A Look at the High-Growth E-Commerce Software Industry

As the world swiftly moves to the digital realm, industries from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, to banks, travel agents, and all sorts of online vendors have aggressively incorporated e-commerce solutions into their businesses. With more products and services being bought and sold via computer networks, businesses have been forced to adopt the new technology in order to remain competitive and reach their customers more quickly.

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E-commerce software, the backbone of the online retail revolution, offers advanced capabilities such as searching, order management, cart management, content management, marketing and reporting. The industry is segmented into two main categories, hosted and self-hosted. The former means that the company will host a client’s store, while the latter indicates that it will provide the client a software after purchasing its own web hosting. E-commerce software offered on-premise is installed and managed on-site by developers, while SaaS solutions are much more hands-off from a technical standpoint. The lower cost SaaS solution provides updates, patches and newly-released features automatically or with one-click integrations. Most off-premise offerings have evolved to the point where their customization and flexibility meets the standards historically exclusive to on-premise, making it an increasingly valuable option for customers.

Leading e-commerce software vendors include Magento, Shopify, WooTheme, PrestaShop, Volusion and Oracle ATG Commerce. As the market becomes increasingly saturated, competition among the providers is fierce in terms of pricing, user-friendliness and features.

As the industry evolves, companies are making it easier for small business to build online stores and platforms that function as one-stop shops. With more customers using mobile to make purchases, the leading e-commerce software providers have offered mobile-compatible templates. Integrations have also become important when choosing an e-commerce platform, as providers offer app stores that make it easy for businesses to add features such as email marketing and sales tools to their online store. As social media increasingly influences consumer purchasing decisions, particularly the Millennial cohort, e-commerce software companies have also made it possible to connect online stores with social media pages such as Facebook and Pinterest.