What Is SaaS Based eCommerce? And How to Choose the Best?

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Marijuana! Yes, the first online transaction was marijuana sold by Stanford students to MIT students via the Arpanet account at their artificial intelligence lab in 1972.

And the first e-commerce platform was a television connected to a computer via a telephone line, and that was back in 1979.

Since then, e-commerce platforms have emerged and developed into what we have today.

We are not here today to talk about how important e-commerce is; that’s become an established fact. We’re here to talk about SaaS eCommerce, Software-as-a-Service, as opposed to Software-as-a-Platform e-commerce, or other times called Software-on-Premise platforms.

What Is an eCommerce Platform?

saas ecommerce
Examples for different types of eCommerce stores

An e-commerce platform is a software that works on a web server, which allows business owners to showcase their products of any type and sell them to customers on the internet. Customers shop their favorite products, add them to their carts, and pay with their credit cards.

How Is an eCommerce Platform Built?

A business owner or an entrepreneur with a fresh idea interested in delivering services over the internet, where a product of some kind is sold and money is paid, has one of two options:

  1. a self-hosted e-commerce software,
  2. or a Software-as-a-Service or SaaS eCommerce platform.

What Is Self-Hosted eCommerce Software?

One can build an e-commerce platform by purchasing or downloading self-hosted software and installing it onto their web server.

Here, the business owner has their own web hosting, whether they purchase hosting from a provider or have access to their own data center.

Yes, self-hosted eCommerce platforms are often free, but there are other tricks into them:

  • self-hosted e-commerce platforms are more difficult to use,
  • they are not very reliable,
  • additional expenses are needed for security and so, and
  • there isn’t plenty of room for customization and personalization.

WooCommerce, Magento, and OpenCart are examples of open-source platforms for building an e-commerce store that’s hosted on your own server and developed/maintained by your own team/staff.

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What Is a SaaS eCommerce Platform?

On the other hand, a (software as a service) SaaS eCommerce platform is a more convenient option for building and managing an eCommerce store for small and medium businesses (SMBs).

SaaS eCommerce software is an all-in-one package, including the software, hosting, backups, and tech support.

SaaS-based eCommerce platforms are hosted on the provider’s servers, which means that the online store owner doesn’t need to worry about downloading and installing any software nor providing web hosting.

How convenient and super easy is that? 🤔

With an internet-connected computer and a modern browser, one can build and manage an online store by logging in through a portal.

The online store owner doesn’t need to worry either about the security, execution, and upkeep of the application on their servers.

In the SaaS model, vendors have constant access to their eCommerce platform at whatever point and anyplace there’s a web connection.

There are numerous providers for SaaS e-commerce platforms out there; how can you choose the best SaaS eCommerce platform for your business needs and growth opportunities?

Still Got questions? No worries 😉
We’re happy to help, advise, consult, and be there for you.

How to Choose Your SaaS eCommerce Provider?

Before choosing a Software-as-a-Service supplier to build your eCommerce platform on, you need to consider a few aspects in order to have a smooth building process and a long-term relationship with them.

1. Customer Support

By choosing a SaaS platform, you probably don’t have an IT department of your own. This means that you need and expect the utmost level of support from your provider to build and maintain your eCommerce store.

Your provider has to be reliable for uptime, execution speed, software bug fixes, software updates, checking the presentation of your store, and whatever else of the sort.

The level of customer support you get is a significant differentiation of SaaS platforms.

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2. Innovative Solutions and Services

saas ecommerce - apps and services
An excerpt from the 100+ apps and services on ExpandCart Marketplace of Apps

For your online store to be unique and successful, your SaaS provider needs to accommodate the platform with essential and useful solutions for users to build their store rapidly and manage it easily.

Features like shipping, online payment gateways, marketing, and customization shouldn’t take a while to finish, in a beginners-friendly interface.

3. Reasonable Cost

The cost, whether monthly or yearly plans, shouldn’t be insane, since you’re not building your foundation without any preparation.

With so much usefulness previously incorporated with the platform, you don’t need to spend as much on additional items.

In addition to the all-free plan, we also offer 3 paid plans that suit businesses of all sizes.

4. Security and PCI Compliance

When it comes to online payment and giving away their personal and credit card information, online customers are very sensitive and hesitant.

But when your store is PCI agreeable, your customers’ data are well secured and protected.

Make sure that your SaaS supplier guarantees that your store satisfies PCI consistence guidelines, is up to date with any patches or bug fixes that influence your store’s security, and is ready to prevent any information hacks.

It should be a high priority for you to win your customers’ confidence and trust.

