Do you want to create your online store and are confused between a pre-made platform or a custom-built e-commerce store? If yes, this article will definitely clear all your doubts and will help you objectively decide between a pre-made platform like Shopify or Woocommerce or a fully custom e-commerce website.
To make the comparison easier for you, we suggest thinking about your ‘e-commerce store’ as a ‘real estate’ property. Selecting pre-built e-commerce platforms is like renting a property, and creating your own custom website is like buying your own house. You will obviously enjoy the perks of owning your e-commerce store—unlimited customization, no burden of terms and conditions imposed by the pre-built platforms, no fixed subscription fees, extreme flexibility, complete control over your data and features, and custom branding without third-party intervention.
Also, you will be able to accommodate any payment method or shipping partners that may not be available with the prebuilt platform.
Let us discuss in detail the top reasons that make custom e-commerce stores obvious winners over the pre-made platforms.
Top Reasons Why Custom Ecommerce Website is Better than Prebuilt Platforms
1. Prebuilt Stores have limited features and may not suit sellers who have more customization requirements
The prebuilt stores have limited templates and do not offer the customization required for meeting complex business needs. For example, you are selling furniture online and want to allow your customers to change the specifications for furniture items themselves. You also want that based on the size, shape, material chosen, and delivery requirements the price of each item will be shown to the customer. Now, this level of individual item customization is rarely available in any prebuilt e-commerce store platform. A bespoke e-commerce store alleviates these constraints and provides you with complete custom features compatible with your business needs.
2. Bespoke Features are not available in pre-made stores
With our own Admin-UI (bespoke eCommerce platform), you can integrate with the third party system and manage your store, change the layout, edit navigation, and add photos and videos wherever you feel right unlike the platforms that have fixed places to add images/videos. You can add featured products, top clients, reviews, testimonials, etc. at relevant places. You don’t have any restrictions to add more specific categories that are sometimes not available in the pre-built marketplace. Bespoke features let you send customized emails, design your shopping cart, add multiple payment options, and personalize the add-to-cart and checkout process. These aspects are not possible with the restricted conventional platforms.
3. Custom stores can offer more SEO features to rank better
While ecommerce platforms offer SEO features, they are general in nature and all other competitor websites on the prebuilt platform will avail the same features. On the other hand, custom websites can add more sophisticated SEO features (XML sitemap, meta tags, etc.) that will help your store rank better than your competitors. A custom platform ensures that your eCommerce site is designed to be compatible with search engines.
4. Custom e-commerce store can fulfil varied shipping needs
In today’s fiercely competitive online retail landscape, the battle to attract and retain customers has made personalization crucial. Ensuring the right shipping options are provided to customers is indispensable. Client-focused shipping options are not available with e-commerce platforms. Tailored eCommerce sites can simplify delivery choices and add more functionalities like weight-based/volume-based shipping fees, location-specific shipping charges, and so on.
5. Custom-built store can be optimized for advanced security
Even the most renowned eCommerce marketplaces with advanced security modules are prone to be a victim of cyberattacks. There have been cases and reported incidents of customer data leakages from online platforms where millions of customer data points were compromised. If you are doing business in the EU, you cannot afford customer privacy breaches. Tailored websites can be configured to address security challenges and create effective guards against any potential cyber attack. Our e-commerce web development experts can create the most secure e-commerce store that will protect your customer data and visitors and their payment information.
6. Custom websites will provide advanced reporting and analytics
The necessity of reporting in an eCommerce business cannot be overstated. Analytical insights achieved from reports assist in making crucial business decisions. Custom reporting dashboards with product analytics, sales reports, finance reports, inventory reports, etc. along with the specific metrics can go a long way to improve your e-commerce business further. Pre-made e-commerce stores do not incorporate custom reports and have a generalized format for each business. Custom-made e-commerce solutions save you from the exhaustion caused due to dull and one-size-fits-all reporting systems and provide you with more advanced reporting dashboards that adapt to your specific business objectives.
7. Unleash Better Integrations with Custom Solutions
A custom e-commerce platform offers more comprehensive integration with other systems and applications essential for managing your business operations, which may not be achievable with a ready-made solution. Third-party integrations may be required for reasons ranging from inventory tracking to shipping monitoring and collaboration with other companies for customer support and after-sales services etc.
8. Custom Solutions Provide Full Control of the Backend and Internal Processes
A tailored e-commerce store enhances your administrative control over the website. You can manage CMS, and backend, and optimize your internal operations. With your own website, you can strategize and automate multiple facets of the website. Process automation is a core advantage of having a website custom-made. External platforms provide limited process automation functionality with few prebuilt tools.
9. Prebuilt Solutions are inflexible when it comes to applying custom rules for promo code usage
You may want to apply specific rules for the discount coupons or promotional codes that you offer to your customer. You might want to limit the usage, reward a specific and returning customer distinctly, apply logic like excluding items in demand from promotional offers, or apply discount coupons automatically to items that come under a certain threshold limit. Pre-built e-commerce platforms cannot cater to these unique and diverse requirements. A standard e-commerce platform might offer coupon code application features, but they could be inflexible or restricted in their capabilities. Creating a tailored website enables you to incorporate numerous rules, and specifics as required.
10. Your industry-specific requirements are not fully met by the pre-built platforms
Pre-built e-commerce platforms may not cater to the unique needs of certain industries and may have bans/restrictions on listing/shipping certain items. Also, prebuilt stores may not allow certain add-ons that are necessary for some products. Some products may require 3D models to display or some may require special software for visualisation. Now, if the platform doesn’t allow for 3D interactivity or software integration owing to its restricted buildup or certain regulations prohibiting it from doing so, then it is necessary for businesses to opt for custom e-commerce development.
A pre-built e-commerce platform solution has a framework designed to cater to a wide variety of online businesses and industry verticals. This leaves them with little room for personalizing individual business stores. These platforms generally work with a restricted set of functionalities, designs, and services with minimal custom offerings. However, delivering an impeccable user experience demands a tailored e-commerce approach. This is why you need custom e-commerce store developers to create a bespoke online store for your business.
At evoMark, we have our own Admin-UI, a custom-built eCommerce platform that provides complete solutions for creating your bespoke e-commerce store. Its key features include robust personalised integrations with third parties, custom reporting and backend management.
The evoMark team starts with understanding your target audience, website functionality needs, design orientation, reporting features, and branding requirements to develop a custom-built e-commerce store that provides you complete control over the backend and also scales seamlessly as your business grows.
For queries and guidance on building a custom e-commerce store for your business, feel free to contact us at Phone: 01202 790 300