The most popular eCommerce platforms
Are you thinking about setting up your very own e-store? Do you get tired of selling your products through the middleman? Or maybe you would like move a part of your business online? If you answered any of these questions with a “yes” do not worry – you are indeed in the right place! In this article, we will tell you everything worth of notice about the most popular eCommerce platforms available in Poland.
What are eCommerce platforms?
Firstly, let’s define what an eCommerce platform is. As the name suggests, the eCommerce platform is a place in the Internet, which enables one to perform online trading. In other words, it is an application, which allows us to build e-stores from scratch. To help with it, the given platform offers suitable tools: the layout and in-page navigation options and configurable modules (shopping e-basket, payment methods, delivery options, etc.). Most of those platforms provides the seller with an administrator panel for managing the page and running marketing operations. Therefore, it assures the owner has been equipped with a proper way to commence the online sale and expand the customers base.
What are the types of eCommerce platforms?
There are a few types of eCommerce platforms available on the market. Obviously, they are different when it comes to their mechanics, visuals and the way of use. Some of them provide almost instant running e-shop just after implementation and basic configuration on the server. Other are subscription-based. And finally, there are platforms that offer cloud-based solutions stored on app provider’s server. It is worth remembering that different platforms are dedicated for different use. A small shop just starting its online activity will need different solutions than the well-established trade giants generating millions of sales and providing a huge base of products. Additionally, one should consider the company’s approach to the business strategy, as different tactics can have a definitive effect on the choice of the right platform.
But what are the available choices? In Poland there are four main types of eCommerce platforms: open source, Software as a Service (SaaS), paid license platforms, and the tailored for individual needs dedicated platforms. What are the differences between them?
Open source platforms
These eCommerce platforms offer free-access and large flexibility of e-store configuration. The seller does not have to pay for using them. However, it is recommended to consider help from professional software houses, which deal with their servicing. The open source platforms allow for input of any modifications, thanks to full access to the application’s source code. A seasoned developer will easily adjust the e-store to the client’s expectations, be it visual changes or marketing plans. Additionally, the whole process is simplified by the extra modules and plug-ins, enabling enhancement of an e-store. You can be sure to find appropriate payment methods, delivery options and other functions that are going to be attractive for your customers.
Unfortunately, this solution has some drawbacks. One thing is the cost of hosting services. The other is that without domain knowledge you will probably not be able to cope with the e-store set-up. Additionally, you will have to implement many integrations with other applications that you use, for example: storage system and accounting program. These usually require professional help.
The SaaS platforms are also called subscription-based platforms. Thus, it means that they are accessible in exchange for systematical payment. When using this type of ready solution, one can quickly create fully functional online store will all the extras included. However, it is worth remembering that these platforms offer far less potential modifications than the open source platforms. Usually, the seller is provided with a package consisting of a few store templates from which they have to choose the one most suitable for their target. Then, they choose the right number of subpages and integrate the platform with the outside tools needed for other functions, like payment methods, to operate. It should be highlighted that one can onlu choose between the few accessible options. Independent plug-ins are not a possibility in SaaS platfroms.
For this and other reasons the SaaS platforms are only a good solution for small and medium businesses, which do not need special personalization and dedicated functions. Therefore, if your company has a wide range of assortments, you’re better off with different eCommerce platforms. On the other hand, if you care about a quick e-store building and equipping it with all the basic functions, the SaaS are the right tool for you.
Paid license platforms
These platforms are very intricate tools intended for the big enterprises, which require widely enhanced systems to function properly. They can be accessed by purchasing a special license, usually annual. However, the costs does not end here. With these eCommerce platforms you will most surely face extra payments for the dedicated agencies that help to implement these elaborate solutions.
The store built on a paid license platform offers many advantageous. These include: utilizing the most advanced tool in areas of analytics and marketing, B2B systems, running omnichannel operations, and so forth. All of these can be tailored to your needs, which is especially efficient if you’re planning on expanding your business.
These platforms are a right tools for companies that needs unique and specially tailored solutions. They can be useful if the e-store offers atypical products, which are not possible to sell in a conventional way, or if one needs specific integrations with chosen systems that are not supported by other applications. However, the dedicated platforms are also the most high-cost solutions. That’s mostly due to the need of building them from scratch.
This is also caused by the fact that all the changes must be introduced by the experienced developers. On the other hand, the advantages are also of high-standard. For example, such eCommerce platforms can service huge amounts of orders, thanks to the implementations, perfectly tailored for your needs. Additionally, they guarantee the highest data safety of both your company and your customers. Because of the dedicated servers no outside entities have access to them.
Ecommerce platforms in Poland
The eCommerce platform accessible for you are so numerous that we can’t describe all of them in this article. Hence, we’ve decided to focus only on the most popular and trusted ones by the Polish companies. We leave the choice to you.
Magento is a platform that can satisfy any e-store owner. That’s because it offers many different solutions: from open source tools like Magento 2 Open Source; to paid version of Magento Commerce, allowing in-depth personalization; ending on cloud-based platform of Magento Commerce Cloud. Should you like to discover detailed differences the different version of these applications, check our comparison of eCommerce platforms by Magento.
It is noteworthy that Magento platform offers wide range of functions, support of vast community of developers, and access to analytics tools. All of these can aid you in the customers’ data analysis. Basing on the findings you can tailor effective marketing strategies. Magento also provides you with the ability of multi-store management with only one administrative panel, which is important if you’re planning on growing your enterprise.
This is a free open source tool supported by its own community of voluntary developers. Thanks to its readiness and intuitiveness it is mostly used by the online sales beginners. It is exceedingly efficient with small and medium businesses with a rather non-serious assortment. However, it is not feasible for bigger companies.
PrestaShop enables you to set up your own e-store, by using ready templates. Should you like to expand the functions you will have to use plug-ins, some of which you’ll have to purchase.
Shoper is an SaaS platform, offering all the necessary functions for professional online trading. It allows to create a site with the use of visual template ready at your disposal. The hosting is conducted on the servers based in Poland. Additionally, this solution enables integration of the eCommerce platform with outside websites, such as, social media and Allegro.
It is a great tool for small and medium companies and also those who care for fast store implementation. The platform also grants the ability of buying extra apps that can further enhance the shop.
Another open source solution, which is also a free plug-in made by WordPress. It allows the store owner to quickly set up simple online store based on the basic WordPress page. Due to this strategy, Woocommerce is recommended for beginners only.
Nevertheless, if you care for more advanced options can invest in additional paid enhancements. Still, if you wish to create a complex e-store this is not the right tool for you.
Ecommerce platforms: which one is the best?
There is no univocal answer for this question. As always all depends on what is the target that your e-store has to fulfill. If you have a big budget at your disposal and plan on eCommerce growth, choose the most advanced solutions. Then, you will be able to introduce suitable functions that meet your needs. These are going to enable further scalability of your business. We think the right choice is Magento. It offers almost all of the types of eCommerce platforms: open source, paid license and cloud-based.
However, if you’re fresh in the eCommerce and don’t know how will your company grow, use the less complex solutions. They will enable you to create simple but fully functional e-store ready for new customers.
You’re still not sure which solution is the best for you? Contact us and let us help you choose your platform!