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5. Clearer Cost of Ownership

On the contrary of what’s being said about on-premise software cost, being upfront for one time and that’s it, it’s not entirely correct.

Calculating the cost of self-hosted e-commerce platform or on-premise e-commerce software can be very tricky and difficult, taking into consideration future maintenance, security patches, and functional enhancements.

On the other hand, monthly or yearly cost paid to a SaaS e-commerce platform are clear, precise, and fixed.

Tip ? Some SaaS e-commerce platforms charge you more when your sales volumes go up significantly or you have significant increases in traffic. Some don’t, like ExpandCart.

6. Reduced Maintenance and Simpler Deployments

Although big businesses go for on-premise e-commerce solutions for the sake of unlimited customization, personalization, and modifications, this could negatively impact their experience with that platform.

Unnecessary customization can put retailers into a lot of suffering that can be spared by using a SaaS platform, like ExpandCart, which often achieves the same functionality, but via native functionality.

Unnecessary customization can really impact other third parties, while a SaaS-based platform satisfactorily achieves the exact same functionality without customization.

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ExpandCart as a SaaS eCommerce Platform

ExpandCart has proved itself in the market, especially for users in the Middle East and MENA region, because of its unmatched servers, free applications, varied built-in services, easy customization, and exceptional customer support.

We can’t say that ExpandCart is the best SaaS ecommerce platform, but we can highlight some of the great aspects that led ExpandCart to the place it occupies today.

1. Cost

ExpandCart offers top-notch SaaS e-commerce technologies that lower the cost barrier to launching and scaling an ecommerce business, encouraging more and more retailers to better compete in the modern retail ecosystem.

On top of that, ExpandCart users enjoy fixed fees for their online store, no matter how big their sales or traffic gets.

ExpandCart users do not have to worry about additional or hidden cost. The monthly or yearly cost includes:

  • cloud hosting fees (AWS, the best servers in the world),
  • security management,
  • platform maintenance,
  • platform upgrades, and
  • integration with third-party technologies (integrations with commonly used ERPs, email providers, payment gateways, shipping companies, analysis tools, and much more).

The first and only in the Middle East! Create your FREE online store for a lifetime — no hidden fees and no credit card.

2. Security

With one core codebase across all stores on the platform, ExpandCart is controlled and protected by the platform’s technical team, resulting in the e-commerce solutions inherently being more secure than on-premise platforms.

ExpandCart’s users and retailers are able to get on with operations and merchandising, knowing that platform-level security aspects are being taken care of for them

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3. Scalability

As for new merchants who plan to grow very quickly, the scalability of our cloud-based e-commerce platform is matched by none of our competitors in the Middle East, not even by famous on-premise solutions.

ExpandCart’s Enterprise offers a cloud-based option that can cater for even the most demanding merchants, and immense traffic surges, such as on Black Friday events.

4. Dealing with Complexity

Being an exceptionally fabricated platform, ExpandCart can satisfy each and every business need you have, no matter how complex or complicated they might be.

ExpandCart SaaS-based e-commerce platform spares you the hassle of altering your foundation or using the combination to associate all your frameworks and procedures. Selling across many commercial centers, various e-commerce, and selling globally will not, by any means, muddle your selling forms at any times.

An all-inclusive online store for FREE: integrate with payment and shipping companies, sell on social media, track website users, and get detailed e-commerce reports.

No limited trial, no credit card, no hidden fees

To Sum Up,,,

If you want to sell your product online as soon as possible, the most beneficial decision for you is to start making a website with a SaaS-based e-commerce platform.

Cloud-based e-commerce SaaS platforms have been valued for their creative problem-solving approach in providing flexible pricing models, e-commerce integrations and interchanges, wide partner selection, and great website delivery.

A lot of today’s SaaS-based e-commerce platforms offer their users open source and agile features that allow them to both enjoy freedom in creating their store’s page and achieve customer satisfaction.

Also, you do not need to have an entire team of IT professionals to operate an online store, as all of your business processes online can be handled by a single page application UI, allowing you to accommodate multiple applications within the same UI.

At the end of the day, it’s totally your decision. But ExpandCart’s features make it stand out among other cloud-based SaaS platforms in the Middle East. Deploy your website on the best cloud servers in the world, Amazon Web Services (AWS), dedicated only to the Middle East (no hanging or crashing), enjoy around-the-clock, professional customer care for support and expert advice, and expand your business nationally and internationally easily and rapidly.

If these benefits couldn’t influence your decision to re-platform to ExpandCart’s cloud-based platform, we don’t really know what could!



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