With these developments in mind, I have assembled a list of top seven ecommerce platforms that can help you get started in 2018. Before we begin, let's acknowledge that amid this cutthroat competition, only the right combination of business model and ecommerce platform will survive because your traction in the ecommerce world depends a lot on the kind of technology you are equipped with. You have to choose a platform that can meet your own distinct feature requirements as appropriately and as uniquely as your individual business model. Whether you want to launch a conventional ecommerce store, or a multi-vendor marketplace, this list will save you some of the hard grunt work. Ultimately, however, only you can determine which platform is best for you.
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.

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.
Electronic transactions have been around for quite some time in the form of Electronic Data Interchange or EDI. EDI requires each supplier and customer to set up a dedicated data link (between them), where ecommerce provides a cost-effective method for companies to set up multiple, ad-hoc links. Electronic commerce has also led to the development of electronic marketplaces where suppliers and potential customers are brought together to conduct mutually beneficial trade.
Bigcommerce also has a nice library of themes for you, divided into multiple categories, and all of them responsive and fully customizable. They were developed to establish a more modern, fluid user experience, utilizing cool new merchandising features for categorization and differently sized catalogs. There are both free and paid options available, and I have to say that those free ones really are attractive-looking.
To make things easier, compare vendors using the spreadsheet you created earlier. Create a table listing all the things you need in your ecommerce platform, then put the vendors you’re considering in different columns. This will allow you to easily tick off the features that each vendor can deliver. If a platform doesn’t have a feature you need, write down if and how you can work around it (i.e. use a third party integration, develop a custom solution).

Akshay is a passionate marketer and enjoys providing innovative and valuable insights to the blog. He is currently the Founder of a Global Content & Growth Marketing Agency, and loves to help startups, agencies and marketing managers grow their business. Interests that excite him include innovation, startups, health & fitness, meaningful experiences, golf & meditation.

Choosing the best ecommerce site builder is really based on your needs.  We do want to recommend that you consider a few as front runners – BigCommerce was by far the strongest option for start-ups looking for a platform to grow your business with. Prestashop gives entrepreneurs the best bang for your buck. X-Cart is one of the best free ecommerce platforms if you have dev resources.
Cost of the ecommerce platform – Ecommerce platform costs will vary depending on the business’ size, sales volume, and of course, the solution itself. Some solutions (such as Magento) charge yearly licensing fees while others (like Shopify) require monthly subscription fees. In some cases (such as Demandware) the provider takes a cut from the retailer’s sales.
At WP Engine, we are proud to host a number of ecommerce sites. We combine a dedicated work environment with a toolkit for WooCommerce integration. We will protect your ecommerce shop when you need protection most; you won’t need to worry about high traffic conflicting with your sales revenue. Our digital experience platform will provide your business with SEO ready performance, improved mobile UX, and third party integrations (Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.) to integrate stores running on other platforms with WordPress.
Your first step should be to learn about what WooCommerce is and what it can do for your ecommerce site. Then, you can begin to make sense of the platform’s main features, how they work, and the steps you’ll need to take to turn your fledgling store into a successful one. This may sound like a lot of ground to cover, but if you have the patience for some upfront work, you’ll reap the rewards over the long term.
You can also get a range of child themes for Storefront in case you want to customize the look of your store further. Most of the child themes are available at $39 a piece (occasionally, though, there are themes with price tags as high as $119). If you're a developer with ecommerce clients, they have a package for $399 where you get all of the themes in the library.
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.
Ecommerce has emerged as the single biggest growth driver in the worldwide marketplace. eMarketer, a leading independent market researcher, predicts global B2C ecommerce sales will reach $1.5 trillion this year, a 20 percent increase from 20131. And according to Forrester Research, B2B ecommerce spending in the U.S. alone reached $559 billion in 20132. If ecommerce is important to your business then the solution you choose is arguably one of the most important business decisions you will make.
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...]
Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Dutch (Belgium), English (Australia), English (Canada), English (New Zealand), English (South Africa), English (UK), English (US), Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French (Canada), French (France), German, German (Switzerland), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moroccan Arabic, Norwegian (Bokmål), Occitan, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Costa Rica), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Venezuela), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
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.
PureVolume deals with aspiring artists in order to help promote people who are relatively unknown in the music world, acting as a social media platform where both listeners and artists can create profiles and discuss musical interests. Listeners can also write about artists they like and share songs among friends, as well as contact musicians directly to talk about their favorite tracks. Likewise, artists can write updates about their music or reach out to a burgeoning fan base, if desired.
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.”
"As a wedding filmmaker and YouTuber, I am constantly searching for new music. Soundstripe helps fill this need by giving filmmakers like myself an incredible gift: high-quality music from talented artists that is legal to use in our films. With constantly updated playlists for wedding films, I can find musical inspiration that matches my couple’s vibes quickly and easily. Likewise, if I need a song for a YouTube vlog, Soundstripe is there with a plethora of options to choose from."
Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, (also written as eCommerce) is a type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, typically the internet. Electronic commerce operates in all four of the major market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. It can be thought of as a more advanced form of mail-order purchasing through a catalog. Almost any product or service can be offered via ecommerce, from books and music to financial services and plane tickets.
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.
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.
Demandware Commerce delivers the speed, agility, innovation and superior economics required to master the new retail reality of constant and unpredictable change. Our enterprise retail solution is powered by a central cloud platform to drive consumer engagement across all devices, channels and geographies. Our cloud platform is open and extensible, and provides retailers with the enterprise scale required for complex operations. It includes a flexible retail data model with core commerce functions that remain consistent across user applications and channel delivery. It also includes a platform API that allows unique development without disrupting the flow of Demandware’s continuous updates. Demandware Commerce enables both business and technical users within a retail organization to work with intuitive commerce applications. Leveraging omni-channel merchandising and marketing functionality, retailers can develop unique capabilities and create engaging shopping experiences that differentiate their brand and convert consumers to buyers. Unique consumer experiences and business logic are stored centrally and can be quickly deployed across the retail enterprise through the commerce accelerator, a combination of reference applications, Open Commerce APIs and LINK integrations. With this combination, Demandware Commerce removes the barriers and complexities of traditional licensed and hosted software, and allows retailers to execute the strategic business initiatives that drive growth.
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.
Wix is also very affordable. The baseline plan is only $5/month. Even their most expensive plan is only $25/month. Of course, with this low price and high ease of use comes a cost. Wix isn’t going to have the bells and whistles that fancier platforms boast, but it should be able to satisfy the needs of most small businesses looking for an ecommerce platform.  
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.

