Pros and Cons of Three Main eCommerce Platform Options
There are an extremely large variety of eCommerce solutions available, and no matter what size eCommerce business you are (or what size you are hoping to become) there is an eCommerce solution out there for you. In order to help you determine what eCommerce solution will work best for you, this article will detail the pros and cons of eCommerce Platforms vs Professional and Open Source eCommerce Solutions.
eCommerce platforms are an incredible resource for the average business owner. It gives you an easy-to-use admin dashboard to create and enhance your own website, it keeps track of your inventory, your data, and customer and shipping information. It can provide you with a reliable setup and a way to easily stay on top of your business.
eCommerce platforms aren’t perfect, though, and there are several areas that tend to have trouble with eCommerce platforms that you should be aware of. The biggest disadvantage, while a lot of eCommerce platforms do make the admin intuitive and user-friendly, many templates have the tendency to be one-size-fits-all. There is still only so many customizations you can make beyond the basics (text, color, etc), and the sort of mass-produced templates can cause your website to not look as unique as you may be hope. There is a solution to this, by hiring a developer with experience in your specific eCommerce platform, like 1 Digital Agency, they can help you further customize your eCommerce platform through the website’s code.
The eCommerce platform can also struggle with business growth and website demand as your business and revenue increases. Most eCommerce platforms are directed towards specific niches of business (small, medium, large) and so if you are looking to grow your business, you may find issues with the software in the long run. This can force you to change eCommerce platforms, which requires data migration. This can be tricky without professional help; 1 Digital Agency is also skilled in migrating data when deciding to move from one eCommerce platform to another.
Professional eCommerce Solutions
Professional eCommerce software is most advantageous for smaller business owners who are running on a smaller scale and don’t feel the need for advanced customization or added features. This allows for you to spend less time operating and managing your business because it is essentially set up for you through the professional eCommerce software.
However, this can become an issue if you decide to expand your business or if it grows beyond the capacity of the professional eCommerce software. Because of the limited nature of the design flexibility, if you feel that certain areas of your business will need adequate room to grow and that your eCommerce solution will need to be sensitive of that, maybe a professional eCommerce solution isn’t right for you. Also, because of the limited nature of the software, you should also anticipate limited support and warranty.
Open Source eCommerce Solutions
Open source eCommerce solutions are marketed towards eCommerce business owners who have the experience and technical savvy to properly maintain the open source application, and who want a large amount of flexibility when it comes to customization. There are a number of pros that makes open source eCommerce solutions attractive to eCommerce business owners. First of all, open source eCommerce solutions are often free. And, they don’t require any licensing, so your ownership is also free. There aren’t any licensing fees that are required for you to run the application, which will also reduce your costs.
There is also a wider range of customizability with open source eCommerce solutions; this can help a business to tailor the application exactly how it needs to fit into their already existing business. A web developer who is familiar and experienced with your open source application can access the code and help you adapt it to how you want it. You can further adapt the customization and functionality of your open source eCommerce solution through both modules and apps. This is not applicable to every open source software, but many will let users build on top of the existing platform.
As nice as open source software sounds, there are cons just like with any other eCommerce software. First, running an open source eCommerce solution requires more maintenance in order to make sure that it’s running smoothly and enhancements are being made as needed. This means that you have to make sure it’s properly staffed and looked over, which can cost you more. The security for open source software is also more vulnerable than with other eCommerce solutions. Due to the fact that open source software is sharing all the coding and software information, this means that hackers can also have this information, which can put your site at greater risk. You can also run into upgrading issues with any apps or modules that you’ve added to your open source software; the open source update may negatively impact the functionalities you’ve added. And finally, open source eCommerce solutions often don’t provide as much support as other solutions.
Despite the pros and cons of eCommerce Platform vs. Professional and Open Source eCommerce Solutions, there is so much diversity within the eCommerce industry that you are sure to find the eCommerce solution that fits best for your business. Have any questions about this article or the difference between available eCommerce platforms? Leave a question in the comments below and a professional digital agency will jump in and answer!