommerce solutions could be the answer you’re looking for. While we’ve mentioned some of these platforms previously, here we will compare and contrast additional platforms that are considered “free.”
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...]
First of all, let’s keep in mind that WooCommerce is eCommerce software, while Shopify and Bigcommerce are eCommerce services that don’t require any installation per se. To get started with WooCommerce, you first need to find a good host, install WordPress on your account, and only then you can proceed to the WooCommerce part of the deal. Luckily, these days all good web hosts offer one-click installs for WordPress. (For that, we recommend WooCommerce hosting with SiteGround.)

As any true music lover knows, you should try to support the people who make your favorite tunes. Downloading may not be as popular as streaming music, and there are some convenient ways to stream your favorite tracks for free — such as Spotify — but if you don’t want to pay, streaming options beyond that are fairly limited. So, what are the best free music download sites?
If you update a Subscription product price from $100 to $120, all those Subscriptions created at $100 are not updated to $120. You have to manually go to EACH subscription and update the price which is very time consuming when you have hundreds or thousands of subscriptions. There should be a bulk way to update all subscriptions pricing without having to go one-by-one through each active subscription.
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.

Of course, you could use a standard WordPress theme – many fully support WooCommerce. However, WooCommerce-specific themes are built from the ground up with the ecommerce platform in mind, so they’re often a smarter bet. There are some excellent free choices out there, and you can also find premium options that include more features for a set price. 

Another challenge is the ability to transfer product information from e-commerce to platforms like Amazon and eBay. Companies using these platforms also need to export sales data and analyze it in accounting or ERP solutions. While there are hundreds of tools to export and import data to and from Amazon, not all e-commerce platforms offer robust features for this purpose.
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 🙂
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.”
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...]
As open source software, WordPress is well known for allowing third-party developers to create various extensions and plugins. WooCommerce taps into that further by offering lots of interesting and exciting additions. Whether you want to easily edit aesthetics, sell on Facebook, ramp up email marketing techniques, understand user behavior or quite frankly do anything else, you'll be able to.
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. 

In China, the Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China (promulgated on 25 September 2000), stipulated the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as the government department regulating all telecommunications related activities, including electronic commerce.[36] On the same day, The Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services released, is the first administrative regulation to address profit-generating activities conducted through the Internet, and lay the foundation for future regulations governing e-commerce in China.[37] On 28 August 2004, the eleventh session of the tenth NPC Standing Committee adopted The Electronic Signature Law, which regulates data message, electronic signature authentication and legal liability issues. It is considered the first law in China's e-commerce legislation. It was a milestone in the course of improving China's electronic commerce legislation, and also marks the entering of China's rapid development stage for electronic commerce legislation.[38]
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. 
E-commerce markets are growing at noticeable rates. The online market is expected to grow by 56% in 2015–2020. In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021[63]. Traditional markets are only expected 2% growth during the same time. Brick and mortar retailers are struggling because of online retailer's ability to offer lower prices and higher efficiency. Many larger retailers are able to maintain a presence offline and online by linking physical and online offerings.[64][65]
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.

This means your store won’t just look good with Squarespace: it’ll pack a punch too! But if you want speedy growth on a large scale, you might find Squarespace too small too soon. With no app store, you’re totally reliant on the inhouse features and tools provided by Squarespace. Shipping and payment options are also limited when compared to Shopify and BigCommerce.
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.
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.
Business-to-administration (B2A) refers to transactions conducted online between companies and public administration or government bodies. Many branches of government are dependent on e-services or products in one way or another, especially when it comes to legal documents, registers, social security, fiscals and employment. Businesses can supply these electronically. B2A services have grown considerably in recent years as investments have been made in e-government capabilities.
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress-specific ecommerce plugin. Perhaps its most attractive feature is that it is completely free and open-source. The platform is easily customizable and the WordPress community offers endless support. The plugin is also very regularly updated and very secure. Perhaps the biggest downfall is that WooCommerce requires a knowledge of WordPress because the two are tied together. However, WordPress’ ease of use enables even beginners to start and operate an ecommerce store without advanced technical knowledge.

Starting at $29.99 per month, BigCommerce is abundant with features. A Standard pricing plan comes BigCommerce comes with a number of sales channels, and is rich in features, including a responsive website, single-page checkout, Apple Pay, reporting tools, HTTPS, and more. While it lacks powerful content management capabilities, you can easily integrate BigCommerce with a CMS like WordPress to reap the benefits of content and commerce.
BigCommerce is most easily compared to Shopify. Both platforms offer a similar experience when building an ecommerce platform. Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers a range of prices and packages tailored to different types of businesses. The platform is highly customizable if you are comfortable with some light coding. It is also possible to use themes and templates to build your website, but some of these will come at an additional cost.

Business-to-administration (B2A) refers to transactions conducted online between companies and public administration or government bodies. Many branches of government are dependent on e-services or products in one way or another, especially when it comes to legal documents, registers, social security, fiscals and employment. Businesses can supply these electronically. B2A services have grown considerably in recent years as investments have been made in e-government capabilities.

Electronic commerce or ecommerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. It covers a range of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. It is currently one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge.
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.
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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.
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.

Two of the most important factors behind poor performance are server distance and load. If your servers are overloaded or too far away from your visitors’ locations, your site can load slowly. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) tackles this issue by distributing cached copies of your site to nearby locations from data centers around the world, thereby lightening the load on your main servers.
At Digital River, we believe in true accountability. Everything about our advanced cloud solution is designed for risk-free global commerce. Our proven expertise with tech-centric brands means you have a proactive partner who is always focused on your success. We power and personalize your shopping experiences, process and fulfill orders, and localize your online business everywhere. To protect your brand, we take on risk. We combat fraud, and simplify billing, taxes and compliance. Accountability means we bring you leading tools for digital disruption. With the latest revenue models, we help you grow and meet shifts in buyer preference. Built for B2C and B2B, our commerce cloud supports everything from subscriptions, and accounts and entitlements, to micro-transactions, emerging payments and the Internet of Selling your Things. In short, we’re all-in, fully committed and responsible for each facet of your ecommerce business. We are trusted advocates who help build your brand, amplify your ROI and expand your global opportunity. Digital River is Commerce with Accountability. www.digitalriver.com
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