Global ecommerce revenue is expected to be $4.15 trillion in 2022 and reach $5.73 trillion by 2025 (Source: Statista). While the ecommerce industry has been driven by customer demands SaaS ecommerce platforms have been instrumental in quickly building online stores for diverse businesses.
Of late, enterprise brands have been rapidly adopting SaaS ecommerce solutions. With greater flexibility, faster time-to-market, enhanced security, timely updates and robust security at a fraction of the cost of building legacy ecommerce software, SaaS becomes the obvious choice. Advanced SaaS ecommerce platforms also make customizations a breeze helping enterprise brands craft their tailor-made solutions.
But before we move ahead and discuss the best SaaS ecommerce platforms let us first understand this term and how SaaS solutions for ecommerce are better than legacy ecommerce software.
Table of Contents
- What does SaaS mean?
- SaaS Ecommerce Platforms: The One-Stop Solution For Ecommerce Brands
- Enterprise SaaS: The Next-Gen Ecommerce SaaS Platform For Enterprise Brands
- Top 5 SaaS Ecommerce Platforms For 2022
- SaaS Ecommerce Platforms FAQs
- 1. How is a SaaS ecommerce platform different from a legacy ecommerce solution?
- 2. What are the most important features that make the best ecommerce SaaS platform?
- 3. Is SaaS ecommerce software suited for large B2B brands?
- 4. Do SaaS ecommerce platforms offer a one-size-fits-all solution?
- 5. Do SaaS platforms need too many apps and extensions to build enterprise solutions like multi vendor marketplace, location-specific stores etc.?
SaaS or “Software as a Service” is a business model where software is offered as a service (usually on a subscription basis) to users. The services are made available over the internet and thus the usage of the software becomes system independent.
SaaS solution providers take care of hosting, maintenance, upgrades, security etc. and offer hassle-free solutions to businesses. SaaS has become the most demanded solution for various business purposes.
SaaS ecommerce platforms are a complete ecommerce software solution that enables brands to launch their online stores, offer design solutions and a variety of features and tools to run, manage and grow the business.
SaaS platforms for ecommerce offer a subscription-based ecommerce solution that has plug and play capabilities. The ready-to-use ecommerce platform takes care of hosting, upgrades and maintenance which frees business owners from worrying over installing and maintaining complex IT infrastructure.
SaaS ecommerce platform has gained immense popularity and it is the most preferred option for going online for SMBs and enterprise brands alike.
Other benefits of ecommerce SaaS platforms are:
A bundle of solutions that includes hosting, maintenance, upgrades, backups and tech support
A well-rounded solution that has functional modules to automate core ecommerce business processes
Simplified processes and easy to use interface
Inbuilt entities that can be modified or replicated and customized to create new functionalities and flows
Tested-solutions for a variety of business models make it easy for brands to pivot the business as per changing market conditions
Seamless integration with other third-party software and service providers for marketing, accounting, shipping etc
Easy to upgrade or downgrade the SaaS ecommerce platform’s subscription costs as per the business requirements
With so many business benefits SaaS ecommerce software platforms have become the go to solution for ecommerce brands looking for quick launch and scalability.
While SaaS was initially considered the solution for small and medium businesses with the advent of Enterprise SaaS ecommerce platforms, even bigger brands that want multi-channel presence are considering SaaS platforms as the more viable option than legacy software.
Enterprise SaaS ecommerce platforms can easily handle a large volume of orders, multiple storefronts, multiple languages and currencies, peak load even if it reaches hundreds and thousands of users or customers.
StoreHippo offers enterprise SaaS ecommerce solutions for brands planning their online journey. Built on MACH architecture ( Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless Commerce) helps enterprise brands build tailor-made solutions that are inherently flexible and scalable.
StoreHippo offers a fully hosted and managed SaaS platform that can be easily customized for unique brand requirements. Built on headless architecture StoreHippo makes it easy for brands to use the same backend logic and APIs and add new customer touchpoints and go omnichannel. The backend and frontend can be tweaked independently to accommodate new changes as per market demands.
