The Best SaaS For E-commerce Start-ups

Business startup

Introduction to SaaS E-commerce Platforms (Software as a Service)

Software as a service is a type of software that is hosted by the provider or vendor and delivered to the user over a network and private gateway to their own admin/user interfaces via the internet. Often referred to as a saas e-commerce platform or e-commerce software.

SaaS e-commerce platforms are an increasingly popular way of delivering software because it gives customers access to new features, updates, and bug fixes without having to wait for developers to update the software on their own.

It offers a turn-key solution for small business start-ups looking to open an e-commerce store without worrying about web hosting and security maintenance schedules.

Most e-commerce SaaS products allow white-hat solutions to brand front-end interfaces to clients and customers as if it was your own.

Some of the leading retailers in the UK use the likes of Shopify for their online store as they provide one of the top SaaS solutions for clients looking to grow their online business.

It differs from the likes of a WordPress website which is open source and therefore you have to provide separate hosting and security measures, independently. You are on your own in terms of keeping your website healthy and secure. However, WordPress is now offering its own SaaS solution where hosting and updates are managed by them.

laptop with business website on the screen
laptop with mini shopping cart on-top
female sat enjoying her computer and drinking tea

E-commerce SaaS Benefits

SaaS eCommerce platforms enable adopters in their own right the ability to increase storage capacity, or create new functionality in real time; the solution also enables infinite scalability. Choosing a SaaS platform reduces the cost of eCommerce development, deployment, and maintenance.

SaaS eCommerce providers take care of software updates, bug fixes, and server maintenance (e.g., software maintenance, etc.). Most SaaS e-commerce platform systems are easily compatible with many other business applications such as existing ERPs, POS or 3PL. CPIO-friendly security technology. Additionally, there are options to use page builders so you don’t have to touch the source code.

You may be thinking this sounds too advanced if you’re a new startup, but don’t worry, in simple terms: You may have an existing system that you need to connect to rather than transferring everything across to your new SaaS system, which can be done.

Additional benefits include a user-friendly interface, simple inventory management, e-commerce website builder templates to choose from and seamless integration with various payment gateways such as Stripe, and Apple Pay plus they are generally user-friendly connecting your Google Analytics for tracking sales and user behaviour.

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SaaS explanation visual
female looking at her product line on a computer

When should I go for E-commerce SaaS?

While online ecommerce platforms offer many advantages when creating your online business it isn’t guaranteed they will work best for every company and align with your business needs. SaaS has become popular for SMEs and startups with no existing IT infrastructure. Startups or SMEs are more than likely going to be looking in the direction of a SaaS (software as a service).

If you have a team of developers you might be better suited to a cloud-based (but open-source) framework to fully customise your infrastructure. Open source generally means you’re liable for security and patching whereas online stores using SaaS don’t have to worry about that.

This doesn’t mean SaaS has become synonymous with just small or medium-sized companies. Several big companies use Salesforce Commerce Cloud as an e-commerce platform for e-commerce and marketing purposes.

Furthermore, the likes of the Gym clothing giant, Gymshark use a readily available SaaS product after switching from a PaaS system (platform as a service). Can you guess which?

Hint: It’s our SaaS of choice.

What Are The Different Kinds of SaaS Platforms?

The most common types of SaaS are CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Email Marketing and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). However, most people will be familiar with Microsoft 365 for email and file storage which is stored via the cloud which is a similar concept. All leading providers have multiple integrations with one another to streamline your sales funnels.

Most B2C and B2B businesses do not have the funding or technical skillset to build and maintain their own systems, so leading software companies such as Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Mailchimp and Salesforce develop industry-leading software to use on a subscription basis.

The way software as a service has evolved over the past 20 years, it doesn’t make sense for businesses selling a product or service to create their own.

How easy is it to sign up and start building my website with a SaaS Solution?

If you’re driven to set up your own business, you’re capable of building your own website. People with a marketing or tech background will find it easier than others who don’t but it’s easy to learn as you go. The content management system (CMS) will generally guide you as your progress.

You may find it difficult in some areas such as the configuration of your catalogue if you’re selling products currently and you need to import to your new eCommerce platform. As long as your main objective is to deliver a pleasant customer experience, your revenue and transactions will begin to grow.

Most SaaS products now have page-building tools without the need to use Html coding. If your catalogue is complex you may need to hire an agency to work with.

If you utilise social media marketing tools provided by the likes of Facebook then there are extensions or plugins to connect your existing business pages.

For business owners or founders, If you would like to speak with an expert about e-commerce websites or ask about general website support, we recommend Christian Gibbs over at who will happily set up a no-obligation consultation with you.

Which is the best E-commerce SaaS Provider?

There are a few industry-leading SaaS E-commerce platforms available but the best platform available for new startups is Shopify. The latest drag-and-drop page-building features also provide solopreneurs with the ability to build their own online store.

Straight to the point and what you came here for, right? Just make sure you calculate your profit margin post-sale as the rates for small start-ups are around 2.6% + 0.30¢ per transaction on the mid-range Shopify package.

An example would be:

  • Unit cost $20.00
  • Sale price $40.00
  • Card transaction fee (2.6% + 0.30¢)
  • $38.66 after fees
  • Profit $18.66 (excluding shipping calculations)

It is very reliable and scalable with an extensive database of applications should you need a specific feature or integration. We’ve had the pleasure of working with them all and Shopify always comes out on top. Can you afford to be spending more time maintaining your site than growing it? You are always going to encounter costs to run a business, so having peace of mind your website is fully operational is well worth 2.6% + 0.30¢ in our eyes.

Some of the key benefits of choosing Shopify are:

  • Customisable templates to launch your store quickly
  • All-in-one processing of orders, payments and shipping
  • In-store retail and online sales functionality
  • Stock management and dispatch
  • Social media integrations
  • Dedicated account management

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period for new business sign-ups. If you aren’t satisfied you’re free to walk away, no questions asked.

How Much Does Shopify Cost Per Month?

There are different packages depending on your business requirements. The entry-level basic plan is just $29 P/M with a slightly higher rate of 2.9% + 0.30¢ per transaction, online.

If you’re a larger enterprise, Shopify Plus could be better suited as it gives you the ability to run high-volume sales at more competitive rates. Prices start at $2000 P/M.

The annual prices offer a 50% discount on the monthly rates.

What Other SaaS E-commerce platforms Are Available?

Some examples of other popular platforms are:

  1. Salesforce Commerce Cloud – B2B and B2C solutions available with unified commerce cloud, meaning a single platform for storefronts, CRM and Omni-channel communications.
  2. Dynamics 365 Commerce – Microsofts Omni-channel solution is similar to Salesforce commerce cloud. Better suited to larger corporations with multiple stores and websites.
  3. Big Commerce – The closest rival to Shopify in all honesty. Basically, the same functionality but they do not offer its own payment gateway as Shopify does. You can, however, sign up with Stripe and connect easily.
  4. Adobe Commerce (previously Magento) – This is a PaaS (platform as a service) rather than a full SaaS product. Open source where you are responsible for security patching and development. Not recommended for startups. Better suited to Mid-Enterprise level exploring in-house control.


Choosing a fully hosted and supported SaaS platform E-commerce product with built-in features is a smart move when it comes to starting your online business journey. Reducing the sleepless nights worrying about website uptime, security and speed is the last thing you want to be doing when scaling up and building your online store.

With a SaaS product like Shopify, you’re giving your online business the best chance to thrive and grow while you focus on the key metrics to maximise your turnover and profit.

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