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.
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.

Over the past decade and a half, electronic networks such as the Internet have greatly impacted the way commerce and other transactions are conducted. E-commerce facilitates transactions between two parties because it supersedes the boundaries of physical space (with the exception of delivery of goods or services), allowing the exchange to occur remotely as well as more quickly and efficiently.

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.
“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.
"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."
In this online music streaming community, the content is uploaded by independent artists and famous musicians. You can search for songs through bands or artists tags in the search bar. SoundCloud was also recently featured on our list of India’s best music streaming services. It contains a relatively small but a very enjoyable collection of remix Hindi songs that can be downloaded for free.
Additionally, all of the solutions we're talking about have their knowledge bases, which basically let you search a topic and see if someone else has talked about it and addressed it in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best support areas you can find, since it allows you to resolve a problem while maybe sitting on the phone waiting for a support rep.
Websites such as Squarespace and WordPress offer mobile-friendly, ready-to-go e-commerce templates that help you get a store up and running quickly. As a shop owner, you will need a way to collect credit card payments from consumers online. PayPal, Square and Google Wallet are all popular ways of accepting and managing online payments. You can also sell your merchandise through online giants like Amazon.
Your product feed upload won't work if you installed it on your developer site because it's not connected to the Internet. To fix this issue, you'll need to install the Facebook for WooCommerce Extension on your live site instead. Also keep in mind that each of your products need to have a valid description, image, and unique product ID (such as a SKU) for you to be able to upload your products to Facebook.
In 2013, Brazil's e-commerce was growing quickly with retail e-commerce sales expected to grow at a double-digit pace through 2014. By 2016, eMarketer expected retail e-commerce sales in Brazil to reach $17.3 billion.[49] India has an Internet user base of about 460 million as of December 2017.[50] Despite being third largest user base in world, the penetration of Internet is low compared to markets like the United States, United Kingdom or France but is growing at a much faster rate, adding around 6 million new entrants every month.[citation needed] In India, cash on delivery is the most preferred payment method, accumulating 75% of the e-retail activities.[51][citation needed] The India retail market is expected to rise from 2.5% in 2016 to 5% in 2020.[52]
Thanks, most of all, to you - our amazing community! From the volunteers who helped us maintain the site and bring new artists on board, to the curators and bands whose contributions diversified our collections, to our funders, to the folks that used the site everyday and made it the legendary corner of the web that it truly was. It was an amazing nine years, and we are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
It’s a tall order, but you need to be able to deliver if you want to stay competitive. And a big part of doing that lies in the technologies you use in your business. To thrive in today’s market, you need an ecommerce platform that will allow you to deliver on the expectations of modern consumers. You need the tools to sell the right products, provide amazing shopping experiences, and fulfil orders efficiently. And if your existing solution can’t meet those needs, you should find one that can.
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.
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.
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.

One thing that all of the platforms have in common is the fact that their dashboards are all very easy to navigate. Furthermore, most of the platforms offer some sort of a setup wizard that will guide you through the creation of your first store. Inventory management, design functionality and the setup process all tie into how the overall ease of use is classified in this comparison.
Research from BigCommerce has found that Americans are about evenly split on online versus offline shopping, with 51% of Americans preferring e-commerce and 49% preferring physical stores. However, 67% of millennials prefer shopping online over offline. According to Forbes, 40% of millennials are also already using voice assistants to make purchases, with that number expected to surpass 50% by 2020.
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.
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.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the most frequent type of e-commerce platform and focuses exclusively on selling to consumers. B2C e-commerce is open to anyone who wants to purchase online. There may be geographical limitations regarding shipping or currencies, but theoretically, any consumer with a valid credit card can use this type of software to buy online.
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.
If you’re a fan of classical music, finding free downloads is easy — after all, most classical compositions and many performances have long been public domain. Musopen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and accessibility of classical music, hosts an impressive library of songs and compositions without any copyright restrictions. Users can browse by composer or performer, or filter results based on the time period and instrument. Whether you enjoy the complex arrangements of the Baroque period or the fierce passion of the Romantics, Musopen probably has what you’re looking for.

