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Hosted Ecommerce Software

As shown in the overview of all web store platforms , hosted platforms or SAAS solutions have been on the rise in recent years. This is mainly due to the trend that continues throughout the IT: more and more services are being offered including hosting and servers/service. This is often also called ‘in the cloud’ but in the base it is software-as-a-service . Whether it is hosted in the cloud, or by the company itself, doesn’t matter for you. You pay 1 amount each month for use of the software and for the costs of the hosting. 

Features SaaS

  • Software is standardized
  • App stores for extensions
  • Stability and development by supplier
  • For a new owner the risk is minimal
  • Pay per month
  • Sometimes API for custom connections (mostly not available for cheapest subscriptions)
  • Usually no SLA needed

Well-known Providers

We have mainly looked at Dutch providers. For entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, a local supplier has advantages over a US party. For example, local hosting (in Amsterdam), standard Dutch VAT calculations, iDeal providers, support for Dutch shipping methods. If you are international or multilingual (in Europe), you can also use large American providers of web store software. Well-known Dutch SaaS providers are:

  • LightSpeed 
    The shops are focused on SEO (search engine optimization), and that can be seen. Our experience is that shops built in Lightspeed rank well in Google. How they do that is the secret of the creators, but good SEO is characterized by good page structures, clear source code, fast sites, etc. Lightspeed is very expandable, but app store extensions you need may have monthly subscriptions; In addition to the fixed subscription costs, it means that the total monthly cost is on the high side, but you’ll get quality. It’s a bit expensive for small shops. 
    Keywords: four-day trial, multilingual, API available, scalable, comprehensive support, contract per year.
  • CCV Shop 
    Previously, CCV Shop was known as ‘Bied Meer’. I think CCV Shop is a bit the friendly brother of SeoShop. It’s cheaper, easier to customize and has a monthly contract. CCV Shop also has many standard links & plugins. 
    Keywords : user-friendly, many options and links, scalable, API available, multilingual, free trial possible, extended support, contract per month.
  • Myshop.com 
    This software has a different way of operating. The most prominent is product management via spreadsheets. Furthermore, reverse integration is possible: You can integrate the site into your own website. There is a good network of partners & training if you need support. 
    Keywords: Catalog Management primarily through spreadsheets, partly unusual UI and workflow, multilingual, three month free trial, API available, contract at least three months.
  • Mijnwebwinkel 
    The system is very simple and good for a simple shop. Perhaps we are doing the software a little bit, because the software is great for SMEs. There is only an app store: all the things that are needed (mywebstore) are by default. 
    Keywords: user-friendly, free trial package, application and support information can provide better, unknown number of links, multilingual, contract per year.
  • ShopPagina.nl 
    Great software for the starting (online) entrepreneur. There are 20 free API connections, but not much customization is possible. A great choice if you just start or sell a few different products. 
    Keywords: user-friendly, affordable, few links, up to one language per package / website, one month trial, contract per month.

Features

The features of the packages differ from supplier to provider. If you are still free in the choice of shop software, consider the following list of features that you may need. And note that if certain features are in an extension, there are also monthly costs.

Order ProcessingStock managementCalculation of shipping costsConnection with payment providerShippingExternal link at DropshippingSign in packages at PostNL, DPD etc.Return processing
MarketingAffiliate feeds for Daisycon, Google Shopping etc.Sell ​​directly to BOL or Beslist.nlFollow-up mailings / mail chainsNewslettersAPI ConnectionsImport stock via APIProcessing paymentsAccounting softwareFacebook Store
SEOGood page structure for Search EnginesFast loading time, also with many productsOwn meta descriptions and titlesWebshopCustomizable design or standard themeResponsive layoutView the search & filtersGood content module & blog

This is just a short, first, start of a checklist. Other features may be important for your own shop and products. Are you going to buy an existing web store? Then you can ask these questions: What features do you need, or which channels are not used yet and may offer opportunities.

More providers

The above list is very applicable to the Netherlands. Are you selling in more countries, or are you selling digital products? Then it may be attractive for you to look at international providers. A short list:

  • Shopify.com
  • Zoey (Magento)
  • Volusion.com
  • Bigcommerce.com
  • Bigcartel.com

If you use an international operating e-commerce platform, be aware that for local markets you will also need local payment options.

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