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E-commerce Website - Open Source, Subscription or Custom Platform?

online shopping

E-commerce Website - Open Source, Subscription or Custom Platform?

Through the power of the internet, the need for a brick and mortar business sales location - a 'store' - is long gone for many companies. Just look at how department stores have declined in recent years. Because large premises for the public are costly and profits are higher from online ordering.

Advancements in technology and communications, combined with the advent of e-commerce, have made it possible for entrepreneurs and small businesses to reach more customers than ever before. It's an exciting time for innovating!

Of course, e-commerce requires some planning and researching. There are choices to be made. Which platform best suits the needs of your budding e-commerce website is one of the most important choices. After all, do you know if an open source website platform or subscription platform or custom platform may be right for your needs? Do you even understand the differences?

Open Source Platform

It's easy to see the appeal of these to most new businesses, especially if the business owners/creators have limited knowledge of coding and software. An open source content management platform, like Drupal 8, is a relatively "out of the box" e-commerce website solution that can have you up and running in quick time with a catalogue of features designed to fit the needs of almost any seller. Pricing is usually good, too, for open source platforms. Some provide limited support options for the price, but using Drupal comes with access to the online community that willingly shares knowledge, experiences, procedures and custom modules. Drupal can also be customized in all kinds of ways.

Subscription Platform

These types of sites are normally designed for SaaS (Software as a Service) and require ongoing payments and billing. They typically are more expensive than open source platforms because they require more intricate software and are more to prone to hiccups. It is prudent to really shop around for subscription platforms for building e-commerce websites for they certainly are not created equal and come with varying degrees of support. It is not an unheard of practice to contact other companies that run sites similar to the one you desire and ask which one they use, or even if they use a custom platform.

Custom Platform

When people hear the term ‘custom platform’ in relation to computer software, it can be an intimidating thought, especially if they have limited knowledge of the workings behind it all. Thankfully, with friendly professionals out there specializing in startups, new ventures are realizing their e-commerce potential every day. Custom is the way to get your e-commerce website precisely the way you want it, complete with bells and whistles, and with little hassle. From design to functionality, the price tag is well worth it. When it comes time for you to have an e-commerce website, and to choose the platform and service partner for doing that, you want everything to work seamlessly with your vision, business plan, and your products or services. Without a doubt, having a hosted custom platform is the best option to ensure your business gets both the technology and support it needs, right from the word GO.

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