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.

Now that you have a promising product idea and a clear overview of the market, it’s time to start thinking about the key elements of your store, such as your brand name, domain name, brand guidelines, and your logo. Getting your brand right from the start can help accelerate the growth and conquer the hearts of potential customers. Before turning your attention to building the store, you should spend some time studying the basics of SEO, so that your business gets off to a good start.


Two of the most important factors behind poor performance are server distance and load. If your servers are overloaded or too far away from your visitors’ locations, your site can load slowly. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) tackles this issue by distributing cached copies of your site to nearby locations from data centers around the world, thereby lightening the load on your main servers.

The Free Music Philosophy used a three pronged approach to voluntarily encourage the spread of unrestricted copying, based on the fact that copies of recordings and compositions could be made and distributed with complete accuracy and ease via the Internet. First, since music by its very nature is organic in its growth, the ethical basis of limiting its distribution using copyright laws was questioned. That is, an existential responsibility was fomented upon music creators who were drawing upon the creations of countless others in an unrestricted manner to create their own. Second, it was observed that the basis of copyright law, "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", had been perverted by the music industry to maximise profit over creativity resulting in a huge burden on society (the control of copying) simply to ensure its profits. Third, as copying became rampant, it was argued that musicians would have no choice but to move to a different economic model that exploited the spread of information to make a living, instead of trying to control it with limited government enforced monopolies.[4]

You’re probably used to using this online retailer to buy everything from the best headphones to dog food, so why not add some free music to your shopping list? Believe it or not, Amazon has a massive assortment of thousands of free tunes available via its digital music arm, allowing you to pick through everything from obscure indie and classical music to hits by the Foo Fighters (whose songs Saint Cecelia and Iron Rooster were available for free download on the service, last we checked). Checkout is quick and painless, and it works just like buying a song that costs money on Amazon, sans payment. Simply add a song to your shopping cart, check out, and the tunes are yours.

IBM® Digital Commerce is a flexible cloud commerce platform that gives brands the best of both worlds by combining cloud convenience, ease of use and low cost of ownership with the ability to customize the brand experience for seamless customer engagement across any digital touch-point. With a micro-service approach and the latest container technology, IBM WebSphere Commerce simplifies the creation of omnichannel experiences and makes upgrades for IBM provided enhancements simple and fast so you can focus on the things that matter most to your business. Coupled with unmatched omnichannel commerce platform capabilities for delighting customers and artificial intelligence to speed and enhance commerce professionals’ decision making, WebSphere Commerce gives you the tools to innovate rapidly and keep up with your customers and markets.
Customer management – Think about the capabilities you need to build and manage relationships with your customers. For example, if you communicate with shoppers via email, then you need a solution that either has built-in email marketing features or an integration with your email marketing platform. Do you have a loyalty program? Make sure it works with your new ecommerce program.
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.
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.
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). 
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