The increase of the web has allowed innumerable companies to reach a wider market. Not only that, it has given rise to innumerable new businesses only online. driven by the exponential increase in mobile connections.
It is not surprising that an analyst affirms that the SMB e-commerce platform market will break the trillion dollar barrier.
There is no doubt that the web offers a great opportunity for companies, but it is important for organizations to make the most of that opportunity. To sell your products or services online, your website must be properly equipped.
Building an online store from scratch is a gigantic and, thankfully, unnecessary task. Today, there is a wide variety of e-commerce software to choose from.
Most e-commerce software will provide companies with standard functionalities, such as the ability to display products in an online catalog, make online payments, manage customers and provide aftersales.
Others will provide more sophisticated functionalities, such as online marketing features, the ability to manage or integrate with in-store systems and the provision of APIs.
What e-commerce software is best for your business depends completely on your specific requirements. If you are a team only online, then the integration of the point of sale will not be necessary, but you can get many business from abroad, in which case the support of foreign currency would be a requirement.
In this article, we & # 39; We will highlight some of the best e-commerce programs available at this time, before moving on to consider other options that you may wish to explore in terms of creating your own e-commerce solution.
The best e-commerce platforms in 2018  1. Shopify
Ready-to-use e-commerce packages
Giant of the world of e-commerce
Easy to use
Lots of features
Shopify is perhaps the best-known e-commerce platform available. It was created in 2006 by the founders Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake, who, according to the story, considered that there was no e-commerce platform easy to use and therefore built their own. The company states that: "You do not need to have any technical or design experience to easily create a beautiful online store."
According to Shopify, it is possible to have one of your online stores running in a matter of minutes. Users can choose from a wide range of templates, or they can design the appearance of their stores. Accepts a wide range of credit cards, has PCI level 1 compliance and 256-bit SSL encryption for security, and offers 24/7 support by phone, instant messaging or email.
The platform provides a complete CMS with which users can manage the functionality and design of their online store. Users can manage their store on the go using Shopify's mobile applications, and the platform itself is fully responsive, which means that the store will be optimized for visitors regardless of whether they access it from a desktop or device. mobile.
also offers users unlimited hosting for their stores, detailed analyzes of how visitors use the store and marketing functionalities such as SEO optimization, a coupon and discount engine, gift cards and email marketing tools.
Price: From $ 29 (around £ 21) per month
Experience in e-commerce with a complete CMS
Flexible product management
Access to the web design experience
Bigcommerce was established in 2009 and promises to "support your business, not just your store." In addition to offering support by phone, instant chat and email, it also offers articles and videos to help with e-commerce and access to a team of e-commerce experts who can provide advice and guidance on online sales. Its experts are qualified in both Google Analytics and Adwords.
Like Shopify, Bigcommerce offers a variety of templates and themes to help stores look better and start running quickly. Alternatively, users can design their own store or use Bigcommerce designers to do so. The platform incorporates a CMS with all the functions that allows users to run a complete website, instead of just one store.
Users can benefit from detailed and flexible product management, optimized search engine positioning, along with a variety of integrated marketing and analytics tools. Payments can be accepted through more than 40 pre-integrated tickets and the shipping details can be customized according to the requirements of the company. The platform offers automated order processing, flexible fiscal rules depending on where orders are made and sent, and support for multiple currencies.
Price: From $ 30 (around £ 21) per month
Veteran Vendor with Custom Design Service
Wide Range of Site Management Tools
Bountiful Help Resources
Free 14 Day Trial
Volusion has been around for almost two decades, after having been created in Texas in the USA. UU in 1999. The company touts its platform as an "all-in-one e-commerce solution" and offers a 14-day free trial version (no credit card required).
As with other e-commerce platforms, users are offered a variety of templates to choose from, and they can also customize templates if they wish. If a more complex design is required, Volusion offers a customized design service that can incorporate brands and the presence of a company in social networks.
The platform provides the management tools for sites and products that you expect, marketing functionality for SEO, social networks, and subsidiaries, along with emails and order management functions for fast order processing, acceptance of payments , tax calculations and POS integration.
In addition to its platform and associated services, Volusion offers applications of its partners, support for users and a knowledge base to obtain help with electronic commerce. Users can resort to blog posts, guides and webinars.
Price: From $ 15 (around £ 11) per month
Service that focuses on SMEs
All features offered in all plans
Secure hosting with a 99.9% uptime guarantee
Prides itself on transparency
CoreCommerce se created in 2001 and focuses on providing commercial e-services to small and medium enterprises. The company emphasizes simplicity and transparency, promising that its platform is easy to use and that customers will not fall into any hidden charges.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of CoreCommerce is that all its features are offered to all customers no matter what plan they are on. Pricing plans are determined by the number of products, the number of email addresses, the amount of bandwidth and the amount of storage required by the user (and higher-level plans also benefit from additional support).
