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.
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.
Instead of add to cart, I would like to hide all prices and change the buttons to say add to quote. People will submit request for quotes and then in the backend we can update the prices for the specific customer and then send them a notice that the quote is complete. This is completely different from quote forms since I want all items to be in the cart but the checkout will submit quote, not go to payment page.
We are in talks with a few organizations who have very substantial interest and whose values align with ours. As negotiations continue, I may write more updates here as we move along and may be able to announce a new parent org for FMA in the coming weeks. Nothing is set in stone though so we still face shutdown, and if you have questions or want to help, please contact us using the Closure Comment form (at the end of this blog post). 

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]
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.
Thanks, most of all, to you - our amazing community! From the volunteers who helped us maintain the site and bring new artists on board, to the curators and bands whose contributions diversified our collections, to our funders, to the folks that used the site everyday and made it the legendary corner of the web that it truly was. It was an amazing nine years, and we are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
A SWOT analysis can help you assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your company's current environment. What does the market look like? Where does your business excel, and where does it falter? Review your entire business, not just segments of it. Evaluate external opportunities, because this is the often the primary place to invest time and money. Be honest with yourself when analyzing weaknesses and threats, or else the analysis will not be helpful.
Accounting and finance software manages all financial aspects of the sales transactions performed on the e-commerce platform. While consumers do not require invoices and other documents related to a purchase, the high volume of sales data needs to be consolidated and allocated to the appropriate general ledger accounts. For B2B, the volume of transactions isn’t very high, but invoicing is more complicated. Corporate customers may need custom invoices, shipping manifests, and warranty documents. Also, large companies have multiple business units that can purchase online individually or at the corporate level. Payment can also be made by numerous business entities from multiple bank accounts or credit cards.
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.
WooCommerce was designed specifically for WordPress, one of the most powerful and respected building platforms in use today. With the fundamentals handled by WordPress, WooCommerce then takes the guesswork out of creating your online store, by handling everything from inventory management to payment methods and even your store's overall appearance.
Many of these platforms offer different levels of pricing in order to cater to a wider range of ecommerce businesses. Some even have free versions. However, lower cost often means fewer special features and add-ons. Businesses with very specific needs may find that they need to pay a little more to ensure they get all the features they require for their ecommerce business.
Product management — is essential for companies using e-commerce platforms, since they usually sell many types of products. A complex offering of products and services means that a lot of product data needs to be managed and maintained to ensure that the online store accurately represents what the company sells. Product information is also important to track sales and revenues by product, a mix of items, packages, or product types.
The world of dropshipping is often considered the easiest way to sell products online. The biggest difference between drop shipping and the standard retail model is that in drop shipping, the selling merchant doesn't stock his own inventory.  Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually dropshipping wholesalers or manufacturers – to fulfil orders.
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]
Rap lovers rejoice! Since the mid-aughts, the hip-hop community has become a veritable breeding ground for free music, much of which comes in the form of mixtapes. Some are original compilations by artists looking to cop some shine, some feature rappers freestyling over popular instrumentals from their contemporaries, and some are just dropped by artists looking to reward their loyal fans with some free tunes — we’re looking at you, Curren$y.
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.
Web content management software helps companies manage large volumes of content that is used in online stores and facilitates the creation marketing campaigns, catalogs, and e-commerce personalization. Complex e-commerce platforms require different types of content such as text, images, and videos, which should be mobile-friendly and reflect the company brand.
Imagine an ecommerce platform that allows customer service reps to have a single view of a customer across all channels, a centralized order and inventory management system that can efficiently fulfill orders from all your sales channels, including brick and mortar stores, or utilize a customer's order history data to provide personalized and relevant offers. The possibilities brought to light with the advent of a complete ecommerce platform for business optimization and improved efficiencies as well as deepened customer engagement and satisfaction are limited only by one's creativity.
Most of us understand how overwhelming it can be moving to a new city. Surrounded by a host of options for dining, shopping, daycare, leisure time, auto mechanics and everything else under the sun, making an educated decision on where to go involves some groundwork. So what is there to do? Many of us will turn to a new coworker or neighbor for recommendations. [More...]
BigCartel is a great platform for small businesses and creative independent ventures. They aim to make selling easy for small stores, with a “quick setup” feature that can get an ecommerce store up and running extremely quickly. They also have a range of free themes. Customizability isn’t super high, but apps and add-ons do allow for some flexibility.
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.
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.
BigCommerce is the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce platform, powering more than 90,000 stores. You’ll get everything you need to create a successful online store, including a securely hosted site, shopping cart, product catalog and more. Themes and point-and-click design features make it easy to build a gorgeous site without any design or technical skills, while powerful built-in marketing and conversion optimization tools help you promote your business and sell 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.
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.
1ShoppingCart is the world’s most popular automated solution for businesses who want seamless integration of all the tools needed to be successful online. Add a Shopping Cart and Lead Capture to your website in minutes. Then use the built in marketing tools like Automated Email Marketing Campaigns, Affiliate Program Management to follow up with your customers and make more sales.
Accounting and finance software manages all financial aspects of the sales transactions performed on the e-commerce platform. While consumers do not require invoices and other documents related to a purchase, the high volume of sales data needs to be consolidated and allocated to the appropriate general ledger accounts. For B2B, the volume of transactions isn’t very high, but invoicing is more complicated. Corporate customers may need custom invoices, shipping manifests, and warranty documents. Also, large companies have multiple business units that can purchase online individually or at the corporate level. Payment can also be made by numerous business entities from multiple bank accounts or credit cards.
Modern 3D graphics technologies, such as Facebook 3D Posts, are considered by some social media marketers and advertisers as a more preferable way to promote consumer goods than static photos, and some brands like Sony are already paving the way for augmented reality commerce. Wayfair now lets you inspect a 3D version of its furniture in a home setting before buying.[60]
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

