E-Commerce Platforms

An eCommerce platform is a comprehensive software tool that allows merchants to build and manage a digital storefront for their products or services. Because eCommerce platforms create a centralized, digital hub for product and customer data, they allow eCommerce businesses to do things like customize product information, manage web content and layout, allow online transactions to occur, and adjust the platform according to businesses’ online needs.

Top 10 eCommerce Platforms

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Ecwid
  4. WooCommerce
  5. 2Checkout
  6. Zoey
  7. Shopmatic
  8. Handshake
  9. Digital River
  10. Miva

Market Overview

Although hundreds of products offer features for online shopping, they are not all eCommerce platforms. The simple eCommerce devices are widely referred to as shopping cart apps, and their roles are restricted to building the online store, inserting items, and integrating the cart on a website.

The global market size of e-commerce software has been estimated at USD 6.5 billion in 2019 and is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent between 2020 and 2027. E-commerce tech simplifies complicated procedures and lets firms control their inventory, measure taxes and efficiently handle certain business-related functions. Growing people's embrace of online shopping has contributed to a need for many retailers for e-commerce apps.

In 2019 the cloud segment had the maximum share of the business. This is due to the growing proliferation of cloud-based technologies through various vertical lines of industry. Cloud-based delivery provides many benefits including flexible computing space, streamlined control, fast performance and redundancy. It is projected that the on-premise market would experience a CAGR of over 6.0 per cent between 2020 and 2027. On-premise installation limits the user's complete control and thus decreases the need for extra security. The delivery process allows the customer complete power over the hardware and the program upgrades.

E-commerce system offers hospitals, clinics, and other wellness institutes potential to simplify their buying decision of hospital devices and other supplies. The shift of manufacturing companies of medical devices to digital sites has given market players potential for advancement.

Asia Pacific is expected to see the fastest development over the projected period. This recent surge is due to measures in their respective nations carried out by the government of countries like China and India to encourage digitalisation. Due to this, there has been significant growth in internet users.

The e-commerce tech industry is highly decentralized and marked by strong global competition, as many market participants perform their business operations across the world. The e-commerce software industry has witnessed numerous strategies of inorganic expansion, such as acquisitions and mergers, alliances, and cooperation that businesses have embraced in the past years.

COMPETITIVE LEADERSHIP MAPPING TERMINOLOGY

The competitive leadership mapping showcased provides information for top E-Commerce Platforms. Vendor evaluations are based on two broad categories: product offering and business strategy. Each category carries various criteria, based on which vendors have been evaluated. The evaluation criteria considered under product offerings include the breadth of offering, delivery (based on industries that the vendors cater to, deployment models and subscriptions), features/functionality, delivery, product quality and reliability, and product differentiation. The evaluation criteria considered under business strategy include geographic footprint (on the basis of geographic presence), channel strategy and fit, vision alignment, and effectiveness of growth (on the basis of innovations, partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions).

VISIONARY LEADERS

They have a strong portfolio of E-Commerce Platforms, solutions, and associated services. These vendors have been marking their presence in the e-Commerce Platforms market by offering highly customized and easily deployable software for their commercial clients, coupled with their robust business strategy to achieve continued growth in the market.

DYNAMIC DIFFERENTIATORS

They have an innovative portfolio of E-Commerce Platforms solutions and services and have an extensive network of channel partners and resellers to increase the deployment of their services across various vertical markets. Over the years, the Dynamic vendors have been consistently generating positive revenue growth in the E-Commerce Platforms market and their market position is enhanced by organic and inorganic strategies undertaken by them over the period.

INNOVATORS

They have an innovative portfolio of E-Commerce Platforms and strong potential to build strong business strategies for their business growth to be at par with the Vanguards. These vendors have been providing accounting software offerings as per their customer demands. Innovators have been forefront in deploying their solutions for niche and custom requests by their clients requiring the processing of high-performance workloads.

