eCommerce is the fastest growing retail market projected to hit $4.058 trillion in sales in 2020. Mobile commerce, or mcommerce, is a rapidly growing new avenue of eCommerce that’s mostly driven by the expanding market and influence of smartphones and millennials’ comfort with shopping online. In 2016, the mcommerce sector enjoyed a 39.1% increase in sales compared to the previous year.
Birchbox has a two-pronged business: it offers a subscription in which the company charges members $10 a month to receive “personalized mix of 5 hair, makeup, skincare, and fragrance samples.” Birchbox also has an online shop that allows customers to purchase full-sized products. As of 2015, Birchbox had more than 800 brand partners and more than a million subscribers.
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.
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Site123’s pricing model is simple: you can get started for free, with 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth per month, as long as you don’t need to use your own domain name (free sites are hosted on Site123 subdomains). However, you won’t be able to engage in eCommerce until you upgrade to the Premium plan. For $9.80 per month, a free domain is included for one year, you’re provided with an ample 10GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth, Site123 branding is removed and you can sell as many items as you wish.
"We are a small team who turn out several videos each week for YouTube. Adding music to our videos has elevated them to a much higher standard, and our audience has responded very favourably. We looked around at a lot of libraries and found Soundstripe has a great selection of quality tracks that meet all our needs - from dramatic instrumentals for travel videos, to subtle background music for talking heads and tutorials."
Magento is similar to platforms like WooCommerce and OpenCart. Its Community Edition is completely free and open-source, but you will be responsible for setting it up and paying for the hosting and domain. Magento also comes with a steep learning curve, and Magento developers are noticeably more expensive to hire than rival platforms. For smaller businesses, setting up an ecommerce shop using Magento can be needlessly expensive.
Internationally there is the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), which was formed in 1991 from an informal network of government customer fair trade organisations. The purpose was stated as being to find ways of co-operating on tackling consumer problems connected with cross-border transactions in both goods and services, and to help ensure exchanges of information among the participants for mutual benefit and understanding. From this came Econsumer.gov, an ICPEN initiative since April 2001. It is a portal to report complaints about online and related transactions with foreign companies.
Starting at $29.99 per month, BigCommerce is abundant with features. A Standard pricing plan comes BigCommerce comes with a number of sales channels, and is rich in features, including a responsive website, single-page checkout, Apple Pay, reporting tools, HTTPS, and more. While it lacks powerful content management capabilities, you can easily integrate BigCommerce with a CMS like WordPress to reap the benefits of content and commerce.
Load time is a pretty straightforward indicator of how fast your site is. Simply put, it’s the measure of how long it takes a page (or pages) on your site to fully load. A slow site is a killer in ecommerce – potential customers run away from slow sites, and as we mentioned earlier, each second you gain in site loading speed translates directly into sales gained.