• Fall 2018 E-Commerce News

    E-Commerce News - Fall 2018

The leaves are changing here in the Northeast, the kids are back in school and we are slowly creeping up on the holiday season.  Seems like a good time for sharing what is new in the world of E-Commerce!

Google Plus is Dead

I know many of you probably thought it was already dead, but Google has made it official.  It seemed to be a failed experiment from the very beginning though, as it never really gained the popularity Google hoped it would. For starters, it wasn’t all that user-friendly.  For example, no one was really sure how to set up a business profile, and often mixed up their personal page with their business page.  Many SEO gurus made it seem like it was necessary, as it was rumored that Google was giving some ‘extra’ bonus points for having a Google Plus profile.  So you’ll see plenty of business profiles that were created, but never actually used.  In fact, it looks like one giant business profile graveyard.  Farewell Google Plus, we hardly knew ye.

Sales Tax Update

It seems that there is still no clarity following the Supreme Court decision back in June regarding Quill v. North Dakota.  In case you missed it, you may want to read our summary over here.  There has been a lot of outrage among e-commerce store owners, and rightly so.  The cost and hours involved in registering and filing sales tax returns in multiple states will be crippling to many small businesses.  I know many business owners who have voiced their displeasure to their state representatives, and some of those reps are apparently listening.  Some of them are trying to pass legislation that will set a fairly high threshold.  You can read more about that here.

Adobe Buys Magento

Adobe is famous for their design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but they have also tinkered with e-commerce here and there.  That area of their business is about to get a whole lot bigger as they purchased e-commerce giant Magento back in May.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Magento, it is known as an ‘enterprise’ e-commerce platform, meaning it is meant for very large businesses.  The $50k/year price point and extremely complex code base does a good job of keeping small businesses away!  While Adobe hasn’t really said what they will do with the company, it seems they would like to get a piece of the pie from Shopify, who’s ‘Plus’ plan is also targeted at the larger e-commerce customer.  But it will also be going up against even bigger cloud-based systems from Salesforce, Oracle and SAP SE.  It will be interesting to see where Magento is in a year.

E-Commerce Platform Battles

Speaking of Shopify, just who is winning the e-commerce war these days?  Here are the latest numbers courtesy of builtwith.com:

Shopping Cart Usage

Now you’ll notice that is for the ‘entire internet’.  Since Shopify is so easy to set up, there are literally thousands of ‘dead’ stores online that don’t make any sales at all.  The numbers look a little different when you look at the top 1 million stores on the web:

Shopping Cart Usage - Top Million

As you can see, Shopify is still doing well, but not as well as WooCommerce!  While WooCommerce is free, it is a bit more difficult to set up than Shopify.  That means it usually attracts only serious store owners and not people just ‘trying something out’ like you find on Shopify.

Big PCI Compliance Changes Coming

December 31 will be a significant date this year, as it marks the end of life of PHP 5.6.

PHP 5.6 End of LIfe

Why does that matter?  Because running PHP 5.6 or lower on your server will result in an automatic PCI Scan failure.  This becomes a bit of a headache, as many e-commerce platforms that were built years ago are not going to be compatible with PHP 7.  Such is the case for Pinnacle Cart 3.7 and below.  If you are running this version of Pinnacle Cart, please be sure to schedule an upgrade well in advance of December.  Don’t wait until the last minute, as many of us who do these kinds of upgrades will be booked solid by then.

Also make sure your host is on board with the change.  Cheaper hosts will often balk at upgrading because it will cause massive problems with legacy software running on their server.  A modern host will allow each hosting account on the server to be able to select which version of PHP they want.  If your host gives you any problems with upgrading, it is time to find a new host.

Questions?  Comments?  Feel free to drop us a line!