While pondering on starting your e-store, there are so many questions to face. Where to start? What to choose: pre-built e-commerce platform or custom web application development? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both? In this article, we are happy to give comprehensive answers.
Magento e-commerce platform: flexibility and performance
Magento is a popular open-source e-commerce platform for businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises. It is known for its flexibility, scalability, and powerful features. It can create various online stores: B2C stores, B2B stores, multi-vendor stores, and subscription stores.
Magento provides comprehensive tools for managing your product catalog, including product categories, attributes, images, and videos. You can create accounts, manage customer accounts, track orders, and offer loyalty programs. The platform integrates with a diverse selection of payment processors: you can accept payments from customers worldwide. Presently, the Magento platform has 152,156 live stores.
Magento is available in two editions:
- Magento Open Source includes all of the core Magento features. Still, it does not have some of the more advanced features, such as support for multiple stores and currencies.
- Magento Commerce: This is the enterprise version of Magento. It includes all of the features of Magento Open Source, plus additional features such as support for multiple stores and currencies, advanced marketing and SEO features, and enterprise-grade security.
Some e-stores are still based on the outdated Magento 1 platform. As it is no longer supported, migration to the Magento 2 can be a great solution. It offers enhanced security performance and introduces new features to increase sales. However, like any software, it is highly recommended to update Magento 2 regularly to ensure it is secure and up-to-date. Upgrading Magento 2 can be complex, especially with a large or customized store. This is where a Magento 2 upgrade service can come in handy.
- Flexibility: Magento is a highly flexible platform and can be customized for your business following its specific needs.
- Scalability: can scale to support businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises.
- Large community: Magento can boast a large and active community of users and developers. A wealth of support and resources is available to Magento users.
- Powerful features: catalog management, customer management, payment processing, shipping, marketing and SEO, and security.
- Extended learning: as the Magento system is large and complex, its maintenance and support may seem challenging when met first. Without web development knowledge, hosting and setting up a store might be a frustrating experience.
- High cost: Migrating can be costly, especially if you have a large or complex store. You will need to pay for development services, hosting, and extensions.
- Extension incompatibility: Magento 1 themes are not compatible with Magento 2. You will need to redesign your storefront if you migrate to Magento 2.
- Robust hosting requirements: Magento 2 requires powerful hosting, which can be more costly than shared hosting on other platforms.
Custom Web Application Development: Basics You Need to Know
A customized web application is tailored to a business or organization’s needs and requirements, in contrast to off-the-shelf web applications, whose goal is to meet the needs of a general audience. Custom web applications can automate various business processes, such as sales and marketing, inventory management, customer relationship management, etc.
The custom web application development process typically involves the following steps:
1. Requirements gathering: The first step is gathering the web application requirements – understanding the business needs, the target users, and the desired functionality.
2. Design: After gathering the requirements, the web application is designed – wireframes and mockups are used to visualize the look and feel of the application.
3. Development: The web application is then developed using the appropriate programming languages and technologies.
4. Testing: Once the web application has been developed, it is carefully tested to ensure that it meets all requirements and is error-free.
5. Deployment: Once the web application has been tested, it is deployed to a production environment.
Advantages of developing a tailored web application
- Improved efficiency and productivity: Custom web applications can automate many of the manual tasks that businesses perform, which can save time and money.
- Enhanced customer service: Custom web applications can provide customers better service and support, such as through self-service portals and knowledge bases.
- Increased competitive advantage: A custom web application can give a business a competitive advantage, offering its customers unique features and functionality.
- Improved scalability: Custom web applications can be scaled to meet the needs of growing businesses.
Shortcomings of custom web application development
- Thorough preparation of specific requirements: you should know precisely how your e-store will work and what functionality, features, and integrations it may include
- Cost change: costs rise from lots of things, such as the size of the development team, features you want to add, design solutions, etc.
- Time spending: Time to market can be high if the development company is inexperienced or unable to manage timelines effectively
- Security issues: When developing an e-commerce store, it is essential to consider all potential security risks. This includes everything from data breaches to malware attacks.
Being a powerful and flexible e-commerce platform that can create various online stores, Magento is a good choice for businesses of different scales, from small to large enterprises. When choosing Magento as a platform for your business, remember that besides great opportunities, it also presents challenges: a demanding learning curve, extension incompatibility for Magento 2, cost, and robust hosting requirements.
Meanwhile, custom web application development is one more way to improve your business’s efficiency, productivity, and customer service. However, choosing a reputable development company with experience developing web applications for businesses in your particular industry is essential. Moreover, some issues may occur in the comprehensive preparation of specific requirements, cost, security challenges, and time to market.
To make a decision, you must first consider costs, the scale of the business and its needs, and store launching time. We hope we have given you a deeper understanding that will help you make the right decision or direct further search on the topic. Wish you a flourishing e-commerce business!