Are you considering a new ecommerce platform for your furniture business or upgrading to one with more features? If so, you probably have many questions, including which type of platform to select.
Below, we’ll discuss the different types of furniture ecommerce platforms and the benefits of moving to the cloud.
Types of Ecommerce Platforms and Their Benefits
Ecommerce technology has evolved over time. Today, there are three main approaches to ecommerce - choosing the one that's right for your business is a key first step in evaluating ecommerce solutions. Let’s take a look at the three main types of furniture ecommerce platforms:
1. Do-it-yourself (DIY)
Do-it-yourself platforms are ecommerce sites that are built from scratch in-house. This requires the retailer to have a qualified team of developers and designers in-house to build the site and be responsible for maintaining the technology to support them. Popular early in the evolution of ecommerce, these solutions are highly customizable, but place enormous demands on the retailer. Other than a few very large companies, few retailers today operate their ecommerce business with a DIY solution.
On-premise platforms involve hosting and managing your business’ ecommerce platform on-premise using internal resources. Ecommerce software is licensed from a vendor and installed locally on computers and servers. Hardware and equipment are bought and maintained by the furniture retailer to run their website. Although these platforms start from existing (vs custom built) software, they require maintenance, upgrades, additional equipment costs, and responsibility from the retailer or an outside agency in order to keep the website current.
A cloud platform delivers software over the internet that can be accessed remotely from any device. This enables retailers to scale their operations efficiently and increase their return on investment. The cloud platform provider handles the complexities, such as hosting and development to ensure the site is scaling according to business needs using the latest technology and following up-to-date security compliance.
Cloud Ecommerce Platforms Help Leading Brands Stay Ahead of The Curve
Some retailers still believe that on-premise platforms give them the most control of their online presence, but this control comes with cost — rather than dedicating resources to operations and driving revenue, they must also use them to manage and update their technology. Managing and updating your own software may not be ideal when your competitors are using cloud ecommerce platforms to streamline their business, scale resources according to their needs, and protect their data with advanced cybersecurity features.
On-premise platforms are typically designed to cover a wide range of industries, rather than catering to the specific needs of the furniture industry which means it may not function the way you need it out of the box. Furthermore, the high cost associated with customizing features to fit your needs can make these platforms inefficient for both new and developing organizations.
Retailers with on-premise or DIY platforms selling big-ticket items have found it difficult to keep up with their competitors since these platforms are designed for smaller-ticket items and don’t offer much help for large furniture or highly considered purchases.
In contrast, Cloud solutions have centralized development and allow for faster feature integration. A cloud platform provider can roll out new features with ease, allowing retailers to pivot their resources toward revenue-driving aspects, such as merchandising and user experience.
The Best of Both Worlds: Agility of Cloud Plus Industry-Specific Solutions
To date the limitation of Cloud solutions is that they are built as a one-size-fits-all solution for the industries that have made up ecommerce to date, typically involving simpler products, shopping journeys, and fulfillment.
The latest generation of ecommerce technology marries the agility of the cloud with out-of-the-box solutions built for a specific industry.
This is why top furniture retailers choose Blueport:
- It’s the only enterprise-class cloud solution designed specifically for furniture.
- It bypasses explaining furniture to a consultant, building a site from scratch, and facing inefficiencies of using an on-premise framework with generic features.
- From day one, it offers the top features needed for today’s business landscape, such as localized merchandise and pricing to match stores, warranties, and financing. And it delivers so much more!
Blueport combines the agility of the cloud with a furniture focus and expertise, transforming furniture retail websites into top-tier ecommerce stores from day one and onward.
Read More: A Deeper Dive Into Ecommerce Solutions
If you’re a furniture retailer, comparing platforms can be overwhelming without the right guidance. That’s why we made an essential guide to help you choose between furniture ecommerce platforms. To learn more about DIY vs. on-premise vs. cloud platforms, and which one is right for you, explore our Buyer’s Guide today.