In today’s world, where communication technology has developed and everyone can enjoy online shopping, there are probably many corporate managers and store owners who want to open an online shop to expand sales. This time, we will introduce in detail EC-CUBE
, which is useful for opening an online shop.
table of contents
- 1. What is an EC site?
- 2. What is EC-CUBE?
- 3. Benefits of using EC-CUBE
- 4. Disadvantages of using EC-CUBE
- 5. EC-CUBE operating environment and installation method
- 6. What is an EC-CUBE license?
What is an EC site?
Before introducing EC-CUBE, let’s explain about “EC site”. EC site is a general term for websites that conduct electronic commerce, such as online auctions and content distribution sites, but it is used to mean “net shop” in Japan. With the spread of communication devices such as smartphones and tablets, the number of companies and shops that operate EC sites is increasing due to the impact of making online shopping easier.
* Source: E-Commerce Conversion Lab [2019 latest version] Total number of EC sites and online shops in Japan
According to a survey by “Empower Shop Co., Ltd.”, which is in charge of consulting EC site strategies, “the number of actual stores of EC sites and online shops in Japan” was 2,709,043 stores in FY2019. According to the same survey in 2017, the number of EC sites has increased by nearly 800,000 in just two years, based on the results of 1,891,637 stores.
In the 1990s, when the Internet began to spread, most of the products sold on EC sites were limited, such as large household appliances and health foods. In the modern age of Reiwa, all kinds of products, from local specialties to daily miscellaneous goods, are handled on the EC site.
What is EC-CUBE?
EC-CUBE is open-source software that is useful for creating this EC site. Many well-known EC sites have introduced EC CUBE, such as “Don Quijote”, which is familiar as a major discount store, and “Junkudo Bookstore”, which is known as a bookstore chain.
The main features are the functions for creating web pages that are indispensable for EC sites, such as the creation of pages where companies and shops introduce products and pages where users order products. In addition, EC CUBE also has functions for managing the created EC site, such as sales totaling and inventory management for each product. Furthermore, since EC CUBE is an open-source type, you can freely install and use it, and you can also add your favorite functions later by using a plug-in.
There is much software that is useful for creating websites, such as WordPress and homepage builders, but EC CUBE specializes in creating EC sites among websites.
Benefits of using EC-CUBE
● You can create an EC site at a low development cost.
One of the merits of using EC CUBE is the low production cost. If you want to develop your own EC site, you need to design from scratch, which increases the development cost. If you use EC CUBE, you can create a site at a low-cost thanks to all the functions necessary for creating an EC site.
● You can operate an EC site at a low operating cost.
The low operating cost is also an advantage of EC CUBE. For example, when opening a store in a shopping mall like Yahoo! Shopping, monthly store opening fees, and commissions will be incurred depending on the number of stores opened and the number of sales. When operating an EC site using EC CUBE, it is possible to operate the store at a low cost because this operating cost is not incurred. However, keep in mind that running an e-commerce site is not completely free because you have to pay for server and domain usage.
● Highly customizable
Highly customizable is also an advantage of EC CUBE when creating an EC site. For example, in terms of site design, you can choose a design from a wide variety of templates, so it is possible to create an EC site that matches the image of the site operator or product. Also, in terms of functionality, there are many plugins available. Detailed requests such as “I want to display products faster”, “I want to add an automatic translation function in the EC site”, and “I want to make regular sales” can all be handled with the extended function.
● A rich community where information can be shared
EC CUBE has a rich community for people involved in development and store management. Even if you have a problem, you can ask other users immediately, so even beginners can easily solve the problem. Since EC CUBE is software made in Japan, there are many domestic users, and an environment where it is easy to ask questions in Japanese is in place.
Disadvantages of using EC-CUBE
● Requires site creation and management skills
EC-CUBE only specializes in the functions of EC site creation and management, and the manual is not published by the provider. Therefore, it will be difficult to create an EC site without any knowledge of site creation. Knowledge of programming languages is required depending on the content of customization. As mentioned above, the community for beginners is substantial, but in the unlikely event that a system error occurs on an EC site, the operator must handle it at his own risk.
● No ability to attract customers
If you create an EC site with EC-CUBE, you need to attract customers to the EC site yourself. For example, if you open a store in a shopping mall such as Rakuten Ichiba or Amazon, you can expect a certain amount of customer attraction. This is because there are many users of shopping malls, and thanks to the popularity of Rakuten and Amazon, it is easy to gain the trust of users. However, EC-CUBE does not have a function to attract customers or advertise, so it cannot be expected to attract customers like a shopping mall.
EC-CUBE operating environment and installation method
|Classification||software||Version Version.||The operation has been confirmed|
(required mod_rewrite / mod_ssl)
|Database||PostgreSQL||9.2.x / 10.x
(required reference permission to pg_settings table)
|Database||MySQL||5.5.x / 5.6.x / 5.7.x
(InnoDB engine required)
|Database||SQLite (for development use)||3. x||– –|
|Windows (Windows 7 or later)||Internet Explorer 11 or later|
|Google Chrome latest|
|Mac (OS X or later)||Safari latest|
|iOS (10 or later)||Safari latest|
|Android (4.4 or later)||Standard browser latest|
* Source: EC-CUBE EC-CUBE 4.0 Document site for developers
The public operating environment of EC-CUBE 4.0 is as described above. Please check the official website of EC-CUBE for the operating environment and installation procedure of earlier versions. To install EC-CUBE, you need to install Composer or Docker Desktop in advance. However, if you are a beginner, the installation method and procedure for beginners using the Web installer are open to the public, so if you find it difficult to install, you can refer to the EC-CUBE developer documentation. It will be good.
What is an EC-CUBE license?
● GPL license
To use EC-CUBE, you need to select either the GPL license or the commercial license. The GPL (GNU General Public License) license is a license that can be used free of charge. All functions can be used, but if you customize the open-source EC-CUBE and create an EC site, you need to publish the customized source code.
● Commercial license
The commercial license is a license that can be used for a fee and costs 264,000 yen per site (as of the 2nd year of Rewa). The functions that can be used are the same as the free version, but there is no need to publish the source code here. If you want to create an EC site with unique functions not found in other online shops and keep the source code private, we recommend using the paid version.
This time, I introduced EC-CUBE. Many business people may find the act of “opening a store on the Internet” a high hurdle. EC-CUBE lowers the height of such a hurdle as much as possible. Why don’t you consider opening and operating a store using EC-CUBE, which has excellent functionality?
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