1.Build your own platforms first.
While this is more of a process than an eCommerce platform, it still necessitate hiring someone to develop it, either internally or externally. As previously stated, this is becoming less typical anymore. This may be your only option if your firm is really narrow and has a unique set of needs and criteria that none of the commercial eCommerce platforms can meet.
2. Conventional media
With this platform, you pay a one-time licence price that you must renew every year. The platform will then be built and customised by your IT staff and developers, and it will be installed either on-premise or in the cloud. Kentico, Hybris, Oracle Commerce, and IBM Digital Commerce are examples of classic platforms.
3. Platforms that are open source
The primary distinction between this platform and other platforms is that you don’t have to pay for a licence up front. Initial development, implementation, ongoing development, updates, and migration all require payment. Magento is an example of an open source eCommerce platform.
4. Cloud computing platforms
The world of cloud platforms is a little hazy. Cloud platforms are traditional and open source platforms that have been slapped onto a hosting system. Magento Enterprise Cloud, Demandware, Salesforce Commerce, and Volusion are other examples.
5. Software-as-a-Service platforms
The majority of SaaS-based eCommerce platforms are built on a single codebase. For a fixed monthly charge that includes server use, maintenance, security, and upgrades, everyone who uses an eCommerce SaaS platform gets the same technology.
The differences between cloud-hosted and SaaS eCommerce platforms
Many people mistakenly believe that a cloud-hosted platform is a SaaS service. That isn’t correct. Many cloud-hosted platforms are simply legacy platforms that are hosted on a cloud platform and, like traditional and open source platforms, require maintenance and installation upgrades.
Furthermore, while using a cloud-hosted eCommerce platform, you must still go through initial development and customization as you would with traditional and open source platforms, necessitating the hiring of a technical assistance. However, once this is done, the platform is essentially yours.
When it comes to SaaS platforms, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a cloud-based hosting provider or a physical server. You simply pay a monthly subscription to have access to a pre-developed software programme via your browser. And, unlike cloud-hosted solutions, you won’t have to worry about software maintenance because the SaaS provider will take care of it.
What is the price of developing, maintaining, and updating your eCommerce platform?
Many consumers overlook the actual costs of maintaining an eCommerce business when choosing an eCommerce platform. While the original construction and development expenditures are clear, there are further costs to consider:
1. The cost of maintenance
If you choose a traditional/open source platform, it is your job to ensure that your eCommerce site meets its standards through upkeep. These maintenance expenses can vary based on the size and complexity of your eCommerce site, and you may need to engage expert assistance. Maintenance is taken care of in exchange for a predetermined monthly cost with SaaS systems, on the other hand.
2. Costs of upgrading
Open source platforms, in particular, demand that you download and install updates as soon as they become available. If you don’t install those upgrade in a timely manner, your platform will be vulnerable to hackers and cyber attacks. Because installing these upgrades necessitates some technical knowledge, you will need to enlist outside assistance once again. Any changes are included in the monthly charge for SaaS systems, just like maintenance.
3. Costs of adding new features/improvements
Consumer habits evolve throughout time. As a result, you must guarantee that your eCommerce site remains relevant by introducing improvements and adding functionality as needed.
4. UX affect costs
You may need to change the whole user experience of your eCommerce platform in addition to adding features and improvements. Changes in consumer patterns and behaviour are to blame once again. If your existing eCommerce platform becomes too inflexible, you may need to replatform to a system that allows you to make these UX adjustments – which can be a costly process.
What should you think about while choosing an eCommerce solution?
Apart from development and operation, there are a number of other considerations to consider while choosing an eCommerce platform.
1. Expertise and experience of the vendor
Examine whether the seller has the necessary experience and technical expertise to match the needs and complexities of your requirements. Also, evaluate if they have both the expertise and experience needed to work in your sector.
Take the time to look through case studies, customer evaluations, and discussion boards to discover if the provider can do more than simply development.
Will the seller give you with the essential support to help you handle the problem or issue if something goes wrong, because believe us, things can go wrong? Always search for providers who offer emergency help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you can reach them by email, web chat, or phone.
3. The ability to scale
Will your eCommerce platform develop along with your company? Your eCommerce platform is the nerve centre of your company. A platform that is difficult to scale can stifle your company’s growth.