Every entrepreneur, in order to develop a commercial activity within the e-commerce sector, first of all needs a platform to create the store. There is an extensive list of professional and well-documented e-commerce platforms that provide a collection of resources to create and manage an online store, process orders and sell products, as well as other services. Now, one of the applications that has reached a great boom in recent times and has become a powerful tool for doing business is SaaS software.
Software as a service, abbreviated SaaS, is a software distribution model in which, instead of downloading the program to run locally on our PC, the program is hosted remotely on an external server and to which you can access via the Internet, usually through a web browser interface. The software is provided centrally; Users create individual accounts and the possible costs generated are billed monthly or annually. Applications do not run on the computer, but instead offer online access.
In the past, companies had to install different programs which meant acquiring and managing several licenses, which is why the current SaaS model is becoming more popular and comfortable in business. Some examples of SaaS platforms are: Bigcommerce, Volusion, Shopify, Ekmtienda, Palbin, Tiendy, Xopie, among others. All have in common, that offer a standard store and provide a username and password to access an administration panel, through which it is possible to customize our online store with the template we want, add our data, and instantiate it with our catalog.
Advantages of SaaS software
Software as a service is consolidating itself as an attractive cloud solution in different sectors and offers numerous advantages over local software, both for users and companies:
- Less initial investment and less risk. Being able to use the software without having to make an initial investment in machines, base software (s.o) and additional software for the operation of what the application would need in an in-house environment, is an important benefit for the online store.
- Quick start-up of the online store and provision of customer services, since instead of sending software packages and awarding licenses, the user must simply connect to start work, and the software is very useful when they are not available of a lot of knowledge of the technologies and they need to implement a store quickly.
- Cost reduction, in addition to paying only for what you need, you get a saving because the maintenance of the platform is the direct responsibility of the provider, which at the same time allows the user to allocate their resources to the really important tasks for the company.
- Updates and new immediate features, since the provider is the one who runs the software, he always has direct control over it. This ensures that services are always up to date.
- Access to SaaS applications from everywhere, you only need a web browser and an Internet connection, the generated data being stored in the cloud.
- User orientation because companies do not have a fixed rate, but instead pay per user. Previously, software licenses were often too expensive for smaller companies because of their size. With payment options per user, companies manage their expenses more efficiently.
All these benefits make SaaS software very attractive when creating an online store. However, it is important to highlight that said platform has certain drawbacks, such as:
Disadvantages of SaaS software
- Low level of confidence in data security. All data will be stored and managed by the service providers, that is, by third parties, so that control over them is lost; as well as the availability of the service, which will depend on the capabilities and infrastructure of the provider. Additionally, many companies do not have backup, restore procedures and in general contingency plans in case of loss of information or hardware failure.
- A secure and constant Internet connection is required since the SaaS software works online, so it is essential to have a good Internet connection, otherwise it is possible to slow down the loading times in the tool which, to in turn, it can trigger economic losses.
- Compatibility between applications can be problematic, both in the cloud and in hybrid systems, since the tools offer different performance depending on which browser is used. Compatibility issues related to the operating system may also arise, however there are integration solutions that can help.
In spite of the inconveniences that the SaaS software may present, for most the advantages already outweigh the disadvantages, hence its increasingly common use throughout the world. In addition, many of the existing platforms have shown to be excellent to free you from technical obstacles and allow you to quickly and efficiently enjoy the full potential of online commerce.