Should you buy or build your new E-Commerce platform?
If you’ve made the decision to start or expand E-Commerce sales, the next logical question is whether to build a custom store or buy a prepackaged solution.
If you’ve made the decision to start or expand E-Commerce sales, the next logical question is whether to build a custom store or buy a prepackaged solution? Let’s look at some typical scenarios to help explain how this kind of decision will impact your E-Commerce success.
The case for off-the-shelf E-Commerce solutions
If you sell fewer than five hundred products, an “off-the-shelf” pre-built solution might be a good fit. With this kind of product count, it’s relatively easy for you to maneuver a typical store engine and bring E-Commerce to life. This criteria will help you decide isr pre-built E-Commerce solution will work best for your business:
- Is your product line less than 500 SKUs?
- Do you offer limited product choices, i.e, color, size, material options, etc.
- Is your pricing linear, where quantity dictates price?
- Do all customers receive the same pricing?.
- Do you only accept credit card payments?
- Are Freight charges easy to calculate?
- Do your orders ship complete?
- Is your product information easy to access?
- Is your order information easy to upload?
The case for customized E-Commerce solutions
The most important factor is the number of different components you sell. While many online stores have a total quantity of parts that total hundreds of items, some stores have thousands or even millions of parts. As the number of items in your online store grows, you will want to take a closer look at a custom E-Commerce solution. Here are some key questions to consider:
- Do you offer more than 500 product SKUs?
- Do your products fit multiple equipment brands?
- Does your product information, customer information, inventory and pricing information reside in a business system, like an ERP?
- Are your products complex, meaning there are variables that customers can select?
- Do your customers pay different prices for products based on their sales volume, geography or industry?
- Do you ship partial orders?
- Do you ship orders from more than one warehouse location?
- Is your company especially demanding when it comes to the way in which your brand is presented?
If you answer "yes" to even one of the above questions, you will want to seriously consider a customized E-Commerce solution. If "yes" is the common answer to most or all of these questions, proceeding towards a custom solution will probably be necessary.
Whether you pick an off-the-shelf solution or a custom digital commerce solution should be completely based on your business needs. In those instances where it makes sense, the custom path—while more investment heavy—can yield far greater sales results.
This is just one example of the practical advice you’ll find in our free guidebook:
Getting E-Commerce Right
By Spindustry founders, Stephen Fry and Michael Bird
Getting E-Commerce Right is an easy-to-follow guide to finding digital commerce success. Written specifically for manufacturing, distribution and retail business owners and leaders, this practical guide will help you plan, build and grow your online sales. A must-read before starting a new E-Commerce initiative or upgrading an existing one.