EMERGING COMPANIES

The emerging players are specialized in offering highly niche and tailor-made solutions and services to their clients. A majority of the emerging vendors have been undertaking multiple acquisitions and boosting their sales capabilities in various regions to offer their integrated services to a wide range of clients.

What Does E-commerce Software Do?

With comprehensive functionality and apps combined with strong development tools, eCommerce platform is the streamlined all-in-one application that can do the following:

Handling buyers and orders - eCommerce software is responsible for handling orders, monitoring the status of the order and making fast adjustments as appropriate. It will handle payment collection, maintain purchase logs, monitor client details, establish billing and invoicing, carry on reliable accounting, offer monitoring and reporting, among others, on its own or through any other third-party device or company.

Products and stock management - Users get product information from SKUs and different names and photos, helping them to arrange and store products. Users are often informed and brought to the attention of when supplies are small and which products travel rapidly and need to be replenished.

Simplify marketing - Built-in SEO allows online retailers to score higher for enhanced product exposure and inclusion in traditional search engines, as well as reduced consumer acquisition costs.

Automated delivery and taxation - You can quickly and more reliably print shipment labels, measure sales taxes depending on consumer position and submit notice emails to customers.

Boost customer service - Ecommerce application is designed to allow shoppers to locate what they need in your shop easily and efficiently. Hosted platforms provide service-level agreements that promise 100 % uptime and easy yet comprehensive website maintenance so you can have the greatest online shopping experience for your consumers.

Types of E-Commerce Platforms

There are two general classifications of e-commerce software and they pertain to the type of deployment:

On-Premise - Loaded on local servers and devices, and operated on-site by a team that manages manual upgrades, solves bugs and does general problem-solving. Initially, on-site solutions were used by online sellers because they enabled more hands-on coordinated control to host systems.

Software as a Service - Technically, SaaS or managed applications are the hands-off choice because all upgrades, fixes, and freshly added enhancements are handled automatically or through one-click integrations. Hosted e-commerce software has advanced radically to enable massive, previously exclusive on-premise customization and versatility, rendering it now a necessary solution for most online retailers. In comparison, the SaaS platform can be easily deployed and comes in inexpensive bundles.

Why Use E-Commerce Platforms?

E-commerce sites are the most valuable for small to large businesses who offer their goods or services in many countries or industries and have diverse operations. Many of the features mentioned above might not be appropriate for small businesses but some of them may be required for medium-sized companies.

The key goals that E-Commerce sites will help businesses accomplish are to: Manage retail retailers and other associated data such as product specifics and inventory, prices and promotions, consumer addresses, and payment records. Attract customers, and convince them to purchase the company's goods and services. Resolve post-purchase problems such as errors in returns, shipping or payment, and inconsistencies between what customers expected and what they obtained. Track the quantity and profitability of online purchases, as well as lost opportunities including discarded carts. Comply with the electronic protection requirements to stop computer vulnerabilities to cyber threats or theft online.

Another important benefit to utilizing eCommerce software is that it produces a huge amount of data that other applications, such as CRM software, payroll software, Enterprise systems, and supply chain and distribution solutions utilize. For example, detailed sales and return information can be used to determine the company's profitability, how to enhance stock levels, or which buyers are the most valuable and which ones do not generate significant income.

With all this intelligence, companies will change their strategies to meet evolving consumer tastes and concentrate on sectors and segments that are most likely to deliver meaningful sales and sustainable income.

Who Uses E-Commerce Platforms?

Since eCommerce sites have the most robust functionality on the market, a number of staff, consumers, and stakeholders may use this kind of tech.

Brand management, which guarantees the product details, is correct so up-to-date and that successful goods are eligible for online purchasing

Marketing, who must ensure that the goods and services sold online are portrayed and promoted in a way which protects the identity of the brand and distinguishes the business from its competitors

Sales, who define and execute strategies to improve revenues and monitor the performance of the products and services sold by the company

Customer service, who deal with customer complaints and other user interactions may impact the purchasing process

Partners may sell their products and services on the eCommerce platform of a company or their online stores.

