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.

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.
Shopify is another strong ecommerce software option. Their mission is to make selling online as fast and simple as possible. They nailed that, but their SEO has some holes. Weak ranking performance, rigid URL structures and a WordPress plugin that uses iFrames highlights my concerns with their SEO. Moreover,  you can’t customize Shopify’s checkout page.
If you have an enterprise level business that already uses WordPress, WooCommerce might be perfect for you. However, it is very simple and not intended for a hugely complicated ecommerce experience. If you have a lot of products, you’ll need to import a bulk product extension which runs at around $200. This solution is simple and straightforward but if you are an enterprise level company you might consider opting for a digital experience platform so your site can scale.

Electronic commerce or ecommerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. It covers a range of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. It is currently one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge.
It’s a powerful platform with features to support personalised shopping experiences, efficient merchandising as well as the rapid launches of commerce sites for different brands, markets, or campaigns. Oracle ATG Web Commerce also has native features that allow merchants to sell more complex product lines and data-rich products, such as those that require shopper information.

Security is a primary problem for e-commerce in developed and developing countries. E-commerce security is protecting business' websites and costumers from unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction. The type of threats include: malicious codes, unwanted programs (ad ware, spyware), phishing, hacking, and cyber vandalism. E-commerce websites use different tools to avert security threats. These tools include firewalls, encryption software, digital certificates, and passwords.[68]
PayMotion is an award-winning, end-to-end solution for selling products and services online. Through a cloud-based platform, we enable businesses to create customized checkouts, accept a variety of payment methods, localize carts for better conversions, maximize subscriptions and recurring billing, send customized transaction communications, track and manage reselling and integration partners and more. This is combined with PCI DSS Lever 1 Certification, fraud mitigation and free multilingual customer billing support for you and your customers. PayMotion is the complete payment engine of your technology stack with APIs allowing you to integrate the platform's extensive reporting features into your other business platforms.
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.  
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 🙂
Oracle Commerce is the industry's top-ranked commerce solution that powers the world's best brands, and delivers a consistent, personalized cross-channel customer experience. Oracle Commerce offers a complete commerce software platform that enables you to deliver a personalized customer buying experience across all customer touchpoints, including the web, contact center, mobile devices, social media, physical stores, and more.
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.

At this stage, you’ll be itching to get the store out into the World Wide Web. However, make sure you’re well prepared to measure the success of your launch – defining your key performance indicators upfront will help you track your progress and performance and fix any issues as they emerge. Other important things to take care of include setting up your social media profiles, getting the email marketing ready, installing Google Analytics, doing keyword research, defining your shipping strategy and finalizing the launch promotion plan. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but a good start is half the job done. When you complete the checklist, try running your store through the Shopify store grader to catch errors if there are any.
However, e-commerce lacks human interaction for customers, especially who prefer face-to-face connection. Customers are also concerned with the security of online transactions and tend to remain loyal to well-known retailers.[65] In recent years, clothing retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger have started adding Virtual Fit platforms to their e-commerce sites to reduce the risk of customers buying the wrong sized clothes, although these vary greatly in their fit for purpose.[71] When the customer regret the purchase of a product, it involves returning goods and refunding process. This process is inconvenient as customers need to pack and post the goods. If the products are expensive, large or fragile, it refers to safety issues.[64]
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.
For those seeking something in between Magento Go and Magento Enterprise, Magento Community is your go-to. It is free with paid extensions, features mobile integration, plenty of themes, and multi-store functionality. Magento Community will best serve retailers with high traffic and a large inventory and is ideal for mid-sized to upper retailers. Essential, with a series of extensions and excellent programming, retailers can achieve an Enterprise level site and a sophisticated ecommerce experience.

As open source software, WordPress is well known for allowing third-party developers to create various extensions and plugins. WooCommerce taps into that further by offering lots of interesting and exciting additions. Whether you want to easily edit aesthetics, sell on Facebook, ramp up email marketing techniques, understand user behavior or quite frankly do anything else, you'll be able to.
The benefits of e-commerce include its around-the-clock availability, the speed of access, the wide availability of goods and services for the consumer, easy accessibility, and international reach. Its perceived downsides include sometimes limited customer service, consumers not being able to see or touch a product prior to purchase, and the wait time for product shipping.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Phil Smy, former Chief Technology Officer for Toygaroo, told Shark Tank Blog, that Toygaroo might have had trouble scaling the business. “The business was growing,” he said. “To be honest, that was the problem. Explosive growth is a difficult thing to handle for small businesses. I thought – and still think – it is a great idea. The business model needs some changing from what we were doing. I would have grown more organically (i.e., slower) and also found investors who were willing to go the distance.”
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council are among the primary agencies that regulate e-commerce activities. The FTC monitors activities such as online advertising, content marketing and customer privacy, while the PCI Council develops standards and rules, including PCI Data Security Standard compliance, which outlines procedures for the proper handling and storage of consumers' financial data.
While there are many types of software that you can use, customizable, turnkey solutions are proven to be a cost effective method to build, edit and maintain an online store. How do online shopping carts differ from those found in a grocery store? The image is one of an invisible shopping cart. You enter an online store, see a product that fulfills your demand and you place it into your virtual shopping basket. When you are through browsing, you click checkout and complete the transaction by providing payment information.
After the SWOT analysis is done, see how it fits into your overall vision. Where do you see your business in five years? In 10 years? This will help you set business objectives for the current year, for sales, profits, customers, traffic, new systems and new staff. After the objectives are set, you can set a strategy into place yourself or hire an e-commerce consultant to help you.
Bluehost makes it easy to get started with WooCommerce web hosting. Simply choose the hosting plan that is right for your website needs, and then create or add your existing domain. We will automatically install WooCommerce on top of your WordPress website while also providing a free WooCommerce SSL to keep your site and transactions secure. Setup takes only a few minutes and then you can begin selecting a theme for your online store. Shortly after you've selected a WooCommerce theme, you can begin adding your products and payment information.
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