Comparing Custom Development And Open-Source E-commerce Platforms
Before you decide on which route to take, here are some crucial factors to weigh upon.
You may have realized that Netcore provides custom e-commerce solution development to various clients. But we strongly suggest that you stick to existing open-source platforms like Magento or Woocommerce if you need to set up an online store within a couple of days. Custom e-commerce development is specifically tailored to a specific business model and naturally takes a longer time to be created. Beware of any vendor that suggests otherwise.
It’s understandable that you kickstart your venture into the e-commerce industry with an open-source option. That’s the most economical and quickest approach. However, if you’re planning to grow your business beyond a small online store, you’ll want to consider having a custom e-commerce platform down the road. You do not want to be limited by that platform’s ability to handle heavy traffics or the number of transactions that rapid growth generates. A custom e-commerce solution also removes any limitation on the number of stores, products, and category that may exist in some open-source platforms.
The notion of having a business build around e-commerce is enticing as it removes the limitation of geographical factors. However, concentrating your business earning on an online platform means any technical problems could bring sales to a halt. That’s the absolute nightmare for any e-commerce company. When you’re using open-source platforms that do not incur any cost, it would be unrealistic to expect immediate attention to any problems that you’re facing. Most open source platforms do have a certain degree of support, but never the premium of having a professional team attending to your request exclusively.
Both open-source and custom e-commerce platforms are flexible in their respective rights. As the source codes of open-source solutions are made public, there may be a community of developers that are actively building 3rd party plugins to enhance the platform. The challenge is often not the lack of plugins, but choosing the right one from an abundance of options and the potential security risks they bring. On the other hand, having an e-commerce platform developed specifically for your business means you have full control of the functionalities, interface, and features of the platform. At Netcore, we design an e-commerce platform to reflect the customer experience that is preferred by our clients. This makes brand integration easier compared to the open-source alternative.
Just because an open-source platform looks visually pleasing doesn’t mean that it is beefed up by the latest security features. When you’re dealing with payment and personal data, you’ll want to be assured that the chances of the platform succumbing to a cyber attack are minimal. Unless you’re a coding wizard, you can’t be sure if the underlying module is secured. If you’re losing sleep over security, getting an e-commerce platform built custom built is the wiser option, provided that the software company has ample experience dealing with security. Not only do you need the platform to be secured, but you’ll also require a prompt response if security breaches occur.
It's undeniable that there is some open-source platform that is easy to set up, but others may not have the best example of user intuitiveness. This is especially true when it involves the backend interface for setting up and listing products on the store. As open-source platforms are created by a technically-focused team, there may be an oversight in user-experience testing. A professional software agency will ensure that a custom e-commerce platform not only allows customers to shop with ease but also the vendor to access the inventories and transactional reports. Besides, if you’re not happy with how the user interface is designed, you can always provide feedback to the developer.
Every client that we have worked with have lofty visions in their e-commerce business. This means that you’ll want to build your online business on a platform that grows with your company. Most open-sourced platforms are free to use and are a non-profit project, and the developers may face difficulty improvising or maintaining the source code.m If you’re worried that the open-source e-commerce platform that you’re using may struggle to keep up with the growth of your business, you may want to consider migrating to custom developed solutions. In the long run, you’ll find that the presence of an active development team gives you peace of mind.
Let’s get straight to the truth. Custom developed e-commerce software are not cheap. For any worthwhile tailor-made enterprise e-commerce solution, you’ll need to fork out substantial investment. With that said, the benefits that you’ll reap in the future far outweigh those of open-source alternatives. Does this mean that you should get a customized e-commerce solution at all cost? No. If you’re bootstrapping an online business, it’s prudent to launch with an open-source platform with minimal cost and migrate to a custom-made solution when your business grows. But if you’re operating a thriving physical store and you’re venturing into e-commerce, planning for a custom platform is the best option.
There is no definite answer when it comes to choosing between a custom or open-source e-commerce platforms. But you can make an informed decision taking account into the above factors and the current state of your business.