There are also online advertising laws that protect consumer privacy and ensure truthful marketing practices online. As an e-commerce business, online advertising is a major part of your strategy. Over the past decade, federal and state governments have passed new online advertising laws. As you expand into online marketing, it is important to be familiar with these. The CAN-SPAM Act, for instance, sets the rules for advertising through email, the most important rule being that consumers must be able to opt out of messages from businesses.
Navigation is a bit of a chore due to the overwhelming wealth of content, but there are ways to filter the results by title, publish date, or by the original creator. Once you find a particular show, you can often stream or download the individual tracks as a FLAC or MP3, allowing you to play the tracks in your media player of choice. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t ensure a quality performance.
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.
The benefits of e-commerce include its around-the-clock availability, the speed of access, the wide availability of goods and services for the consumer, easy accessibility, and international reach. Its perceived downsides include sometimes limited customer service, consumers not being able to see or touch a product prior to purchase, and the wait time for product shipping.
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.
Your product idea will dictate which aspects of the market you need to research, but some of the most important areas to look into will be your competition, pricing strategy, and your unique value proposition. At this point, it is also a good idea to draft a business plan that will help you visualize your growth strategy and identify any potential threats or obstacles.
Lightspeed Retail is a complete point of sale and inventory management tool that's easy to set up and even easier to use. Used by over 50, 000 businesses across the globe, Lightspeed has helped customers increase their profit by up to 20% in their first year.It simplifies time-consuming tasks like inventory and employee management, so you can focus on taking care of your customers and growing your business. Access detailed sales reports in minutes and easily identify best-selling items or use the built-in customer profiles to provide personalized service that will increase customer loyalty. More than just a cash register, this cloud-based iPad point of sale system allows you to manage your store from anywhere and instantly access your data, so you can benefit from all the tools and knowledge you need to take your store to the next level. Inventory management - Easily create product variations such as size, color and material by using the efficient matrix system. - Combine purchasing, transferring and multiple vendors into one master order. - Process special orders, layaways and work orders. - Create, track, and assign serial numbers to products. - Bundle individual items to sell them as a package. Free Onboarding & 24/7 Support - Benefit from a dedicated team who help you get started in a 1:1 session. - Get live chat support with our support heros located around the world. Reporting - Track sales and inventory numbers with reports that make it easy to see sales, profits and changes over time. - Identify opportunities for growth and business improvement. - Learn which employees are your top performers. - Get a clear view of your customers’ needs and shopping habits. Customers - Track sales history for a more efficient shopping experience and more personalized sales approach. - Record customer information and use it to inform them about deals or new arrivals. Employees - Intuitive, easy-to-learn interface for your employees. - Create a simple and logical workflow that suits your business. - Track sales by employee and access performance reports for your staff. - Control employee access to information such as refunds, the ability to edit products and pricing, or view sales data. Hardware & payments - Integrate your system with hardware such as barcode scanners and cash drawers to reduce checkout times. - Reduce credit card fraud with EMV. - Accept major credit card and Apple Pay®. Integrations - Sell in-store and online with Lightspeed’s fully integrated eCommerce solution, Lightspeed eCom. - Our network of over 250 integration partners allows you to tailor Lightspeed to your business’ needs. Questions? You can always reach our friendly team of specialists by calling 1 855 251 0441 or by going to our support center for helpful tips, training videos and system updates. Lightspeed Retail is a perfect fit for industries such as: apparel, footwear, bike, vape, jewelry, pet, sporting goods, home decor.
OpenCart. OpenCart could be a great choice for small businesses without tech savvy employees. OpenCart is very simple to install and start using. It runs very quickly using simple code. OpenCart allows you to set advanced user privileges and separate access for users and groups. A simple code also has drawbacks; often for sale extensions and themes may not be up-to-date with security standards. 
Live Music Archive is essentially a partnership between Internet Archive and etree.org, a community dedicated to providing high-quality, lossless versions of live concerts. You can think of it as a bootlegger’s paradise given the site’s sheer abundance of concert material, much of which focuses on jam bands such as the Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident, and Sound Tribe Sector 9. Still, there are a host of other bands to choose from — The Smashing Pumpkins, Jack Johnson, Animal Collective, etc. — along with plenty of genres to browse, ranging from jazz to reggae. 

WooCommerce – because it integrates into WordPress – comes with a lot of strong SEO features built right in. WordPress will give you feedback on your SEO right in pages and posts. This makes it easy to visually judge if your SEO on any given page or post is strong and also takes the pressure and thinking out of SEO. For SEO, it is certainly one of the best ecommerce platforms out there.
With the new Points and Rewards WooCommerce Extension, the only thing missing is a referral system that let's customers earn points for referring their friends. So essentially anyone could create an account on your WooCommerce site and share your products with their friends. When their friends use the referral link and buy a product from your site, the customer that refers them gets points.
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.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that is primarily used for selling products or services online. Regardless if your products are digital or physical, WooCommerce makes it easy to build an online store that is customized specifically to your business needs. WooCommerce also makes it easy to manage your inventory, take secure payments, manage shipping, and will even apply taxes accordingly.

Next up, ThemeForest is a massive repository for WordPress themes, and even features its own WooCommerce section. Inside, you’ll find hundreds of premium themes for the ecommerce platform, targeting a broad range of niches. If you’re looking for a theme that includes features relevant to your particular industry, ThemeForest is probably the right place to look.