Suppliers usually provide products and services to other companies and do not sell them directly to consumers. They need access to eCommerce platforms to provide product information and inventory availability.

Distributors buy products from other companies and sell them online. They may sell these products on their online store or platforms like Amazon and eBay.

Retailers combine in-store and online sales to target multiple segments of customers or consumers. For this purpose, they need to integrate eCommerce with POS or retail management software.

Customers: Traditionally, businesses sell products and services to two separate categories of customers: businesses and consumers. These two types of customers can be covered by companies that sell to both, usually known as business-to-many (B2M).

Market Dynamics

Drivers

High customer inclination toward using online channels

Increase in demand for the internet of things (IoT)

Increasing adoption of mobile phones for online shopping

Restraints

Growing hacking threats and phishing attacks can potentially result in security breaches, and confidential data leak

Misuse of customer data, in turn, inducing a dent in customer confidence resulting in high attrition rate

Challenges

Increasing cybercrimes worldwide has posed a significant setback

Huge data volume and internet traffic

Opportunities

A paradigm shift from on-premise deployment toward adoption of cloud-based deployment

Integration of data analytics with e-commerce paves new growth opportunities

Benefits of E-Commerce Platforms

Here are the advantages using of e-commerce platforms:

Boosts promotion and marketing efforts - As stated earlier, e-commerce software platform provide advanced SEO campaigns to help users raise visibility among potential customers and allow them to quickly locate the web. Also, users can use stylish concept models to enhance your branding efforts and create a better organizational identity without the aid of visual artists from outside parties.

Improves revenues - Ecommerce software platforms can increase revenue by continuing to drive more visitors to online shops, and by providing an adaptive web surfing functionality that allows users to find what they need quickly. Advanced programs also propose to customers free resources and goods which can improve up-selling and cross-selling incentives.

Enhances customer service - Online shoppers get a comfortable buying experience for e-commerce app bundles. We make it simple to search and locate different resources and items so it is fast and quick to checkout. In addition, on the platform, customers can monitor the order fulfilment and distribution status. Both of these conveniences will improve consumer loyalty and enable return customers. They can also refer their friends and contacts to your online store, which can broaden their customer base.

Improves efficiency - Users don't need to have coding experience to run an online store with ecommerce apps. Users can quickly build, categorize and arrange new product listings and the app calculates the cost on the checkout page automatically. The systems simplify and standardize site management, making it easy for users to update and expand ones online store as needed.

Gives customer insights - Users may use the data and analytics functionalities to learn about the website visitors' web surfing and purchase habits. Such data may be used to recognise key factors and patterns that affect customer habits and to develop proactive marketing strategies to improve revenue and profits.

Increases security - Ecommerce platforms have safety procedures and safeguarding of client and customer data. They add additional layers of security to your business transactions, too. In fact, they provide native fraud identification and strong authentication to hold threats in place.

Features of E-Commerce Platforms

Ecommerce platform is developed to realize its objective with a variety of features and processes that simplify and assist the many key elements involved in online sales. Here are the features common to e-commerce software:

Automation - The checkout method, including correct price estimation, tariffs, delivery prices and costs of processing, is automated to give consumers a clear understanding about how much they should pay for products they want to purchase..

Website builder - Ecommerce software can help you create the app from the ground if you don't have a current site. It provides models for the fast development of a professional-looking webpage and marketplace based on the tastes without the need to recruit business developers.

Central database - Users have a central repository where product details, user data, accounting transactions, product descriptions, browsing history and payment and shipping status can be easily stored, accessed and recovered.

Search function - Advanced search features make it easier for customers to locate the things they are searching for or the brands. E-commerce platforms can list, categorize and update new products alongside descriptions, images and feature reports.

Integration - Many e-commerce systems may be combined with specific business software and third-party applications and resources to allow users to manage multiple tasks – accounting, e-mail marketing, order delivery and payment services – within a single application.

