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Shopsystems a la Shopify

Shopify is not the only company (and not even the most popular one) to offer e-Commerce hosting services to merchants. Find out who the top names in the industry are and what dangers they pose for your brand.

Although Shopify tends to be the most commonly known e-Commerce facilitator, it’s not the most widely used platform that allows merchants to set up shops in the online space.

In fact, it’s currently only the fourth. So which three platforms are on the podium?

Owned by Automattic, WooCommerceempowers small and medium businesses to build exactly the store they want and sell online.”

WooCommerce has a market share of 21,69% and over 966,000 subscribers. The platform prides itself on being free and open-source, which allows them to contribute to the “democratization” of commerce. This means that pricing starts at $0, but depending on the amount of extra features a merchant needs for their stores, it can get up to several thousand dollars per year.

A screenshot of the homepage of WooCommerce.com
A screenshot of the homepage of WooCommerce.com

WooCommerce works with, and is technically a plugin of WordPress (which is also owned by Automattic, together with Tumblr, Simplenote and Gravatar), which lets users create compelling webshops with minimum hassle.

The company offers various perks to help its customers manage their business, including integrated marketing features, blogs, store and financial management options, translation services, and much more.

Although not quite as convenient as Amazon’s comprehensive fulfillment services, WooCommerce does offer a lot of perks to make life much easier for business owners.

Squarespace Online Stores

With a 19% market share and 846,000 subscribers, Squarespace Online Stores is the second strongest e-Commerce platform. Squarespace offers similar perks to WooCommerce, like beautiful webshops complete with blogs, marketing, payment options, SEO tools, inventory management, shipping integrations and much more.

Creating a shop is easy with handy templates and customizable features. Squarespace provides various membership pricing options ranging from 11€ to 36€ per month.

Screenshot of squarespace.com/ecommerce/designs-that-sell
Screenshot of squarespace.com/ecommerce/designs-that-sell

WooThemes

A significant product of WooCommerce, WooThemes is on the third rung on the ladder with a 18.16% market share and over 809,000 companies using the platform.

Working with WordPress, WooThemes allows businesses to create beautiful webshops without a lot of specialized IT-knowledge. Although setting up a webshop is usually free, using a specific theme may come at a price. Depending on the theme, this can be anything between $0 and $99 annually.

Screenshot of woocommerce.com/products displaying a webshop theme
Screenshot of woocommerce.com/products displaying a webshop theme

According to its corporate history, WooThemes was founded in 2008 to allow people without significant IT skills to build websites. In 2017 the company decided to focus its efforts solely on e-Commerce and webshops.

Put together, WooThemes and WooCommerce have a market share of 39.85%, which represents a significant power in this segment of the industry. Shopify, with its 13.17% can’t even come close.

Also-rans

The rest of our toplist has a few surprises. Shopify, as mentioned, is only fourth with a 13.17% market share, while Wix Stores is fifth (4.58%), Amazon (yes, that Amazon) is sixth (3.82% market share), with Monster Commerce (2.2%), Weebly e-Commerce (1.61%), Magento (1.52%), and PrestaShop (1.29%) bringing up the rear.

While most of us would think of Amazon as an online marketplace, it does allow merchants to set up shops and offers unmatchable features like the aforementioned fulfillment, so it has earned a place on this list as well.

The downside

Creating great e-Commerce opportunities for less tech-savvy merchants is definitely a thing our world needs, especially nowadays when online shopping is growing at a previously unseen pace. However, no opportunities come without threats.

In this case, the threat comes in the form of equal opportunities presented to merchants with less honest intentions. Like counterfeiters, grey marketers and other sellers who infringe on your brand’s IP rights.

Unfortunately, e-Commerce platforms usually don’t differentiate between honest sellers and fraudsters, at least not when they’re setting up a shop. It takes the same amount of work to create a fake shop as an honest one, with little to no proof required upfront to verify the seller’s identity and contact information.

Beautiful, compelling fake shops

For regular customers, distinguishing between a genuine and a fake shop is becoming next to impossible. Hosted by the same e-Commerce platforms, offering the same features, these shops look like twins to the naked eye.

Although there are a couple of telling issues, like scarce information in the Impressum, too long shipping times and unrealistic prices, customers typically don’t dwell on these issues when hunting for a good deal. It’s only later, when (or even if) the product arrives and fails to live up to expectations, when customers begin to realize that something may be wrong.

And that can definitely hurt a brand’s reputation, not to mention your revenue, even if you had absolutely nothing to do with the sale.

The way forward: online brand protection

Luckily, this is not where the story ends. In fact, for online brand protection experts at globaleyez, this is exactly where it begins.

Our comprehensive services are aimed at detecting and eliminating IP-infringing web content from marketplaces, single webshops, domain registries, and anywhere else on the internet.

Fraudulent webshops tend to use misleading names in their domains and stolen brand imagery to dupe customers into thinking they’ve landed on a legit shop authorized by the brand. Our domain and image monitoring services detect these types of fraud quickly and efficiently.

You’ll receive comprehensive reports together with actionable expert advice to ensure the quickest removal of any infringing content, and how to prevent repeat offenders (or other first-time offenders) from harming your brand in the future.

Conclusion

However easy it is for fraudsters to set up a webshop with WooCommerce, Squarespace and the rest, it’s just as easy for globaleyez to find their IP-infringing domain name, product listings and imagery. We’ll detect and remove web content that harms your brand’s IP rights to protect your reputation and revenue.

Contact us if you’re worried about fake shops, stolen brand imagery, fraudulent domain names, or any other IP-infringement issues.

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