These are your typical online retailers. They can include apparel stores, homeware businesses, and gift shops, just to name a few. Stores that sell physical goods showcase the items online and enable shoppers to add the things they like in their virtual shopping carts. Once the transaction is complete, the store typically ships the orders to the shopper, though a growing number of retailers are implementing initiatives such as in-store pickup.
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.

Phil Smy, former Chief Technology Officer for Toygaroo, told Shark Tank Blog, that Toygaroo might have had trouble scaling the business. “The business was growing,” he said. “To be honest, that was the problem. Explosive growth is a difficult thing to handle for small businesses. I thought – and still think – it is a great idea. The business model needs some changing from what we were doing. I would have grown more organically (i.e., slower) and also found investors who were willing to go the distance.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
Conducting business online. Selling goods, in the traditional sense, is possible to do electronically because of certain software programs that run the main functions of an e-commerce Web site, including product display, online ordering, and inventory management. The software resides on a commerce server and works in conjunction with online payment systems to process payments. Since these servers and data lines make up the backbone of the Internet, in a broad sense, e-commerce means doing business over interconnected networks.
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.
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.
When you look at all the ecommerce platforms and tally up all the features like we did, the end result is a mind-boggling list of 41 core features. After you make sure that your platform can handle your business model (i.e. recurring orders or customized products), you need to make sure that your online platform delivers on the features we’ve identified as crucial for ecommerce entrepreneurs – we weighted these 5x more than ‘nice haves’ in our assessment of best ecommerce software.

Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce refers to the electronic exchange of products, services or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. Examples include online directories and product and supply exchange websites that allow businesses to search for products, services and information and to initiate transactions through e-procurement interfaces.
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 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.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council are among the primary agencies that regulate e-commerce activities. The FTC monitors activities such as online advertising, content marketing and customer privacy, while the PCI Council develops standards and rules, including PCI Data Security Standard compliance, which outlines procedures for the proper handling and storage of consumers' financial data.
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.

As an e-tailer operating in today’s modern environment, you have your work cut out for you — more so than ever before. Not only are you dealing with a more competitive market, but your customers have higher expectations. It’s no longer enough to stock up on the right products, you also need to delight customers and be able to fulfill orders in the fastest, most affordable way possible.
Best-of-Breed: Specialized software that focuses on one particular area or function. If you want to add a shopping cart feature to an existing website, for example, you can add dedicated shopping cart software. Shopping cart software enables purchases, but typically doesn’t provide advanced features such as sales reporting and inventory management.
2Checkout (formerly Avangate) is the digital commerce & payments provider that helps companies sell their products and services via multiple channels, acquire customers across multiple touch points, increase customer and revenue retention, leverage smarter payment options and subscription billing models, and maximize sales conversion rates. The company’s clients include ABBYY, Absolute, Bitdefender, FICO, HP Software, Kaspersky Lab, and many more companies across the globe. Avangate acquired 2Checkout (www.2checkout.com) in March 2017. Companies select our solution to: - Sell More Digital Goods Globally - Maximize Customer Lifetime Value - Accelerate Time to Market - Get Integrated Recurring Revenue Management - Leverage New Distribution Channels More info on www.avangate.com and www.2checkout.com
Shopify is the leading cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. The platform also provides merchants with a powerful back-office and a single view of their business. The Shopify platform was engineered for reliability and scale, using enterprise-level technology made available to businesses of all sizes. Shopify currently powers over 243,000 businesses in approximately 150 countries and is trusted by brands such as Tesla Motors, Budweiser, Red Bull, LA Lakers, the New York Stock Exchange, GoldieBlox, and many more. For a demo, please visit: https://docs.shopify.com/webinars
Selecting the right products to sell on your store is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Even if you already have an idea for the kind of items you want to list, it’s smart to consider all your options. If there isn’t a market for your products, you want to find that out before your store opens for business. That way, you’ll have time to make changes to your items so they’re more appealing, or to switch directions entirely.
WooCommerce 3.5.2 is now available. This release patches a number of bugs, adds compatibility with the Twenty Nineteen theme and with PHP 7.3, and fixes one security issue. Versions 3.5.1 and earlier are affected by a stored XSS vulnerability through the API which can be exploited by users with write-access API keys, and we recommend all users running WooCommerce 3.x upgrade to 3.5.2 to mitigate it. Thanks to Karim for disclosing this vulnerability.
Weebly’s range of price plans and various features make it great value for money. You can easily scale up through the price plans as your store grows, but for large or fast-growing stores, it’s not the best option. Weebly is developing its ecommerce focus and releasing some promising updates. With Square now opening up Weebly’s ecommerce abilities, we definitely recommend watching this space.
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.
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.
Shopify is perhaps the most well-rounded of the ecommerce platforms. It has it all when it comes to easy setup and an easy to use dashboard. In terms of popularity, Shopify is the most popular platform out there for small, medium, and large businesses alike. With the exception of WooCommerce, Shopify is the cheapest of the five platforms at a starting price of $9 per month. Shopify also offers a number of professional looking themes. If you are looking for the most variety of apps, add ons, and plugins then Shopify is a great choice for your online shop.
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]
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