Digital Marketing A Definitive Guide to Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform
Do you know the global Ecommerce sales are expected to touch $4.5 trillion by the end of 2021 from $2.3 trillion in 2017 (kinsta.com)? Yes, these figures underline a massive boom in the Ecommerce sector in the near future, but are you ready to be a part of it?Remember, having an online store is the lifeline of your Ecommerce business and can even decide its fate in the upcoming days. If you are yet to create a robust and secure ecommerce website, we suggest you waste no more time and choose the best Ecommerce development platform to get started with.
Now, for any beginner, choosing an Ecommerce platform can be a daunting task given a variety of options available in the market today. There is no denying that every option is unique, but selecting the right solution for your online store must be determined by a number of factors. Wondering what those are? You will know them all, but let us first understand the two major categories of Ecommerce solutions.
SaaS Vs Open-Source Platform – An Overview and Comparison
Known as Software-as-a-service, SaaS platforms are hosted by the third-party vendors and licensed for the users. As a cloud-based system, these Ecommerce platforms can be accessed on all web browsers using just the internet. Run on the hosted servers, your Ecommerce platform can avail security and maintenance from the third-part SaaS providers. If you choose to proceed with a SaaS platform, you would have to pay subscription fees on a monthly basis. Since these platforms are not installed on-premise, you don’t need to have coding knowledge or worry about web hosting. You must have heard quite a lot about Shopify and Bigcommerce, haven’t you? Well, these are some popular SaaS e-commerce providers in the current times.
Besides SaaS, open-source platforms are also quite a rage these days. With their software codes available to all users, open-source Ecommerce solutions can facilitate the creation of highly customizable online stores that have to be hosted and maintained by the merchants themselves. Be its administration or software upgrades, you need to have some technical knowledge to perform some control and maintenance works. Unlike SaaS, opting for open source solutions needs you to find a web host for your online store. As technical complexities cannot be avoided altogether in case of an open-source platform, you should contact an Ecommerce website designer or a company for help. Doing so can enable you to build a custom website from scratch using this type of an Ecommerce solution.
While Woocommerce is the leading Ecommerce platform with the market share standing at 28.24%, Squarespace Online is the second-ranked Ecommerce solution with a share of 17.69% (statista.com). The first platform is an open-source solution, whereas the second one is a SaaS-based Ecommerce platform. These facts show neck and neck competition between the two categories of Ecommerce platforms. However, when it comes to choosing the right Ecommerce solution for your online store, you have to consider several personal factors other than overall facts & figures prevailing in the market.
How Do You Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform?
Understand your needs – Unless you are sure about your needs, you will be far from making your mind up in favour of an Ecommerce platform. Do you want to avoid the hassles of coding and security maintenance? Choosing a SaaS platform can serve the purpose while helping you build a high-quality Ecommerce website. Moreover, it is the perfect option for those who do not want to delve into the technical complexities of any kind.
Or would you like to have greater control over the customisation over your ecommerce website? If yes, then opting for an open-source solution is the best way to go about it. But that might require you to handle some technicalities like hosting, coding, security maintenance, and so on. Like said before, each option has something unique to offer, so it is on you to make the right choice as per your needs.
Consider the cost – Budget is definitely an important factor that shall determine the choice you are going to make. Although an open-source platform gives you greater creative control over designing your website, its self-hosting feature can shoot up your expenses. However, if you are fine with using the premade templates of any of the SaaS Ecommerce platforms, you can simply pay a small amount every month and avail a website builder, hosting, plugins, and marketing tools in a single package.
If statistics are to be believed, BigCommerce is currently offering monthly subscription packages from $29.99 to $299.95 (bigcommerce.com). While Shopify offers packages starting from $29 to $299 every month, Magento can be quite pricey with a basic site costing around $2500. Thus, you need to analyse the costs and compare them with the offered features to take a pick.
Sign up for free trial – There are many ecommerce platforms that offer free trials to the users. You can avail of such a trial to watch if its functionality features match your prepared checklist. Is it mobile responsive? What are the integrations that the platform offers? How does the platform display and manage product catalogue? Is there any restriction on the number of products to be displayed? Will you get free of cost support?
You need to find answers to a range of questions before you decide to sign up for a particular plan. Do not settle with anything that does not fit your requirements and proceed only if you are satisfied with the features & offerings. If you feel overwhelmed, you can always consult with the experts of a website development company and seek professional help for better decision making.
Conclusion –Today, online stores are nothing less than revenue-generating machines for Ecommerce businesses. As a result, you have to make sure that your Ecommerce store is on point with impressive features and cutting-edge functionalities. Now that you know the basic qualities of both SaaS and open-source Ecommerce solutions, you can analyse the differences between the two and select the ideal platform for building your online store.
That apart, you can always seek consultation with the industry experts to place the right bet and achieve high returns. So, prep up to become a part of explosive Ecommerce growth in the upcoming years.