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Ecommerce services

If you want to sell products on the internet, an ecommerce service will allow you to get your products online quickly and without the need to download or install any software. This single package will give you all the functions you need to build an online shop. You just have to add the items you want to sell.

See also:

What to look for

FAQs

Jargon explained

Ecommerce services comparison chart for 2022

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Shopify
BigCommerce
Volusion
CoreCommerce
3DCart
Fortune3
GoEmerchant
nsCommerce Space
Yahoo Merchant Solutions
Excellent
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Good
Three stars means good
Average
Two stars means average /
Poor
One star means poor
Shopify has been awarded best buy Product image of shopify Product image of bigcommerce Product image of volusion Product image of corecommerce Product image of 3dcart Product image of fortune3 Product image of goemerchant Product image of nscommerce space Product image of yahoo merchant solutions
Lowest price
per month
 
 
 
Ratings
Overall
shopify has a rating of five  overall bigcommerce has a rating of five  overall volusion has a rating of five  overall corecommerce has a rating of five  overall 3dcart has a rating of four  overall fortune3 has a rating of four  overall goemerchant has a rating of four  overall nscommerce space has a rating of four  overall yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of three  overall
Sign up
shopify has a rating of five for sign up bigcommerce has a rating of five for sign up volusion has a rating of five for sign up corecommerce has a rating of four for sign up 3dcart has a rating of four for sign up fortune3 has a rating of four for sign up goemerchant has a rating of four for sign up nscommerce space has a rating of four for sign up yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of three for sign up
Design
shopify has a rating of five for design bigcommerce has a rating of five for design volusion has a rating of five for design corecommerce has a rating of five for design 3dcart has a rating of four for design fortune3 has a rating of four for design goemerchant has a rating of four for design nscommerce space has a rating of three for design yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of four for design
Products
shopify has a rating of five for products bigcommerce has a rating of five for products volusion has a rating of five for products corecommerce has a rating of five for products 3dcart has a rating of four for products fortune3 has a rating of five for products goemerchant has a rating of four for products nscommerce space has a rating of four for products yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of three for products
Marketing
shopify has a rating of five for marketing bigcommerce has a rating of five for marketing volusion has a rating of five for marketing corecommerce has a rating of four for marketing 3dcart has a rating of four for marketing fortune3 has a rating of four for marketing goemerchant has a rating of four for marketing nscommerce space has a rating of four for marketing yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of four for marketing
Features
shopify has a rating of five for features bigcommerce has a rating of five for features volusion has a rating of five for features corecommerce has a rating of five for features 3dcart has a rating of five for features fortune3 has a rating of five for features goemerchant has a rating of five for features nscommerce space has a rating of four for features yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of three for features
Security
shopify has a rating of four for security bigcommerce has a rating of five for security volusion has a rating of four for security corecommerce has a rating of five for security 3dcart has a rating of four for security fortune3 has a rating of three for security goemerchant has a rating of four for security nscommerce space has a rating of four for security yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of four for security
Ease of use
shopify has a rating of five for ease of use bigcommerce has a rating of five for ease of use volusion has a rating of five for ease of use corecommerce has a rating of four for ease of use 3dcart has a rating of four for ease of use fortune3 has a rating of four for ease of use goemerchant has a rating of four for ease of use nscommerce space has a rating of four for ease of use yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of three for ease of use
Help & support
shopify has a rating of five for help & support bigcommerce has a rating of five for help & support volusion has a rating of five for help & support corecommerce has a rating of five for help & support 3dcart has a rating of four for help & support fortune3 has a rating of five for help & support goemerchant has a rating of five for help & support nscommerce space has a rating of three for help & support yahoo merchant solutions has a rating of three for help & support
Pricing
Set-up fee
Free Free $29.00 Free Free $99.00 $99.00 $49.00 $50.00
Ecommerce package
Hosting
shopify includes hosting bigcommerce includes hosting volusion includes hosting corecommerce includes hosting 3dcart includes hosting fortune3 includes hosting goemerchant includes hosting nscommerce space includes hosting yahoo merchant solutions includes hosting
Website builder
shopify includes website builder bigcommerce includes website builder volusion includes website builder corecommerce includes website builder 3dcart includes website builder fortune3 includes website builder goemerchant includes website builder nscommerce space includes website builder yahoo merchant solutions includes website builder
Shopping cart
