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If you want to start an e-commerce business, one of your first choices revolves around the e-commerce platform. If you’re at least somewhat familiar with the landscape of these tools, you know that you are spoiled for choice. From simple and free platforms to comprehensive enterprise-grade systems, the e-commerce world has something for both small and large online stores. The only question that remains is how much it all costs.
The costs of running an online store vary greatly depending on your:
The last element is particularly important as this cost is fixed – you have to take it into account no matter how many products you sell monthly. Therefore, picking a solution that doesn’t limit your growth and checks all the right boxes is vital.
Of course, the shortest answer to the title question is “it depends”. So, to make this matter more understandable, let’s compare SaaS and open–source platforms.
They are useful for small or aspiring stores that don’t want to invest too much money in maintenance. SaaS e-commerce platforms usually don’t require any coding skills. You get access to an intuitive dashboard that enables you to set everything the way you want. Of course, it takes some time to master a given platform, but you don’t have to spend months learning a new language.
There are many SaaS e-commerce platforms out there, and they are all paid. Your selection comprises:
The cost of using such a platform generally starts at around $30 per month. While it doesn’t seem like a high cost, you have to acknowledge that each plan (e-commerce platforms usually offer three plans) comes with some limitations, so it is likely you’ll have to upgrade it after some time.
Although PrestaShop is technically free to download, it comes with a whole list of paid add-ons that you’ll need to operate your store effectively. You can check their prices on the PrestaShop marketplace.
SaaS platforms are a good choice if you don’t want to spend much time setting and managing your store, when you don’t have any non-standard requirements (while these platforms are customizable, there are many limitations to what you can actually change), and when you don’t have an experienced developer to help you with your store.
Now let’s have a look at open-source platforms.
These platforms are usually free to use, but they require advanced coding skills to get everything up and running. WooCommerce is the perfect example of an open-source platform. It’s also the most popular e-commerce platform in the world, with almost 37% market share.¹
With these platforms, you can do almost anything you want with your online store and customize every single element, from the way products are showcased to diverse payment and communication options. But to make the most of these platforms, you need an experienced web developer who will help you set everything the way you want.
Another good example of a free, open-source platform is Magento Open Source. It’s available for free and provides you with the most important features and options for your online store:
When used properly, Magento Open Source allows you to create an online shop that can successfully compete even with large brands.
When that’s not enough, though, you can switch to Adobe Commerce. It’s a commercial version of Adobe’s e-commerce platform intended specifically for the biggest companies. Adobe Commerce enables you to run large-scale shops (yes, plural) with full technical support from Adobe. It also comes with access to the full Adobe ecosystem, which is very useful.
Some time ago, we published an extensive comparison of Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source on our blog. Read it to see what you need to take into consideration. There is no pricing list available for Adobe Commerce, though. Each installation is based on the client’s requirements, so you need to ask for an individual price based on your requirements.
You also need to take the cost of web development into account. Such service is usually settled per hour, per project, or in the subscription model (when you need full on-going support). Here at Global4Net, we can assist you with creating and managing your online store in all of those three settlement models. We also specialize in the Adobe ecosystem, so if you want to use Magento or Adobe Commerce for your store, we’re ready to help you!
Just send us a short message explaining your current situation in e-commerce, and we’ll take it from there! Our team will help you select the best solution.
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