After eCommerce skyrocketed due to the global pandemic in 2020, business owners have had to quickly adapt to ensure fast, personalized experiences for all of their customers. Today’s shoppers expect seamless shopping journeys, customized recommendations, and a wide array of payment options at checkout. They additionally expect brands to be quick to answer their questions, solve problems, interact with them on social media, and ensure that their personal information is kept completely secure.
Managing an omnichannel presence while trying to juggle the logistics of running a business, providing customer support, and updating a website is a tall order for any merchant today. The overwhelming amount of tasks to keep track of has many brands searching for solutions, such as SaaS platforms. that can save them time without impacting the quality of their service.
What is SaaS?
SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms provide software on a subcontract basis, typically through a monthly fee. The SaaS provider hosts the platform, performs maintenance, and ensures site security in exchange for the subscription fee. This is in direct contrast to open source software, which requires retailers to find their own hosting providers and take care of their own site upgrades, security patches, and other necessary maintenance tasks.
The growing popularity of the SaaS model has revealed the convenience and flexibility that a subscription-based service can provide for a business. Dozens of internationally-recognized retailers have chosen to utilize SaaS platforms, including:
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Old Spice
Benefits of SaaS Platforms
One of the defining features of SaaS is flexibility. Businesses of all sizes can quickly scale up, seamlessly integrate different functionalities and extensions, and create an omnichannel presence from a single dashboard. For example, when Australian fashion retailer Bohemian Traders chose to upgrade to BigCommerce, they were able to triple customer growth and increase YoY revenue by 166%. Bohemian Traders CEO David Berlach explained that the company’s rapid growth has gone smoothly, “without a single glitch,” despite having thousands of SKUs.
International sellers and newer retailers like Bohemian Traders can both benefit from the major advantages of SaaS providers that open source platforms don’t offer. Some of the most outstanding benefits include:
- Quick to launch. SaaS platforms are designed to be intuitive, user-friendly, and out of the box functionality. In other words, you don’t need to know any code in order to build a website with a SaaS provider.
- User-friendly. Websites built with SaaS platforms are ideal for those who don’t have the time to constantly update their sites or apply security patches. Since the SaaS provider is responsible for updating the software and applying fixes as needed, merchants can primarily focus on growing their business.
- Ongoing maintenance. If you choose an open source platform, you will be responsible for maintaining your site. This includes checking for security risks, upgrading your software and extensions, troubleshooting performance issues, meeting PCI compliance standards, and other common website maintenance duties. SaaS providers, on the other hand, will take care of all these technical aspects of your website, including fixing any server issues, site glitches, or other problems that appear.
- Predictable monthly costs. The monthly fee to use SaaS is often less than it would cost for you to choose a host, create an open source site, and find ongoing support to monitor your website for updates or security issues. An open source site takes much longer to set up, is more expensive to launch, and can be harder to maintain in the long run if you’re not familiar with coding.
Is SaaS Right for You?
SaaS platforms are designed to scale alongside businesses as they grow, whether they’re medium-sized businesses or international enterprises. Merchants who want to pour their energy into building their businesses will appreciate the time-saving features and relatively low cost associated with SaaS platforms. When retailers don’t have to worry about hosting, maintaining site security, applying security patches, or upgrading their software, they can focus on what really matters: attracting buyers and building customer loyalty.
If you’re thinking about switching to a SaaS platform, connect with us at B2Commerce for expert recommendations and advice for getting started on your BigCommerce journey!