Shopify remains one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the US, accounting for 23% of total market shares. One significant reason for its popularity lies in the platform’s user-friendliness, where business owners can start selling with minimal friction and delay.
With close to 2.1 million active users per day, Shopify serves as a perfect starting point for start-ups and dropshipping businesses to build a reliable customer base when starting their venture.
Yet, with gradual use, business owners might notice some disadvantages with the user-friendly platform that limits the growth and development of their brand. In such cases, your e-commerce might have outgrown the Shopify framework, and it’s time to shed the training wheels to drive your business to the next level.
When API Limitations Undermine Customer Experiences
Application programming interfaces (APIs) are essential components for running an online business. For the non-technical among us – an API call is used when communicating between your online store and any other software/application system. These calls go a long way for checking inventory statuses, confirming pricing, checking for discounts, identifying customer information, placing orders, and the list goes on.
Essentially, an API call processes the information submitted by end-users, whereas the speed of an API call reflects the quickness of user responses. Unfortunately, Shopify enforces API call rate limits to provide the general user with a stable and fair experience. These call rates translate to a default of 4 per second that site owners can upgrade to 10 per second – with a premium account.
While these moderated call rates may benefit standard users by providing a stable e-commerce environment, they restrict the performance and user experience of businesses running high-traffic sites. Imagine a rule within a race that prevents drivers from exceeding 80 miles per hour for safety purposes. The same crippling restriction applies to API limitations.
Ignoring API call limitations can take a real hit on the reliability of your business. So, it might be an excellent time to seek an alternate e-commerce solution when customer complaints start pouring in regarding failed or delayed user requests.
When You Require Unique ECommerce Solutions For B2B Operations
A commercial eCommerce platform like Shopify mainly caters to the mainstream B2C crowd with standard customer solutions.
As a B2B business owner, you face a different ball game. For starters, you’ll need a customized interface that responds splendidly based on the uniqueness of your business model and niche customer profiles.
Some specific solutions that could make a winning impact include customer self-service portals, unique pricing by customer, product category, individual items, quick order entry capabilities, the ability for your outside sales force to use the site to generate customer quotes and facilitate ordering for many items, and much more.
Advanced enterprise resource planning technology will give you the capabilities to integrate various aspects of your business processes to align with your e-commerce operations. Such technology isn’t feasible with a mainstream eCommerce platform built to serve B2C businesses.
Out-of-the-box solutions like Shopify lack the flexibility in keeping up with the demands within a complex B2B landscape. Case in point? Shopify’s platform has a limit of 100 product variants, along with the absence of native support that could do wonders for complex catalogs.
If you feel that the standardized features of your e-commerce store are holding back robust B2B operations, it could be a sign that you’ll need to embark on a Shopify migration toward a more granular web solution.
When It Becomes Difficult To Justify Platform Fees
Mainstream eCommerce solutions like Shopify charge a significant fee for providing business owners with a convenient and user-friendly platform. These include charges for every transaction and additional fees if you develop a preference and do not use their payment processor or shipping solution.
And then, there’s platform security, which is essential for giving customers peace of mind as they visit your store. Shopify does not offer a dedicated SSL certificate in its basic plan, which is necessary for safeguarding online communication.
While the platform provides added security features for Shopify Plus, these come at a hefty price tag, priced over $1,000 per month. With everything mentioned, Shopify also comes with hidden fees that dwindle your business ROI. For instance, users have reported a transaction fee imposed by Shopify on refunds, where business owners need to absorb the cost of the process.
While these transaction costs may seem necessary for supporting site owners who lack technical experience within the eCommerce world, they seem pretty excessive for well-established businesses focused on improving their overall ROI.
Seeking Shopify Alternatives
Ultimately, consider seeking a more specialized eCommerce platform with greater flexibility over your online store management. A quality platform will help you decouple front-end functions from backend management. After all, the B2B market faces its own set of unique business demands that require specific eCommerce solutions.
These Shopify alternatives should equip you with the capabilities to run a headless solution, offering a seamless infrastructure that you can customize according to your business goals while customers enjoy unforgettable experiences.
And when it comes to the most flexible eCommerce solutions on the block (with an enterprise-level design to boot), look no further than BigCommerce!
The BigCommerce SaaS platform provides you with access to enterprise-level e-commerce capabilities at a reasonable cost. BigCommerce comes with built-in compatibility with over 35 payment processors, coupled with PCI DSS compliance and 256-bit SSL encryption to facilitate POS operations if required.
BigCommerce does not charge transaction fees, allowing you to improve your business ROI. Also, users with HTML or CSS experience may customize BigCommerce site templates via an advanced HTML editor to achieve the ideal store layout. Unlike the product variant limits on Shopify, BigCommerce provides unlimited storage and product additions for all plans.
Through BigCommerce, your business will have the flexibility and tools vital for meeting the needs of modern customers with quality solutions every time.
Speak with Hammer Tech’s IT and marketing experts to discover how we can help your business achieve a seamless migration to BigCommerce today!