How to Gain an Edge in Business with the Right eCommerce Platform

How to Gain an Edge in Business with the Right eCommerce Platform

Commerce was thriving until COVID-19 forced some companies to close their doors. Now in a post-pandemic world where curbside pick-ups are common and instant delivery is expected, eCommerce is an extraordinarily effective tool for expanding your company, and ensuring survival. In fact, in 2022, eCommerce revenues will reach $5 trillion for the first time.

Choosing an eCommerce platform is a critical choice for businesses looking to move their sales online. As a result, you’ll need a platform that’s safe, scalable, and configurable for long-term success. Before deciding on a platform, this is what you should do.

What to look for in an eCommerce platform?

When it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. With so many options available, you must conduct your research and compare each platform’s characteristics to your requirements.

According to Shannon Ingrey, BigCommerce’s Vice President and General Manager for APAC, there are five major elements to keep in mind while making a decision:

Budget: It doesn’t always make sense to spend more money for a better experience. Choosing the lowest choice, on the other hand, typically leaves a company hunting for more features elsewhere. The most costly option is to combine costs from many suppliers. It’s better to set aside a specific amount of money for each feature rather than deciding how much you can afford to spend overall.

Integration compatibility: Migrating to a new platform and being forced to start over from scratch is the epitome of infuriating. To avoid unnecessary costs, ensure that the e-commerce platform can be readily integrated with your current solutions and processes without incurring excessive extra costs.

Customization: Open-source software allows you complete access to the source code, letting you tailor your website to your exact specifications. The only catch is that you’ll need a lot of coding skills, as well as the cash to cover the charges of change in both development efforts and training in a new system. SaaS platforms, on the contrary, are more restricted in their customization options, which means that you don’t have as much leeway when it comes to designing your total solution. Some open SaaS platforms like BigCommerce offer merchants the best of both worlds: SaaS convenience and open-source capabilities.

Scalability: Choosing a platform that can develop together with you is essential. Having a high-traffic web server may not be necessary if you’re just getting started. Furthermore, an eCommerce firm has the potential to develop quickly if you’re focused on growth.

Another great choice is to choose a partner that can find appropriate tools, customize them at a negotiated price & timeframe to meet your specific business needs, ensure complete control over all aspects of your solution, and give you the option to scale and grow at a controlled pace for your budget and demands.

Platform customer service: When you have an issue with your platform, you need to be able to get help from a real person, whether it’s by phone, email, or live chat. It’s almost hard to acquire support from specific platforms since they outsource their customer care. Look for 24/7 live-agent customer service, a dedicated help center, and an active merchant community.

You can establish, innovate, and expand your company online with the proper eCommerce platform. So while looking for the best option, consider the importance of advanced enterprise-grade capabilities, customizability, and performance, along with ease of use. With the right technology enablement partner, you can get all of those things and more.

How Do You Choose an eCommerce Solution?

eCommerce platforms can be divided into three main categories: 

  • Open-Source eCommerce Platforms.
  • SaaS (software-as-a-service).
  • Headless commerce.

Open-Source eCommerce Platforms 

An open-source eCommerce platform lets you change the source code in any way you see fit. Developers and IT-heavy enterprises that desire complete control over their eCommerce environment choose this sort of platform. However, in either Cloud or on-premise hosting all patches and platform upgrades must be manually implemented regardless of the configuration. 

It’s up to you, as the brand, to ensure that your open-source e-commerce platform meets your needs.

  • PCI conformity.
  • Hosting a website on the internet (depending on if your open-source solution is on-premise or cloud).
  • Using open-source cloud commerce software only differs from on-premise solutions by having your hosting environment provided and handled remotely.
  • You don’t have infinite bandwidth in a SaaS setting, even if you’re using the cloud. Be precise in your questions whether you’re looking at Magento or Volusion.
  • Releases of patches and updates by the platform supplier are also possible.
  • Safety concerns.
  • Open-source eCommerce systems are too complex, costly, and time-consuming for many businesses.

Thus, they have a high level of popularity amongst the two main categories of eCommerce sites:

  • SaaS
  • Headless Commerce  

According to a recent report, just 46% of big eCommerce firms are now considering open-source eCommerce solutions hosted in the cloud (i.e., not on-premise).


