Recent research clearly indicates that electronic commerce, commonly referred to as e-commerce, presently shapes the manner in which people shop for products. The GCC countries have a rapidly growing market and characterized by a population that becomes wealthier (Yuldashev). As such, retailers have launched Arabic-language websites as a means to target this population. Secondly, there are predictions of increased mobile purchases and an expanding internet audience (Yuldashev). The growth and development of the two aspects make the GCC countries to become larger players in the electronic commerce market with time progress. Specifically, research shows that e-commerce market is expected to grow to over $20 billion by the year 2020 among these GCC countries (Yuldashev). The e-commerce market has also gained much popularity among the western countries, and in particular Europe and the U.S. These countries have been highly characterized with consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) (Geisler, 34). However, trends show that there are future signs of a reverse. Similar to the GCC countries, there has been increased purchase of goods and services in online channels rather than offline channels. Activist investors are trying hard to consolidate and slash their overall cost and the governments in western countries continue to impose more regulation on CPG manufacturers (Geisler, 36). In these senses, CPG investors are being forced to adapt e-commerce as it is effective as a well as a means for them to thrive.
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.
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.
Welcome to the grind! This is where the real work begins. Having launched your online store, you should immediately move on to the promotion phase. Marketing your store and optimizing conversions will be your daily bread and butter from now on. You should also experiment with regularly expanding or refreshing your inventory. It is a particularly easy thing to do for dropshippers, as they can import new dropshipping products in minutes, but it should remain a priority even if you’re manufacturing or making the products yourself. Staying ahead of the curve will take some testing.

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.
When it comes to fraud, the biggest threat you have to watch out for is chargebacks. After all, most people pay online using their credit cards, either directly or through a payment processor such as PayPal. If a credit card is stolen, its owner can usually reverse unintended payments. However, some people also do this on purpose to avoid paying for their purchases.
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.

In just three steps — see, tap, shop — consumers browsing Instagram can become your customers.  Here's how to tag #WooCommerce products in your Instagram posts and drive traffic to your store:https://woocommerce.com/posts/instagram-shopping/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=WooCommerce&utm_content=Shopping%20on%20Instagram%3A%20Tag%20WooCommerce%20Products%20in%20Posts%20and%20Drive%20Traffic%20to%20Your%20Store …

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.
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).
Tracey Wallace is the Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she covers all things ecommerce: marketing, design, development, strategy, plus emerging trends, including omnichannel and cloud replatforming. She is often featured in publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and ELLE, along with leading BigCommerce partners like HubSpot and Square. She launched her career in ecommerce with Y-Combinator backed Shoptiques.

With the new Points and Rewards WooCommerce Extension, the only thing missing is a referral system that let's customers earn points for referring their friends. So essentially anyone could create an account on your WooCommerce site and share your products with their friends. When their friends use the referral link and buy a product from your site, the customer that refers them gets points.
At its core, e-commerce refers to the purchase and sale of goods and/or services via electronic channels such as the internet. E-commerce was first introduced in the 1960s via an electronic data interchange (EDI) on value-added networks (VANs). The medium grew with the increased availability of internet access and the advent of popular online sellers in the 1990s and early 2000s. Amazon began operating as a book-shipping business in Jeff Bezos' garage in 1995. EBay, which enables consumers to sell to each other online, introduced online auctions in 1995 and exploded with the 1997 Beanie Babies frenzy.
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.
BigCommerce is similar to Shopify in that it offers a range of powerful ecommerce features packaged in an easy-to-use SaaS platform. It’s almost neck-and-neck with Shopify in terms of pricing too, and currently enjoys a decent amount of popularity with users. Ultimately, it’s Shopify’s superior app developer support that keeps BigCommerce from being the best ecommerce platform for small businesses.
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. 

When you look at all the ecommerce platforms and tally up all the features like we did, the end result is a mind-boggling list of 41 core features. After you make sure that your platform can handle your business model (i.e. recurring orders or customized products), you need to make sure that your online platform delivers on the features we’ve identified as crucial for ecommerce entrepreneurs – we weighted these 5x more than ‘nice haves’ in our assessment of best ecommerce software.
Live Music Archive is essentially a partnership between Internet Archive and etree.org, a community dedicated to providing high-quality, lossless versions of live concerts. You can think of it as a bootlegger’s paradise given the site’s sheer abundance of concert material, much of which focuses on jam bands such as the Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident, and Sound Tribe Sector 9. Still, there are a host of other bands to choose from — The Smashing Pumpkins, Jack Johnson, Animal Collective, etc. — along with plenty of genres to browse, ranging from jazz to reggae.
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.
A Canadian-based ecommerce solution, Shopify has been helping online businesses across the globe with a sharp focus on the trending social commerce and mobile shopping. Founded in 2004, Shopify has always kept up with the pace of evolving ecommerce trends and technologies, having broken ground on powerful additions such as social shopping whereby your customers never leave their social media platform in order to buy from you.
Determine compatibility – Skill level and expertise aren’t enough. You should also ensure that the consultant has a great relationship with you and your staff. Take time to evaluate cultural fit and see if they’re compatible with your team. Look into their work ethic. How do they operate? How do they interact with others? The answers to these questions can help you determine if they’re a good fit.

“Has loads of great functionality”. Oh well, where do we start! Not only is there a large amount of functionality—the quality is also very high, from analytics dashboards to high-standard security. Want to create a subscription-based payment model? No problem. Your business is expanding and you’re thinking of expanding your catalogue as well? Easy peasy.


The gap between B2B buyers and sellers has been growing. More than 70 percent of B2B buyers preferred to wait to engage a seller until the latter demonstrated a clear understanding of its needs, a CSO Insights survey found. Nearly 58 percent of buyers saw little difference among sellers, and more than 10 percent saw no difference at all among sellers. [More...]
All downloads are legal, and while the majority of the songs are free, there are some premium tunes which users can buy or stream for free on the site. Artists can also upload music and create a custom profile for free, and users can filter search results by song, name, genre, or even whether the artist is signed or unsigned. PureVolume is a great way to learn about artists you otherwise wouldn’t likely encounter, especially given the site offers plenty of music news and interviews with up-and-coming artists.
You can use an off-the-shelf eCommerce solution like Shopify, which makes building an online store a quick and easy process. However, it will also mean less customization, as you will need to choose from an existing pool of themes and tools provided by the platform. If you opt to run a dropshipping business, eCommerce solutions like Oberlo will allow you to get the store off the ground and start selling in as little as few hours.
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.
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. 

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.
Majority of ecommerce solutions will support fashion-centric products such as apparel and footwear. However if your products come in different sizes and variants, then you’ll want to go with a robust hosted solution like Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion and 3dcart. If you’re looking for something open source and self-hosted, WooCommerce might be a good option.
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