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What is the difference between Open source and SaaS eCommerce platforms?

Currently, there are various types of eCommerce platforms, and we will look at the difference between the two of the most opposite ones: Open source and closed source (usually, SaaS) eCommerce solutions.

What is open source software? 

Open source software is a term used to describe software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone.

Open source software can be developed collaboratively: a large community of open source developers contributes code that is available under various licenses.

Imagine you have the recipe for making the dough of your cake and you have the chance to play with the main ingredients if you really know how to do it. 

What is open source eCommerce platform? 

Open source eCommerce platforms’ source code is completely editable. They allow you to create any interface, feature, and technology you like for your webstore. Nevertheless, as entertaining as that may sound, it isn’t that easy and will require qualified experience. 

Examples of open source eCommerce platforms: OpenCart, PrestaShop, Shopware, Magento (Adobe Commerce), etc.

Read more about: Open source eCommerce platforms.

What is Saas eCommerce platform?

SaaS eCommerce solutions are very popular ways to have an online store. 

SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Subscription. 

SaaS eCommerce platform is software that is used by companies to provide their own eCommerce related tools and solutions or services to customers as a subscription based service.

Saas eCommerce platforms are a type of software that hosting is handled by the platforms themselves. They are powered by a web-based interface and can be accessed via any device.

SaaS eCommerce platforms have limited or no customization. They come with predefined apps, features, and storefront.

You can get started by signing up for the platform, and then you can start adding products to your store.

If we get back to the cake example, imagine this time you are not making the dough yourself, but you are getting prepared ones. The rest of the cake is up to your preferences, you wanna add cherry, play with appearance, etc.

Examples of SaaS eCommerce platforms: Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Weebly, Wix eCommerce, etc.

Read more about: Challenges with SaaS eCommerce platforms.

In short:

  • Open source eCommerce platforms are great as an enterprise solution since you have full customization and control, and you can customize your site in any way that you want with access to all code and data.
  • SaaS eCommerce platforms are great for businesses that don’t need any enterprise solution and customization, and they are OK with predefined features and want to go live faster.

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