The Best eCommerce Platform - Find Customers Globally

By Julija Andjelic
Last updated: March 4, 2020

In today’s world, there’s no reason not to do everything globally. Thanks to the internet, you’re connected to the entire world, which is a great opportunity to promote yourself, your work, and your products. Online website builders give you a chance to set up an online shop easily and without any programming knowledge. Our comprehensive reviews will introduce you to some great companies and that will help you find the best eCommerce platform on the web. Take a look at our selection and see which one works best for you.

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1.

BigCommerce
  • Stencil CLI framework
  • Fully customizable checkout
  • AMP support
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BigCommerce was founded more than a decade ago and in that time it managed to become one of the best eCommerce platforms in the world. Although the company is known for having numerous high-profile clients from all walks of life, BigCommerce managed to stay approachable and affordable even to the businesses that are just starting out. Thanks to the fully customizable checkout process, you’ll be able to have complete control over your customers’ experience. AMP support means that your shop will work great on mobile, especially thanks to Akamai Image Manager that optimizes any media you might have. At $29.95, it isn’t among the cheapest platforms, but is certainly worth the money.

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BigCommerce was founded more than a decade ago and in that time it managed to become one of the best eCommerce platforms in the world. Although the company is known for having numerous high-profile clients from all walks of life, BigCommerce managed to stay approachable and affordable even to the businesses that are just starting out. Thanks to the fully customizable checkout process, you’ll be able to have complete control over your customers’ experience. AMP support means that your shop will work great on mobile, especially thanks to Akamai Image Manager that optimizes any media you might have. At $29.95, it isn’t among the cheapest platforms, but is certainly worth the money.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Features - Excellent
  • Price - Good

2.

3dcart
  • Video tutorials
  • Landing pages
  • Product guides
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3dcart began its eCommerce journey back in 1997. This best eCommerce platform for small business lets you create your online shop from scratch. Even though this eCommerce website builder might not be as intuitive as users want it to be, numerous comprehensive video tutorials will lead you through the process. What’s great about 3dcart is that you can create landing pages that can easily generate leads for you. Adding products is extremely easy – you can just upload a CSV list if you have a lot of them. Thanks to Zapier automation, your shop can be exceptionally efficient. The lowest price starts at $17.10 if you decide to subscribe annually.

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3dcart began its eCommerce journey back in 1997. This best eCommerce platform for small business lets you create your online shop from scratch. Even though this eCommerce website builder might not be as intuitive as users want it to be, numerous comprehensive video tutorials will lead you through the process. What’s great about 3dcart is that you can create landing pages that can easily generate leads for you. Adding products is extremely easy – you can just upload a CSV list if you have a lot of them. Thanks to Zapier automation, your shop can be exceptionally efficient. The lowest price starts at $17.10 if you decide to subscribe annually.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Ease of Use - Good
  • Features - Excellent
  • Price - Excellent

3.

Shopify
  • Over 1,200 apps
  • Advanced shipping options
  • Inventory management
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Shopify can easily be considered the best eCommerce platform for startups thanks to its affordable price and number of great features. The platform really wastes no time when setting up your shop. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions and you’re good to go. With over 1,200 apps in its store, you can customize your website anyway you want and include multi-channel integration. You can even customize shipping rates based on the characteristics of the product, while Shopify’s partnership with companies like DHL and USPS means your products will get there on time. At a price of $29 a month, it isn’t exactly among the cheapest options out there but it’s worth the money.

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Shopify can easily be considered the best eCommerce platform for startups thanks to its affordable price and number of great features. The platform really wastes no time when setting up your shop. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions and you’re good to go. With over 1,200 apps in its store, you can customize your website anyway you want and include multi-channel integration. You can even customize shipping rates based on the characteristics of the product, while Shopify’s partnership with companies like DHL and USPS means your products will get there on time. At a price of $29 a month, it isn’t exactly among the cheapest options out there but it’s worth the money.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Features - Good
  • Price - Good

4.

