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Ecommerce Platforms

Web stores are available in many types and sizes. And just like in physical stores, the interior is very different. And next to what the customer sees is more important: where is the stock, cashier & payment system, shoplifting security and location (walk the people next to your store, or you’re in an industrial area as an outlet shop). With your e-commerce store there are similar considerations. When you buy a web store, you usually also take over the software. This is important because that’s the engine of your web store

Web store Software

What does web store software do now? There are a few basic functionalities essential for a web store. The essential parts are

  • View catalog
  • Order processing
  • Payments received
  • Providing information

Like many business in the IT, web store software is also developing fast. A few years ago everyone wanted their own app . Now a responsive site is again very important. In addition to these 4 basic components, there is still a lot more: Social Sharing & Links, Newsletter Shipping, Loyalty Programs, Affiliate Feeds, Adwords Adveristing, SEO, Stock Management, Shipping, Ticketing System, etc. etc. At virtually any platform, extensions are possible , But the cost (structure) differs.

Types of software packages

1. Hosted platform

Hosted platforms are companies that offer the web store as a service. Well-known names are: SeoShop, ccvshop, biedmeer, shopify. By default, here’s a lot of functionality, and there are also app stores for buying / renting additional modules. Almost all packages also provide an API , an ability to enable (customize) customizations or links.

BenefitsDisadvantages
Good continuity through hosted platform by specialistPlatform is going on with time when there are new developments in IT countryEasy to use for the layman, often good manual and helpdeskGood transferable on saleVendor lock-in (you are stuck to the supplier)Monthly costs for many apps & extensionsIf you need something that can not be found within the software, there is not always a solutionCosts may increase (monthly), not suitable for retailers with low sales

Read more about hosted platforms here

2. Open source package

Well-known open source packages for Web stores are: Magento, Woocommerce (WordPress), Virtual Map. These packages are developed by the community and can be downloaded freely. Often, plugins are required (sometimes also paid) to realize certain functionality. For example, the link with iDeal or the link with BOL.

BenefitsDisadvantages
Many developments are made available for freeChoice of many packagesMany (IT) companies can be used as a specialist in design and expansionLow purchase costsGreat advantage if you have in-house IT-ersCosts can be opaque / high if you need to hire a specialistIf you adjust too much yourself, bugs / problems can occur that are difficult to solveSpecialist knowledge requiredManage hosting, backups, SLA, links etc.


Hosted open source

A mix of hosted platform with open source also exists. There are, for example, companies that have completely devoted themselves to Magento hosting. They then offer the (open source) platform incl. Hosting. And often you can also go for help and customization. The advantages and disadvantages of options 1 and 2 can then be mined or more combined. But it is strongly dependent on the provision of services. Some hosted solutions offer wise customization options. This is often good for the stability and low cost. But it is less flexible.

3. Self-built shop

Especially some older web stores, or shops with a very specific product (think of ordering frames) have been specially built for & by the seller. The customer then hires a web server and has allowed the programmer to build for his requirements and processes.

BenefitsDisadvantages
Very flexibleMarket access / products that the shop sellsPossible lower (fixed) chargesSpecialist knowledge needed for maintenance (sometimes only by the maker)Responding to new developments takes time (add new payment method, for example)Updates and backups, etc., you need to take care of yourself

What is the importance of buying / selling web stores

If you start a new web store you can make a choice for the platform you want. On acquisition, usually not. But it’s important that you know what state the shop is: Is the software up-to-date? Is it neatly decorated? Do all orders cling? Etc. If you have any doubts (as a buyer), or if you want to prove that your shop is in order, you can make a scan through us. This gives you insight into the technical state of the web store. 

For buyers

Acquire a software package is just like buying a house: You can see a lot, but not much. So be careful and also appreciate what you can do or what to outsource. Do you have your own IT that can do some work? Or do you have to rent everything. This is all important for estimating the costs you will incur and the risk you incur when taking over a web store

For sellers

The technique behind a web store can be or look like a black box for buyers. So make sure you have a good deal with your business. Do you have an old shop and are you considering a sale in the future? Then consider moving to a (hosted) platform. That gives a buyer security.

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