Selecting the right products to sell on your store is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Even if you already have an idea for the kind of items you want to list, it’s smart to consider all your options. If there isn’t a market for your products, you want to find that out before your store opens for business. That way, you’ll have time to make changes to your items so they’re more appealing, or to switch directions entirely.
An example of e-commerce between individuals, or between two consumers, would be an online marketplace such as eBay.com. Similar to the example above, anyone with Internet access and a credit or debit card can browse and purchase available products. The difference here is that products are being sold by individual sellers (other consumers) rather than one large online store.
When someone mentions a “free” ecommerce platform, that’s usually code for open source. If you’d rather devote money to other aspects of your business or you’re looking for the satisfaction of building an ecommerce store, open source ecommerce solutions could be the answer you’re looking for. While we’ve mentioned some of these platforms previously, here we will compare and contrast additional platforms that are considered “free.”
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.
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.
BigCommerce is most easily compared to Shopify. Both platforms offer a similar experience when building an ecommerce platform. Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers a range of prices and packages tailored to different types of businesses. The platform is highly customizable if you are comfortable with some light coding. It is also possible to use themes and templates to build your website, but some of these will come at an additional cost.
Want to stream instead of download? We keep a list of the best places to listen to free music online. You can even stream free music right from your phone. If you like to watch music videos along with the music, there are also free music video streaming websites. Also be sure to check out these free online radio stations that play all types of music, and this list of places to download royalty-free sounds.
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.
That said, if you take a look at a comparison on Google Trends, there's only one clear winner in terms of what people are searching and how many of them show interest in the popular consumer ecommerce solutions, but let's hold off on this for a minute. First, have a look at the popularity chart between five of our featured tools: Bigcommerce, Volusion, Big Cartel, 3dcart, Ecwid, across the past 12 months:
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.
Shopify has been in the business for a very long time. It is one of the most successful platforms out there and gets good reviews from users. It offers light and reduced cost plans for small businesses that aren’t too expensive. And Shopify’s themes allow for a large amount of customizability. Generally speaking, it is extremely easy to setup and use, so much that you don’t really need to hire a developer. For small businesses, we consider it to be the best ecommerce platform out there.