The number of eCommerce websites is growing dynamically from year to year. We all see their enormous potential, which a few years ago was not as obvious as it is today. Online sales are growing in strength, among others because it is a convenient form of shopping available 24/7 for everyone. For this reason, many entrepreneurs decide to start selling over the Internet, which may turn out to be a bull’s eye. However, when setting up an e-shop, you must be ready to make a difficult and important decision that will have a key impact on the development of your eCommerce – choosing the right software with which you can start and develop online sales.
Open Source or SaaS eCommerce websites – which is better?
eCommerce software are mainly divided into stores based on a SaaS subscription model and implemented with the use of Open Source. In this article, you can read about the differences between these solutions and what type of e-shop will meet your expectations.
Subscription model eCommerce websites (SaaS)
SaaS model (Software as a Service) – this is software stored on the distributor’s server, which makes it available in a subscription model. This means that the entrepreneur makes monthly payments, thanks to which he has the opportunity to sell in the online store. All infrastructure, hosting, updates and security are on the provider’s side. In this way, the entrepreneur has a ready-made solution that he does not have to maintain on his own. The online store in the SaaS model can be launched for the test period, during which it is worth using several free graphic themes fully modifiable in the admin panel. Most of the distributors of this software offer easy adjustment and modification of graphic elements using the drag and drop method, i.e. drag and drop with the mouse. The SaaS model is a good solution for people and companies with fewer resources who are taking their first steps in eCommerce and do not want to involve an external agency to create an online store.
Adventages of the SaaS eCommerce model:
- simple technical operation and intuitiveness;
- the possibility of using a free trial period;
- quick implementation of the online store;
- supplier-side software updates;
- server and hosting included in the subscription price;
- technical support in case of breakdowns and problems;
- adaptation to legal standards, the GDPR is on the distributor’s side;
- ready-made graphic templates with the possibility of adaptation;
- integration with Google Analytics, payments, couriers, ERP and comparison engines.
Disadventages of the SaaS eCommerce model:
- limited and expensive possibility of implementing an individual graphic theme and other dedicated functionalities;
- the online store is not your property, you only rent it;
- limited number of products included in the basic package;
- no e-shop code optimization for SEO and SEM;
- difficulties with handling increased traffic in the online store;
- difficult to export e-shop content to other platforms.
Open Source model eCommerce websites
Open Source Model – it is usually free software based on open source code, which can be downloaded and then adapted to your needs as part of the implementation of an online store. This model allows for any modification of the entire software and the design of new functionalities and solutions. However, remember that it is important to have the right resources to build an Open Source e-shop. In this case, when implementing an online store, it is worth reaching for the support of eCommerce Agency. Thanks to the employment of an external team of specialists, you will be sure that the tasks related to the construction and development of the online store will be performed professionally. The eCommerce Agency team deals with, among others: buying a domain, configurations, updates, legal adjustments, implementation of the necessary functionalities, as well as technical assistance in the event of a failure. Importantly, Open Source does not impose restrictions on the appearance and method of operation, it can also have a real impact on the number of users of the online store, thanks to the ability to optimize SEO and Google Ads campaigns.
Adventages of the Open Source eCommerce model
- access to the source code and the ability to edit it;
- the possibility of any configuration of the appearance and functionality of the e-store;
- SEO & SEM and Google Ads positioning and optimization;
- easy migration of the store, thanks to the possibility of storing data on your own server;
- freedom in choosing and changing hosting and domain.
Disadventages ot the Open Source eCommerce model
- need for a lot of technical knowledge or use the support of professionals;
- the need for constant updates;
- paid software extensions.
SaaS vs. Open Source – is there one best solution?
The answer to the above question can be sought endlessly, because there is no one right path. Much depends on our needs, experience, budget and development plans for the online store. SaaS is a good option for start-up companies that are 100% satisfied with the templates and functionalities offered. On the other hand, the Open Source solution will work for an entrepreneur who conducts online sales on a larger scale and is associated with long-term development plans. It is also a good choice for companies that need a personalized approach, flexibility and full control over the eCommerce website.
Before setting up an online store, it is worth precisely specifying your requirements and needs, thanks to which, at Blue Owl eCommerce Agency, we will determine which type of eCommerce website will be the best for you.