Brands may benefit from SaaS and headless commerce by swiftly entering the market. It’s a competitive market, and your companies should be aware that if you fall behind on UX, product, or backend improvements, your rival could gain an advantage.

Since the program itself is free to use, the cost of open source might be deceptive. Unlike SaaS systems, open-source solutions generally leave the responsibility of security, licensing fees, and maintenance expenses to the user, which may result in a higher cost of ownership than initially anticipated.

SaaS eCommerce platforms.

The cloud is used as a hosting platform.

Managing an online company is made much simpler with SaaS eCommerce solutions. Renting the platform is a better option than creating and maintaining your bespoke solution or an open-source solution (which is often modified to the point of becoming a custom solution).

When open-source alternatives are taken into account, this is a far more affordable choice. The SaaS provider takes care of all of the details associated with running your software, such as security upgrades, hosting, PCI compliance, and so on. SaaS eCommerce solutions are commonly championed by eCommerce firms’ marketing and growth departments. Faster and cheaper market entry is possible with a SaaS solution.

However, the closed-off code section in a SaaS solution raises some questions concerning the lack of flexibility and modification. As a result, APIs and non-proprietary code, and staging environments for UX build-outs might alleviate this worry.

“Open SaaS” refers to platforms like BigCommerce that satisfy the aforementioned requirements. In addition to all the advantages of a SaaS platform, the cheaper total cost of ownership, and quicker time-to-market, merchants benefit from BigCommerce’s open API by being able to develop custom integrations and features more quickly.

Headless commerce platforms.

  • The cloud is used as a hosting platform.
  • It’s a kind of eCommerce that separates the shopping cart from its content management system (CMS).
  • For example, Adobe Experience Manager and Bloomreach or content management systems like WordPress or Drupal may be utilized. An eCommerce shopping cart solution may then be added to the system.
  • Decoupled carts are also often replaced by SaaS systems because of their lower total cost of ownership and more API flexibility.
  • The IT and development divisions of big businesses have traditionally been in charge of the company via on-premise hosting, open-source platforms, or custom platform developments.
  • SaaS and cloud hosting, on the other hand, have upended the business owing to the excessive expense of monolithic technology stacks and the need for speed and innovation in marketing.
  • This problem is alleviated by headless commerce, which enables a more rapid time-to-market and reduced total cost of ownership.
  • Brands may maintain a single point of truth in monolithic systems by using APIs, plug-ins, and sometimes detached technologies.

A headless commerce supplier may also use the following other decoupled solutions:

  • Web page construction and blogging software (CMS).
  • Data collecting is one example of an ERP function.
  • Provider of Email Services (ESP).
  • With PIM, you may offer your products across many sales channels.
  • Management of inventories is a feature of the Order Management System (OMS).
  • For your payment processors, you need a POS.
  • Amazon and eBay are examples of marketplaces.
  • Modern SaaS technology stacks may be built using APIs, which include anything from ESPs to ERPs like Brightpearl, on the presentation layer.

IKEA furniture is an excellent comparison to use here. The microservices that make up the final product are the various parts of the object. Headless commerce is the initial step for many eCommerce firms toward this microservice architecture. 

Burrow, a DTC furniture company, employs a unique frontend to link information and commerce. A headless setup has allowed them to deliver the online shopping experience they want for their clients.

Kabeer Chopra, Burrow’s CPO and co-founder, explains: “Being headless has enabled us creatively as well; we utilize a headless CMS to accelerate the modernization of our platform and to offer an outstanding digital experience across different channels.”

Let’s return to our IKEA example and look at the IKEA nightstand again. It is possible to conduct headless commerce by employing a separate frontend component that provides a current take on the original but with the same basis and functionality (e.g. drawer = cart/checkout).

Consider Kontent if you’re looking for a headless eCommerce platform. Due to the decoupling of our commerce engine from the display layer, Kontent now enables companies to use a single Kontent account to manage many online storefronts.


Ultimately, there is only one platform that will work for your eCommerce business: the one that you choose. For each business, the “best” eCommerce platform is the one that best fulfills their goals, whether that means additional payment choices, dropshipping capabilities, real-time inventory management, or an easy-to-use interface.

Use free trials to try out each platform’s unique features and benefits before deciding which one is best for you. If you’re a brand with a vision and need expert assistance, contact our eCommerce experts.