shopify includes shopping cart bigcommerce includes shopping cart volusion includes shopping cart corecommerce includes shopping cart 3dcart includes shopping cart fortune3 includes shopping cart goemerchant includes shopping cart nscommerce space includes shopping cart yahoo merchant solutions includes shopping cart
Card processing
shopify includes card processing bigcommerce includes card processing volusion includes card processing corecommerce includes card processing 3dcart includes card processing fortune3 includes card processing goemerchant includes card processing nscommerce space includes card processing yahoo merchant solutions includes card processing
Payment gateway integration
shopify includes payment gateway integration bigcommerce includes payment gateway integration volusion includes payment gateway integration corecommerce includes payment gateway integration 3dcart includes payment gateway integration fortune3 includes payment gateway integration goemerchant includes payment gateway integration nscommerce space includes payment gateway integration yahoo merchant solutions includes payment gateway integration
Domain & hosting
Domain name
shopify lets you use a domain name bigcommerce lets you use a domain name volusion lets you use a domain name corecommerce lets you use a domain name 3dcart lets you use a domain name fortune3 lets you use a domain name goemerchant lets you use a domain name nscommerce space lets you use a domain name yahoo merchant solutions lets you use a domain name
Hosting space
240 MB 200 MB 500 MB 250 MB 300 MB Unlimited Unlimited 200 MB Unlimited
Bandwidth
Unlimited 2 GB 2 GB 2 GB 2 GB Unlimited Unlimited 8 GB Unlimited
FTP
shopify includes ftp bigcommerce includes ftp volusion includes ftp corecommerce includes ftp 3dcart includes ftp fortune3 includes ftp goemerchant includes ftp nscommerce space does not include ftp yahoo merchant solutions includes ftp
Website design
Website builder
shopify includes a website builder bigcommerce includes a website builder volusion includes a website builder corecommerce includes a website builder 3dcart includes a website builder fortune3 includes a website builder goemerchant includes a website builder nscommerce space includes a website builder yahoo merchant solutions includes a website builder
Layout customization
shopify allows layout customization bigcommerce allows layout customization volusion allows layout customization corecommerce allows layout customization 3dcart allows layout customization fortune3 allows layout customization goemerchant allows layout customization nscommerce space allows layout customization yahoo merchant solutions allows layout customization
Design templates
10 60 250+ 100+ 30+ 61 108 50 380
Create your own templates
shopify allows you to create your own templates bigcommerce allows you to create your own templates volusion allows you to create your own templates corecommerce allows you to create your own templates 3dcart allows you to create your own templates fortune3 allows you to create your own templates goemerchant allows you to create your own templates nscommerce space allows you to create your own templates yahoo merchant solutions allows you to create your own templates
Products
Maximum number of products
2,500 100 25 100 100 100 Unlimited 300 50,000
Sell physical products
shopify allows you to sell physical products bigcommerce allows you to sell physical products volusion allows you to sell physical products corecommerce allows you to sell physical products 3dcart allows you to sell physical products fortune3 allows you to sell physical products goemerchant allows you to sell physical products nscommerce space allows you to sell physical products yahoo merchant solutions allows you to sell physical products
Sell digital products
shopify allows you to sell digital products bigcommerce allows you to sell digital products volusion allows you to sell digital products corecommerce allows you to sell digital products 3dcart allows you to sell digital products fortune3 allows you to sell digital products goemerchant allows you to sell digital products nscommerce space does not allow you to sell digital products yahoo merchant solutions does not allow you to sell digital products
Import products
shopify allows you to import products bigcommerce allows you to import products volusion allows you to import products corecommerce allows you to import products 3dcart allows you to import products fortune3 allows you to import products goemerchant allows you to import products nscommerce space does not allow you to import products yahoo merchant solutions allows you to import products
Product options
shopify allows you to add product options bigcommerce allows you to add product options volusion allows you to add product options corecommerce allows you to add product options 3dcart allows you to add product options fortune3 allows you to add product options goemerchant allows you to add product options nscommerce space allows you to add product options yahoo merchant solutions allows you to add product options
Add description
shopify allows you to add description bigcommerce allows you to add description volusion allows you to add description corecommerce allows you to add description 3dcart allows you to add description fortune3 allows you to add description goemerchant allows you to add description nscommerce space allows you to add description yahoo merchant solutions allows you to add description
Add images
shopify allows you to add images bigcommerce allows you to add images volusion allows you to add images corecommerce allows you to add images 3dcart allows you to add images fortune3 allows you to add images goemerchant allows you to add images nscommerce space allows you to add images yahoo merchant solutions allows you to add images
Add videos
