The conflict of purchasing a platform company with established management and systems and creating an impact has been raving in IT companies, as for some of the manufacturers and wholesale distributors who are eager to invest in ecommerce software remains to be a challenge.

Although SaaS applications are at times beneficial to the companies, but, at the same time has its own flaws or drawback.

Simultaneously, some of the companies do strongly believe in custom –built eCommerce development. Cited below are a few advantages of the various applications-


SaaS ecommerce solution is directly hired from the merchandiser, in contrary to purchasing in-house solution or customer developing an ecommerce application designed to accommodate on your servers by reducing the up-front costs and generating the implementation process to be more feasible for SMBs and mid-size companies in particular.


Hardware and software procurement, management and support, communications, end user experiences as well as the contingency cost of interim, training and other productivity losses are all included in the Lower total cost of ownership and IT involvement.

The prominent feature of SaaS applications is that the execution of IT investment and maintain over time are optional and discretionary. As majority of the technical tasks are managed and controlled by the application provider, it is needless to hire specialized IT staff for managing the system which is responsible for the lower cost of ownerships.


Towards the year 2020, almost half of the US human resources will be comprised of millennial, 67% of which would want to work part-time form home, according to the studies by PWC. SaaS applications probably enhance for mobile unconventionally and must be available as well as reachable from any device connected to the internet.

Nevertheless, opting for SaaS application for ecommerce portal is risky.The problem or difficulty that crops up with SaaS is cost model, since a percentage of your revenue will add up quickly, only to end up rendering more and more earning to the platform.

Very often there is a debate raised in disagreement with SaaS applications as they are not custom-built, or else the applications may intervene with the reforms extended by the purveyor, which again rests on the method of the customizations that are managed and directed. The SaaS applications can absolutely be tailor-made without interfering with the future upgrades frequently done with the tools provided by the vendors. After all, using a third –party store front application would place you in a vulnerable position in domains of customization and integration and will be restricted to use the features and tools of the software decided by you with various difficulties and issues on a SaaS based platform.

While, on the other hand, as against the restrictive SaaS ecommerce model, custom-built ecommerce is far easier with many customization options. The following features will give you a vivid picture about how custom-built ecommerce authorizes to add custom functionalities to perform its tasks –

Exceptional features

Materialization of products

Software consolidation

Custom bundles

Omni –channel selling with POS systems



The initial costs are higher as it is necessary to make the purchases of the requisite framework required to administer your application. However, the development is payable.

Far apart from SaaS, the backend demands provided by the application throughout are the service and maintenance costs along with the trained IT staff or consultants in order to retain the performance and enhancing the business requirements.


Modification or customization is the major cause for a majority of the company/firms to rely on custom –built ecommerce development. In any case, in order to examine the requisites of custom development, it is essential to analyze the customization options.

There are many points to examine while generating opinion with regards to the investment in SaaS ecommerce application or an ecommerce portal.


There are two main options – Customizable platform while selecting an enterprise level ecommerce solution, or software as a service (SaaS) with each consisting of positives and negatives of its own.


Website designing, development, implementation as well as support are some of the ecommerce business solutions suggested and provided by the companies.

Custom Software solutions are appropriate to satisfy the business demands.

As it is smooth and simpler to recreate and reorganize, it is generally cheap and economical.

Customer Software solutions will by no means intervene with the smooth functioning of the business.

In order to create a successful business framework, it supplies outstanding facilities required for the small as well as large businesses.

It empowers and authorizes proficiency to the indecisive course of the market.

Its aim is to centralize your demands and requirements, and thus the use of custom -built ecommerce software is easy and simple.

Whereas for SaaS, there are limited choice around custom features, integrations as well as logic because you are using an existing storefront application, namely; the multi-tenant utility. However, the lower TCO flexibility and power are lost with the website features and integrations. This cause of concern is only for the larger ecommerce since the larger companies might have to deal with the loss of competitiveness with the other companies.

Furthermore, the multi-tenant shared architecture which obtains you the low cost and smooth organization could also cause performance and stability problems. However, the cost model which was established on the percentage of your revenue that appeared to be beneficial when the business was smaller, states that a lot is paid as compared to the Platform option, the cost of which persistently increases as per the business growth.

Initially, there is a bigger amount of investment for purchasing the software while normally, either paying a system integrator to establish your initial site, or hiring and building an in-house team with the skill set to build it and subsequently hosting it. If it is to be hosted by yourself, or if you have a standard hosting company that provides servers, you still need to have a large in-house team of experts that provide 24×7 coverage for application, database, CDN security as well as issues related to performance. Managing things like backups, PCI compliance, monitoring and alerting systems, server health, two factor VPNs, mail servers, LDAP servers, IPSEC tunnels, SSL certs, proactively responding to emergent security issues like beast, crime and heartbleed, anti DDOS measures, disaster recovery, RPO/RTO and so on.

The point of difference besides flexibility and customizability as well as SaaS and Platform approaches to ecommerce is – COST. With platform, there is a high-upfront cost and semi fixed annual cost. With SaaS there is a variable annual cost which increases along with your revenue.

Last but not the least, whether you are an established retailer or a startup company, developing ecommerce business is not a child’s play. There are a few factors that have to be borne in mind before deciding the platform that fulfills your business requirements, such as development costs, operational costs, maintenance costs, as well as the current marketing costs and the prevailing marketing costs ought to be a part of developing a realistic budget.

However, each approach has its own pros and cons. Nevertheless, the path that is preferred by you for the development of your e commerce business, assures you about an experienced, reliable and an approachable partner. But, in order to refrain from exorbitant costs and functional hiatus for ecommerce site, proceeding with a custom-built platform is certainly beneficial.

Article written by

Nitesh Mishra has some 6 years experience in IT industry. Started career with a web development, he has got expertise in HTML/PHP/Perl etc. and then got entry into mobile app development domain for developing engaging software. Now he has expertise in project management also and is working at IndiaNIC.

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