The devil is in the details, though, so when picking the platform for yourself, you should probably focus on things that are more niche in their nature, yet can mean the world to your business. And the complete list of those can be huge, so I urge you to do your own research and in-depth comparison once you have a general idea of the platform you’d like to try out.
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.

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.
Because of its simplicity and ease of use, Shopify is ideal for small businesses. It’s also affordable, with Shopify Lite starting as low as $9 per month. Shopify’s themes are abundant and very aesthetically pleasing. Smaller inventories will benefit from the features and the top-rated support. Although Shopify lacks powerful blogging and content-creation capabilities, it can easily be integrated with CMS’s like WordPress (they even developed a plugin to integrate the two!).
Magento is similar to platforms like WooCommerce and OpenCart. Its Community Edition is completely free and open-source, but you will be responsible for setting it up and paying for the hosting and domain. Magento also comes with a steep learning curve, and Magento developers are noticeably more expensive to hire than rival platforms. For smaller businesses, setting up an ecommerce shop using Magento can be needlessly expensive. 
In China, the Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China (promulgated on 25 September 2000), stipulated the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as the government department regulating all telecommunications related activities, including electronic commerce.[36] On the same day, The Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services released, is the first administrative regulation to address profit-generating activities conducted through the Internet, and lay the foundation for future regulations governing e-commerce in China.[37] On 28 August 2004, the eleventh session of the tenth NPC Standing Committee adopted The Electronic Signature Law, which regulates data message, electronic signature authentication and legal liability issues. It is considered the first law in China's e-commerce legislation. It was a milestone in the course of improving China's electronic commerce legislation, and also marks the entering of China's rapid development stage for electronic commerce legislation.[38]
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.
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. 

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 🙂
While other ecommerce platforms use drag-and-drop editing, or even let you create your store from scratch if you want to, GoDaddy does something different. It uses ADI, which stands for Artificial Intelligence Design. This means it simply asks you a few questions, and then uses your answers to create a personalized store for you. This is what makes it the easiest ecommerce platform to use on the whole market.

Before you can sell it, people must want to buy it. Our e-commerce platform lets you analyze site traffic and browse-to-buy conversion rates to define special offers and new products based on customer behavior. Create personalized shopping experiences with targeted content and offers, and increase satisfaction through ongoing engagement—before, after, and at the point of sale.

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.

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.
In the end, WooCommerce gives you more SEO-specific options overall, purely because of the fact that it's built on top of WordPress. The only problem is that your site speed largely depends on the hosting you go with. Because of this, the SEO category goes to Shopify. You don't have to worry about optimization much, and your speeds are always going to be top-notch.
Windsor Circle's personalization platform allows retailers to create personalized, marketing campaigns to increase revenue, customer brand affinity, and customer value. With Windsor Circle, retailers can gain access to their 3+ years of eCommerce data - product, purchase, and customer data - and create segments based on these fields, as well as predictive data sets, such as predicted gender, next order data, future value, to power campaigns via email, social, direct mail, and more.
You’re probably used to using this online retailer to buy everything from the best headphones to dog food, so why not add some free music to your shopping list? Believe it or not, Amazon has a massive assortment of thousands of free tunes available via its digital music arm, allowing you to pick through everything from obscure indie and classical music to hits by the Foo Fighters (whose songs Saint Cecelia and Iron Rooster were available for free download on the service, last we checked). Checkout is quick and painless, and it works just like buying a song that costs money on Amazon, sans payment. Simply add a song to your shopping cart, check out, and the tunes are yours.

The next step is to think about how much you’re willing to spend on your ecommerce platform. When setting your budget, be sure to consider the “non-obvious costs” that come with implementing a new solution. Go beyond the on the surface costs like licenses and development, and consider expenses for maintenance, consultation, set up and the like. Here are some of things you should factor into your budget

1) Go to https://webrecorder.io/, make a free account and record some browsing sessions. You can save pages, search results, and much more using this tool (I've already done some serious browsing & recording - check out my collections here). If you want to share your sessions with us, we can compile a crowdsourced repository. The site may go down at the end of this week, so if you are going to do this, please do it soon.


Webgility is a premium Ecommerce Operations and Accounting automation software designed for multi-channel ecommerce companies who use QuickBooks or Netsuite. Run your whole ecommerce business from a single app — Automate your accounting and sync your business data—including inventory, order management, and shipping—to your QuickBooks or Netsuite. All within one comprehensive app. Automate your accounting—and ditch the busywork — Easily and automatically post all of your sales directly into QuickBooks or Netsuite, knowing it’s timely, accurate, organized, and tax compliant. Create sales receipts or invoices, record expenses and fees, and fully reconcile—error-free. Manage orders—and improve customer satisfaction — Process orders faster. Easily search, sort, filter, import, and export multichannel orders. Manage cancellations and process and track returns and refunds. Automatically create purchase orders for out-of-stock items. Ship faster for less – Automatically connect orders to shipping carriers (FedEx, UPS, USPS) for instant rate comparison. Simply click to print shipping labels and pick lists, validate addresses, track shipments, and notify customers. Never oversell with accurate multichannel inventory — Instantly sync and update price and quantity between all sales channels and QuickBooks or Netsuite. Keep track of what products you have listed on what sales channel, what’s selling for what price, and when you need to order more. Gain valuable insights with powerful analytics — Learn actionable intelligence based on data insights to run your business with strategy instead of guesswork. See all channels, expenses, inventory, financial, and customer analytics to optimize operations and increase revenue.
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.