shopify allows you to add videos bigcommerce allows you to add videos volusion does not allow you to add videos corecommerce allows you to add videos 3dcart allows you to add videos fortune3 allows you to add videos goemerchant allows you to add videos nscommerce space allows you to add videos yahoo merchant solutions does not allow you to add videos
Image thumbnails
shopify includes image thumbnails bigcommerce includes image thumbnails volusion includes image thumbnails corecommerce includes image thumbnails 3dcart includes image thumbnails fortune3 includes image thumbnails goemerchant includes image thumbnails nscommerce space does not include image thumbnails yahoo merchant solutions does not include image thumbnails
Inventory controls
shopify includes inventory controls bigcommerce includes inventory controls volusion includes inventory controls corecommerce includes inventory controls 3dcart includes inventory controls fortune3 includes inventory controls goemerchant includes inventory controls nscommerce space includes inventory controls yahoo merchant solutions includes inventory controls
Order management
shopify includes order management bigcommerce includes order management volusion includes order management corecommerce includes order management 3dcart includes order management fortune3 includes order management goemerchant includes order management nscommerce space does not include order management yahoo merchant solutions includes order management
Checkout
Credit / debit card processing
shopify does not include credit / debit card processing bigcommerce includes credit / debit card processing volusion includes credit / debit card processing corecommerce includes credit / debit card processing 3dcart includes credit / debit card processing fortune3 includes credit / debit card processing goemerchant includes credit / debit card processing nscommerce space does not include credit / debit card processing yahoo merchant solutions includes credit / debit card processing
Shipping / delivery calculations
shopify includes shipping / delivery calculations bigcommerce includes shipping / delivery calculations volusion includes shipping / delivery calculations corecommerce includes shipping / delivery calculations 3dcart includes shipping / delivery calculations fortune3 includes shipping / delivery calculations goemerchant includes shipping / delivery calculations nscommerce space includes shipping / delivery calculations yahoo merchant solutions includes shipping / delivery calculations
Tax calculations
shopify includes tax calculations bigcommerce includes tax calculations volusion includes tax calculations corecommerce includes tax calculations 3dcart includes tax calculations fortune3 includes tax calculations goemerchant includes tax calculations nscommerce space includes tax calculations yahoo merchant solutions includes tax calculations
Gift wrap
shopify includes gift wrap bigcommerce includes gift wrap volusion includes gift wrap corecommerce includes gift wrap 3dcart does not include gift wrap fortune3 includes gift wrap goemerchant includes gift wrap nscommerce space does not include gift wrap yahoo merchant solutions includes gift wrap
Security
SSL
shopify includes ssl bigcommerce includes ssl volusion includes ssl corecommerce includes ssl 3dcart includes ssl fortune3 includes ssl goemerchant includes ssl nscommerce space includes ssl yahoo merchant solutions includes ssl
Fraud protection
shopify includes fraud protection bigcommerce includes fraud protection volusion includes fraud protection corecommerce includes fraud protection 3dcart includes fraud protection fortune3 includes fraud protection goemerchant includes fraud protection nscommerce space does not include fraud protection yahoo merchant solutions includes fraud protection
PCI DSS complaint
shopify includes pci dss complaint bigcommerce includes pci dss complaint volusion includes pci dss complaint corecommerce includes pci dss complaint 3dcart includes pci dss complaint fortune3 includes pci dss complaint goemerchant includes pci dss complaint nscommerce space includes pci dss complaint yahoo merchant solutions includes pci dss complaint
Marketing
Search engine optimised
shopify is search engine optimised bigcommerce is search engine optimised volusion is search engine optimised corecommerce is search engine optimised 3dcart is search engine optimised fortune3 is search engine optimised goemerchant is search engine optimised nscommerce space is search engine optimised yahoo merchant solutions is search engine optimised
SE submission
shopify does not include se submission bigcommerce does not include se submission volusion includes se submission corecommerce includes se submission 3dcart includes se submission fortune3 includes se submission goemerchant includes se submission nscommerce space does not include se submission yahoo merchant solutions includes se submission
Enewsletter manager
shopify does not offer an enewsletter manager bigcommerce offers an enewsletter manager volusion offers an enewsletter manager corecommerce offers an enewsletter manager 3dcart offers an enewsletter manager fortune3 offers an enewsletter manager goemerchant offers an enewsletter manager nscommerce space offers an enewsletter manager yahoo merchant solutions offers an enewsletter manager
Affiliate program
shopify offers an affiliate program bigcommerce offers an affiliate program volusion offers an affiliate program corecommerce offers an affiliate program 3dcart offers an affiliate program fortune3 offers an affiliate program goemerchant offers an affiliate program nscommerce space does not offer an affiliate program yahoo merchant solutions does not offer an affiliate program
Coupons
shopify offers coupons bigcommerce offers coupons volusion offers coupons corecommerce offers coupons 3dcart offers coupons fortune3 offers coupons goemerchant offers coupons nscommerce space offers coupons yahoo merchant solutions offers coupons
Vouchers
