An eCommerce platform is the foundation for your online retail business. Enterprise eCommerce software manages both your front-end sales and your back-end operations while integrating with core business tools.
Your platform choice affects not only your front-end sales capabilities, but also everything happening behind the curtain. Let’s consider the general categories that all of these solutions fall into.
First, your platform has to be hosted somewhere. Your choice of eCommerce platform will typically determine your hosting environment, which is either:
- On-premise, self-hosted
Your hosted eCommerce platform will likely fall into one of these categories:
- Open Source (self-hosted or cloud-hosted)
- SaaS (software as a service, cloud-hosted by third-party)
- PaaS (platform as a service, hardware/software available over the internet)
- IaaS (infrastructure as a service, cloud-based, pay-as-you-services)
We’ll be predominantly looking at open source and SaaS eCommerce here.
You can also classify platforms by their underlying architectures:
- Traditional, monolith
- Headless or CaaS (Commerce as a Service)