Are they the right choice for your business?
The debate between proprietary and open-source software vendors has been going on for years. As proprietary platforms tend to experience a decrease in popularity, open-source solutions seem more and more attractive to users.
In the eCommerce world, the pros and cons of a proprietary platform could decide what direction you want to take your online business in. But that depends on several factors.
In today’s blog post, you’ll discover the advantages and disadvantages of proprietary eCommerce platforms in order to figure if they fit your business needs.
What is a proprietary platform?
In terms of proprietorship, as the name betrays, this type of platform belongs to its creator or vendor.
You don’t have access to the code, you only enjoy its results. Since they own everything that has to do with the platform’s intellectual property, you cannot change aspects pertaining to its overall format and structure.
Proprietary vs. Open-source
As opposed to the proprietary type, open-source brings a wide range of new opportunities. That’s because the code, design, and blueprint are available to any interested developer.
Therefore, you can modify the code and customize it to accurately match your expectations and suit your needs. You’re not completely bound by any predefined characteristics, but there are several downsides to keep in mind.
The advantages of proprietary platforms
1. Easier to use
One of the biggest perks of having it all handed to you on a plate is exactly that – it’s all done-for-you and ready to go.
This is perfect for business owners that are not tech-savvy, are beginners, or simply want to avoid dealing with the complicated coding.
2. Multiple functionalities
Proprietary software vendors are well-aware of the fact that you can’t make substantial changes to their code. So, they strive to provide as many functionalities as possible for you to be able to run your business effectively.
Although this can make your job remarkably easier, the extra features will bring extra costs.
3. Get rid of many responsibilities
You don’t have to deal with updates, monitor your system to make sure everything works properly, or spend time coming up with solutions for a wide variety of issues.
On top of that, the vendor handles platform security and you can always get reliable support from their team (if available as an option).
The disadvantages of proprietary platforms
1. Costs add up
Firstly, you have the license cost, which comes out of your pocket every month.
Furthermore, things can get more and more expensive. For example, if you want to get extra features to customize or scale your business, you’ll have to pay for them.
To use the features to their maximum potential, you may find yourself overwhelmed and in need of extra help – either from someone in the vendor’s team or from a third party.
2. Customizations limits
You don’t have access to a lot of coding that could help you build your eCommerce website the way you want to.
In addition, you depend on their team to come up with updates and upgrades that may or may or may not match the improvements you’ve been expecting for your store.
3. Slower development
No proprietary software can beat the power of innovative collaboration that open-source brings to the table. With open-source, the community of developers can identify problems and improvements and work together to make the software better.
With proprietary platforms, a single team determines just how good the product is.
4. Lack of support
You always have to depend on and wait for customer support to get to your question or problem. Needles to say, this can happen in a matter of minutes, hours, or even days.
Because vendors don’t give access to their source code, some people claim that they have something to hide – for example, data collection you are not aware of.
To be able to make the best decision for your business, you have to get clear on your objectives, who can help you achieve them, and how much effort and money you’re willing to put in.
To sump up, proprietary platforms can be very beneficial for your eCommerce website, but they bring limitations that could interfere with your business goals. On the other hand, open-source brings a lot of freedom, but also a lot of responsibilities.