The first decision you must make when looking to build a new e-commerce website is whether to go with a bespoke or pre-made solution. Although e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce provide many benefits, not every business can benefit from them. Despite the higher time commitment, more control, flexibility, and scalability are the benefits of bespoke e-commerce websites. You will have to choose whether utilizing a ready-made product is more convenient or whether there are significant advantages to designing your e-commerce website.

These 13 factors will aid in your deliberation:

1. You provide goods that are modular or configurable.

Using a bespoke e-commerce website will allow you to offer customers a wide range of customization choices for the things they purchase. For example, you have a women’s clothes shop where you could personalize the designs, colors, fonts, and sizes of each item. You might wish to charge a different price for each one because there are so many factors at play, and each one affects the final cost. Not all of these alternatives for a single product, much less all of them, can be supported by an out-of-the-box e-commerce system. These kinds of complicated orders will need a sophisticated bespoke e-commerce system to process.

2. You can choose from specific or unusual delivery choices.

It’s one thing to sell items that are always the same size and weight and don’t require any extra care. However, your customers’ shipping worries will vary depending on the range of products your online business sells. A customized e-commerce solution will therefore appear even more alluring. One reason is that your clients might prefer having options for courier delivery, such as FedEx, Kerry Express, DHL, or UPS. Customs may be an additional concern if you are sending goods abroad. Shipping goods that need to be kept at a certain temperature, such as cigarettes, medicines, fine art, and personal hygiene products, can also be problematic.

3. There are particular regulations for your sector.

Different industries have different characteristics. Yours probably has its own set of rules or restrictions. As was already indicated, refrigeration, for instance, might provide problems. Perishable foods and beverages, including vegetables, fruits, meat products, and dairy products, may require extra attention. Regarding products that are not allowed, every airline has its own policies. For instance, the USPS prohibits the transportation of sprays and dry ice abroad, as well as airbags and fuel within the country. Using a bespoke e-commerce system makes sense if your business deals with items similar to those mentioned above. By doing this, you can make sure that you abide by the shipping requirements set out by the sector and by each carrier you work with.

4. You transport goods to several suppliers.

When it comes to delivery, hiring numerous vendors is another compelling argument for utilizing a custom-built e-commerce system. It’s more probable that you’ll require to employ numerous carriers and have unique shipping requirements the more providers you have a connection with. For instance, a jewelry maker operating out of her home would strongly favor using UPS due to its proximity, whilst another vendor might be more interested in using FedEx due to their exclusive pricing. Because there are so many alternatives available, you may need to modify your e-commerce platform so that it can only perform certain things for your customers.

5. You have personalized vouchers or coupons (or guidelines on when to use them).

Coupon code capability could be included in an off-the-shelf e-commerce system, but it might also be quite restrictive or limited in its application. For instance, if a vendor prohibits discounts on a particular product, you could wish to limit the amount of goods that customers can use the coupon on or prohibit it from being used with a certain brand or item. Sadly, not all pre-made e-commerce solutions can comply with these unique regulations. On the other hand, you may incorporate as many guidelines about discounts and promo codes—even extremely detailed ones—as you like by using a specially designed website.

6. Integration with back-end software is required.

E-commerce websites sometimes require interaction with different platforms and applications. Orders can be tracked from the moment they are placed until the point at which they are completed and sent, for instance, using an order management system on the back end. But you also have to enter that order into your accounting and invoicing software.

Integrating your back-end software with your e-commerce website might be quite simple or somewhat labor-intensive, depending on what program you employ. If the latter, using a custom-built website is probably what you should do.

7. Your clients have certain requirements.

While some organizations aim to generate feelings of familiarity, individuality, and friendliness, others cater to impatient customers who want the purchase experience to be as simple and quick as possible. A bespoke e-commerce website could be the ideal method to provide the shopping experience you want to develop, depending on your clientele.

8. You require specific reporting.

For compliance purposes, your consumers might wish to see a record of every order they placed on your website during a specific time frame. One feature that not all pre-made e-commerce platforms have is the ability to produce this report for a certain period.

9. You have a preferred credit card processor in mind.

Not every pre-made e-commerce platform supports every credit card processor. Even while the majority of small companies utilize the credit card processing service offered by their bank, there can be compelling reasons for you to choose a different provider, such as cheaper costs or quicker money availability.

10. You’re worried about security.

When managing an e-commerce website, safeguarding your clients’ personal information—especially their credit card information—is your top security priority. Your website should adhere to all 12 PCI DSS criteria as part of your business. It’s challenging for businesses to determine whether they’re implementing e-commerce security correctly in the absence of third-party help through a specially designed platform. Of course, you know how to manage your company, but can you honestly claim that customers are transacting with you in the safest possible way? You may take advantage of the knowledge and experience of developers and security experts who understand how to secure consumers’ information by using a custom-built website.

11. You want to create amazing features for your customers.

If your company is distinct, your e-commerce website needs to showcase that distinction by providing exclusive features. After your website reaches the growth stage, you may begin developing a feature set that will increase conversion rates. For instance, you could want to create a unique appearance and feel for every customer’s buying experience.

Unfortunately, to provide a consistent, predictable product, the majority of pre-built e-commerce platforms forego personalization choices. This implies that you’ll most likely have to go it alone with a custom-built website if you want to provide your customers with an incredibly unique online experience.

12. Your rudimentary e-commerce solution is no longer adequate for you.

Every company eventually encounters a “wall” with an off-the-shelf e-commerce system. As you become aware that the program cannot accomplish everything you want or want, you begin to experience growing pains. This is probably around the same time when you’re looking to improve KPIs like the proportion of abandoned shopping carts, the average revenue per customer, and the number of repeat customers. After utilizing a custom-built platform, many firms realize that it’s very hard to switch back to using a pre-built e-commerce system. The potential of having the software made according to your needs is too great to ignore in terms of ease and simplicity.

13. You wish to link your suppliers or inventories.

As your company expands, another worry is being able to have a sufficient supply of items in stock at all times. To achieve this and be able to restock your inventory when it runs short, you will need to coordinate with your suppliers. Your inventory may be managed automatically by connecting custom-built e-commerce websites to both your network of merchants and your inventory management system. To ensure that you don’t abruptly run out of a popular product, the system may build an order and send it to a vendor when there is just a handful of a specific product remaining in stock.

Concluding remarks

For an e-commerce website, you most likely won’t start with an out-of-the-box solution unless you’re a major firm with unique demands straight away. However, when your business grows and your clientele grows, you’ll find that a more customized website becomes necessary. Almost any pre-built e-commerce system won’t work for you if you need something like the above-mentioned needs, including varied shipping policies or discount coupons. When assessing an e-commerce platform, the most crucial thing to consider is whether or not it will expand with you. Is your website capable of handling routine operations like making sales, filling orders, and processing returns? Which is the solution that will grow with you as you add more vendors and items and reach new areas? A bespoke e-commerce website is the solution for a lot of people (and agencies).

AJAI Studio is a website development company that specializes in creating user-friendly and affordable websites for businesses. Our goal is to make it simple for clients to find the right solution at the right price.