Built on SPA and MEAN stack, sites powered by StoreHippo SaaS ecommerce platform are extremely fast and lightweight. StoreHippo’s inherently scalable infrastructure offers peak load tolerance even when your business scales to hundreds and thousands of users, products or geographies.
SEO-friendly SaaS ecommerce software StoreHippo also offers a gamut of marketing tools and seamless integration with the best in breed marketing software. StoreHippo also offers integrated payment gateways and logistics services making it a 360 degree-ecommerce platform for brands of every size and industry.
300+ inbuilt features to build a variety of out of box solutions
Beautiful, customizable design themes with multilingual support
Feature rich order and inventory management solutions
Mobile-first architecture, built-in mobile apps builder, PWA stores
Plug and play solution that does not require additional apps and plugins
Battle-tested solutions for a variety of business models like B2B, D2C, B2B2C, multi vendor marketplace, multi store ecommerce, multilingual website etc
Fully integrated ecommerce platform with 120+ integrations with the with best in breed software and service providers
Support for some complex/hybrid business models available only with the Business, Enterprise and Platinum plans
Yet to have its own POS system
Although offers lots of inbuilt marketing tools it does not offer marketing services
Professional - $45/month
Business Plan - $179/month
Enterprise Plan- $359+/month
Platinum- Custom pricing
Salesforce Commerce Cloud was called Demandware earlier. It offers an enterprise SaaS ecommerce platform with extensive features for large scale B2B and B2C businesses. Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes with lots of inbuilt tools, customizations and automation that helps businesses to get started easily and quickly.
Scalable, automatic upgrades and maintenance
Inbuilt tools for easy AI-driven personalizations
Lots of tools to analyze KPIs for any organization’s efficiency and industry specific metrics
One of the most popular CRM platforms
Flexibility to add/remove features based on use
Added packages for B2C and B2B, grocery sales, subscription commerce, multichannel retail and a multichannel delivery model to get ecommerce brands started quickly
Takes a long time to learn the ins and outs of the SaaS platform
Difficult to find agencies that assist with Salesforce development and integrations
Some users complain about cluttered interface and sessions freeze too often
API customizations are complex
Customizations can become very complex if not handled by experts with experience of Salesforce SaaS ecommerce platform
Lack of community support
Costly add-ons needed to maximise the benefits of the platform
B2C and B2B Commerce Clouds have custom pricing based on request
Quick-start Solutions- $90-390K/ year (implementation services included)
Magento Commerce is now known as Adobe Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud now renamed Adobe Commerce Cloud is one of the most popular SaaS ecommerce platforms. Magento commerce uses a number of third-party extensions to offer ecommerce solutions to businesses of every size and scale.
A range of features for advanced ecommerce business models like multi store, multilingual, multi-pricing etc.
Flexible SaaS platform which facilitates easy integrations
A large community of users offer quick support and solution for issues
Scalable solution for growing businesses
Need experienced developers to manage, maintain and upgrade IT infrastructure
The platform becomes slow and buggy as the business scales
Due to frequent platform upgrades, every few years businesses are forced to undergo cumbersome and costly migration
Magento has faced major security issues due to regular security breaches
Magento Commerce- $22,000–125,000/year
Magento Commerce Cloud- $40,000–190,000/year
( prices are based on GMV)
Shopify is one of the top 5 SaaS platforms offering ecommerce solutions to businesses across the world. The hosted platform offers enterprise ecommerce solutions via its Shopify Plus plan. Businesses can build their online store and get started quickly with Shopify.
