After the SWOT analysis is done, see how it fits into your overall vision. Where do you see your business in five years? In 10 years? This will help you set business objectives for the current year, for sales, profits, customers, traffic, new systems and new staff. After the objectives are set, you can set a strategy into place yourself or hire an e-commerce consultant to help you.

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]
You would think that a successful company like Apple would want to learn what ticks off its customers, and then fix the problems. You would think that it would learn that its negative-thinking artificial intelligence assistant, known as "Siri," is ticking off users. Few people want to hear the opinion of a computer, especially when it contradicts their own opinion in a negative way. [More...]

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.
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.

Here's how @DogsMeowSA have harnessed #WooCommerce – and a love for animals – to meet the needs of pet owners while building a sustainable subscription business.https://woocommerce.com/posts/case-study-dogsmeouw/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce&utm_content=More%20Than%20a%20Pet%20Project%3A%20The%20Story%20Of%20Dogs%20Meow%20Subscriptions …


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.
SquareSpace is comparable to Wix and WordPress more than a dedicated ecommerce platform like BigCommerce. However, it offers many features that are attractive for smaller websites. If your ecommerce business is on the smaller side and you’re not looking for advanced features, SquareSpace will make setting up an online store pretty simple and painless.
When the Oculus Rift launched in 2014, industry stakeholders speculated that the new, high-end in-home virtual reality headset would disrupt the entertainment industry. Just four years later, the technology has reached a crossroads, still lacking adoption by mainstream consumers. In a recent survey, 25 percent of broadband households indicated they were familiar with some type of VR technology, but just 8 percent actually owned a headset. [More...]

The new WordPress 5.0 release is the start of an exciting process which will eventually make large parts of your #WooCommerce admin interface easier-to-use and more dynamic – allowing you to better customize and manage posts and products.https://woocommerce.com/posts/woocommerce-and-wordpress-5-0/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce&utm_content=WordPress%205.0%3A%20What%20the%20new%20Block%20Editor%20means%20for%20WooCommerce …
Ecommerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no barriers of time or distance. Electronic commerce has expanded rapidly over the past five years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or even accelerate. In the near future the boundaries between "conventional" and "electronic" commerce will become increasingly blurred as more and more businesses move sections of their operations onto the Internet.
E-commerce may take place on retailers' Web sites or mobile apps, or those of e-commerce marketplaces such as on Amazon, or Tmall from AliBaba. Those channels may also be supported by conversational commerce, e.g. live chat or chatbots on Web sites. Conversational commerce may also be standalone such as live chat or chatbots on messaging apps[73] and via voice assistants.[3]

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.
Pinterest, for instance, has Buyable Pins that enable merchants to sell products featured on their Pinterest page. According to the site, “Buyable Pins have a blue price tag, which tells people your product is in stock and available for purchase. People can easily spot these Pins all over Pinterest—in search results, in related Pins and on your business profile.”
And even better, they do offer a Theme editor within the platform that you can use for customization. You can choose to hide sections within the theme editor without removing them. Hidden sections will still be customisable in the theme editor but not visible on the store front-end. This allows you to start sections for future releases and remove the need for theme duplications ( a common issue most developers face with WordPress).
Among emerging economies, China's e-commerce presence continues to expand every year. With 668 million Internet users, China's online shopping sales reached $253 billion in the first half of 2015, accounting for 10% of total Chinese consumer retail sales in that period.[43] The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online.[44] e-commerce transactions between China and other countries increased 32% to 2.3 trillion yuan ($375.8 billion) in 2012 and accounted for 9.6% of China's total international trade.[45] In 2013, Alibaba had an e-commerce market share of 80% in China.[46] In 2014, there were 600 million Internet users in China (twice as many as in the US), making it the world's biggest online market.[47] China is also the largest e-commerce market in the world by value of sales, with an estimated US$899 billion in 2016.[48]
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:
I think it would be super if there was a way to have a shopping cart feature that worked across a Wordpress Multi-site installation. What I mean by this is that a user could add a product on say shop1.domain.com and then navigate to shop2.domain.com and again add a product and then at anytime check out and pay. This would be a super powerful feature and something I think alot of people would have an interest in. Anyone else want to join in on this. MarketPress here http://premium.wpmudev.org/project/e-commerce has this feature but really woocommerce considering the themes available and its… more
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]
At its simplest form, ecommerce software enables a business to sell products and services online. Traditionally, businesses had to purchase on-premise, standalone ecommerce software that required extensive IT setup and in-house management with specialized development teams. These solutions were generally costly, not scalable, challenging to work with, and time consuming to customize and integrate with other systems.
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.
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 🙂
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.
WooCommerce is completely free to use and is powered by a community of developers dedicated to making WooCommerce as flexible and versatile as the industry needs. As the internet and online stores continue to evolve, WooCommerce evolves with it. Bluehost makes building a WooCommerce website easy for beginners while still providing all the tools necessary for pros. WooCommerce allows anyone to setup and run a professional online store in minutes. The best part is that it's all powered by WordPress so your data is all 100% owned by you.
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.
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. 
WooCommerce has attracted significant popularity because the base product, in addition to many extensions and plugins, is free and open-source. In 2018, WooCommerce has near 330 extensions and over 1,000 plugins.[22] In addition, there are thousands of paid add-ons for fixed prices. Many Premium Themes now offer capability with WooCommerce as well as plugins that make a theme framework compatible.[23]
Showcase your products and drive sales from your Facebook Business Page with the free Facebook for #WooCommerce extension. Sync your entire catalog with a click, and reach people after they’ve visited your website with dynamic, relevant ads on Facebook.https://woocommerce.com/products/facebook/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce …
WooCommerce is an interesting option for small business. It connects right into WordPress. Small business owners who already use WordPress for their website will find a lot to love with WooCommerce and there is a lot of flexibility when the requirements of the business grow. Thanks to strong third-party development support and easily-available Woo developers, it’s definitely one of the best ecommerce platforms out there. 
To start an online business it is best to find a niche product that consumers have difficulty finding in malls or department stores. Also take shipping into consideration. Pets.com found out the hard way: dog food is expensive to ship FedEx! Then you need an ecommerce enabled website. This can either be a new site developed from scratch, or an existing site to which you can add ecommerce shopping cart capabilities.

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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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