To take advantage of all the new features, such as full-with content blocks, we’ve redesigned the regular posts layout in Storefront. Ever since Storefront was first released the layout for posts was made of 2 columns, one being the post meta, and the other the content itself. In this new version, the content now spans the entire width of the container. Here’s a before/after comparison:
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.
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.
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.
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.
BigCartel is a great platform for small businesses and creative independent ventures. They aim to make selling easy for small stores, with a “quick setup” feature that can get an ecommerce store up and running extremely quickly. They also have a range of free themes. Customizability isn’t super high, but apps and add-ons do allow for some flexibility.
One of the biggest advantages of listing your products on Amazon is that you can use its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, which handles shipping for you. WP-Lister Lite for Amazon supports that feature, but keep in mind that if you use it, you’ll need to direct any purchases made on your WooCommerce store to your Amazon listings. To get started, you’ll want to check out an online guide to configuring both platforms to work together.
Miva’s unique hybrid SaaS technology combines the ease of use and trusted security of SaaS with the flexibility and rich functionality found in Open Source and On-Premise systems. Miva’s native functionality includes a rich assortment of shopping and merchandising tools that reduce the need for third-party plug-ins. With Miva, merchants can operate B2B and B2C sales through a single website, displaying products and offering promotions tailored to specific customer groups.
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.

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, announced that AWS customers would be off all Oracle databases by the end of 2019 and running on one of Amazon's database products. This is not the first time the market has heard something like this, but this time could be different. The statement comes on the heels of Amazon spending significant coin on Oracle licenses a few months ago. [More...]


Using Magento is not for everyone, especially if the store owner is not a programmer, or doesn't have a team of programmers working on his or her team. And then there's the price tag; the basic version is free, but getting an enterprise version means you'll need to shell out at least $20,000/year. If you don't have programmers on staff, be prepared to invest in third-party programming costs as well.
Among emerging economies, China's e-commerce presence continues to expand every year. With 668 million Internet users, China's online shopping sales reached $253 billion in the first half of 2015, accounting for 10% of total Chinese consumer retail sales in that period.[43] The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online.[44] e-commerce transactions between China and other countries increased 32% to 2.3 trillion yuan ($375.8 billion) in 2012 and accounted for 9.6% of China's total international trade.[45] In 2013, Alibaba had an e-commerce market share of 80% in China.[46] In 2014, there were 600 million Internet users in China (twice as many as in the US), making it the world's biggest online market.[47] China is also the largest e-commerce market in the world by value of sales, with an estimated US$899 billion in 2016.[48]
NoiseTrade is part free music site, part promotion platform. You can download any individual track or album an independent artist uploads to the site if, in turn, you generously supply them with your email address and postal code. The freemium promotion platform also encourages you to spread the word about artists you like via Facebook and Twitter, while giving you the option to quickly tip the artist a suggested $4 donation.
"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."

Another way to analyze popularity is to tie it in with where customers are going when they leave a certain ecommerce platform. The reason this is interesting is that it gives you an indicator of which of the companies have kept up with technologies and made improvements to bring in additional customers. A quick market share search on Shopify shows that the Shopify company is gaining most of its customers from Bigcommerce, Big Cartel, and Volusion. Bigcommerce is still stealing some customers from Shopify, but it used to be the number one place that people would go after Shopify. We assume it's because of the Bigcommerce pricing.


The sites mentioned on this list mostly provide English MP3 songs and tracks with the exception of SoundCloud, which offers a small but decent collection of Hindi songs. Recently I found that a lot of readers search for free and legal sites to download Hindi songs as well. So I was thinking of covering that too in another article. Do let us know in the comment box whether you’d like us to cover Hindi songs websites as well!
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 🙂
Shopping carts — are the most basic features but also the most critical, since they are the interface between the company and its customers. The first thing that customers will use to buy online is a shopping cart, and they usually do not care how it works and what’s needed to keep it safe. The essential characteristic of shopping cart software is ease of use. Buyers want the ability to perform transactions fast, so the user interface of a shopping cart needs to be extremely easy to use.
Handshake: B2B customer ordering and sales rep order entry solutions. Handshake is for companies like brands, manufacturers and distributors who are selling to retail stores or other business customers. For customer ordering - Handshake helps you provide a modern B2B eCommerce experience for easy online ordering and a mobile app for shelf-side orders when your customers are out on the floor. For sales rep ordering - Handshake provides a dedicated sales rep app that gives them the customer, product, pricing and inventory information they need to have better customer conversations. Orders can be entered fast and submitted instantly.
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.
Accounting and finance software manages all financial aspects of the sales transactions performed on the e-commerce platform. While consumers do not require invoices and other documents related to a purchase, the high volume of sales data needs to be consolidated and allocated to the appropriate general ledger accounts. For B2B, the volume of transactions isn’t very high, but invoicing is more complicated. Corporate customers may need custom invoices, shipping manifests, and warranty documents. Also, large companies have multiple business units that can purchase online individually or at the corporate level. Payment can also be made by numerous business entities from multiple bank accounts or credit cards.

And even better, they do offer a Theme editor within the platform that you can use for customization. You can choose to hide sections within the theme editor without removing them. Hidden sections will still be customisable in the theme editor but not visible on the store front-end. This allows you to start sections for future releases and remove the need for theme duplications ( a common issue most developers face with WordPress).

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.
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.
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.

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.
After disabling each plugin, test your site’s loading times to see if there are any improvements. If speeds remain the same – or the improvement is minimal – reactivate that plugin and try the next one instead. Keep in mind that there are likely to be some small variations during each performance test, so we recommend conducting a few and averaging the results for a more complete picture.
One important thing to point out is to not get overly excited with WooCommerce’s seemingly attractive pricing too much. While, yes, the platform itself is free, and all the components needed to make it operational (including PayPal payments, etc.) are free, you might need a number of paid extensions to get some helpful additional features. This will grow your bill.
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