shopify offers vouchers bigcommerce offers vouchers volusion offers vouchers corecommerce offers vouchers 3dcart offers vouchers fortune3 offers vouchers goemerchant does not offer vouchers nscommerce space offers vouchers yahoo merchant solutions offers vouchers
Shopping comparison websites
shopify offers shopping comparison websites bigcommerce offers shopping comparison websites volusion offers shopping comparison websites corecommerce offers shopping comparison websites 3dcart offers shopping comparison websites fortune3 offers shopping comparison websites goemerchant offers shopping comparison websites nscommerce space offers shopping comparison websites yahoo merchant solutions offers shopping comparison websites
Sell on Facebook
shopify does not allow you to sell on facebook bigcommerce allows you to sell on facebook volusion allows you to sell on facebook corecommerce allows you to sell on facebook 3dcart allows you to sell on facebook fortune3 does not allow you to sell on facebook goemerchant allows you to sell on facebook nscommerce space allows you to sell on facebook yahoo merchant solutions allows you to sell on facebook
Sell on eBay
shopify allows you to sell on ebay bigcommerce allows you to sell on ebay volusion does not allow you to sell on ebay corecommerce allows you to sell on ebay 3dcart allows you to sell on ebay fortune3 allows you to sell on ebay goemerchant allows you to sell on ebay nscommerce space does not allow you to sell on ebay yahoo merchant solutions allows you to sell on ebay
Reporting
Visitor statistics
shopify shows visitor statistics bigcommerce shows visitor statistics volusion shows visitor statistics corecommerce shows visitor statistics 3dcart shows visitor statistics fortune3 shows visitor statistics goemerchant shows visitor statistics nscommerce space does not show visitor statistics yahoo merchant solutions shows visitor statistics
Sales statistics
shopify shows sales statistics bigcommerce shows sales statistics volusion shows sales statistics corecommerce shows sales statistics 3dcart shows sales statistics fortune3 shows sales statistics goemerchant shows sales statistics nscommerce space shows sales statistics yahoo merchant solutions shows sales statistics
Google analytics
shopify integrates with google analytics bigcommerce integrates with google analytics volusion integrates with google analytics corecommerce integrates with google analytics 3dcart integrates with google analytics fortune3 integrates with google analytics goemerchant integrates with google analytics nscommerce space integrates with google analytics yahoo merchant solutions integrates with google analytics
Google optimizer
shopify integrates with google optimizer bigcommerce integrates with google optimizer volusion integrates with google optimizer corecommerce integrates with google optimizer 3dcart integrates with google optimizer fortune3 integrates with google optimizer goemerchant does not allow you to integrate google optimizer nscommerce space integrates with google optimizer yahoo merchant solutions integrates with google optimizer
Integrate QuickBooks
shopify allows you to integrate quickbooks bigcommerce allows you to integrate quickbooks volusion allows you to integrate quickbooks corecommerce allows you to integrate quickbooks 3dcart allows you to integrate quickbooks fortune3 allows you to integrate quickbooks goemerchant allows you to integrate quickbooks nscommerce space allows you to integrate quickbooks yahoo merchant solutions does not allow you to integrate quickbooks
Help & support
Telephone support
shopify does not offer telephone support bigcommerce offers telephone support volusion offers telephone support corecommerce offers telephone support 3dcart offers telephone support fortune3 offers telephone support goemerchant offers telephone support nscommerce space offers telephone support yahoo merchant solutions offers telephone support
Email support
shopify offers email support bigcommerce offers email support volusion offers email support corecommerce offers email support 3dcart offers email support fortune3 offers email support goemerchant offers email support nscommerce space offers email support yahoo merchant solutions offers email support
Live chat
shopify offers live chat bigcommerce does not offer live chat volusion offers live chat corecommerce offers live chat 3dcart offers live chat fortune3 offers live chat goemerchant offers live chat nscommerce space offers live chat yahoo merchant solutions does not offer live chat
Manual
shopify does not offer manual bigcommerce offers manual volusion offers manual corecommerce offers manual 3dcart offers manual fortune3 offers manual goemerchant does not offer manual nscommerce space offers manual yahoo merchant solutions does not offer manual
Knowledge base
shopify offers knowledge base bigcommerce offers knowledge base volusion offers knowledge base corecommerce offers knowledge base 3dcart offers knowledge base fortune3 offers knowledge base goemerchant offers knowledge base nscommerce space offers knowledge base yahoo merchant solutions offers knowledge base
Forums
shopify offers forums bigcommerce does not offer forums volusion offers forums corecommerce offers forums 3dcart offers forums fortune3 offers forums goemerchant offers forums nscommerce space does not offer forums yahoo merchant solutions does not offer forums
Tutorials
shopify offers tutorials bigcommerce offers tutorials volusion offers tutorials corecommerce offers tutorials 3dcart offers tutorials fortune3 offers tutorials goemerchant offers tutorials nscommerce space offers tutorials yahoo merchant solutions does not offer tutorials
FAQs
shopify offers faqs bigcommerce offers faqs volusion offers faqs corecommerce offers faqs 3dcart offers faqs fortune3 offers faqs goemerchant offers faqs nscommerce space offers faqs yahoo merchant solutions offers faqs

