Are you a merchant considering making the jump to e-commerce? There any many decisions new online merchants need to consider before starting an online business. For example, merchants need to discover what they will sell and where to source their products, and exactly who they plan to sell to. All of these decisions sound easy in theory, but require a lot of time and thought to put into practice.
Rent or Buy?
But one of the most important first decisions new merchants need to make is choosing their ecommerce software that they will use to run their online business. And a big part of this decision is whether to rent or buy their shop builder. This decision will affect online merchants for a long time, so if you are a beginning online merchant, you want to take your time and make sure you’ve considering your options carefully. Both options have positives and negatives, and this decision could affect your web business for years to come.
- Hosted solutions (also known as Software as a Service or SAAS) are easy to set up. In fact, you can often get started in as little as a few minutes. These solutions are designed for a quick set up.
- They also tend to be easy to use, which can be helpful for web merchants with little technical experience.
- For new web merchants who don’t want to invest a ton of money, a hosted shop builder can be the way to go. You can easily set up and maintain your web store by yourself. (Sometimes merchants don’t consider the cost of maintaining a web store. If you don’t have access to your store to make simple changes, this can add up.)
- One downside to hosted solutions is that they don’t usually offer as much flexibility as carts that you purchase and maintain on your own (or a web host’s) servers.
- Because you don’t have access to the software’s code, if your store requires unusual features that don’t arrive out of the box, making necessary changes can be difficult.
- Merchants with more technical expertise may appreciate having the control over their ecommerce software that purchased software provides.
The Best of Both Worlds
Some ecommerce software companies offer both hosted and purchased ecommerce solutions for a variety of merchants and developers. Before choosing your online shop builder, consider where you weigh in on the SAAS debate? Will you prefer the ease of hosted solutions or the control of purchased ecommerce?