SaaS eCommerce Platform is a hosted eCommerce platform that allows you to use prebuilt technology hosted and supported on the providers servers. This allows you to use all the features, customize them within the set boundaries, and focus on your products, while they focus on keeping the technology up and running for you. This solution is not for everyone but covers most basic eCommerce needs.
Most plans will range from $20 – $300 per month just for the platform. When you start adding in 3rd party applications, processing fees, and shipping costs, additional monthly fees apply.
There are a variety of commercially available SaaS eCommerce Platforms to consider. The following outlines just two of the most widely used – Shopify and BigCommerce:
Shopify, started in 2006, built to provide solutions for creating a website that lets you sell products. Today it offers a platform with over 170 ready-made template designs for your eCommerce site, and plenty of third-party applications, so you don’t have to be a designer or developer to take advantage of the rich feature set. You have the option to customize your design or utilize their API’s for more advanced systems.
Shopify supports selling on multiple platforms such as, Amazon, Google Shopping, Etsy, Ebay, Facebook, and more! This allows you only have to manage one inventory system. The built-in marketing tools for email marketing, abandoned cart, and CRM give you the tools to optimize your user engagement. They hold the top of the market for hosted eCommerce, with the most features. Easy to use discounts and promotional codes support a variety of campaigns.
- Tons of Theme Options
- Easy to use Platform
- Flexible and suitable for nearly any type of store
- Free and paid apps available.
- Widely used and supported by many other popular business programs
- Large Community of developers and experts
- Sell on Multiple Channels: Amazon, Google, Etsy, Facebook, Ebay
- 24/7 Live chat and customer support
- Supports over 100 paymetn gatewaos
- Distribution channels and drop shipping available
- Transaction fees apply unless you use Shopify Payments.
- Not ideal for blogging systems or heavey content websites.
- Uses unique “liquid” pgraommering language
- Limitations to how product category and varaitons are handled out of the box.
BigCommerce, started in 2009, is a great solutions to run your eCommerce website. They are a top competitor to Shopify. It is full featured, many included out of the box, not requiring as many third-party apps, that can cost time to implement and additional monthly costs. However, it does not have the app community or market share that Shopify has, yet continues to grow.
Since the platform uses HTML and CSS, more developers area available to work on the platform. The user-friendly editor and drag and drop features, make it easy for beginners to edit. BigCommerce also allows you to manage stores on other channels like Amazon, eBay, Facebook right from the platform.
- Easy to get started and adaptable to growing needs.
- Intuitive interface with more features included out of the box.
- Sells on Multiple Channels: Amazon, Google, Pinterest, Facebook, eBay
- Access to API’s
- No Transaction fees regardless of the plan you choose.
- Up to 600 product variants and flexible product presentation
- Powerful SEO capabilities and built in marketing tools
- WordPress Plugin available
- Limited number of free design templates available
- Automatically upgrades to higher plan if your annual sales exceeds set limits
- Content editor focuses on product pages and is limited on other content pages.
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