Ecommerce services explained

It can be expensive and costly to develop your own ecommerce website from scratch. That’s why it’s usually better to use an online ecommerce system.

Most ecommerce services are easy to use. If you’re not comfortable working with website code (like HTML and CSS), you can choose a standard template for your shop and customize it with text and images. Focus on getting your products and marketing right, without worrying about web development hassles.

If you want more flexibility, most ecommerce services do let you edit the HTML and CSS that makes up your website – giving you complete freedom over how your shop looks and behaves. You can change the design and layout, alter fonts and colors – and generally customize every aspect to your requirements.

It’s worth noting that you may not need a separate ecommerce service if you plan to sell through online marketplaces like eBay. These provide limited ecommerce functions for you - although you usually have to pay a big commission on sales.

Ecommerce software extras

In addition to a business idea (of course!) and an ecommerce service, you may need some other things to set up your online shop.

You might need separate web hosting in order to publish your online shop on the internet. Although most ecommerce services include hosting, some require you to buy it separately.

You might also need a domain name (like www.yourshopname.com) so people can find your shop. These cost from £5 a year.

Whether you’re starting a new business, expanding your existing company online – or simply looking to earn some extra cash, an ecommerce service is a powerful, easy way to start selling from a website.


What to look for in ecommerce services

To find the right ecommerce service, consider these key areas.

Ecommerce service capacity

Some ecommerce services limit how many products you can offer. Make sure there is capacity for your entire range - both now and in the future. Also check that you can list as many product features and upload as many product images as you need.

Design and customization

Most ecommerce services offer templates for the design of your online shop. Check their quality by previewing before you buy the service.

Also check how much you can customize the design. Can you add a logo? Are you able to change the color scheme and reposition design elements? Does the service let you edit the HTML and CSS elements that make up your online shop?

Payment options

Pick an ecommerce service which offers a range of payment methods, so your customers can choose the one they prefer. These should include credit and debit cards, plus PayPal and other online payment services like Google Checkout.

Do you want to sell to people abroad or offer different shipping options? If so, you may need a service that can process different currencies and charge different amounts for postage.

Stock control and management

Many ecommerce services have built in stock control, allowing you to display stock levels on your website. Check how it tracks stock. If you sell through other channels – like on the phone or through a High Street shop – can the service still adjust stock levels accurately?

Marketing functions

Most ecommerce services include marketing features, like a customer database which keeps a record of people who’ve bought from you, so you can track and contact them. You can send out promotional emails with an email marketing tool.

Cross promotion features automatically suggest other products which go with what a customer is viewing. You may also wish to consider marketplace integration. This helps you reach a wider audience by showing your products on marketplace websites like eBay.

Security and reliability

If your online shop goes offline, it can cost you money. So carefully check what level of protection is included with your ecommerce service. If it includes hosting, look for a service level agreement guaranteeing at least 99.99% availability.

You need to protect your customers too. Every online shop should use an SSL certificate to encrypt sensitive information (like a customer’s address and credit card details) before it’s sent across the internet.

Ease of use

If you have never built an online shop, it’s important your ecommerce service is easy to use. The only reliable way to assess this is to get opinions from people who’ve already used it, or to try the service during a trial or money back guarantee period.

