How SaaS and Custom eCommerce Solutions Complement Each Other

saas and custom development

Businesses these days can’t imagine operating without SaaS. Over the last years, SaaS solutions have become more complex, sophisticated, and aware of their customers’ needs. Being an executive from the custom eCommerce development service, I also see the growth of the market volume which makes me doubt: “Do SaaS and Custom Development oppose each other?”

In 2018, SaaS solutions spend and adoption continued to grow quickly across all company sizes. In 2018, the Blissfully research tells, the average company spent $343,000 on SaaS, a 78% increase from the previous year.

The brands don’t have dedicated IT management for SaaS solutions anymore. Today, with thousands of SaaS apps available for different tasks across entire business procedures, it is impossible for IT to evaluate the right technology for every department’s needs. And there’s no such need. Solutions have become so simple to implement, that anyone – even those with little to no technical background- can choose, purchase, and implement apps.

The number of available SaaS solutions and the ease of their implementation have led companies to distribute responsibility for SaaS across the organization.

When eCommerce businesses come for custom development

Despite SaaS domination in the eCommerce business, custom solutions and development is not suffering any significant decrease. On the contrary, we experience rapid growth. Why?

  1. The shopping scenario is changing with the latest eCommerce technologies. SaaS solutions (platforms) accommodating thousands or millions of users can’t implement technological changes rapidly. They need months to initiate, implement and test them in heavy loaded infrastructure. Custom development serves separate online stores or marketplaces in the local environment.
  2. With custom software or solutions, there are no compromises. The system is developed to exactly match your needs. As your needs evolve, the software can evolve with you.
  3. Support. Sometimes dedicated support is the only reason why businesses choose a custom development service provider. This decision allows brands to have control over consequences and manage risks.
  4. Automation. With a custom eCommerce solution, all your needs are considered by default. While SaaS platforms offer a variety of automation, custom solutions deliver exactly what your business needs.
  5. You’ve outgrown SaaS solution. This inevitably happens when the business reaches the enterprise or even mid-level. Something that could be neglected earlier starts to bring much pain and slow down the growth. Complicated automation or segmentation, end-to-end analytics or inventory flow across several selling points – these requirements lead managers to seek for custom solutions that will fit their specific business model.
  6. Business risk management. Again, returning to control issues, growing businesses start to rethink their risks of losing the availability (or even existence). Using SaaS puts brands into sensitive demand of service provider. The owning is not complete. Sooner or later the businesses leave SaaS platforms to own all infrastructure and data.
  7. Things get even more complicated with SaaS when it comes to online marketplace (Multi-Vendor) business model. Maintaining the store in one story, but providing the services to multiple vendors is completely another. Templates just don’t work here due to the different niches, communication means, monetization models, restrictions and privileges, promotions and design abilities. Custom development rules in this field, especially when vendors require synchronization with their existing stores.


Several years ago I was frustrated by the crazy growth of the SaaS in the eCommerce. But a little later those businesses who rushed to the SaaS train trying to catch up with top-notch technologies and DIY model, returned. And they returned to custom solutions without compunction, but with fresh ideas, new thinking and high requirements.

They don’t necessarily migrate from SaaS completely, which make us also evolve and grow expertize stack within the company.

SaaS pushed the entire eCommerce market to the next evolution – consumers, merchants, brands and developers – everyone. And when the buzz subsided, it turned out that SaaS and custom eCommerce solutions can successfully live together. And even more – they became a natural continuation of each other on the business’s path to the individual success, brand identity and customer satisfaction.

If you want to discuss a custom solution your business needs regardless of the platform you use, reach out to me on LinkedIn.


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