Wix
  • Wix ADI
  • Built-in SEO tool
  • Clean builder
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Wix is excellent all around, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that it is also the best eCommerce website builder. Wix’s ADI software helps you automatically create any website in a matter of minutes. The platform’s set of tools by the name of Ascend has an entire category dedicated to financial tools for your online shop. In case you get stuck anywhere, comprehensive instructional videos will help you find everything you need. Create quotes, discuss them with your customers live, and turn them into invoices with just a couple of clicks. Wix’s cheapest eCommerce-friendly plan costs $17 a month, which is quite affordable.

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Wix is excellent all around, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that it is also the best eCommerce website builder. Wix’s ADI software helps you automatically create any website in a matter of minutes. The platform’s set of tools by the name of Ascend has an entire category dedicated to financial tools for your online shop. In case you get stuck anywhere, comprehensive instructional videos will help you find everything you need. Create quotes, discuss them with your customers live, and turn them into invoices with just a couple of clicks. Wix’s cheapest eCommerce-friendly plan costs $17 a month, which is quite affordable.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Features - Good
  • Price - Excellent

5.

Squarespace
  • High-quality eCommerce templates
  • eCommerce instructional videos
  • Selling services
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Squarespace has been in the site-building business since 2004, but they’ve only recently started focusing on online shops. If you make an eCommerce platform comparison on the web, you’ll notice that Squarespace has some of the most elegant templates you will find. There might be a slight learning curve when it comes to the interface, but you’ll find plenty of eCommerce-specific guides and tutorials on their site. Satisfied customers can make accounts on your website to track orders more efficiently. It’s interesting that Squarespace lets you sell physical and digital products, as well as services. At $18 a month, this platform is a great choice for shops that are only just starting out.

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Squarespace has been in the site-building business since 2004, but they’ve only recently started focusing on online shops. If you make an eCommerce platform comparison on the web, you’ll notice that Squarespace has some of the most elegant templates you will find. There might be a slight learning curve when it comes to the interface, but you’ll find plenty of eCommerce-specific guides and tutorials on their site. Satisfied customers can make accounts on your website to track orders more efficiently. It’s interesting that Squarespace lets you sell physical and digital products, as well as services. At $18 a month, this platform is a great choice for shops that are only just starting out.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Ease of Use - Good
  • Features - Good
  • Price - Excellent

What Is the Best eCommerce Platform?

If you’re new to the whole concept of eCommerce websites, you might not know exactly what features you’ll need for a fully functional online store. Here are a couple of them you should keep a lookout for:

Inventory management - Most eCommerce platforms will have some type of inventory management to help you keep track of your products, orders, stock levels, or any problems that might come up. Some platforms come with bonus functions that allow you to automate the process in any way and receive customizable alerts when necessary.

Multi-channel integration - You’ll probably see a website that claims to be the best multi channel eCommerce platform. What does that mean? It means that you can sell your products of different channels with a unified inventory that is constantly synchronized. Although this feature could be considered basic and unimpressive, it is essential for the majority of the best online stores.

Discount/gift codes - It is important to provide your customers with incentives to buy a product and discount/gift codes are the best way to do it. It can be a seasonal promotion, a discount tied to an event or something else entirely. These codes give you a lot of creative freedom.

Abandoned cart - This is a very popular feature that’s bound to be a part of the best webstore platform’s offer. Essentially, this feature saves any unfinished purchases and (automatically) sends reminder emails to customers. Apparently, the abandoned cart feature can drastically improve your sales.

Account creation - This feature works similarly to the abandoned cart feature. Users who make a purchase can be prompted to make an account and, that way, become a loyal customer of the store.

Blog section - Including a blog in your online store has a number of benefits. First of all, it is a great way to reach your audience. You can let them know about any news or promotions you have going on. You will find a blog section in any top online store builder because it also helps you improve your SEO - the visibility of your website.

Landing pages - Creating a landing page is another great way to generate leads. Instead of making an entire website into a promotion for a certain event, you can simply create a landing page and show the special offer only to the users who are supposed to see it.

