SaaS-based online store: a quick start in online business
Not everyone has enough time and resources to create an online store on an open or custom CMS. When the budget is limited, and you need to launch urgently, SaaS platforms come to the rescue. Many entrepreneurs choose this path to start in e-commerce because of its simplicity and affordability. Next, we will look at what these services are and who they are suitable for.
What is a SaaS platform
SaaS (" Software as a Service") are ready-made software services on the basis of which online stores are created without the need for "self-written" software. You pay for the use of the online store on this cloud service, and the developers provide updates and technical support.
Powered by Shop-Express , for example, you can create an online store in just 1 day and pay for it once a month or per year. The cost of such a site depends on the amount of functionality, settings, integrations, etc. The service offers different tariff plans, but in any case, you get the basic service: hosting, technical support, warranty and regular updates.
For which businesses an online store on a SaaS platform is not suitable
Business considerations that might make "Software as a Service" not for you:
- Heavy traffic is assumed, eg hundreds of thousands monthly. In this case, it is better to order a custom CMS or negotiate special conditions with a SaaS service in order to allocate more server capacity for your project.
- We need non-standard functionality. If the specifics of the business involves specific tools and functions that need to be developed individually. For example, various "self-written" calculators that are not integrated into the platform.
- A large catalog is planned.The number of items in an online store on a SaaS platform is limited to 50,000 items - this is usually enough for small and medium-sized businesses. But this is an inconvenient limitation for large projects, such as marketplaces.
Therefore, if you need a more individual approach in terms of functionality or you plan to grow into a large project with hundreds of thousands of visits every month, it is better to contact the developers. In other cases, you can pay attention to SaaS platforms as a way to quickly and cost-effectively launch your online store.
SaaS benefits for getting started in e-commerce
SaaS platforms have features that attract entrepreneurs. This is especially true for beginners in e-commerce and those who are moving from offline to online. Key benefits:
- Central service. You don't need your own team programmers who will be engaged in technical support of the site. You don't have to worry about hosting, updates, etc.
- Integrity. The system has a single development team, so you will never run into module conflicts (as is often the case with open-source CMSs with thousands of developers).
- Security. Platforms are "sharpened" for e-commerce, so they pay special attention to data security. Among other things, this concerns the confidentiality of client information and secure online payments.
- Minimum costs. You don't need a big starting budget. You pay little by little like rent.
- Promotion opportunities. The service provides all the tools for Google search engine optimization, and also provides for the connection of social networks for marketing campaigns. You can also use Google Shopping and other tools for effective promotion.
- Integrations. You can connect various systems for the delivery and payment of goods, as well as other services necessary for the operation of the online store.
- Analytics.The system allows you to measure the main business performance indicators of an online store: sales, attendance, activity, etc.
- Batch payment system. You clearly understand how much and for what you pay. You can choose a package that suits your company in terms of functionality and services.
SaaS platforms are the best solution for those who do not have the resources for individual development. Services like Shop-Express allow you to launch your e-commerce sales faster and at a lower cost. The advantages of the platform make it one of the most popular ways to start an online business.
But, before choosing a SaaS platform for yourself, you should consult with a specialist and weigh all the pros and cons. Most systems offer a trial period or a free plan that allows you to test the functionality of an online store - this approach reduces business risks when choosing the path creating an online store.