Lots of apps for every feature
SEO capabilities and inbuilt marketing tools
Payment solutions in some countries with Shopify Payments
Easy to use dashboard with quick product adding features
Easy order and inventory management solutions
Multiple apps needed to implement different features
Cost may snowball due to adding too many paid apps
Sometimes the complete architecture can become complex due to adding and syncing too many apps developed by independent developers/third-parties
Understanding and implementing Shopify Liquid needs a good understanding of the platform
$2,000/month + 0.15% per transaction ( when using third-party payment processors)
For high-volume businesses fee is negotiated by request
BigCommerce offers SaaS ecommerce solutions for SMBs and enterprise businesses (through higher plans designed for enterprise brands). You can sell physical or digital goods with BigCommerce. It offers a host of features along with API calls for third-party integrations. The SaaS platform has a host of core features that can be used for setting up an online store quickly.
Pleanty of features to set up and run ecommerce stores
Easy to handle large complex catalogues
Order and inventory management solutions
Multi tier discounts and coupons
Inbuilt security and hosting
Support for payment gateways
Mobile commerce features are not at par with other SaaS ecommerce platforms
Becomes expensive if you have to add features like multi-vendor, multi store etc. as you need to pay for regular online store and extensions for each feature
You get an annual sales threshold for each plan and as the business grows you are forced to move to higher plans
Limited themes which are very similar to each other
Pricing plans range from $29.95 to $299.95
Enterprise Plans - custom pricing based on negotiations
Additional paid plugins needed for enterprise features like online marketplace, multi store etc.
While planning to go online is the most important decision for your brand’s growth, choosing the best SaaS ecommerce platform is the accelerator that takes your brand places. You have to be on top of your requirements, growth plans, target markets, business model, operations and then go with the one SaaS ecommerce software that gives you a 360-degree solution for all your requirements. Also, you must consider the hidden costs if any and the level of automation, efficiency and customization ease you get from the ecommerce SaaS platforms you are considering.
Finally, you should opt for the one SaaS ecommerce platform that best suits your requirements and helps you grow your reach and conversions. We have elaborated about the top 5 SaaS ecommerce platforms in our article and given an unbiased analysis of each of them. Before you make your final decision check out their features and claims first-hand by starting a free demo.
Begin your online journey right away by starting your free trial with StoreHippo.
Here are some frequently asked questions about SaaS platforms along with their detailed answers:
Ecommerce SaaS platforms offer a complete service and software package which includes the ecommerce software, hosting, tech support, backups, updates etc. Also, modern SaaS ecommerce solutions come with a host of other features for marketing, accounting, CRM etc. In contrast, legacy ecommerce solutions primarily build an ecommerce website and have some features to manage the orders, inventory etc. Also, the ecommerce brand has to set up an IT team to take care of the hosting, servers, maintenance etc.
With SaaS ecommerce platforms, brands just need to pay the subscription fees and all the IT infrastructure and software maintenance, bug fixing etc. is handled by the SaaS platform providers.
While the best SaaS platform depends on how well it fits the unique requirements of a brand some of the key features of the best SaaS platform are:
Flexibility that enables quick customizations
Easy to use and understand dashboard
Host of inbuilt features
Support for a variety of business models
Lifetime tech support
Yes, B2B ecommerce brands can easily choose an enterprise SaaS solution to power their business. SaaS platforms are no longer the go-to solution for SMBs only. Enterprise SaaS ecommerce software is designed to handle the large catalogues, high volume orders and huge traffic of B2B brands. These enterprise ecommerce solutions also come packed with advanced features suited for the diverse needs of B2B and other hybrid ecommerce business models.
No, the advanced SaaS ecommerce platforms built on headless architecture can be easily customized at the frontend as well as the backend. StoreHippo SaaS platform is built on the decoupled headless architecture and it can be easily tweaked inside out to build tailor-made solutions for unique brand requirements.
5. Do SaaS platforms need too many apps and extensions to build enterprise solutions like multi vendor marketplace, location-specific stores etc.?
Not all ecommerce SaaS platforms need additional apps and extensions for building advanced enterprise solutions like an online marketplace, multi-store network, multilingual sites etc. While Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento etc. need apps and extensions for implementing these features, StoreHippo offers built-in solutions for these and many other popular ecommerce business models.