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 🙂

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...]
eComchain is Cloud-based eCommerce platform hosted on AWS. Its unique offering is its B2B2C model, first of its kind for Manufacturers, Distributors / Dealers and end Consumers for various verticals of the business. With eComchain, a manufacturer can reach out to a network of dealers and distributors on the eComchain's B2B eCommece platform. These network of dealers and distributors can in turn reach out to their end consumers through their branded specialized sites on the same eComchain platform hosted by the manufacturer.
Birchbox has a two-pronged business: it offers a subscription in which the company charges members $10 a month to receive “personalized mix of 5 hair, makeup, skincare, and fragrance samples.” Birchbox also has an online shop that allows customers to purchase full-sized products.  As of 2015, Birchbox had more than 800 brand partners and more than a million subscribers.
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.
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]
In response, the concept of free music was codified in the Free Music Philosophy[1] by Ram Samudrala in early 1994. It was based on the idea of Free Software by Richard Stallman and coincided with nascent open art and open information movements. Up to this point, few modern musicians distributed their recordings and compositions in an unrestricted manner, and there was no concrete rationale as to why they did it, or should do it.[citation needed]
Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, (also written as eCommerce) is a type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, typically the internet. Electronic commerce operates in all four of the major market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. It can be thought of as a more advanced form of mail-order purchasing through a catalog. Almost any product or service can be offered via ecommerce, from books and music to financial services and plane tickets.
In response, the concept of free music was codified in the Free Music Philosophy[1] by Ram Samudrala in early 1994. It was based on the idea of Free Software by Richard Stallman and coincided with nascent open art and open information movements. Up to this point, few modern musicians distributed their recordings and compositions in an unrestricted manner, and there was no concrete rationale as to why they did it, or should do it.[citation needed]
In addition, e-commerce has a more sophisticated level of impact on supply chains: Firstly, the performance gap will be eliminated since companies can identify gaps between different levels of supply chains by electronic means of solutions; Secondly, as a result of e-commerce emergence, new capabilities such implementing ERP systems, like SAP ERP, Xero, or Megaventory, have helped companies to manage operations with customers and suppliers. Yet these new capabilities are still not fully exploited. Thirdly, technology companies would keep investing on new e-commerce software solutions as they are expecting investment return. Fourthly, e-commerce would help to solve many aspects of issues that companies may feel difficult to cope with, such as political barriers or cross-country changes. Finally, e-commerce provides companies a more efficient and effective way to collaborate with each other within the supply chain.[69]
Windsor Circle's personalization platform allows retailers to create personalized, marketing campaigns to increase revenue, customer brand affinity, and customer value. With Windsor Circle, retailers can gain access to their 3+ years of eCommerce data - product, purchase, and customer data - and create segments based on these fields, as well as predictive data sets, such as predicted gender, next order data, future value, to power campaigns via email, social, direct mail, and more.

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).
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.
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.

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.
Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento, IBM Commerce and Demandware have all been approved for Pinterest Buyable Pins. Would rather have Woocommerce be one of the first to get approved than one of the last. I have a major Pinterest Board and most of my traffic comes from Pinterest. Having Buyable Pins is not an option but a necessity at this point for my existing store.

Your product feed upload won't work if you installed it on your developer site because it's not connected to the Internet. To fix this issue, you'll need to install the Facebook for WooCommerce Extension on your live site instead. Also keep in mind that each of your products need to have a valid description, image, and unique product ID (such as a SKU) for you to be able to upload your products to Facebook.
Let’s say your store’s anniversary is in January. To celebrate, you want to give your customers a 50% discount for the entire month — but only for the first 200 customers. Here's how to harness #WooCommerce's simple-yet-powerful coupon functionality:https://woocommerce.com/posts/coupons-with-woocommerce/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce&utm_content=How%20to%20Create%20Coupons%20with%20WooCommerce …
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]
It’s a powerful platform with features to support personalised shopping experiences, efficient merchandising as well as the rapid launches of commerce sites for different brands, markets, or campaigns. Oracle ATG Web Commerce also has native features that allow merchants to sell more complex product lines and data-rich products, such as those that require shopper information.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.

The definition of e-commerce includes business activities that are business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), extended enterprise computing (also known as "newly emerging value chains"), d-commerce, and m-commerce. E-commerce is a major factor in the U.S. economy because it assists companies with many levels of current business transactions, as well as creating new online business opportunities that are global in nature.
Even though they all have these knowledge bases, along with blogs, FAQs and other documentation, Shopify and Bigcommerce have the most users, making them far superior regarding knowledge base content. Why is this the case? Simple. Since more people are discussing the systems, by default, more questions have been asked and more answers have been posted.
With more choices of products, the information of products for customers to select and meet their needs become crucial. In order to address the mass customization principle to the company, the use of recommender system is suggested. This system helps recommend the proper products to the customers and helps customers make the decision during the purchasing process. The recommender system could be operated through the top sellers on the website, the demographics of customers or the consumers' buying behavior. However, there are 3 main ways of recommendations: recommending products to customers directly, providing detailed products' information and showing other buyers' opinions or critiques. It is benefit for consumer experience without physical shopping. In general, recommender system is used to contact customers online and assist finding the right products they want effectively and directly.[74]

