Published on April 15th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan0
eCommerce Platforms: Buy Software or DIY?
Building an effective platform for eCommerce is no longer an option: It’s the most important path to online success for your business.
The experience you provide through your eCommerce website has become the most important way to connect with customers and keep them around.
So the necessity for this is clear. Then the question becomes: Do you build your own software or buy a product already on the market?
Let’s take a look at the options.
Here’s the truth: Many IT departments will say that they can build better software than a professional software provider.
And perhaps they can. But for those of you who aren’t experts in building software, it’s important to know that this is a complicated, costly process that often exceeds the initial budget.
Doing it yourself is tempting, of course. It’s easy to believe that tailoring software to the specific needs of your company and your customers is a one-way ticket to improved sales and customer experience.
But research from GroupBy Inc., a company specializing in solutions for eCommerce product discovery, suggests that business leaders should be wary of leaping into the DIY approach.
“Building in-house is often sold to executives as the best way to create a specialized vendor
solution that meets the nuanced needs of the business,” according to a GroupBy article titled “Bulldozing the Build Vs. Buy Software Debate.” “The truth is that building good code is really difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Making your software truly unique may sound like a great way to stand out in the sea of online competition, but all of those extra bells and whistles require more complex coding and more time and money and at the end of the day may not make any difference to the buyer at all.”
The document goes on to suggest that executives might be surprised by the customizable features of many software systems. Those features include custom catalogs, past-purchase recommendations, and personalization.
Perhaps most importantly, the costs of building your own software often exceed budgets and expectations.
A study by McKinsey Digital looked at 5,400 IT projects and discovered that 45 percent of them were completed over budget and ended up offering 56 percent less value than anticipated.
Before you start delegating your IT department to begin the costly process of software design, it’s worth your time to look at the options, and see if they might work for your business’ needs.
Feeling overwhelmed already? No need. There are many options, and many experts who can help you pick the right solution.
Many of the biggest platforms for eCommerce software have crucial features for success in the competitive online marketplace.
- Client Support — As you fit your new software to the needs of your business, you’re going to need continuous improvement and analytics to make the best decisions for your site.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) – AI in eCommerce can make a large impact on customer choices through an analysis of online browsing habits, previous purchases, and previously searched products. It helps create the personalized shopping experience that many customers now expect.
- Data Enrichment – This feature makes sure that the data for a product includes all the information a customer will need to make a decision. It helps them feel like they are making an educated decision, and builds trust that increases sales.
Streamlining your eCommerce platform requires a lot of work and — if you’re building your own software — a lot of money. But the pandemic has only strengthened this market, and the future success of your business will depend on your online visibility and user experience.
It’s worth spending the time to make the right choice.
Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash