Going third party gives you access to a wide variety of cost-saving tools and platforms to create your eCommerce dream
Given that the goal of every business enterprise is to generate a profit, one of the most fundamental endeavors is to keep costs as low as possible. For this reason, when you’re getting into eCommerce, it is often smarter to go with a third-party platform rather than build your own custom site from scratch. Going third party gives you access to a wide variety of cost-saving tools and platforms to create your eCommerce dream, while building from scratch entails a great deal more expense — and risk.Going third party gives you access to a wide variety of cost-saving tools and platforms to create your eCommerce dream.Click To Tweet
First of all, the people who create the best eCommerce platforms bring years of experience, gifted developers and brilliant designers to bear. In most cases, if you were to hire a comparable team, the cost would be phenomenal, the time to completion would be excessive and the effort required to manage the project would be near Herculean.
Meanwhile, every situation for which you’re likely to need a solution has already been pondered and solved by third party developers. Dealing with high volume? They’ve got you covered. Need multiple payment options? They’ve thought of that too. Mobile? Naturally. Email marketing, newsletters, social media? Check, check and check. In other words, if a situation has arisen in an eCommerce setting, these people have most likely seen it and have something in place to deal with it.
So why go out and reinvent the wheel?
Granted, you do surrender a lot of control when you go the third-party route and in a lot of cases you will be locked into choosing from among a set of pre-existing templates. In many cases you’ll also be depending upon a platform you don’t own to support your business. This means if the company you’re using catches a cold, your business might come down with pneumonia.
Still though, you will find considerable flexibility within the realm of third-party platforms. As an example, consider two of the heaviest hitters in the game: Magento Enterprise vs. Shopify Plus.
Exceptionally robust, both are designed for heavy lifting. Magento Enterprise is open source, while Shopify Plus is proprietary. Widely regarded as the king of on-premise eCommerce, Magento Enterprise is built specifically for developers and offers tremendous flexibility and extensibility. Because it is open source, there are also a wide variety of applications available to enhance the platform.
Meanwhile, Shopify Plus offers a fully hosted SaaS (software as a service) solution built to allow high-volume merchants to focus on their business, as opposed to IT. While the open source nature of Magento Enterprise does make it more malleable in terms of design and development, the Shopify App Store offers a wide array of solutions for marketing, sales, social media, shipping, inventory and even supply chain management.
On the other hand, when it comes to security, open source platforms have a rather significant Achilles Heel. For example, with Magento you’re primarily responsible for ensuring the data on your server is secure yourself. Further, many security experts caution against using open source software as it is more easily hacked.
Shopify’s closed eco-system makes it much less vulnerable to intrusion. Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant, Shopify Plus also provides a free site-wide SSL certificate to all clients. While most eCommerce platforms offer SSL certificates for checkout and payment pages, Shopify affords them to their entire sites.
Still though, despite their differences, both platforms are capable of enhancing your customers’ shopping experience. Compared to building completely from scratch, using these cost-saving tools and platforms to create your eCommerce dream will get you up and running much faster.