Marketing tools - Users will use the e-commerce apps to boost advertisement, advertising, and branding for the website. Users can use a range of tools to develop effective advertising, SEO optimisation techniques and advertising/photo strengthening.

Analytics and reporting - eCommerce software can help users visualize and recognize insights and changes that impact customer buying behaviour, offering customer demographics, key phrases, and web searches with insights and statistics. You will know what functions or not, so you should carry out tactics to increase sales.

Potential Issues

The lack of coordination between eCommerce apps and other technologies may be a key problem that can allow the data to be mis-synchronized between online retailers and the back office. This, in effect, could contribute to loss of revenue and disappointing customers.

Lack of customer verification - Cash on Delivery (COD) is a huge challenge for e-commerce companies because they have to go by the expectation of the buyer and assume they compensate for the goods they bought online. For many ecommerce sellers the COD method of payment has created immense losses. The way out will be to give the consumer an SMS text or email response stating their name and delivery location. Customers won't think you challenged their genuineness and you're always promised reimbursement for the shipped product.

Returns and refunds - Also, e-commerce sellers lose money when the purchaser returns their products and they need to refund the amount. In addition to delivery and distribution prices, e-commerce companies would soon risk losing their prestige. To overcome this issue, businesses need to merge their processes smoothly with logistics suppliers and collaborators so as to reduce losses while at the same time retain intact consumer service.

Lack of Integration - If e-commerce firms use various programs for order processing, inventory delivery, order monitoring, customer service etc., consumer interaction may be impacted. The remedy is to use a client service technology that can seamlessly integrate various apps, synchronize data across all devices and view the data in a specific interface that is easily accessible and viewable.

Lack of CRM Tools - Many tech vendors offer CRM tools, such as communication apps, newsletter processing, email marketing, and social network interaction apps, in their e-commerce series. So, to others, this is not an issue. Other e-commerce software, however, appears to lack such CRM tools, which are useful for effective operations.

Latest Trends

Emerging innovations, such as artificial intelligence (AI), and changes in consumer behaviour, will impact the development of eCommerce platforms.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be used to optimize the customer experience or build bots which can direct buyers through the buying phase. AI can also help detect malicious activities and cyber threats that can result in loss of sales and breaches of privacy.

Changing customer behaviour is pushing eCommerce firms and retailers to transition to different forms of shopping. For starters, millennial and Gen Z participants prefer to mix several methods of identifying, evaluating, selecting and buying goods. They may use online or offline channels (such as stores, events, or public advertisements) for each step of their decision process. ECommerce software providers and their customers will have to find ways to engage and influence online and offline buyers alike.

Subscription management typically applies to facilities and applications but this distribution approach is often utilized by certain organizations for goods. A few types of items offered as a package include toiletries or grooming goods that are purchased by customers on a daily basis.

Multi-channel shopping - The reason why websites like Amazon are common as they sell goods from numerous retailers and vendors. You can find a large variety of exclusive products from various vendors on these websites. Yeah, on this one platform you will do all of your shopping without having to move over to another. Vendors now know that by selling their goods on platforms, including Amazon and Etsy, they will make a lot of income.

Sell on social media - Initially, social networks had been mainly used to get reviews and opinions from users about the product or service. Selling on social networking sites is now the standard. Twitter and Pinterest, for example, have launched buttons which can be used to post and sell the items directly to the supporters. In fact, leading e-commerce sites such as BigCommerce and Shopify offer automated sales on Facebook.

Use of Beacon technology - This new tech unites online and offline sales platforms and brands use it to deliver mobile pleasantries and deals when a buyer enters a store. Enhanced digital mobile devices are adjusted to search for beacons and actual shops use these detectors to offer customers promotions and deals as they enter their store.

Recent Developments

In October 2019, Shopmatic which is an e-commerce platform acquired Combinesell to enhance automation and simplify the selling processes

In September 2019, Shopify a cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses acquired 6 River Systems to redefine fulfilment automation for e-commerce and retail operations.

