The rise of e-commerce has forced IT personnel to move beyond infrastructure design and maintenance to consider numerous customer-facing aspects, such as consumer data privacy and security. When developing IT systems and applications to accommodate e-commerce activities, data governance-related regulatory compliance mandates, personally identifiable information privacy rules and information protection protocols must be considered.
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 🙂

Payment gateway software is usually delivered pre-integrated as part of an e-commerce platform. This type of software can also be used separately by companies who do not want to limit their options to the integrations provided by e-commerce vendors. While most providers of e-commerce platforms offer integration with the most popular payment gateways, other options may be preferable, especially for markets that aren't well served by the main players.
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. 
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.
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.
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. 

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.
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. 
Drupal Commerce – This is an open-source ecommerce framework that enables users to build online stores and applications on Drupal. Drupal Commerce is highly flexible and offers hundreds of modules that allow users to enhance and extend its functionalities. There’s also Commerce Kickstart, “a distribution of Drupal Commerce packed with features that make it more complete, faster to launch, and easier to administer.”
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.
SoundCloud essentially serves as the YouTube of music uploading, meaning anyone can upload their tracks to the site before specifying whether they’re available for download or strictly for streaming purposes. Moreover, the site touts an extremely active user community and one of the sleekest user interfaces of any site on our list, one conveniently lined with a navigational bar at the top and direct access to the service’s accompanying mobile apps. Artists might not always offer free downloads of their music, but the labels nearly always do. Fair warning: SoundCloud’s had a bit of financial trouble recently, so you might want to visit the site soon and go on a downloading spree just in case the site goes kaput.
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.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the most frequent type of e-commerce platform and focuses exclusively on selling to consumers. B2C e-commerce is open to anyone who wants to purchase online. There may be geographical limitations regarding shipping or currencies, but theoretically, any consumer with a valid credit card can use this type of software to buy online.
IBM WebSphere Commerce has four product editions: there’s Commerce on Cloud for those who want to quickly go to market; there’s WebSphere Commerce – Express, which was made for quickly implementing an online presence; there’s WebSphere Commerce Enterprise, which was designed for high-volume companies and multiple sites; and there’s WebSphere Commerce Professional, an option for midsize businesses.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.

But not all online stores are alike, are they? You’re not going to be selling the same thing as someone else, or perhaps not in the same way. Enter WooCommerce plugins! These software packages are built on top of WooCommerce to introduce functionality into the core software. Consider them as extensions to your e-commerce platform that will allow you to do a lot more with your store.
SuiteCommerce enables B2B and B2C merchants to rapidly create unique, personalized, and compelling branded shopping experiences across multiple channels. Differentiate your brand and exceed customer expectations, whether it is through mobile, online, or in-person, and empower your sales associates to provide engaging customer acquisition and retention experiences by utilizing a single source of item, inventory, customer and order data to feed your customer-facing systems. SuiteCommerce's integrated cloud-based nature unifies business applications and provides a central repository for order management and customer details, item and inventory data, creates seamless, omni-channel, brand experiences, and streamlines your business for continuous growth.
Free music or libre music is music that, like free software, can freely be copied, distributed and modified for any purpose. Thus free music is either in the public domain or licensed under a free license by the artist or copyright holder themselves, often as a method of promotion. It does not mean that there should be no fee involved. The word free refers to freedom (as in free software), not to price.[1]
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.
Additionally, all of the solutions we're talking about have their knowledge bases, which basically let you search a topic and see if someone else has talked about it and addressed it in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best support areas you can find, since it allows you to resolve a problem while maybe sitting on the phone waiting for a support rep.
LemonStand is a refreshingly customizable cloud based eCommerce platform that helps fast growing retail brands and subscription eCommerce companies create beautiful online stores that stand out from the crowd and sell more. Features an infinitely flexible storefront design engine, including the ability to check out on your own domain, customize the entire checkout process and even A/B test different designs. Comes with built-in features to sell standard one-time products, or recurring subscriptions without requiring an extra app. You can even sell both seamlessly together to maximize revenue and growth. A full featured content management system (CMS) and blog is built-in to enable advanced and integrated content marketing from a single platform And there are no transaction fees or penalties for using your payment processor of choice.
If you've searched for a platform to run your ecommerce store, you've no doubt stumbled upon at least a few of the names we're comparing today. Although popularity isn't exactly the best motivating factor to make a decision that will affect your future business life, it's certainly worth talking about, considering that when large groups of people lean to a certain solution, we like to hope that it's for a reason.
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.

The songs are available for streaming or downloading — some even in high resolution — and the site offers a copious amount of helpful background info for your perusal. If you’re curious what a rondo is or what defined Chopin’s style, you can learn all that here. Musicians may also be delighted to learn that the site provides sheet music, so if you find yourself falling in love with a particular piece, you can follow along or even learn to play it.
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.

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.”
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.

CloudCraze delivers robust B2B commerce native on Salesforce. It allows businesses to generate online revenue fast and easily scale for growth. Its Customer-First Commerce model puts the customer at the core, informing every interaction with data across commerce, sales, marketing, service and more. With the trusted Salesforce infrastructure and core capabilities, CloudCraze provides infinite flexibility to extend functionality, add products and channels, and conduct billions of dollars in transactions anywhere. CloudCraze powers Customer-First Commerce for industry leaders such as AB InBev, Coca-Cola, Ecolab, GE, Hallmark, Kaplan, Kellogg’s, Land O’ Lakes, L’Oreal, Symantec and Tyco. CloudCraze is funded by Insight Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures. CloudCraze is recognized in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q1 2017 and as a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2017. CloudCraze is a Salesforce Platinum ISV Partner.
Big names like Alabama Shakes, The Civil Wars, and Imagine Dragons all got their start on ReverbNation by sharing their music for free and building up their loyal fanbase. There is a mix of every genre on ReverbNation, but the site tends to lean toward more pop, alternative, and hip-hop than anything else. With a community of nearly 4 million artists, labels, and users, ReverbNation helps you sift through its immersive catalog by giving you cool features like the site’s Discover app and page that will help you find who is about to be the next big thing.
E-commerce personalization software – helps companies customize their online content and messaging to better target users and influence their purchasing behavior. It can be used to provide recommendations and to deliver messages at critical stages of the buying process. For instance, when users try to close a webpage, they will get a popup window which is meant to convince them to stay on the page.
To take advantage of all the new features, such as full-with content blocks, we’ve redesigned the regular posts layout in Storefront. Ever since Storefront was first released the layout for posts was made of 2 columns, one being the post meta, and the other the content itself. In this new version, the content now spans the entire width of the container. Here’s a before/after comparison:
Business to Business or B2B refers to electronic commerce between businesses rather than between a business and a consumer. B2B businesses often deal with hundreds or even thousands of other businesses, either as customers or suppliers. Carrying out these transactions electronically provides vast competitive advantages over traditional methods. When implemented properly, ecommerce is often faster, cheaper and more convenient than the traditional methods of bartering goods and services.
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.

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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