Mobile Shopping Cart Evaluation: SaaS versus Self-Hosted
If you are evaluating a self-hosted mobile shopping cart versus a SaaS mobile shopping cart, here are some considerations you should evaluate:
- Implementation costs. A self-hosted mobile shopping cart generally requires a substantial amount of time to customize UX, design, database, hosting, payment integrations, and more. Who is going to do all this work? Will you do it in house? What are the opportunity costs of doing it in house? Will you hire experts? Who? How much will this cost? And, regardless of how and who the self-hosted cart will be implemented, how long will it take (double initial estimates for sure :)). A quality SaaS mobile cart makes it easy to design your store, load products and go live in days (not weeks or months).
- QA. Alongside set-up and deployment is a rigorous testing period, the self-hosted option will require a rigorous, systematic QA protocol. All functionality must be thoroughly tested as if it is being used for the first time because it is being used for the first time. SaaS-based providers, alongside their roster of clients, have done most of the heavy testing during development of their respective deployments.
- Updates and enhancements. If you are hosting your own mobile shopping cart, you are responsible for implementing your own continuous updates. And, if you are responsible for your own updates, you need to be careful depending on the amount of customizations and add-ons you’ve implemented into your self-hosted mobile shopping cart. Often times customizations and add-ons can be rendered incompatible after an update. Unfortunately in many cases with self-hosted software, there are continuous versions updates being deployed because enough testing wasn’t performed prior to release. Regarding updates, it is most critical to run them when security issues arise (even more important when you are taking payments through a web property that you own and manage). A solid SaaS mobile shopping cart is rolling out best-of-breed updates all the time. These updates are often derived from analysis across an entire network fo sites, not just one. They are also coming from an entire network of clients who collectively represent more domain experience than any stand alone site ever could. Keep in mind, too, that self-hosted solutions are often subject to malicious attacks (think of WordPress) so you assume the risk and worry when installing your own mobile cart solution.
- Mobile Talent Costs. A self-hosted mobile shopping cart solution is going to require additional mobile technical talent including UX and development (unless you are that person). A SaaS mobile shopping cart generally comes with a full-on support team to help you get live and continually manage your mobile shopping solution.
All in, a implementing a self-hosted mobile shopping cart solution is a challenging bet in today’s world of outstanding mobile commerce solutions. The time, resources and risks required for a self-hosted option seem to be too much when you can deploy something like mShopper’s fully-featured SaaS-based mobile shopping cart with ease and speed that will likely perform better than any self-hosted option anyway.