Help and support

Make sure your ecommerce service has comprehensive help files and a support website to search if you encounter problems. More expensive services may include telephone support– or you may be able to add it as an extra.


FAQs

Here are our answers to the most common questions about ecommerce services.

Q. What is an ecommerce service?

A. An ecommerce service gives you the tools you need to build an online shop. It’s a single online service incorporating product catalogue, shopping basket and payment functions, so you can start selling your products on the internet.

Q. Do I need an ecommerce service?

A. For most people, an ecommerce service is the most practical way to create an online shop. It gives you the framework you need to start selling online.

However, ecommerce services do have some limitations. The number of products you can sell may be restricted. You may also be required to choose the look and feel of your shop from a set of standard templates.

If you want complete flexibility, you can consider a custom-built shop instead. However, because these require significant investment, most new and small businesses are better off using an ecommerce service – at least to begin with.

Q. How much technical knowledge do I need to use an ecommerce service?

A. It depends on the ecommerce service you choose. Some packages are very straightforward. Others take longer to learn, but have more sophisticated functions.

Q. How long does it take to set up a basic online shop?

A. You should be able to get a basic shop up and running within half an hour. However, you can also spend much longer creating your shop.

Deciding what pages you need, tweaking the design, adding your products, setting up your checkout options and testing everything thoroughly involves a significant amount of work.

Q. Will my ecommerce service include everything I need to start trading online?

Most include everything you need, but some require you to buy separate web hosting (web space for your online shop) and a domain name (like www.yourshop.com).

Q. Can ecommerce services help potential customers find my shop online?

A. Yes. Most ecommerce services include marketing functions to promote your site to new and current customers. These may include search engine optimization tools (to help your shop appear in search engine results), email newsletter services (to send out promotional emails) and more.

Q. How do I keep my online shop secure?

A. Operating a secure online shop reassures your customers that their details are safe and helps protect you from hackers and fraud. All ecommerce services should include an SSL certificate, to encrypt any sensitive data you store and use - like customer names and addresses.

Some ecommerce services also monitor for transactions that may be fraudulent, flagging up unusual sales in case someone is trying to commit fraud on your site.

You should also back up your online shop data, in case it gets deleted or damaged. Some ecommerce services packages include an automatic backup service – others will require you to perform manual backups.

Q. How do I accept payments from customers through my online shop?

A. Your ecommerce service should include the facility to take payment online. This usually covers several payment methods, including: debit and credit cards, PayPal, and other online payment services.

Most ecommerce services process payments on your behalf, helping you avoid the hassle of applying for a merchant account from a bank.


Jargon explained

Even though ecommerce services are the easiest way to create an online shop, they can still be a jargon-heavy area. Here’s our guide to the key terms.

Affiliate program

A marketing tool used by many online retailers. Running an affiliate program encourages websites to link to your online shop, because you pay a commission each time a website generates a sale for you.

Bandwidth

Measures how much information is transferred to and from your online shop. Some ecommerce services include unlimited bandwidth as standard. Others restrict how much you can use each month. The busier your shop, the more bandwidth you’ll use. Bandwidth is managed as part of your web hosting. If your ecommerce service requires separate web hosting, it’s your hosting company that will manage your bandwidth.

Domain name

A website address or URL (uniform resource locator). Having your own domain name, like www.yourshopname.com, helps visitors find and remember your online shop.

Marketplace

A website which offers products from lots of different retailers. Popular marketplaces include eBay and Amazon. Offering your products through a well-known marketplace reassures customers that your online shop is genuine.

Shopping cart

Ecommerce websites have a shopping cart function. As customers find things they want to buy, they can add them to their cart. Once they have everything they need, they can checkout and pay for everything at once.

Templates

Ready-to-go designs for your ecommerce website which have a professional look and feel. Using templates means you don’t have to design your site from scratch – you can choose a template you like and then customize it. Templates also make it easy to change the design of your site. Just switch templates for a new look.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

The process of tweaking your ecommerce site so that it appears higher up the results in search engines like Google. Search engine optimization is a complex process involving a large number of factors. Some ecommerce services include settings to improve your website’s search engine optimization.

SSL certificate

SSL stands for secure sockets layer. An SSL certificate uses strong encryption to scramble data, protecting it when it’s stored and sent. As a minimum, all ecommerce services should protect your customers’ payment details using an SSL certificate.

Web hosting

Space online where you can put your shop for the world to see. All ecommerce services require some kind of web hosting. Most come with it included – for others, you’ll have to buy separate web hosting, from a web hosting company.


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