In March 2019, Shopmatic which is an e-commerce platform acquired Octopus Retail Management to help retailers synchronise inventory, on-board customers through mobile platform

In November 2018, Shopify acquired Tictall which is a global community to discover the world’s independent brands

In June 2018, Shopify acquired Return Magic which allows merchants to build loyalty while making shopping more convenient for consumers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is it essential to create an eCommerce website?
    People nowadays have no time to go to a physical store to buy the products they want. People would choose to browse products on there own mobile phones, PCs or laptops, instead. The creation of the own website will allow to sell and boost the sales to online audiences.
  • How to choose the best platform for eCommerce business?
    Before Opting any eCommerce platform, make sure that the platform offers following functionalities: Multiple Designs, Stock Management, Product tracking and monitoring, Payment Gateways, Integration with other platforms and many other features.
  • How to convert leads into potential buyers?
    Make sure people have an amazing UI experience that lets buyers search directly through the items. To appear professional, make sure to have terms and conditions tab, refund policy, payment, security choices.
  • Are there any limitations on number of products that can be added to website?
    No, there is no limit on adding products. The significant benefit of online stores is that any number of products can be added to the platform for selling. However, some platform restricts this limitation to 500 products. Users and companies can sell any number of products if the platform is customized according to business requirements.
  • Are there any kind of risks associated with eCommerce websites?
    eCommerce websites came with a huge amount of data. This data is in the form of user details such as name, phone details, address, etc. and is very crucial information. Also, integration with other tools such as payment gateways has financial information about the users bank account or credit cards. This poses risk and the company should take into consideration data security and secure the website with high level authentication.
  • Can the eCommerce website integrated with other platforms such as Amazon?
    Yes, the products can be pushed from the eCommerce website to other similar platforms such as Amazon. This is called multi-chhannel selling and includes some cost. If the product is sold on other platform, a small amount of fee or charge has to be paid to the other platform.

e-Commerce Platforms

5 Experts are advising 42 e-Commerce Platforms buyers   4 online
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Comparing 35 vendors in e-Commerce Platforms.
The USP for 2Checkout is its presence and availability around the globe. It has reliable service with 24x7 customer support. Users can pay using their local currency with multiple payment options. Instantaneous reports are generated to get an idea of the sales.
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The USP for BigCommerce e-commerce platform is that the significant amount of money spent on development and overall platform costs are saved. BigCommerce pricing plans provides the best way of shopping and is full content management (CMS) functionality, with SEO features working on SaaS platforms. 
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Chec e-commerce platform that can be used by sellers to build and enhance their business. The interface is user-friendly, making it easier for a non-technical person to use the platform. It brings designers, developers, and merchants to a single platform to innovate and strealine the business process.
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Digital River e-Commerce Platforms is a fully integrated business suite that provides tools and capabilities to assist businesses in handling and meeting their commerce, payments, and marketing requirements. It helps ease payment services and marketing solutions for both personal consumers and businesses. Its flexible APIs help businesses expand globally, along with Commerce, Order Management or Payments & Risk solutions to the CMS, DXP, of the client's choice.

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With Ecwid the USP is that it can easily integrate Amazon and eBay along with your website for real-time synchronized listings, inventory, and orders. Ecwid is additionally a convenient way for shopping which might be employed by the shoppers. Ecwid’s language storefront can be translated into 45 different languages, where customers can shop the store in their language thus increasing engaging

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Gumroad e-commerce Platforms helps creators of all types from artists to designers and filmmakers to software developers sell their products directly to customers without having to be bogged down by the hassles of running a business. Gumroad e-commerce Platforms offers payment processing, marketing and communication tools, analytics and improved consumption experiences. It emphasises largely on the creator consumer journey.

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Handshake e-commerce platform provides a purpose purpose-built application for the iPad and iPhone. The app is fast and responsive. It does not require an internet connection for full functionality, which enables effective order management for distributed sales teams. Orders written offline automatically sync to back office and order confirmations are sent to the customers and manufacturers. The Handshake pricing is also very nominal in the segment for all the users.