As with other e-commerce providers, CoreCommerce offers functionality for store design, product management, order processing and marketing. From its main features, the platform offers unlimited product customization options, an integrated blog creation engine and secure hosting provided by Rackspace and comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Web: https: //www.corecommerce.com
Price: From $ 19 (around £ 14) per month
Allows an impressive degree of adaptation to your needs
Easy to use
Lots of innovative features
Many additional services on offer
Having been founded in 1997, 3dcart is the oldest Our suppliers featured here. It was created with the aim of incorporating as much of the most requested e-commerce features as possible in a platform.
The company says that it has six core values for which it operates: continuous innovation, good service, simple solutions, fostering trust, keeping employees and customers happy, and stimulating prosperity among employees and customers.
Some of the innovative features of the platform include a module that users can install to offer gift wrappers, a purchase order system, the option to run a loyalty program and the ability to offer recurring orders. Many of these
features are very specific, which means that stores can adapt to the needs of each business.
Stores can be designed using one of the many templates offered by 3dcart, or users can design their own store. A quick edit bar means that making changes to the design of a store is simple. The images of the products are advanced with the auto-zoom function of 3dcart and the products can be sold through Facebook with their integration in the store. As with other platforms, users can blog directly from 3dcart and tools are provided to set up coupons, send newsletters and affiliate marketing.
In addition to its platform, 3dcart offers a series of professional services. Users can request help with SEO, PPC, purchasing power management, social networks, Facebook ads and conversion consulting. Help can also be provided to ensure that a user's store is set to the highest standard. Services such as site cloning, custom tracking configuration, data migration and training are offered.
In addition, 3dcart can provide SSL certification. Accommodation is guaranteed at 99.9% uptime and 24/7 support is provided by phone, email or online chat.
Price: From $ 29 (around £ 21) per month
If you do not want to follow the path of using a ready-to-use package, what other options are available to explore? That's what we're going to see in the second half of this piece …
Is eBay right for your business?
Opening its doors in 1999, eBay United Kingdom now has more than 14 million users, with more than 10,000 people using the site for a business that is their main means of income. It's not just about people selling unwanted products: companies have used the simplicity offered by eBay to establish lucrative operations. Even the biggest brands like Argos, Debenhams and House of Fraser are using eBay to sell online.
With sophisticated tools now available, you can be up and running with your store in just a few hours. The eBay Seller Center has all the information you need. Each store is managed through eBay's familiar user interface, and there are a number of tools provided by eBay to help manage, track and promote your store once established.
Using eBay as a platform for your business could be ideal if your business wants to sell products on a fixed price basis. The full integration of PayPal's electronic payment system on eBay takes care of this essential component of your store.
The key to eBay is to closely monitor the costs involved and also the transaction fees that PayPal charges before moving forward and establishing its own store.
How to create your own e-commerce solution
Of course, if you want to have total control over every aspect of your new online store, building each page yourself will be the best course of action. Hiring someone to code your website is an option. If you decide to do so, follow these steps:
- Ask the company for live examples of your work to see
- Write a detailed summary of the site you want to create. The more details, the better to avoid confusion
- Make sure you understand the price you are charged and the number of revisions that this price includes
- Always have a contract or contract signed before the work begins
- Ask if the Designers will host your site and if you can make updates yourself or if all updates must go through the design agency at an additional cost
- Ask to be assigned the copyright of your design to your company, since your website is an important part of the intellectual property of your company
- Include in your contract details on how the agreement can be dissolved amicably if things go wrong
You have to build your site completely from scratch. Buying a template can provide you with all the basic pages that your site needs. You can modify them yourself using an application such as Dreamweaver, or hire a coding expert to make the changes. Website templates are available from various vendors, including Template Monster.
If you already have a website and want to add e-commerce functionality, this can be easily accomplished with a series of applications that include:
Final notice  Whatever route you choose to take when building your website, always remember:
- You must ensure that your store can be updated and easily managed.
- Good professional web hosting is vital to ensure that your site is always available.
- Look for payment and shopping carts that are intuitive and efficient to use.
- Customer service is king these days. Companies should not only take customers' money efficiently, but should also support it properly.
- Make sure your store is
fully integrated with all the major social media sites.
- First place security: Buyers now feel more comfortable shopping online, but always make sure your site uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) which is now the industry standard for online payments.
- Above any other consideration should be the visitor experience of your site. Do not forget that your competitors are just a click away in the world of e-commerce.
fully integrated with all the major social media sites.
The configuration of your online store should be approached with care and diligence to ensure that it operates a professional and efficient site. Internet purchases continue to expand. Make sure your company does not miss a sales channel that shows no signs of slowing down.