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.
E-commerce brings convenience for customers as they do not have to leave home and only need to browse website online, especially for buying the products which are not sold in nearby shops. It could help customers buy wider range of products and save customers’ time. Consumers also gain power through online shopping. They are able to research products and compare prices among retailers. Also, online shopping often provides sales promotion or discounts code, thus it is more price effective for customers. Moreover, e-commerce provides products’ detailed information; even the in-store staff cannot offer such detailed explanation. Customers can also review and track the order history online.
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.
Specially designed for startups and SMBs, YoKart is a turnkey and features rich ecommerce marketplace solution to build multi-vendor stores such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. While many other ecommerce platforms do offer a multi-vendor version, YoKart specializes in this particular field. YoKart, with its latest upgrade (YoKart V8) now packs an even bigger punch. It's multilingual and multi-currency features allow store owners to expand their reach on a global level. And then there is the plethora of payment gateways, in-built analytics tool, rewards and discount coupon management features.
“We have huge, huge traffic spikes because we have such a strong core consumer and fan base. They all hit the [previous] website and it just crashed. When we moved from Magento to Shopify Plus, rather than taking months and months to replatform it took weeks. We could concentrate on what we’re really, really good at, which is our customers, our brand, and our product.”
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.

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.


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]
Do you want to charge customers a one-time flat fee for add-ons – such as an accessory for a product, or setup – regardless of quantity? Now you can, with the new and improved #WooCommerce Product Add-Ons 3.0:https://woocommerce.com/posts/pricing-options-image-swatches-product-add-ons-3-0/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce …
Version 1.2.0 of WooCommerce Blocks is now available as a feature plugin. It’s the easiest, most flexible way to display your products on posts and pages! Using the original “Products Block”, your displayed products can be filtered by category, sale status, or a variety of other fields. You can even make a custom list of handpicked products to display.

For many people, pricing is the most important factor, not only when deciding which of the best ecommerce platforms to use, but in general, as they go through life. Personally, I feel that if you are going to be investing a lot of your time and energy into creating your own online retail space, then there should be more important factors than saving $1 on the price of the platform. With that said, though, we also want to aim at getting the most bang for our buck. Here's how things play out.
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.
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.
“Has loads of great functionality”. Oh well, where do we start! Not only is there a large amount of functionality—the quality is also very high, from analytics dashboards to high-standard security. Want to create a subscription-based payment model? No problem. Your business is expanding and you’re thinking of expanding your catalogue as well? Easy peasy.
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]
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. 
Ecommerce Platforms is a review site that shows the good, great, bad, and ugly of online store building software. We strive to provide easy to read reviews that will help you choose which ecommerce platform is right for you. We maintain an affiliate relationship with some of the products reviewed as well, which means we get a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to our readers). Feel free to follow us on Twitter, comment, question, contact and ENJOY.
Shopify is another strong ecommerce software option. Their mission is to make selling online as fast and simple as possible. They nailed that, but their SEO has some holes. Weak ranking performance, rigid URL structures and a WordPress plugin that uses iFrames highlights my concerns with their SEO. Moreover,  you can’t customize Shopify’s checkout page.

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.
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. 
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...]
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.
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).
3dcart has no transaction fees, which is always a big plus. It also offers both a mobile front-end and a mobile back-end. What’s interesting is that it also has a full suite of web store related services, like SEO or Facebook marketing. That’s not common for a shopping cart provider but could come in handy. I would advise you to look at some other pages on the site as well, since there are some excellent resources there (like a shopping search engine comparison).
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.
   The majority of the royalty-free music on this website is released under Creative Commons Licenses (CC-BY). You are free to use the (CC-BY) music (even for commercial purposes) as long as you include credit and link in your video (project) description or somewhere in your internet profile (blog, vlog, podcast, social network, etc.). You can find more detailed information about the credit and the link in every music/song page on the site.)
We’ve rated the top ecommerce platforms at least four stars out of five in our ecommerce comparison chart. You don’t need any coding knowledge to build a stylish online store. This is not true of more complex self-hosted ecommerce software like WordPress and Magento (if you want to find out more about these advanced tools, visit our guide on best ecommerce software).
Sitting firmly at the “all inclusive” end of the market, Volusion is a feature-rich e-commerce platform with everything you could possibly need to run an effective e-commerce store. Like Shopify and Bigcommerce, the model is similar – you are effectively renting your store on a monthly basis, and in the process gaining access to the power and customization potential of the Volusion platform.
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.
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.

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.


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.
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.
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.
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