What is an eCommerce Platform?
Open-source eCommerce platforms
Open-source eCommerce platforms give you full control over the code and can be modified to meet your specific needs. This type of eCommerce software is especially beneficial for SMEs, who may not be able to afford a custom eCommerce solution. For example, you may want to adjust functions, tweak themes, or make changes to the code to improve SEO. This flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of open-source eCommerce solutions.
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SaaS (software-as-a-service) platforms are subscription-based solutions built and maintained by a third-party provider, which you pay for. For this service, you get access to the software, hosting, maintenance, and support, including automatic updates and no-hassle security patching. In exchange for your subscription, you get access to all of these features, as well as many other benefits.
SaaS eCommerce platforms
A SaaS eCommerce platform is an online store that’s built on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. This model is not dependent on an owner’s IT department; instead, the platform provider provides customer support for its clients. This support can include uptime, software updates, and checking the store’s presentation. Customer support is another significant difference between SaaS eCommerce platforms and on-premise versions.
A SaaS eCommerce platform offers a variety of features and benefits, which makes it a popular choice for many online businesses. It’s easy to use, has a user-friendly interface, and can cater to a variety of customer needs. Moreover, since SaaS is offered as a service, there are no upfront costs.
Self-hosted eCommerce platforms
Self-hosted eCommerce platforms allow you to build your online store on a server that you own. These platforms are fully customizable and mobile-optimized. They also offer advanced functionality such as SEO features and fully customizable URLs. Some of the most popular self-hosted platforms include WooCommerce, Magento, and PrestaShop. The biggest cost with self-hosting is the cost of setting up and maintaining your server.
When choosing between hosted and self-hosted eCommerce platforms, you need to decide what type of store is right for your business. Hosted eCommerce platforms are more flexible and can accommodate more products. They also give you more control over SEO and technical support. On the other hand, self-hosted sites can take longer to get up and running.
eCommerce platform providers
Choosing an eCommerce platform provider is an important decision for any eCommerce business owner. There are many factors to consider, including the cost and the features offered. There are several advantages to using a platform from a reputable company. For example, most top providers include a tax calculator and shipping management tools. However, these features are typically only available in the highest tier of plans. As such, it’s best to compare the plans of different eCommerce platform providers before making a decision.
Choosing an eCommerce platform that is flexible and easy to customize is important. For example, some eCommerce platform providers offer APIs that allow developers to extend the platform, allowing them to use custom-designed elements. These extensions give businesses more flexibility and control than they would otherwise have with a pre-packaged solution.