Shipping options - You might think that shipping options should be basic for an eCommerce website and you would be right. However, there are many additional elements that platforms can include to improve this process. The best platform to sell online will provide you with special deals with shipping companies, shipping calculators, custom tags, and much more.

Our Methodology

Our search for the best eCommerce website builder starts off with a reliable methodology. We’ve compiled a list of important factors we take into consideration when writing our reviews. They are:

Interface

The first order of the day is the interface. We try to find out if the software is intuitive and easy to use. Considering that this is a website-builder tool, we expect it to be user-friendly and, more importantly, beginner-friendly. There’s no point in having a capable eCommerce platform if you need to spend hours getting to know the basics. We appreciate a clean and simple dashboard that doesn’t overwhelm the user or offer unnecessary information.

Visuals

The best eCommerce platform in2020 needs to offer outstanding visuals in order to compete in today's demanding market. We expect templates to be well-designed, customizable, and responsive. So many platforms today use AI to come up with a fast website solution, but does it really live up to the custom-designed standards? Sure, speed is important but not if it comes at the expense of the site’s visual appeal. Afterall, this is an online store we’re talking about. The visuals need to attract the customers.

eCommerce Features

Since our goal is to compare eCommerce platforms and find the best one, we’ll be focusing mainly on eCommerce-specific features. Multi-channel selling is a standard feature, as well as inventory management, but we need to go way beyond that. Can you add/automate apps? What payment methods will you be able to offer your buyers? Is there an abandoned cart feature? Can loyal customers create their own accounts and keep track of their purchases?

Apps & Extensions

Apps are a great way to add more functionality to an eCommerce platform. They can deal with payments, orders, or even security that is essential when you’re dealing with money transfers. Of course, it is not necessary for eCommerce website builders to have their own store if they allow third-party apps and extensions. The only problem with third-party software is that the company can’t guarantee their safety or functionality. You’ll have to do the research yourself.

Price

You can have the best platform in the world but if you can’t afford it, what’s the point? We’ll always present you with the cheapest subscription plan to give you a vague idea but you’ll have to check the company’s website for the full pricing. Keep in mind that the most basic website building plans usually don’t allow store integration. The best platform for eCommerce websites costs slightly more.

The Best eCommerce Platform Solutions

  • 1. BigCommerce
  • 2. 3dcart
  • 3. Shopify
  • 4. Wix
  • 5. Squarespace

Full Reviews

Key Features
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Features - Excellent
  • Price - Good
Additional Features
  • Optional coding customization
  • Google Cloud platform
  • Akamai Image Manager

Appropriately named, BigCommerce is one of the largest ecommerce platforms on the web with dozens of high-profile clients all over the world. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not suitable for small businesses with high aspirations. Even companies that are just starting out can enjoy a host of great features you get with the basic plan. If you’re thinking of giving this platform a go, here’s what you can expect.

In order to start selling, first you need to set up the shop and build your website. BigCommerce eCommerce offers a high-quality building tool that is instinctive and simple to use. Although you can find some great templates completely free of charge in the store, the best online eCommerce platform themes often require a payment. The builder doesn’t require any coding knowledge but if you want, you can customize your website further using HTML, CSS, and Javascript codes. Even the checkout process can be completely customized, which means you control absolutely every part of your customers’ experience.

Advanced users might appreciate the fact that they can use Stencil CLI to locally edit themes without affecting the live storefront. What’s great about this tool is the fact that you can simultaneously test the custom theme across different devices to make sure it works perfectly on all of them. This might not be the online retail platform feature beginners will benefit from but it certainly gives you options.

Speed is one of the main priorities for any online shop, so it’s no surprise that eCommerce BigCommerce invests so much in providing you with a smooth online experience. The Google Cloud platform ensures the availability of your resources at all times, while AMP support means that your shop will load quickly on any mobile device. In addition, there is a built-in Akamai Image Manager that optimizes both your images and your videos to provide optimal speeds. BigCommerce also utilizes a content delivery network system to further improve the functioning of your online store.

