It’s a good time to be an e-commerce platform provider.

E-commerce is surging. U.S. online retail sales growth last year hit their fastest pace since 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That helped e-commerce account for 13% of total retail sales in 2017—after excluding items like cars and gas that are rarely purchased online—and 49% of the growth. And that rapid growth has remained strong throughout this year.

As retailers seek to ride the online sales wave, nearly half, 49%, list e-commerce platform as a top three investment priority in the coming year, according to an August Internet Retailer survey of 183 retailers. In fact, 21% of those merchants are looking to switch e-commerce platforms.

Platforms are paramount

There’s good reason for retailers’ emphasis on their e-commerce platforms: They need to deliver a good, if not great online experience because if they fail to do so, shoppers will go elsewhere. No matter how sophisticated a retailer’s email marketing, ratings and reviews, or analytics tools are, it doesn’t matter if its site or apps fail to let shoppers easily find and purchase what they want. That situation puts the onus on merchants to find an e-commerce platform that is easy to use…

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