When the Internet was first opened to the public, its promise seemed to lie in the exchange of knowledge and information. However, it very quickly also became a story about commerce, proving that whenever people gather, even if it's online, someone will always try to sell you something.
In the early days of the Web, e-commerce tools were hard-coded into a site. Now, these tools come in two varieties: stand-alone servers that run as full-fledged websites, or plug-ins created by content management tools such as Joomla or WordPress that can be integrated into an existing site.
These tools provide online merchants -- from individuals to large corporations -- with the capability to enter new products, track existing product inventory, and give customers safe and varied options for shipping and payment.
To find some of the best e-commerce tools that are available today, we took a good look at ten of the better-known e-commerce platforms currently available.