As you would expect from the best eCommerce platform, there is no limit to the number of products you can add to your store. Note that while there are no limitations to the number of products you can add, there is a revenue limit for each plan. Every subscription plan also comes with an unlimited bandwidth and storage, so it’s one less thing to worry about. Each plan has no transaction fee. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to include various payment gateway fees, since they are independent and obligatory.

Like many top eCommerce platforms on the web, BigCommerce also lets you organize multi-channel selling with minimum effort. Your inventory automatically syncs on all channels and your store’s offers immediately get updated. For example, if one of your products gets sold out on Facebook, it will instantly become unavailable on all other channels. That way there’s no chance of overselling or any other misunderstanding happening with the customers.

The cheapest subscription plan costs $29.95. Even though it’s a basic plan, it offers a lot of great features including coupons, product reviews, real-time shipping quotes, and professional reporting tools. The best eCommerce package is the Plus plan at $71.95 per month (if you pay annually). The main benefit is an increased sales limit and a handful of effective customer-centered features.

Key Features
  • Ease of Use - Good
  • Features - Excellent
  • Price - Excellent
Additional Features
  • CSV upload
  • Customizable stock alerts
  • Zapier automation

Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a veteran in the world of eCommerce platforms with more than two decades of experience in the business. Today, they offer premium website solutions for shops of all sizes. Here is a short overview of their platform.

People who decide to open an online shop usually don’t know much about programming. That’s why it’s important for the best web store builder to have an intuitive and easy-to-grasp interface. Although eCommerce software by 3dcart doesn’t require coding, users often complain about its demanding learning curve. Thankfully, the website provides comprehensive video tutorials and guides to help you get started. The library contains dozens of free and premium templates with high-quality responsive designs. The themes are designed in such a way that the most important elements load first. This is beneficial not only for the customer experience, but also for SEO.

You can add as many pages as you want to your templates, including the extremely lucrative landing pages and product guides. The best website platform for eCommerce makes it easy to add new products with absolutely no coding involved. If you have a lot of them organized in a table, you can simply upload the entire CSV file. The platform will do the job for you. The inventory control feature is a built-in system that lets you track stock levels and manage your products. The fully customizable stock alerts will warn you when the supplies are running low or if you’re fresh out of stock. You can also create a waiting list to make sure you don’t lose any of those eager customers.

Some of the features that make 3dcart the best platform for online stores include Zapier automation, Abandoned Cart Saver, and two-factor authentication. Thanks to the 3dcart’s partnership with Zapier, you can connect and automate as many apps as you want, giving you a much more efficient online experience. With a generous selection of over 1,000 apps, it’s only a matter of choosing the right ones. The Abandoned Cart Saver feature makes sure unfinished purchases don’t get lost, so you can set up the email campaign to get those buyers back. Finally, 3dcart also provides you with a two-factor authentication system to ensure your security never gets compromised.

Like many other top eCommerce sites, this one also provides you with multi-channel synchronization. Your entire inventory is updated across all channels when there’s a change to the stock levels. In order to boost sales, you can turn on the single-page checkout option. It speeds up the whole purchase process and dramatically increases conversion rates. With over 100 payment gateways at their disposal, your visitors will easily find their preferred method. Since every shop you create is in compliance with PCI standards, there will be no security issues. 

There are no transaction fees or order limits regardless of the subscription plan you choose. The cheapest way to gain access to 3dcart’s online store platforms will cost you $17.10 a month, if you decide to pay annually. It is a great option for businesses that are just starting out and don’t expect to go over the $50,000 limit. The main difference between the plans, besides the sales limit is the amount of features you get. The costlier the plan, the more features you get to improve your online presence.

Key Features
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Features - Good
  • Price - Good
Additional Features
  • Multi-channel integration app
  • Product variations
  • In-house analytics

Shopify is one of the first names that comes up when someone mentions eCommerce platforms. With over 1.2 million users around the world, it’s certainly among the top 10 eCommerce platforms on the web. Here is everything you need to know.

