The Merchant’s Guide to Modern eCommerce Platforms
What is a Modernized eCommerce Platform?
Traditional eCommerce platforms are typically hosted on-premise. SaaS platforms differentiate from that model by hosting content remotely on behalf of eCommerce merchants (think BigCommerce or Shopify). On-premise platforms require a physical server that hosts and maintains a platform (think Magento). Though on-premise hosting has historically been the most common eCommerce deployment method, SaaS is the modernized solution that we encourage all merchants from small businesses to enterprise-level corporations to implement. SaaS platforms take less time to develop, customize and deploy. Additionally, they easily integrate with external ERP or CRM systems, unlike traditional on-premise platforms.
Scaling While Controlling Costs
Both SaaS and on-premise solutions use extensions, often referred to as apps, to enhance website functionality. Unfortunately for merchants using traditional platforms, each extension requires its own backend setup costs and maintenance. Alternatively, SaaS platforms include out-of-the-box functionalities — a good thing for eCommerce merchants. Out-of-the-box solutions help to diminish costs and minimize the time it takes to configure extensions.
Eliminating Technical Debt
Did you know that on average, on-premise solutions can cost up to 77% more than SaaS solutions? Typically, on-premise solutions come with technical debt due to their need for ongoing hosting and maintenance. These costs add up, and many businesses don’t realize this until after investing large sums of money into the platform. The good news is that SaaS solutions include all hosting and maintenance fees in your monthly subscription. This means you only need to pay one invoice each month instead of paying for these services individually.
Handling Recurring Maintenance
As we mentioned, on-premise platforms require recurring maintenance (and payment of fees associated with this maintenance). These are long-term expenses, such as development, security updates, platform upgrades, and more. SaaS platforms, on the other hand, own the environment which means that maintenance costs are significantly reduced since the associated costs are split among all customers that use the platform.
Protection From Security Risks
Modern SaaS solutions are built from the ground up with tight security to protect eCommerce stores from hacking and fraud. Many are PCI compliant and ISO/IEC 27001 certified, which is the highest standard for protecting customer data. Traditional on-premise solutions require merchants to pay separately for security software. Security patches and other smaller tasks related to enhancing website security requires development support for on-premise solutions. If you don’t have development experience, this will be a recurring challenge. Why pay more for security features when security comes included with modern SaaS solutions?
Increasing Functionality Without Slowing Business Operations
Integrating Seamlessly With Other Technologies
As we mentioned previously, modern SaaS solutions integrate seamlessly with external ERP or CRM systems. SaaS solutions also integrate with external applications, including Google Shopping (for SEO purposes), PIM software, OMS solutions, POS systems, and marketing automation tools. Whether you want to accept additional payments, coordinate shipping and fulfillment, build custom solutions or completely optimize your site for the user experience, SaaS solutions are the dominant option.
Avoiding Siloed Tools
Because SaaS solutions integrate seamlessly with other technologies, eCommerce merchants using these modern platforms are able to avoid siloed tools, ultimately saving them money. SaaS platforms, compared to traditional on-premise platforms, support integrations so that merchants don’t need to purchase many different tools that serve different purposes. Modern SaaS platforms are great for eCommerce businesses that prefer to focus on growing their online revenue as opposed to building their infrastructure and maintaining and securing their website on the back end.
Offering Development Options For Merchants Who Require Custom Solutions
SaaS platforms triumph over traditional open-source platforms because they allow website developers to build custom eCommerce solutions based on their website needs. Custom solutions include (but are not limited to) unlisted marketplace apps, personal apps, connector apps, single-click payment apps, and more.
One of our clients sells barn doors through their eCommerce website, and the doors are highly customizable. This means that customers are able to customize the height and width of the door, select a single or double-sided door, customize the color and add personalization elements. To learn more about how the Groove Commerce team used BigCommerce, a modern SaaS software, to build this customized solution requested by the client, check out this case study.
Additionally, a separate client came to Groove Commerce with a specific request to present accurate shipping costs and delivery information to their customers on their new eCommerce website. Our team built the solution on BigCommerce and created a custom shipping calendar application.
Unifying The End To End Experience With Customers
Take Payments Anywhere With Integrated POS Systems
Creating a seamless purchasing experience is critical for customers shopping on both desktop and mobile devices. Modern solutions, like Shopify’s POS, let merchants offer frictionless shopping experiences for their customers. Buying online and picking up in-store, browsing in-store and buying online, buying in-store and shipping to customers, and buying anywhere and returning anywhere are some of the benefits of utilizing a modern POS like Shopify. Get ready to convert more shoppers into customers when you use a modern platform.
Modern SaaS platforms provide a better user interface and user experience for merchants and their customers. For one, SaaS platforms have website themes and templates that are easily customizable with HTML and CSS through an eCommerce development expert. Modern front-end development frameworks allow developers to make updates on an as-needed basis. Plus, a site does not need to be live to see its new changes. You can’t get these features with traditional eCommerce frameworks.
Further, on-premise platforms require the merchant to take care of server uptime and scalability. On the other hand, modern SaaS platforms such as BigCommerce boast a 99.99% average uptime and remove the hosting burden from eCommerce merchants.
Creating Tailored Experiences With Personalizing Content
Winning your customers’ business often comes down to delivering engaging, personalized content with rich product information. If your website doesn’t use content or rich product information, your potential customers will shop somewhere else that does. Modern eCommerce frameworks enable merchants to tailor experiences to each customer segment using upselling and cross-selling strategies, price lists, catalogs, and more.
Creating Omnichannel Experiences
With the opportunity to sell on a variety of platforms and marketplaces today, eCommerce brands are bound to earn serious revenue. Whether you want to sell your products through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram or you want to sell on marketplaces, SaaS platforms integrate seamlessly with third-party marketplaces to allow merchants to do so. Further, modern website platforms automatically sync customer and order data so that you don’t need to manually record data for each channel you’re selling on.
SaaS platforms, like BigCommerce and Shopify, are optimal solutions for mid-market and Enterprise eCommerce merchants that are looking to grow online revenue. If you have questions about utilizing a modern eCommerce design, contact our team with questions or concerns. We’re here to help mid-market and Enterprise eCommerce merchants build, design, and grow their websites with SaaS frameworks.