SaaS Vs. Open Source: What Types of Businesses Use Each Solution
So which is the right fit for you? Ultimately, only you can make that decision. But based on the benefits and drawbacks we’ve highlighted above, you’ve probably started to recognize who might benefit from each.
The majority of B2C companies typically rely on some kind of SaaS to ensure their operations run smoothly. The customer-facing nature of these businesses will often mean they can populate a pre-designed storefront with everything they have for sale, then use the built-in shopping cart and shipping functionality to complete the experience.
Open source, on the other hand, is more common within the B2B space. Typically, when you have a highly specialized sales team, a lengthy contract process, and any number of complications unique to a particular business segment, the only way to create an online experience suited to these complexities is by building from scratch.
This can tempt some businesses to throw in the towel and just revert to a manual, offline process, but that does a disservice to today’s increasingly online decisionmaker. That’s why those who want to accelerate their growth and expand their footprint are dedicating resources to an open source e-Commerce solution that meets their needs.
Now, that’s not to say that B2C always fits neatly into SaaS and B2B is exclusively open source. There’s plenty of overlap and cross-pollination. Some B2C companies may be sufficiently large and/or popular that they cease relying on a third party vendor for their e-Commerce needs and decide to engineer their own storefront. On the other hand, some B2B companies may have found a way to streamline their offerings and customer experience to such an extent that it’s possible to rely on an SaaS provider.
Making The Right Choice For Your Business
Making the right choice from the beginning can help you keep costs contained and provide an exceptional customer experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pivot if you’ve gone down one path and need to make a switch. If you’re using a third party SaaS provider and feel like you’re constrained, you can transition to open source. And if you’re open source and the blue sky that entails has led to projects and costs that spiral out of control, you can stop the bleeding by turning to SaaS.
You also have options for making either solution work better for your business. Thanks to the rise of headless e-Commerce, with APIs and infrastructure designed to help integrate data between providers and solutions, you may be able to pick and choose your providers or even mix and match SaaS for one aspect of your business with open source for another (for example, if you love a vendor’s storefront and shopping cart but you want to develop your own means of gathering and analyzing customer data).
If you want to explore which solutions are right for you, contact Aleran. We can analyze your business goals and help you make an informed decision about the e-Commerce choice that’s the best fit for your organization. Let’s talk today about how Aleran’s many e-Commerce solutions can take your business to the next level.