This is a paid platform but before you spend any of your cash, you have a chance to test out the service through a free trial. Enter an email address, name your store, answer a couple of basic questions, and you’re good to go. You can immediately add a product, customize the Shopify eCommerce themes, or connect it to your own domain. 

Much of the platform’s functionality relies on apps, so it’s a good thing that Shopify’s store has over 1,200 of them in its store. One of the reasons why Shopify is the best eCommerce platform for dropshipping is the existence of nearly a hundred great dropshipping apps. Most of them are free but if you’ve got your eye set on a specific paid one, you can almost certainly find a trial version first. Shopify eCommerce gives you a lot of advanced shipping options to play around with. It is possible to create shipping rates based on value, location, or weight. Thanks to their partnership with some of the biggest companies in the world like DHL and USPS, your packages will always find the right address.

There is a built-in inventory management system that lets you keep track of the stock levels in your store. With Shopify’s best platform for eCommerce, you can automate the process to make it more efficient. For example, out of stock products can automatically be marked and hidden from customers. That way there’s no chance of misordering. Inventory management also gives you the option to create plenty of variations for products with different prices. Your customers can browse the objects by type, price, size, color, or any other category.

Apps play a central role with Shopify. You will need an app for essential elements like multi-channel integration and the option to sell your products digitally. Apps also step in with some top eCommerce solutions for email marketing you’ll certainly make use of. You can additionally improve your SEO, analytics, or even your security using apps.

So, what are some of the built-in features then? First of all, Shopify provides you with some basic SEO tools. Whenever you add a new product, you get guidelines from the platform on how to improve its visibility. In addition to that, there is also a decent in-house analytics tool that shows you earnings, customer return rates, and real-time visitors. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you can’t install third-party apps like Google Analytics. It’s also worth mentioning that this platform comes with a built-in automatic tax calculator that is extremely useful.

The lowest price you can get for Shopify’s best online eCommerce website builder is with the basic plan at $29 a month. You get everything you need to set up an online shop while you choose the amount of features you want by installing additional apps. Keep in mind that with the basic plan, you have to pay a 2% transaction fee unless you also opt for the Shopify payment gateway.

Key Features
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Features - Good
  • Price - Excellent
Additional Features
  • Quote creation
  • Financial apps
  • Instructional videos

Wix is one of the most popular website builders on the planet – and for good reason. It is the best eCommerce platform for beginners mainly thanks to its AI-based automatic site generator and a host of online shopping-focused features. But how does it work?

When you’re making a website, you have two choices in front of you. You can either go with Wix’s classic builder or let the automatic Wix ADI do the work for you. Of course, even after the AI generates your site, you can change the layout anyway you want. The generator simply saves you a bit of time. 

After you select the type of store you want, the best eCommerce site builder suggests features you might need like, popup chat, subscribe forms, or a page with your selection of paid subscription plans. If you already own a store elsewhere, you can easily import it with a couple of clicks at the start. At the end of the process, the ADI lets you choose the theme you like and the layout you will be using before coming up with the final product. 

When it comes to the classic Wix eCommerce website editor, you will notice right away that the interface is beginner-friendly. You edit the pages on-site as you see them, and the dashboard only appears after you’ve clicked on an element. That way there’s no unnecessary clutter on the screen. Wix’s best eCommerce website builder for beginners gives you short instructional videos at the start to help you find your way around the program. Even the classic builder is fairly intuitive so, for example, if you want to add a new section to your site, the eCommerce software will automatically suggest the pages you should have with pre-made features.

Adding products to your store is really simple – it’s like filling out a form. You write down the name, description, and add an image. One of the reasons why Wix might be the best eCommerce platform for SEO is the fact that you can enter metadata for each product and, that way, improve your rankings. Even if you’re not familiar with optimization techniques, you can still be effective by adding a custom URL, title, and a description of the product. The preview will show you exactly what your page will look like in Google’s search results.

