There are over 404 platforms powering around 2,988,649 eCommerce websites presently, out of which self-hosted eCommerce platforms always had the highest market share. However, a surprising shift in this trend was seen last year when a majority of the eCommerce store merchants started paying attention towards hosted eComdmerce platforms. The reports of 2016 stated that the migration to Shopify, BigCommerce and other hosted platforms surpassed the migration seen towards the self-hosted ones like Magento or WooCommerce in various quarters. This certainly affirms that people are getting more inclined towards hosted eCommerce platforms. Now the question is why; why people are more inclined towards hosted ecommerce platforms?
Ecommerce is growing at a breakneck speed and so are the demands and expectations of buyers as well as online merchants towards them. With hosted eCommerce platforms offering an all-in-one solution to all these demands, the inclination towards these platforms is growing increasingly fast. It helps the merchants get their online store up and running in less than an hour and that too without any technical barriers. Additionally, the shopping cart functions, large technical support team, and automatic bug fixtures are also pulling people towards these hosted platforms. But that’s not all; there are a number of other reasons that are getting people more inclined towards hosted eCommerce platforms. Five such reasons have been listed below. So, let’s go through them.
Packaged Store-Building Solution
Building an online store on hosted eCommerce platforms is a cakewalk. Just like signing up for Facebook, you can sign up on a hosted platform. There are hundreds of themes and website templates available on these platforms that can create a skeleton for your online store. There are well-rounded store-building solutions that you’ll get right out of the box on hosted platforms. In fact, all these building solutions implement the best results and even offer various apps and add-ons to keep your eCommerce website in-line with the effective design trends.
Merchants of hosted eCommerce platform have the advantage of automatic updates, while the self-hosted store merchants have to manually perform software upgrades every time there is a new version released. Merchants of self-hosted platforms require technical expertise to perform any type of update or need to hire a professional for the same. With hosted eCommerce platform, each update happens automatically and is often reflected back in the online store as well. There is no risk related to updates and patches which may lead to the breaking down of the platform’ functionality. In fact, any bug causing disturbances in the functions would also be automatically fixed by the host without any interference by the merchant.
Ease Of Maintenance
Maintaining and managing an eCommerce store becomes a smooth sail with hosted eCommerce platforms. The hosted platform provider outsources the majority of maintenance work. In exchange for a fixed rate, hosted platforms provide a host of services. Whether it is any downtime issue, updates on the platform or even looking after the SSL certification, a hosted platform will do all this for you and much more. There is no line of code required for any type of maintenance, be it regarding the updates or the malware detection, every job would be performed by the hosting provider only.
Access To Large Support Team
Hosted eCommerce platforms provide access to a large support team worldwide. Most of these platforms have a 24×7 support team and help center that is just a click or message away from offering the best solution to any problem. Whether the issue is related to theme usage, payment gateway setup, taxes management, analytics or marketing & discount, this support team would readily offer solutions once contacted through various support mediums.
Growing and scaling an eCommerce business on hosted platforms is as simple as upgrading the monthly subscription package. With time, a majority of eCommerce stores experience an increase in the online traffic. To deal with the spike in traffic, hosted platforms upgrade the site’s functionality. A self-hosted platform might have to make changes in codes to deal with any type of increase in demand but hosted platforms offer advanced capabilities, functionalities, and features with just a click of a button. These platforms are even capable of handling a sudden increase in traffic inflow on your website during Black Friday, Cyber Monday or other such sale events.
Feature-Loaded Hosted eCommerce Platforms
With hundreds of apps on the app store and countless noteworthy features, it won’t be wrong to call Shopify the most popular hosted eCommerce solution provider. Features like abandoned cart recovery, mobile apps for managing the store and accepting payment, point-of-sale system, and a huge expert support team take Shopify at the top.
The outstanding visual design interface on Wix allows the online merchants to customize their website as per their requirements. Moreover, this hosted eCommerce platform also helps in creating stunning storefronts of mobile-optimized sites without any prior technical skill requirement.
Squarespace has millions of users on over 18,000 websites that are using its solutions to build attractive storefronts and offer rich and beautiful imagery alongside the product listing. It allows the merchants to sell unlimited products on both the advanced as well as basic plans. The blog bandwidth, storage, and galleries etc., are also unlimited on this page.
Big Commerce is the most popular hosted platform for the small to medium-size businesses. It offers commendable features like real-time shipping quotes, 24×7 support, abandoned cart recovery, Google Trusted Store Certification, and easy integration with Google Shopping, eBay and others.
One thing is clear: hosted eCommerce platforms offer an all-in-one solution for all the online merchants. Right from building the online store to maintaining it, updating it, scaling it and even getting support when stuck with an issue, these hosted platforms are an ideal solution for establishing an online store. In the end, I would just like to say that hosted platforms are preferred by people, especially those in startups or small to medium-sized businesses that lack technical expertise and dedicated funds for hiring an eCommerce web designing company, because of the reasons listed above. In addition to that, the increasing number of hosted platforms offering extraordinary features is also driving people towards these solutions.
Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net an acclaimed Web Designing & Development Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development.