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.”
Instead of a certification program WooCommerce uses an official partnership program. WooCommerce recommends users to use these WooExperts for their WooCommerce projects.[26] Suppliers can apply to become a partner and by doing so will undergo a multi-stage application process that includes skill evaluation and an interview. Throughout the process WooCommerce aim to assess familiarity with WooCommerce core and extensions. The partnership program had either a Gold, Silver or Bronze level[27] until late 2017, when it moved to a flat "verified WooExpert" system.[28]

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.


This is fairly self-explanatory. One factor you want to look at is the number of search terms your site ranks in the top 20 for. The closer you are to page one in search results, the higher the chances of you drawing organic search traffic. The more keywords your rank for, the more traffic you get.  Using data from Ahrefs, we looked at the average number of terms ranked on the first two pages on Google.  In terms of my overall performance scores, live ranking data was only a small factor.

This is why I have listed down the aforementioned websites on the basis of ease of use and popularity. However, in my personal opinion, the audio section of the Internet Archive makes it the best free music download website because I can find almost every artist there. You are free to choose the one which suits you the best, so go ahead and explore these sites.


That being said, the look and feel of all that is much more technical than it is in Shopify or Bigcommerce. Magento is more geared at giving you all the eCommerce features possible and then letting you decide how much of it you really need. The reports are awesome, so are all the stats and insights you get about the state of your store, but overall, this is a more enterprise-level platform, and perhaps not that easy to grasp for someone who’s just getting into their eCommerce journey.
It’s also a good idea to speak to ecommerce consultants and merchants who have experience using the platforms that you’re considering. Ask how each solution compares with other ecommerce platforms. What are their advantages and disadvantages? How much time, money, and work are required to set up and maintain the system? These are just some of the things you should bring up.

Thank you for this report. It has saved me a lot of time and effort. I do however have one question. I am looking at GoCentral which is GoDaddy’s e-commerce platform. Have you heard anything good or bad about this? I am trying to find out if it has drop shipping integration. There is a charge for each transaction but I am looking for security, ease of use, the best customer service….as I don’t want to wait days to get a response back if I have an issue with my store. Time is money and I would like to use a company that will answer the phone and emails asap. I have always had a great experience with GoDaddy but I didn’t know if you had heard about this service. Any help that you can provide would be great. Thank you!!
Depending on if you are a small business with the intention of doing most of the set-up on your own, or if you are a larger business who’d prefer to take a hands off approach, there is an ecommerce platform for you. Ability to customize, scalability, affordability, bandwidth, mobile accessibility, the number of apps, your amount of technical knowledge and user experience are all things to consider when choosing the right ecommerce platform.  

Another significant benefit of using e-commerce software is that it generates a lot of data that is used by other systems such as CRM software, accounting software, ERP systems, and supply chain and logistics suites. For instance, detailed information on sales and returns can be used to determine the profitability of the company, how to improve inventory levels, or which customers are the most profitable and which ones are not generating significant revenue.


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]
For the uninitiated, the dot-com bubble burst occurred from 1997 to 2001. The rapid growth of Internet usage and adoption at the time fueled investments at incredibly high valuations and companies that haven’t even turned a profit went public. The hype wasn’t sustainable, though, and capital soon dried up. As you’ll learn below, this was ultimately one of the reasons why Boo.com (among others) shut down.
nopCommerce is the leading ASP.NET based open-source eCommerce platform. It is a free solution with comprehensive features that is applicable for all types of users from new online businesses to the most demanding enterprise-level eCommerce experts. nopCommerce is one of the most secure, stable and extendable shopping carts. The platform has a rich architecture with lots of features available out of the box. There is also a lot of additional functionality that one can find in the marketplace. Free support on community forums is available.

Wherever you are right now in your ecommerce journey, we hope this post gave you some insights that you can apply in your venture. If you’re just starting out and need help picking a platform or deciding on your target audience,  go back and read the section on ecommerce types and solutions. Already running a business and want to ensure your success? Read through the ecommerce stories above.
Websites such as Squarespace and WordPress offer mobile-friendly, ready-to-go e-commerce templates that help you get a store up and running quickly. As a shop owner, you will need a way to collect credit card payments from consumers online. PayPal, Square and Google Wallet are all popular ways of accepting and managing online payments. You can also sell your merchandise through online giants like Amazon.
Many of these platforms offer different levels of pricing in order to cater to a wider range of ecommerce businesses. Some even have free versions. However, lower cost often means fewer special features and add-ons. Businesses with very specific needs may find that they need to pay a little more to ensure they get all the features they require for their ecommerce business.

Also, the hosting thing. In the table above, I’m saying that it’s around $100 / year. I got that number from SiteGround. They have some hosting plans that they promise to be WooCommerce-optimized. Out of the three tiers available, I wouldn’t recommend going below GrowBig or GoGeek, which are $5.95 and $11.95 respectively. Hence, this adds up to $71.40 for the former and $143.40 for the latter annually.
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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