Which platform to choose for an online store? - part 2

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Each company is different, with specific processes, needs, requirements, resources. So not every e-commerce platform will be good for every company.

How to choose a solution tailored to your business?

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Already know your e-commerce platform requirements? Now think about what type of solution to choose.

In the previous article, we considered where we should start the process of choosing a platform on which to build our online store. If you have taken up the challenge and answered the questions posed in it, I assume you are ready to choose the right solution.

This is one of the most important decisions that will come in the process of launching an e-commerce store, and its consequences will be felt long after the implementation is complete.

E-commerce software can be divided into 4 general categories: stores offered in the cloud (SaaS), open-source platforms, i.e. free scripts that we can install on our own on our server, commercial e-commerce solutions and custom-made dedicated solutions.


Here are some of the key differences between the available solutions:

Cloud-based software (SaaS - Software as a service)

Pros :

  • low initial costs,
  • assistance from the provider (not always),
  • ready integrations with third-party applications ( payments, couriers, e-commerce platforms),
  • updates software included in the subscription price,
  • fast startup time,
  • no additional hosting costs.


Minuses :

  • fixed monthly subscription,
  • close dependence on the provider,
  • difficulty in database migration,
  • limited choice of graphic templates,
  • danger of data loss or store downtime in case of a cyber attack on the provider's servers,
  • limited possibilities regarding expansion or implementation of additional functionality.



Open-source software

Pros :

  • no licensing fees,
  • extensive community supporting the development of the platform,
  • cyclic updates of the system with newer versions,
  • wide selection of ready-made templates(sample templates),
  • stores with plug-ins (paid and free), thanks to which you can customize the store to individual requirements,
  • full control over the development of the store,
  • easy access to subcontractors specializing in building or developing a store based on open-source engine,



  • Costs associated with the implementation of the store (depends on the chosen platform),
  • hosting and backup costs (some solutions require a powerful dedicated server),
  • paid plug-ins (connections to payment systems, logistics companies, comparison sites),
  • the need to update yourself,
  • sometimes lack of or poor documentation,



Dedicated software created for individual orders

Pros :

  • 100% influence on the appearance and operation of the store,
  • very high flexibility in terms of expanding the store with new functionalities,
  • high efficiency of the system - as long as the provider can optimally use the technology in which he makes the store,
  • possibility of any expansion of the store and adaptation to changing requirements.


Minuses :

  • High costs of implementation, eventual expansion and maintenance,
  • dependence on the software developer,
  • relatively longer implementation time,
  • difficult to verify the level of security (difficult verification for those with little IT knowledge).

Commercial e-commerce software

This type of solution is most often purchased on a license basis, to which we should add the cost of implementation. This is usually a ready-made product, but manufacturers, in the case of larger implementations, offer the possibility of tailoring the system to individual customer needs.


Pros :

  • ready-to-implement software,
  • support from the vendor or implementation company (paid),
  • the possibility of integration with external systems (ERP, CRM, warehouse),
  • often these stores are tightly integrated with the ERP, warehouse system of the same supplier.


Minuses :

  • cost of the license,
  • dependence on the software developer,
  • lack of access to the code and independent modification,
  • additional costs of possible customization, expansion and maintenance,


Each of the four solution categories presented has its own advantages and disadvantages. How to choose a category that fits your business? If we were to determine only one criterion, then without a second thought, let's bet on what stage of development our online store is at.

Cloud software will be ideal when we are starting up, have limited funds, our sales model is fairly standard, we don't require particularly sophisticated functionality, and time to launch online sales is critical for us.

However, if the business is growing rapidly and the company needs a more powerful platform, we have specific expectations about functionality gained from previous online sales, it is worth considering moving the store to one of the open-source platforms.

Dedicated solutions or the implementation of a commercial platform is a game for companies with a sufficient budget, which often goes with a huge scale of online sales, often in the global sense. this approach is most often used by large companies and corporations, for which the performance of the system and the tailoring of individual functionalities for very extensive requirements plays a key role.

If, after reading the articles, you still have a problem with choosing an e-commerce platform, please contact us. We will be happy to share our knowledge and experience.

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