Building vs. Buying an Ecommerce Platform

By Rae Steinbach on November 28, 2018

ecommerce mobile apps

Let’s face it: Online retailers have heavy competition. In Q3 2018 alone, ecommerce sales in the U.S. totaled $130.9 billion. To keep up with increasing demand and stay current with ecommerce trends, retailers need to ensure they have a seamless and efficient platform to take customers from browsing to buying. This is where mobile apps in ecommerce come into play.

Companies have two major options to consider when deciding how to set up an online shop: they can either use an established platform like Shopify, or they can develop a custom ecommerce platform. Understanding whether to buy into an existing ecommerce app platform or to build ecommerce companion apps requires understanding the pros and cons of each. If you are not sure what route to take, keep the following points in mind.

The Benefits of Purchasing a Platform for Ecommerce Mobile Apps

Going the route of selling goods through existing services significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to get a store up and running. You do not need to find a development team that specializes in ecommerce apps, and you don’t need to set aside time to determine what kinds of features you want your product to include. You can simply familiarize yourself with the features your chosen ecommerce app platform offers.

Reliability is another reason some businesses choose to license software instead of creating their own. They do not have to worry about glitches or bugs that might arise if they hire unqualified developers for the project.

However, working with a pre-existing software limits the capabilities of your shop. You no longer have complete control over your ecommerce mobile app and all of its features. That is why it is also important to consider the benefits of developing a custom ecommerce platform.

The Benefits of Developing Custom Ecommerce Companion Apps

First, it is important to understand that more people browse the internet on mobile devices than on computers these days. You want to be certain your online store is optimized accordingly.

The top ecommerce apps are designed with mobile users in mind. Developing your own ecommerce app platform gives you the opportunity to exercise more control over how mobile-friendly the experience is.

Cost is another factor to focus on when evaluating your options for ecommerce mobile app development. In the short run, it may seem more cost-effective to use an established platform. That may not be true in the long run. It can cost thousands of dollars in monthly payments to license a powerful ecommerce software.

Developing your own ecommerce mobile apps, on the other hand, may involve a larger upfront investment. However, the overall return-on-investment could be much greater. This is because you would not be forced to pay a licensing fee each month. You’ll simply pay for the cost of building the product.

If you find a team that specializes in developing mobile apps for ecommerce, the expenses could even be lower than you might think. Professionals who work efficiently can often deliver the product you want without exceeding your budget.

Finally, custom ecommerce companion apps give retailers the ability to offer a branded experience to customers without the limitations of a pre-existing platform. They can even design their own unique rewards programs (which can have a major impact on customer loyalty).

Again, there are reasons to consider both options when it comes to ecommerce mobile apps. These points should simply help you get a better understanding of which is right for your needs. To learn more, contact ecommerce app developers to discuss your goals.