A hosted ready-to-use option can be easy to set up, but it cannot offer the scalability, flexibility, and features that a custom e-commerce website can provide. Amount of time and funds allotted for developing the website, the traffic, sales figures, and long term expectations are factors to be considered while selecting between the two options.
Reasons to consider a custom e-commerce website
- The best option if you are selling customizable products
A consumer-friendly e-commerce portal dealing in garments should offer multiple product customization options to the buyers, and this is where a custom website scores better than the premade themes.
For example, a portal selling unique t-shirts should allow the consumer to opt for multiple sizes with different graphics, fonts, and colours on the garment.
- Offer specialized shipping options
Shipping requirements of portals that sell a variety of products are diverse. Thus, the organization needs to make agreements with local public sector postal service companies, as well as multiple private players like DHL, UPS, FedEx, etc.
The shopping cart must reflect these options so that the buyer can make his choice. The shopping cart in a tailor-made e-commerce website can be designed to offer multiple shipping options along with charges, duties applicable to the buyers.
- Multiple payment gateways
Having multiple gateways can improve conversion rate and make your firm more profitable.
A considerable percentage of shopping carts are abandoned when the customer fails to find his/her preferred payment method. Thus, to make the transaction convenient, and to win the buyer’s trust, multiple payment gateways need to be in place. Offering the same remains easy in case of a customized website.
- Custom-built multi-vendor site
Multi-vendor e-commerce site would offer its own set of benefits. It can help in bringing more consumers as several vendors (manufacturers) can create profiles and sell their products.
The portal can be custom-designed to let buyers purchase products from multiple sellers using the same shopping cart. Payment also gets divided and deposited in the vendor’s account accordingly after deducting the e-commerce portal’s fees.
- Robust security with multiple layers
Sophisticated hackers have a good knowledge when it comes to the basic settings for most widely used e-commerce themes.
Protecting the shoppers’ data remains to be the paramount security concern for e-commerce portal administrators. It needs to be in line with Payment Card Information Data Security Standards as well as data protection norms in the areas of business.
With a custom-built website, you can work with data security professionals, and implement the best possible security measures right from day one of development.
- Built-in tools
Why do e-commerce portals offer a subscription option? Your e-commerce website can sell more add-ons with the help of built-in tools. Motivating consumers to turn into subscribers for product updates in exchange for incentives, offering product graphics, or selling insurance coverage for the products that the customer has purchased can surely prove beneficial.
Besides helping shoppers, these tools can also be programmed to determine and charge local taxes according to the buyer, sellers’ geographical location. Platforms like VTEX, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify also offers such tools. These can be customized to match local requirements while designing custom e-commerce solution.
Custom eCommerce solutions can improve your business
- Client referral program
An excellent digital commerce strategy remains incomplete without a client referral program. Studies have shown that referral programs can help in generating leads from scratch and get better ROI. It can boost your portal’s marketing efforts. Even research from Nielsen has shown that shoppers prefer to buy products recommended by friends.
A customized website can allow administrators to introduce new client referral program quickly. Adding or removing discount codes from the system for specific brands also remains easy.
- Migration to custom-build for a single product or product line
If your company or brand sells a single product with different variables, each item would have its unique price tag depending on the features that the buyer opts. Ready to use e-commerce themes won’t offer such customization option for a single product. On the other hand, a tailor-made e-commerce solution can be designed to handle the most complex orders.
Other Crucial Advantages
- With a tailor-made website, there are no limitations on how you set up your store and shopping cart. Product specific pages can be optimized individually as well.
- There are limitations when it comes to managing user experience for the open source site. However, a tailor-made website can be tested multiple times to ensure it is user-friendly and functionalities can be modified at any point without worrying about subscription charges cycle.
- Besides apps, several customers use mobile browsers for searching and buying items from online sellers. Google offers better rankings to mobile-friendly portals. Thus, mobile compatibility still plays a crucial role. Custom-theme for e-commerce website automatically adjusts the functions and features when the user visits the site using a smartphone or tablet PC.
- The world is entering the era of virtual voice assistants like Alexa and Siri. For catering to customers using these devices, the e-commerce website software needs to be updated from time-to-time.
- Your custom website developers can assist you in conducting independent testing of certain features to check if they can offer the conversion percentage that you expect.
Disadvantages of a custom e-Commerce website
- A tailor-made solution is not suitable for every business
If you are a new player in the industry and do not have any experience in managing operations, a hosted website with a general theme can prove to be better.
- More programming leads to over budget (Cost and time to market)
Customization involves more programming and requires a considerable investment in setting up the portal. Software testing also turns out to be time-consuming and may not be suitable for businesses that wish to go live quickly.
- Need for advanced capabilities
If your business does not require an e-commerce website with multiple capabilities, a simple plug-and-play theme can do the trick.
Are you planning to set up your e-commerce website? You can get in touch with engineers from Smart Sight Innovations and discuss your requirements.