News flash: Private cloud economics can offer more cost efficiency than public cloud pricing structures. Private, or on-premises, cloud solutions can be more cost-effective than public cloud options, according to a report by 451 Research and Canonical. That conclusion counters the notion that public cloud platforms traditionally are more cost-efficient than private infrastructures. [More...]
Note. I don’t feel like I should make statements like, “I enjoy WooCommerce’s product management more than I do Shopify’s” here because it doesn’t actually bring much value into the discussion. I’m just a guy. A user. And my opinion is not any more important than the other person’s. Inevitably, the way WooCommerce does a given thing, for example, is going to be better for some of you than how Shopify does the same thing. And vice versa. So the key here is to check all those features out by yourself and compare which platform just feels better.
Websites such as Squarespace and WordPress offer mobile-friendly, ready-to-go e-commerce templates that help you get a store up and running quickly. As a shop owner, you will need a way to collect credit card payments from consumers online. PayPal, Square and Google Wallet are all popular ways of accepting and managing online payments. You can also sell your merchandise through online giants like Amazon.
The future trends in the GCC countries will be similar with that of the western countries. Despite the forces that push business to adapt e-commerce as a means to sell goods and products, the manner in which customers make purchases is similar in countries from these two regions. For instance, there has been an increased usage of smartphones which comes in conjunction with an increase in the overall internet audience from the regions. Yuldashev writes that consumers are scaling up to more modern technology that allows for mobile marketing. However, the percentage of smartphone and internet users who make online purchases is expected to vary in the first few years. It will be independent on the willingness of the people to adopt this new trend (The Statistics Portal). For example, UAE has the greatest smartphone penetration of 73.8 percent and has 91.9 percent of its population has access to the internet. On the other hand, smartphone penetration in Europe has been reported to be at 64.7 percent (The Statistics Portal). Regardless, the disparity in percentage between these regions is expected to level out in future because e-commerce technology is expected to grow allowing for more users. The e-commerce business within these two regions will result in a competition. Government bodies at country level will enhance their measures and strategies to ensure sustainability and consumer protection (Krings, et al.). These increased measures will raise the environmental and social standards in the countries, factors that will determine the success of e-commerce market in these countries. For example, an adoption of tough sanctions will make it difficult for companies to enter the e-commerce market while lenient sanctions will allow ease of companies. As such, the future trends between GCC countries and the Western countries will be independent of these sanctions (Krings, et al.). These countries need to make rational conclusions in coming up with effective sanctions.
My only question about Salesforce's recent revenue announcement is why the company described the vast majority of its nonprofessional services revenues as "subscription and support." Proserv revenues were appropriately small, at $224 million, while subscription and support was $3.17 billion, or 26 percent more than the same quarter a year earlier. Nice going, by the way. [More...]
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.

2Checkout (formerly Avangate) is the digital commerce & payments provider that helps companies sell their products and services via multiple channels, acquire customers across multiple touch points, increase customer and revenue retention, leverage smarter payment options and subscription billing models, and maximize sales conversion rates. The company’s clients include ABBYY, Absolute, Bitdefender, FICO, HP Software, Kaspersky Lab, and many more companies across the globe. Avangate acquired 2Checkout (www.2checkout.com) in March 2017. Companies select our solution to: - Sell More Digital Goods Globally - Maximize Customer Lifetime Value - Accelerate Time to Market - Get Integrated Recurring Revenue Management - Leverage New Distribution Channels More info on www.avangate.com and www.2checkout.com
The only downside in all this is that you somehow need to get your hands on a WordPress site in the first place. And okay, I know this is not particularly a problem for you maybe, but we have to remember that WordPress can be quite confusing to a beginner, and the need to first set up a WordPress site and only then a WooCommerce store is far from intuitive.

The first step to starting an eCommerce business is deciding what products you’re going to sell. Finding a profitable idea can be hard work, so be prepared to do some serious digging and thinking. It’s essential that you choose products with healthy margins that will allow you to turn a profit and scale the business in the future. Once you know what you want to sell, you’ll need to decide how and where you’re going to source the products. The four main methods of sourcing products and inventory are making, manufacturing, wholesale and dropshipping.
Of course, you could use a standard WordPress theme – many fully support WooCommerce. However, WooCommerce-specific themes are built from the ground up with the ecommerce platform in mind, so they’re often a smarter bet. There are some excellent free choices out there, and you can also find premium options that include more features for a set price.
Optimize the look and feel of your site across devices easily and quickly. Go beyond beautiful to make mobile-first conversions intuitive with branded checkouts and payment gateways like Apple Pay, PayPal, or Shopify Pay’s one-click confirmation. Merge in-store retail with mobile browsing to capture and engage your customer at every step in the purchase process.
Demandware is a fully-hosted, cloud-based ecommerce platform with built-in omnichannel and predictive analytics capabilities. Demandware’s Commerce Cloud has a native data model which leverages a shared view of customer data, order history, inventory, and promotional information across all channels to give its retail clients valuable shopper insights that can be used for benchmarking and analysis.
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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