Almost every type of digital content you can access or view is stored and served via a cloud-based technology. Traditional distribution and charging models of gaming, film, television, music, and software have been disrupted. Ongoing monthly subscriptions are rapidly replacing fixed one-time purchases.
What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) has become the primary business model for a lot of modern software providers. Physical or one-time licensed software is being replaced by software accessed through your web browser for a monthly service or subscription fee. This is unpopular for some that expect software to be a one-time investment, however there are key advantages as to why the software industry is primarily moving towards a software as a service model.
SaaS Ecommerce Solutions
SaaS has become prevalent in common business systems such as accounting, emails and spread-sheeting. There has also been a rapid rise in the amount of SaaS ecommerce solutions available on the market. Ecommerce software solutions have traditionally been distributed as licensed or free open-source products and installed on third-party hosting solutions. This has solved many of the common problems that retailers are facing with their current self-hosted ecommerce solutions.
6 reasons to choose SaaS ecommerce solutions over self-hosted
- You don’t require third-party hosting
- Software Updates & Security Patches
- New features
- Quicker to market
- Ongoing support
- Less distractions
You don’t require third-party hosting
Having your website hosting optimised for your chosen ecommerce software solution will dramatically affect the results of your store. Oftentimes the hosting solution is not architected for the software it’s running. Slow loading ecommerce website solutions are proven to cause higher bounce rates and cart abandonments. This results in retailers losing out on potential sales.
You wouldn’t get your car serviced and performing at its best by a mechanic that knows little about the make and model of your vehicle, the same applies to your ecommerce store. Opting for a SaaS ecommerce solution will circumvent this problem because the hosting is included as part of the service. Third-party hosting companies may have little knowledge of the ecommerce platform you are running. Having the software hosted by its creator ensures your store’s hosting is architected correctly and kept up-to-date.
Software Updates & Security Patches
Software providers consistently maintain, update and improve their software via continuous delivery. Continuous delivery provides the ability to push out updates as needed without having to wait for customers or other third-parties to apply updates.
Continuous delivery is especially important for security updates because when security vulnerabilities are discovered they can be rapidly patched and deployed. Frequently with self-hosted software, updates and security patches have been disregarded as a cost-saving measure leaving many stores vulnerable.
Moving to a SaaS based ecommerce solution allows this update and patching process to occur in the background without any input. All you have to do is login to your account to automatically start using the latest version of the software.
The ecommerce industry is changing continually as new payment providers, shipping methods, analytics and improved marketing technologies are released. As a store owner you must adapt and integrate these new technologies into your store to meet the demands of your customers.
Shouldering the cost of integrating new and emerging technologies into your ecommerce website is usually an expensive undertaking. It prohibits many store owners from adopting and trialling new features. SaaS ecommerce platforms have the advantage of splitting many of these integration and feature development costs across many stores.
This is where a SaaS ecommerce platform becomes a powerful tool for retailers who want to experiment. Testing and experimentation is key to any ecommerce store’s success — testing out different payment providers or collecting more targeted analytics can go along way to grow your store. Consistently experimenting with new features is a must if you want to improve your store’s performance.
Quicker to market
Depending on the size and complexity of the project most ecommerce solution providers can take many months for a ecommerce website development to go from solution planning to site launch. SaaS based solutions are quicker to market as the hosting and integrations are already developed. This cuts implementation costs and timeframes considerably.
Being left in the dark with no support from your web developer is a reality that many store owners experience. By switching to a SaaS ecommerce platform you have access to product documentation and ongoing support.
Having a SaaS ecommerce platform also allows you to switch between different marketing and development service providers when required. This is preferable as you won’t be tied to a developer due to a unique hosting setup or migration costs.
As a store owner you want to be focused solely on your customers and not technical problems so consequently software as a service platforms have gained a lot traction. SaaS ecommerce solutions allow you to concentrate on what’s important and let issues of service up-time and software maintenance operate in the background.