Though Wix is a universal site builder with various features, it has a specific financial section on the dashboard focused on eCommerce. This is where you can set up various payment methods for your visitors, create invoices, quotes, or connect financial apps for an improved online experience. 

Every Wix eCommerce plan comes with the best eCommerce website builder and hosting provided by Wix. The most basic business plan costs $17 a month. It comes with an unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB of storage, and a free domain for a year. As a part of the package, you get two great apps – Site Booster and Visitor Analytics – completely free.

Key Features
  • Ease of Use - Good
  • Features - Good
  • Price - Excellent
Additional Features
  • Instructions for each template
  • Unlimited products
  • Customer accounts

For years now, Squarespace has been one of the most popular website builders on the internet. Well-known for its wide selection of beautiful templates, the platform helped build over two million websites worldwide. In recent years, the company decided to tread a new path and work towards becoming one of the best eCommerce platforms on the web. 

One of the most recognizable traits of Squarespace websites is the unique and elegant design of the themes. The same can be said for the company’s introduction of Squarespace eCommerce templates. You can find a suitable design for almost every industry and be amazed by the trademark quality of the layouts. Now, even though the themes are fully customizable, you can’t just go around changing everything without affecting the delicate balance of the elements. That is why every template has its own unique set of instructions. Based on this, you would be right to assume that this isn’t exactly the easiest eCommerce platform for beginners. It takes some getting used to.

Squarespace offers plenty of instructional videos and guides, including one specifically focused on creating eCommerce websites. If you’re willing to dedicate some of your time to learning this interface, you’ll be rewarded with an incredibly powerful site-building experience. 

As you might expect from any decent eCommerce platform, this one also offers inventory management for tracking and organizing your products. There is no limitation to how many products you can add to the store. Moreover, Squarespace’s best online store builder lets you include as many product variants as you’d like. Your visitors will be able to browse through different sizes, colors, and other features.

While numerous eCommerce platforms let you sell both physical and digital products, Squarespace eCommerce goes a step further. With this platform, you’ll be able to sell services as well. The platform doesn’t have its own app store, but it allows for third-party extensions that can dramatically improve your website. A lot of these extensions are specifically aimed at eCommerce sites and online shopping features. To get the most out of your best eCommerce platform, make sure you activate the Customer Accounts functionality that lets your buyers set up an account before or after a purchase. This has a tremendous effect on your customer return rate.

The cheapest plan is the business plan at $18 a month. It comes with a free custom domain for the first year, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and advanced website analytics. Keep in mind that this plan demands a transaction fee of 3%. If you want to get rid of the transaction fee, you’ll have to upgrade to the Commerce plan at $26 a month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which eCommerce platform is best for a small business?

Squarespace is a great choice for young companies because it offers over a hundred high-quality templates that look elegant and professional. Although the interface takes some getting used to, overall, it’s a good long-term investment. If you’re looking for something easier, you should try Wix because its ADI does all the work for you. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions and choose the designs you like.

Is Shopify the best eCommerce platform?

Shopify is certainly among the best online eCommerce platforms. This website builder offers a number of great eCommerce features and has over 1,200 apps in its store. With Shopify, you can create custom labels and shipping rates tailored to your customers’ specific needs. Abandoned cart recovery is a built-in feature, while multi-channel integration isn’t. You will have to get an app specifically for that.

How do I choose an eCommerce platform?

The first thing you need to do is define what it is you need. Are you looking for a quick way to integrate a store into your existing, established website? Try Wix. Are you looking for the best SEO eCommerce platform where you can easily add metadata to all your products? Simply use Shopify. Do you want to be around huge, famous companies that seem to know what they’re doing? Check out BigCommerce.

What is the cheapest eCommerce platform?

According to our reviews, both 3dcart and Wix offer the cheapest eCommerce plans at $17 a month. Second place belongs to Squarespace at only a dollar more - $18. However, not everything is about the price. Before you decide to buy what you think is the best eCommerce platform, make sure you use the trial mode to see if it fits your needs.

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