WooCommerce setup is logical and straightforward with many features automated to enable both physical and e-products to be sold through the same storefront. Inventory management is easy and the ordering process is transparent and secure. The PayPal and other payment systems integrate seamlessly to ensure a secure and confidence-inspiring checkout experience for shoppers. Great analytics too!

“We have huge, huge traffic spikes because we have such a strong core consumer and fan base. They all hit the [previous] website and it just crashed. When we moved from Magento to Shopify Plus, rather than taking months and months to replatform it took weeks. We could concentrate on what we’re really, really good at, which is our customers, our brand, and our product.”
Earlier this year, in response to reports that Russian actors had used Facebook to disrupt the 2016 election, I wrote a few pieces about how one might go about fixing the problem. I am not sure I have solutions for everything, but what motivates me is the sagging feeling that settles in whenever society throws up its hands and punts. We can do better. [More...]
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.
Product management — is essential for companies using e-commerce platforms, since they usually sell many types of products. A complex offering of products and services means that a lot of product data needs to be managed and maintained to ensure that the online store accurately represents what the company sells. Product information is also important to track sales and revenues by product, a mix of items, packages, or product types.

WooCommerce – because it integrates into WordPress – comes with a lot of strong SEO features built right in. WordPress will give you feedback on your SEO right in pages and posts. This makes it easy to visually judge if your SEO on any given page or post is strong and also takes the pressure and thinking out of SEO. For SEO, it is certainly one of the best ecommerce platforms out there.

Web content management software helps companies manage large volumes of content that is used in online stores and facilitates the creation marketing campaigns, catalogs, and e-commerce personalization. Complex e-commerce platforms require different types of content such as text, images, and videos, which should be mobile-friendly and reflect the company brand.
When Last.fm was initially created in 2002, it functioned as an internet radio station in a similar fashion to Pandora and iHeartRadio. In 2005, however, the site adopted Audioscrobbler, a music recommendation system that collects data from dozens of media players and music streaming websites to craft individual user profiles that reflect musical taste and listening habits. Last.fm has now “scrobbled” info from nearly 100 billion plays, which total more than 7 million years’ worth of listening.
The rise of e-commerce has forced IT personnel to move beyond infrastructure design and maintenance to consider numerous customer-facing aspects, such as consumer data privacy and security. When developing IT systems and applications to accommodate e-commerce activities, data governance-related regulatory compliance mandates, personally identifiable information privacy rules and information protection protocols must be considered.
WooCommerce – because it integrates into WordPress – comes with a lot of strong SEO features built right in. WordPress will give you feedback on your SEO right in pages and posts. This makes it easy to visually judge if your SEO on any given page or post is strong and also takes the pressure and thinking out of SEO. For SEO, it is certainly one of the best ecommerce platforms out there.
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.
Depending on if you are a small business with the intention of doing most of the set-up on your own, or if you are a larger business who’d prefer to take a hands off approach, there is an ecommerce platform for you. Ability to customize, scalability, affordability, bandwidth, mobile accessibility, the number of apps, your amount of technical knowledge and user experience are all things to consider when choosing the right ecommerce platform.  
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. 

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 anyone who is planning to start a new ecommerce business in 2018, it's important to first understand how digital commerce has evolved in past 2-3 years and where it is heading. Beyond mobile and social, we've seen just about every aspect of ecommerce evolve. Let's have a look at the major highlights that will shape and influence ecommerce now and in the future.

Black Friday made its debut sometime in the 1960s as the day to help retailers move from the red to the black in profits. The day-after-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza has grown well beyond its roots since then. Last year, at the peak of Black Friday, shoppers were spending nearly $1 million per minute. However, the origins of Black Friday were pre-Internet. [More...]
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.
One of the oldest, open-source ecommerce solutions on the market, Volusion offers a very standard and comprehensive experience. For a business just getting off the ground, their Mini plan allows for 100 products, includes 1GB of bandwidth and only costs $15 per month. For those who have graduated and are generating more revenue, there are the Plus and Pro plans for 1000-10,000 products and 3-10GB of bandwidth. These plans are $35 and $75 per month respectively. If you are looking for a simple and clean online store with few products, Volusion could be good 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.
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