Before you begin building your eCommerce store, or even before a site upgrade, it’s important to know exactly what will work best for you. Broadly speaking there are two ways of doing it. One is to get an out-of-the-box solution – a SaaS, which stands for Software as a Service. Shopify, for example, and BigCommerce, are SaaS hosted stores. They enable you to choose themes, add plugins and build a site within their parameters, while they take care of all the updates and security.
Whereas Magento Open Source is a PaaS (Platform as a Service). That means you can build a bespoke site (or create a tailored upgrade to Magento 2), designed to function and deliver exactly what you want. There are a few reasons a Magento 2 tailored option may be better for your business than a SaaS.
What makes Magento different?
Magento is used by millions of eCommerce stores, globally, for its reliability and flexibility. That’s why you’ll find companies large and small placing their trust in Magento 2. A Magento store can be completely personalizable. It enables the ideas you have for your site to come true and to craft a site that works exactly how you and your customers want it to. So, if you’ve invested time and effort in customer research, user journey, UX and UI, you ultimately want a site that can enable your functionalities however complex, across however many devices and with complete control.
A cloud-based PaaS
Magento 2 is cloud-based, and so offers the freedom of the cloud infrastructure, while maintaining the customizable power and performance that Magento is known for. The crucial difference between a SaaS site, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, and Magento 2 as a PaaS is that SaaS sites are hosted and out-of-box while Magento 2 is open source with greater capacity for modification and customization.
In a fast-paced, dynamic and ever-changing digital market, it’s crucial to have a site that can react and adapt to user needs. Magento 2 gives you the capacity to change quickly, and its open source nature means that developers are constantly adapting it to the latest user trends.
The freedom of open source
Open source platforms like Magento 2 allow for complete control over functionality and fast reactions to user needs. You’ll be able to build your commerce site from the ground up (or adapt and deliver better customer journeys with an upgrade from your existing Magento store to Magento 2).
With freedom also comes responsibility. With Magento 2 (and a Magento 2 upgrade) you do need a degree of tech knowledge or a developer. It’s customizable and liberating in that you can design and build a store exactly to your specification, but don’t forget you’re also responsible for keeping it up-to-date and secure. SaaS stores are hosted and essentially managed elsewhere, and this is what places limitations on the options available. SaaS stores, like Shopify, offer many, many options for those who would prefer an out-of-the-box solution, but none so comprehensive as a Magento 2 site.
Magento 2 has an extensive marketplace for plug-ins and apps to help tailor your site. It covers extensions, themes, and partners across a variety of specific categories from customer support and marketing to accounting, shipping, and site optimization.
In short, Magento 2 is better than a SaaS if you want complete control over your site. With control comes the responsibility of hosting your own site, but with the right team of developers behind you, your site can be exactly what you and your customers dreamed of.