You need to make a decision about whether you will use a pre-made solution or a custom one if you are looking for an e-commerce website.
While they have many advantages, e-commerce solutions like Shopify or WooCommerce don’t always fit every company’s needs.
While they are more time-intensive, custom eCommerce websites offer greater control, flexibility, and scalability.
It’s up to you to decide if the many benefits of personalizing your eCommerce website outweigh the ease of purchasing a pre-made product. These 13 reasons can help you think.
13 Reasons Why Custom eCommerce Websites Are Important
1. You have customizable or modular products
A custom e-commerce site is a great way to offer shoppers many options to personalize the products they purchase.
A T-shirt shop is one example of a common application. It allows you to personalize the sizes, colors, and graphics of each T-shirt.
Because there are so many variables involved, each resulting in a different cost, it may be a good idea to set a price per T-shirt.
A standard e-commerce platform won’t be capable of accommodating all these options for any one product.
Complex orders such as these require sophisticated custom eCommerce solutions.
2. There are unique or specialized shipping options available
It is one thing to sell objects of the same size and weight without any special considerations. But the more products you offer, the more varied your customers’ shipping concerns will become.
A custom e-commerce solution will be even more attractive.
One, customers might want to choose from a variety of courier delivery options, such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL.
You may need to be concerned about customs if you ship items internationally.
Shipping items that are sensitive to temperature (e.g. pharmaceuticals, tobacco, fine arts, and personal care products) can be a problem. These items may need to be kept cool to avoid spoilage and preserve their freshness.
3. There are rules specific to your industry
Different industries have different needs. Your industry may have its own regulations.
As mentioned, refrigeration is a problem. Special care may be required for perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and milk.
Each carrier has its own rules regarding prohibited items. The USPS prohibits international shipping of gasoline and airbags domestically.
A custom e-commerce solution can be a smart idea if you work in an industry that deals directly with products such as those mentioned above.
This will allow you to ensure you adhere to the shipping standards for your industry and each carrier you use.
4. You ship for multiple vendors
A custom-built eCommerce website platform is a strong option when it comes to shipping.
You will need to use multiple shipping companies and vendors the more vendors you have.
One vendor might prefer USPS to ship jewelry from her home, but another vendor may choose FedEx due to the special discount.
This multiplicity of options can lead to customizations that may be required for your e-commerce platform to limit the choices your customers have.
Some carriers will ship to PO boxes or allow the receiver to sign for the package before it arrives, while others won’t.
5. You have provided special coupons or promo codes
A non-standard e-commerce system might include coupon code functionality, but it could also be very limited or rigid.
You might allow your shoppers to use the code on certain items only, or prevent it from being used with certain brands or items if the vendor does not allow discounts.
These special requirements are not compatible with every e-commerce solution.
A custom-built website, however, allows you to add as many rules about coupon codes or promo codes as you want, even very specific ones.
6. You want to integrate with back-end software
E-commerce websites often require integration with software and other systems.
You may have an order entry system that tracks every order, from the moment it’s placed until the time it is fulfilled and shipped. You will need to enter the order into your accounting and invoicing systems.
It depends on which back-end software you use. Either it is easy or difficult to integrate it with your eCommerce website. If you are in the latter category, you will likely need a custom-built website.
7. Your customers have unique needs
Businesses that serve impatient clients may want the purchase process to be as quick and easy as possible. Others would prefer to build a sense of familiarity and personalization. A custom e-commerce website may be the best option depending on the shopping experience you are trying to create for your customers.
8. You have unique reporting needs
Customers may wish to see a list of all orders placed on your website within a certain time frame. This is for compliance purposes. This feature is not available in all e-commerce solutions.
9. You Required to a specific credit card processor
Pre-built eCommerce solutions may not be compatible with all credit card processors. Even though most small businesses use their bank’s credit card processing service, there may be a reason to choose another company. For example, lower fees or quicker availability of funds.
10. You have security concerns
When you run an e-commerce website, the most important security concern is to protect your customers’ personal information, including their payment card details. Your website must comply with the 12 requirements of PCI DSS (Payment Card Information Data Security Standards).
Companies can’t be sure that their e-commerce security is being done correctly without third-party support through a custom-built platform. Although you may be an expert in running your business, can you really claim that you are providing customers with the best possible shopping experience? A custom-built website gives you the opportunity to tap into the security expertise of security professionals and developers who are experts in protecting customers’ data.
11. You build really great features for your shoppers
Your e-commerce website should reflect your unique business by providing special features. After you reach the growth stage, it’s possible to start adding fancy features that will increase your conversion rates. You might want to create a customized shopping experience for each customer with a unique look and feel.
Pre-built E-commerce solutions can often be pre-built and offer less customization than a standard, predetermined product. If you want to provide a unique customer experience, you will need to build your own website.
12. You’ve outgrown your out-of-the-box e-commerce solution
Every business eventually hits a “wall”, when it comes down to their out-of-the-box eCommerce solution. As you begin to realize that the software is not able to do all that you need or want, you feel growing pains. This happens around the time you are interested in improving metrics like the average revenue per client, repeat buyers, and abandon shopping carts.
Many businesses find it difficult to return to a pre-built eCommerce platform after they have had success with a custom-built one. It’s too easy to have the software built exactly to your requirements.
13. You need to add your vendors or inventory
As your business expands, another concern is the ability to keep a healthy supply of products on hand at all times. You will need to communicate with vendors in order to replenish your stock when it runs low.
Your inventory management system can be connected to custom-built eCommerce websites. This will allow you to manage your inventory automatically. The system can automatically generate an order when there is only one product in stock. This will ensure that you don’t run out of popular products.
Final Thoughts – Custom eCommerce Website
Unless your company has specialized needs, it’s likely that you will start with an easy-to-use solution for your eCommerce website.
You’ll need a website that has more customization as your customer base and revenue grows. You won’t be able to use any pre-built e-commerce solution if you have specific shipping requirements or promo codes.
When evaluating an eCommerce platform, the most important question is “Will it grow with me? “Is your website capable to handle common tasks such as restocking, selling, and returning items?” Which solution will scale with you as you add more vendors and products to your site?