More businesses are turning to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps and systems to optimize and forge business functions while better managing their ecommerce operations.
Using a SaaS ecommerce platform instead of open source or on-premises software can seem overwhelming for any size organization. It feels like an even more daunting decision if you’re planning on switching platforms.
SaaS ecommerce platforms operate in a software licensing and cloud-based delivery model, which users access from a web browser.
One of the benefits of SaaS platforms is that the software isn’t installed on-premises or maintained by the user themselves. Instead, your ecommerce system runs on the SaaS provider’s hosted servers. The third-party provider is responsible for the security, performance, and maintenance of the application on their servers. Normally, SaaS licensing models operate on a subscription basis, where users pay a monthly fee based on level of service and number of users. This kind of operating model is usually a cost-effective way for merchants to have real-time access to their ecommerce platform.
SaaS ecommerce platforms are out-of-the-box solutions, where users leverage intuitive, user-friendly interfaces. In general, SaaS projects can be up and running within a short amount of time, which allows merchants to quickly start operating the ecommerce platform using prebuilt themes, features, and functionality.
One of the core advantages of a SaaS ecommerce platform is the maintenance. The provider is responsible for hosting and maintaining the software, uptime, performance, updates, and bug fixes. In turn, the Ecommerce or IT teams can focus on developing the code base of the online store while the SaaS provider (Adobe Commerce) can improve the infrastructure.
Part of selling goods or services online is ensuring that the store meets PCI compliance standards so customer data, such as payment information, is safeguarded. In a SaaS ecommerce model, it’s the SaaS provider’s responsibility to stay up to date with patches and bug fixes that may impact the security of the store.
Thriving retailers need ecommerce platforms to scale as they acquire more customers, process more orders, and add more complex functionality. SaaS ecommerce platforms tend to be more robust and agile when trying to accommodate these growth spurts. Businesses can easily increase their bandwidth on servers to deal with increased load and traffic, which is especially important during peak sales and campaign periods and new product launches.
Even though ecommerce platforms sit at the core of most businesses, it’s not always the only system organizations use to run all operations. In most cases, SaaS ecommerce platforms must integrate with an ERP, POS, 3PL, or other financial software. Most SaaS platforms have powerful APIs that make integrations easier because there isn’t as much customization required.
We recommend that retailers use best of breed systems, meaning that they use the best system for each part of their business. Most of the time, choosing one platform to perform all aspects and functions of your business falls short of your expectations.
Instead, businesses should be able to use any number of systems for
their ERP, POS, 3PL, and ecommerce systems and integrate those systems to sync inventory, orders, customers, items, and shipping/tracking data automate your business processes. Cloud-based, SaaS platforms often accommodate these business requirements with flexibility and ease.