Is it possible to scale an online store on a SAAS platform: from a startup to a large business

Subject: Business  |   Date: 27.12.2023

For novice entrepreneurs, the question of which platform to choose for developing an online store. Many choose SAAS platforms (Software as a Service). But before making a final decision, it is important to understand how much we scale the store based on such a platform. This is a really strategic question that is important to ask yourself in order to avoid unnecessary costs associated with porting to other platforms. In addition, it is important to understand how SAAS capabilities on creating a design will affect the conversion of an online store and its profitability at various stages of business development.

What are SAAS platforms?

SAAS is a software model that assumes it will be available without being installed on your server or local computer. Access to the software is provided during a regular subscription, authorization takes place through a browser.

At the same time, maintenance and software updates are performed by the service provider company.

Why choose SAAS: the main advantages

There are several main advantages of SAAS platforms for creating online stores:

  • Minimum start-up costs. You can start your online store without spending a lot of money. For example, the Shop-Express platform allows you to launch an online store for free during the 7-day test period. Then it can be used by paying one of the tariffs. You will also need to pay for the domain.
  • Quick launch. An online store can be set up and assembled in a few days with a clear set of features.
  • Easy to maintain and update. All maintenance work of the online store is undertaken by service providers.

All this is very important for small businesses and startups. That is why they often choose SAAS platforms as a basis for creating their own online stores.

Advantages of SAAS platforms for startups

For business starters, SAAS offers a number of advantages:

  • Low initial costs: No need for large investments in server hardware and software.
  • Quick start: Thanks to ready-made templates and intuitive interfaces, launching an online store can be done in a short time.
  • Maintenance and Updates: Software updates and technical support are provided by the ISP.

Basic scaling challenges

Difficulties may arise when scaling a business in e-commerce:

Need customization. In some situations, there is a need for complex functions. Therefore, if you are sure that at some point in development you will need complex calculators, filters or other custom functions, it is better to use open source CMS (WordPress, Opencart and others) or frameworks.

Integration. At certain stages of business development, complex integrations through APIs or other technologies may be required. From the start, any online store needs integration with payment systems, delivery services, and CRM. The Shop-Express platform offers a set of ready-made integrations necessary for starting sales. All of them can be connected independently.

Summary

Is it possible to scale an e-commerce business by creating a store on a SAAS platform? The answer to this question depends on several factors:

Business models. The specifics of the business impose certain requirements on the online store, and SAAS platforms do not always meet the needs of the business.

Product range. Modern SAAS platforms allow you to create online stores for thousands of products, but if there are tens of thousands of products, it is better to choose other technologies.

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