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.
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.
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.
With hundreds of thousands of tracks from thousands of artists, Jamendo is easily one of the biggest repositories of free music on the web. You won’t find all of your favorite artists here, but the site’s streamlined user interface makes it great for browsing and finding talented new musicians. Instead of browsing by genre, you peruse tracks by popularity, most downloaded, most played, or by latest release. Popularity is based on user ratings, so despite the massive amount of tracks on the site, you don’t have to spend a lot of time searching before you find stuff that pleases your ears. To be sure, the site’s penchant for lesser-known artists and experimental tracking make it more suited for someone with an open mind than people who know exactly what they want.
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.
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.
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.
Amazon introduced AWS Outposts at its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. The new system, which provides AWS-branded boxes for use in traditional data centers, will allow the company to make advances into the world of on-premises storage, taking on legacy hardware vendors including Cisco, Dell, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Outposts technology can run on rival vendors' data center equipment. [More...]
Fortunately, a new breed of business software integrates all the needed commerce and business functionality into a single ecommerce platform via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. With an infrastructure that unifies business applications and the data that feeds them, it is possible to create relevant, engaging and personalized online experiences.
hybris has a robust product content management capabilities that allow companies to collaboratively build and manage product data across multiple touchpoints. It also provides centralised order management so merchants have a single view of order information across all channels. This makes back office management easier and merchants are able to offer a better shopping experience by implementing flexible pickup and fulfilment options to customers.
Shopify may come second when we look at the overall volume of SEO features available, but there's certainly no shame in the way that it presents content. It also handles basic SEO practices like meta information and site copy with ease. So long as your business is producing quality content, there's no reason to suggest you won't enjoy great results and strong user engagement.
OpenCart also has multi-store support that lets you stay on top of different stores from a single interface. This functionality lets you set products for different stores, use specific themes for each online store, and localise your websites. Product options and attributes are also quite flexible with OpenCart, and the solution lets you add extra product variables.
You can see why Shopify scored top marks in this area. Features like these don’t just make running your online store possible – they make it easy and enjoyable too. Put simply, Shopify was designed to help people build an online store. That’s why it’s packed with these high quality sales features, which were specially created to support your ecommerce business.
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:
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.
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.
For businesses that prefer a simple online store, Magento Go is Magento’s most basic plan. Features ideal for small retail shops include the very simple user interface, a highly developed knowledge base that answers almost every question you might have, very developed product management, and no transaction fees (just one service fee per month). Ultimately, Magento Go offers a very basic experience; there is limited bandwidth, limited themes, few add-ons, and infantile development features.
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 🙂