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March 8, 2021
The full guide consists of 3 parts.
Ecommerce Guide. Part 3 - TECH CHOICES.
Let’s talk about ecommerce technology. This topic is very broad, and so is the tech landscape: you can use out-of-the-box solutions or build a 100% custom ecommerce. Below, you’ll find the pros and cons of each option, but before we dive into it, let’s take a moment to go back to the question we posed at the very beginning: How to approach the expansion from brick and mortar to online?
Having read the initial chapters, you know that it’s advisable to start your ecommerce implementation with a smaller project, e.g., putting selected categories of products out there first.
Such a kick-off project is an excellent opportunity to test ecommerce technology as well. What you have to keep in mind is that, if the technology proves to be well-tailored to your needs, you will want to expand your store further. That’s why it’s essential to carefully analyze the pros and cons of different strategies for ecommerce development upfront. In this guide, we will focus on two of them:
Let’s briefly talk about the differences between these two technological choices:
SaaS commerce platforms (e.g., commercetools or Shopware) are solutions you can use to quickly set up an online product catalog or a functional ecommerce. These platforms also allow you for some flexibility: thanks to API-based architecture, you can integrate your store with retail software or marketing touchpoints.
It’s important to remember that not all SaaS commerce platforms are suited for all types of ecommerce needs. Take a look at these two platforms:
Custom ecommerce development happens when your store is designed and developed specifically for you from scratch, without using commerce platforms as the foundation of your store. Sometimes, the project requirements are so unique that existing commerce platforms may be more limiting than enabling. This is when custom ecommerce development becomes a viable solution. With a custom-built platform, you have full control over the architecture of your ecommerce ecosystem.
Again, your choice might be influenced by the scale of your project. If you’re planning to establish your brand’s online presence with just a handful of categories, choosing a SaaS commerce solution should allow you to launch your store earlier. The flexibility of custom ecommerce development, on the other hand, could convince you to partner with a technical partner and build a bespoke store. When you’re planning to ultimately have a large/complex ecommerce, such a solution might turn out to be a more viable option in the long run.
The main dilemma you might be facing is: do I opt for a quicker and cheaper implementation but sacrifice some of my business requirements, or do I build a store that’s 100% in line with my needs and processes, but allocate more time and resources to make it happen?
It’s not an easy choice, which is why we suggest that, before you commit to any of these approaches, you consult them with experienced ecommerce specialists. People who have developed dozens of online stores will be able to provide you with unique insights and create a viable strategy for building your online store.
Schedule a consultation with New Gravity, experts in building online platforms for retailers.
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