An E-commerce platform is a complete online store application. It has many synonyms like E-commerce software, shopping cart software, Webshop software and many others.
The term E-commerce platform refers to the complete software needed to run a site and could be built on proprietary or generally available toolsets like LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), .NET, Java, etc.
E-commerce platform have some varieties of distribution:
Commercial licensing – when E-commerce platform is available for a determined fee (there are also several options and possibilities), usually the software is permitted to be set up only for one webstore. This type of license considerably restricts what the user can do with the software.
General Public License – means that you are able to transfer the software in any way, to modify the source code.
E-commerce platforms also can be hosted – provided together with hosting services for monthly/annually paid fee as well as not-hosted which means that you pay one-time fee and install software on the other hosting.
E-commerce platform features
Of course, different E-commerce platforms provide various features to their users, but there is a range of most common such as:
- user accounts,
- shopping cart,
- ordering capabilities,
- integrated payment methods,
- shipping methods,
There are also some advanced features provided by some developer-companies:
- guided navigation,
- gift list/registry,
- customer segmentation,
- SEO friendly,
- marketing tools,
- affiliate program,
- statistics of sells,
- one-page checkout,
- inventory tracking,
- block manager,
- real-time shipping rates,
E-commerce platform is developed to perform the following functionalities:
- keep all you content and product information in one place;
- manage your webstore work;
- make accepting payments easier;
- helps to promote your goods.
E-commerce platforms are usually provided with Help Desk where users can describe their problem and receive help from developers. Also there can be support forums where it's possible to receive help from other users.
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