Open-Source eCommerce vs. SaaS eCommerce: Which is the Best Fit for your eCommerce business?

An eCommerce platform is the core piece of the puzzle when it comes to the success or failure of an online business. It allows business owners to manage their products, sales, and other operations with little or no knowledge/experience of programming. This, in turn, helps them create a seamless shopping experience for the customers, leading to a better rate of conversions, increased brand loyalty, etc.

With online shopping maintaining its popularity over the last few years, it is of utmost importance that your eCommerce store stands out from the rest of the competition in the market. In 2020, 2 billion+ consumers purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2+ trillion U.S. dollars worldwide(Source). This trend has become a big hit, and it will not be wrong to say that it is surely going to be here for a long, long time. Therefore, this is the right time to consider launching your eCommerce store with a platform suitable to your business needs.

Choosing an eCommerce platform for your online business involves comparing its architecture, functionalities, price, scalability, and many other features. There are two software architectures: Open source and Software as a Service (SaaS). Suppose you are unsure about choosing the right option for the success of your eCommerce platforms. In that case, we at Biz4Group, one of the most reliable and expert ecommerce solution providers, are right here to help you decide which type of solution better fits your business needs.

rhombus Difference between SaaS eCommerce vs. Open-Source eCommerce


First, let's start by understanding the meaning of SaaS eCommerce and Open-Source eCommerce.

rhombus Software as a service

This is a software licensing and delivery model in which the software is licensed on a subscription basis.

SaaS software isn't bought or installed on individual computers. It is hosted and maintained on the cloud by a third party. This is also referred to as web-based or hosted software which is licensed out to merchants to use.

You may access these applications via web browsers and pay a monthly subscription rate depending on the level of service and number of users.

Since the eCommerce provider builds, hosts, and maintains the software on their servers, users are limited in their ability to edit or change the software's source code.

Popular Examples of SaaS e-commerce platforms are Shopify and Shopify Plus, Volusion, BigCommerce, Squarespace, etc.

rhombus Open Source eCommerce

Open-source software is developed in a publicly collaborative way and can be downloaded from communities like GitHub.

Open-source software allows users to view, change, and distribute its source code for their purpose.

Merchants have full access to the software's source code; hence, if functionality is missing, your business can leverage coders to build it.

Popular examples of open-source eCommerce software are WooCommerce, X-Cart, Prestashop, OpenCart, Magento, etc.

rhombus Comparison of Open-Source eCommerce and SaaS eCommerce


Let's differentiate the two eCommerce platforms based on the following critical parameters:


Open Source eCommerce

SaaS eCommerce

Go-to-Market Time

Even though the open-source eCommerce platform is free to download, these platforms have a good amount of work and coding needed to get your eCommerce store up and running. Additional time needs to be invested in getting hosting, security, and theme building.

SaaS platforms have user-friendly UIs and pre-built themes to help you set up your online store- with little to minimal coding knowledge. No additional time is invested in hosting and security.

Security / PCI Compliance

Open-source platforms leave PCI compliance to their users. Your business will have to maintain PCI compliance standards and stay updated with any patches or bug fixes for security firewalls. Additionally, they do not have a dedicated support team. In case of an issue or bug, your technical team would have to solve it by themselves. You may leverage the support from large communities of developers who use this platform for advice and assistance when needed.

SaaS software providers will take care of security and PCI compliance so that your business never faces compliance or regulatory issues.


The cost involved in setting up an Open Source eCommerce platform are:

  • Free eCommerce framework

  • Licensing fees

  • Hosting provider fees (increases with bandwidth requirements for increases in traffic volume)

  • Web developer or agency fees to build on a unique feature (if used)

  • Bug fixes, Security patches in software updates

  • Security and PCI compliance costs

  • Apps or extensions

  • Integration into other systems

The cost involved in setting up a SaaS eCommerce platform are:

  • Monthly subscription rate (ranging from $0 to $5,000 per month

  • Web developer or agency fees to build on a unique feature (if used)

  • Apps or extensions

  • Integration into other systems

Scalability and customization

Open-source platforms exceed in customization and scalability. As mentioned above, your technical team can simply build the features needed. You can also adjust various aspects of your store (for example, the payment process) and make it more in sync with your specific audience.

SaaS platforms' restricted access to the source code makes both customization and scalability a bit tricky. When looking for a specific feature, you will have to choose the one that best fits your needs.

rhombus Advantages of SaaS eCommerce Platform

Businesses generally choose SaaS as their choice of eCommerce development for the many benefits that it has to offer. At Biz4Group, our SaaS eCommerce platform development is tailor-made to offer complete solutions to the users.  

SaaS eCommerce platforms host and maintain thousands of sites. They can even offer businesses lower costs over time. The monthly subscription rate is also less than the capital invested in licensing, hosting, maintaining, and supporting the site yourself!  

SaaS eCommerce platforms will help you set up your online store in a few days. They provide smart and effective build-up based on innovative and unconventional functionalities.

Extensive app support is provided to extend functionalities like email marketing, cart abandonment, loyalty programs, and more.

SaaS is always on the latest software version. As a business, you can immediately benefit from the new upgrades if you have a SaaS e-commerce solution.

SaaS upgrades and updates are done continuously and automatically, which means easier maintenance, saving your business time and money involved in this process. Additionally, your SaaS web store will always be up to date and protected against vulnerabilities like downtime, data loss, and cyber-attacks with relevant security measures and patches.

SaaS-based eCommerce platforms provide expansion of data storage as per your business requirement. This is contrary to on-premise eCommerce platforms.

Saas solutions are compatible across different devices and versions of operating systems.

SaaS also allows for the easy onboarding of new users and products on the existing system, facilitating easy integration.

rhombus Which one to choose for your business?


The clear winner is the SaaS eCommerce platform with its range of benefits like low cost, easy setup, and great support, which will help your business thrive and flourish.

To sum up, a SaaS solution is "off-the-shelf," meaning the effort of developing the product is already in place, reducing its cost significantly. This makes them an ideal choice for businesses without strong IT knowledge who want to start an eCommerce store as soon as possible and without all the associated fuss.

What's more? With a SaaS-based platform, there is no need for someone to physically be near the main server to access data and valuable information of the eCommerce Store. Since all the data is stored on a cloud database, access can be granted to anyone with the required credentials, from anywhere, anytime!

rhombus Why choose Biz4Group as your SaaS-based eCommerce development company?

With many fantastic options available in the market, it can indeed become a tough choice for an enterprise to go for an option that is the most viable for them. This is where we at Biz4Group, come to your rescue and make the entire process a simplified one. As an enterprise eCommerce platform development company, we decide and develop strategies for you only after understanding your ideas, needs, and requirements. Factors that make us an ideal choice to become your SaaS-based eCommerce development partners are:

We develop SEO-friendly platforms with a unique domain name, meta tags and meta descriptions, google analytics API integration, etc.

With more than 60% of the searches taking place on mobile devices, we create platforms that consist of mobile responsive themes and designs.

It is our utmost priority to design platforms for you that is secure and encrypted and takes care of your information and data at every level.

With the effective integration of several deployments, we build highly scalable platforms that allow you to grow and expand as and when needed.

If you are looking for an eCommerce development company that can help you to drive success across the eCommerce domain and stand ahead of your competitors, then we at Biz4Group, are a one-stop destination for you. To discover more, get in touch with our experts and book a free consultation session today.

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