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Inventory Management System has a business growth in two ways: one where you save on software costs and reduce revenue losses due to canceled orders. Second is its speed and efficiency which go hand in hand as the task goes easy.
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The USP for Kartrocket e-commerce platform is that the significant amount of money is development and overall platform costs are saved. Kartrocket stores are mobile ready which help all merchandisers to sell across the web with the support of all the countries over the web.
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The USP of nopCommerce e-commerce platform lies in nopCommerce pricing which is free yet boosts secure functionality catering to businesses across sizes and industries with unlimited customization and constant support. Boasting a pluggable architecture, the platform makes use of varied presentation elements and additional functionalities which can be added to the application in the real runtime. 

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The USP of PrestaShop e-commerce platform is its wide application owing to its symphony framework which is based upon coupled with more than 600 features and tons of modules that cater to business of all shapes and sizes. The open-source build guarantees users a scalable, secure and stable operation for all of web store workflows. PrestaShop pricing is also very minimal which makes it an attractive option. 
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The USP of Shopify e-commerce platform is the array and quality of features the platform has on offer. Functionalities such as abandoned cart recovery, drop and shipping integration, social media integration, and fulfillment services among many others enable users to boost administrative power and carry out daily processes with ease.
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Shopmatic e-commerce platform is an international e-commerce company that offers an easy store set-up, integrated payments and shipping, marketplace listing, insights and analytics, and e-commerce support. Shopmatic helps business owners cover the entire spectrum of that is required in the growth of their businesses.
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Singularity e-commerce platform is a multi-channel e-commerce platform that works with an integrated cloud-based system. This helps in eliminating the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) associated with purchasing expensive networked hardware and on-premise software. It also reduces the Operating Expenses (OPEX) associated with IT resources required to implement, program, monitor and update an on-premise system.

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Storm eCommerce platform is a seamless platform and its customized solutions can manage several deals of B2B and B2C businesses. The automation technologies have helped businesses to ensure an increased profitability, higher performance, and smarter workflows. As one of the cloud SaaS solutions, Storm is valuable for its performance and high capacity. The open APIs of Storm enable users to integrate a CMS and different other systems. It helps in developing omni-channel commerce with its features and functionalities.

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Teespring e-commerce platform provides lots of user-friendly tools to customize the design and color of an item. It also lets users upload any design in Teespring launcher. The availability of different fonts and clip arts makes the design process easier. For the pre-ordered t-shirts, Teespring manages the product distribution process.
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Tray eCommerce platform offers numerous integrations to create a virtual store fully integrated with the Free Market, being able to manage inventory, multiple nicknames, freight, qualifications and more. Using Twig, Tray focuses its development on the store design. This platform provides multiple resources to help businesses increase their sales and online presence, and manage their business in a professional manner.

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The Salesforce Platform is easily convertible to a digital store with Venue e Commerce platform. That is why data also remains stored on Salesforce’s native servers, and it is one of the advantages of users. Online customers, management and sales reps- everything becomes controllable with a set of data.
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The USP of the WooCommerce e-commerce platform lies in its limitless extensibility.  It is a Developer friendly tool capable of serving the demands of most complex web store requirements without straying away from bringing out the business’s most niche feature. Making the first click and starting for free allows online stores to scale accordingly as the business grows.

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Zepo e-commerce platform is considered the most favorite e-commerce platform for small businesses that lack expertise in operating it. The user interface is straightforward, paired with a bunch of supporting features. There is a 24/7 customer support team for sellers’ assistance. The added benefit is Zepo pricing, which is budget-friendly.
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Zoey E-commerce platform makes it very easy for people in business to run a store successfully without an indigenous developer. It is easy to set up and has exhaustive merchandising features. It offers all the necessary services along with restricted accessibility and customization over almost all functions, which makes it even more appealing.
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