The Top 3 Hidden Costs Of Building Your Own Back-End System For Your Ecommerce Site

Many bespoke brands who are just getting their ecommerce sites off the ground think that building their own custom solution for their back-end business operations (i.e. shopping cart, coupon codes, etc.) will save them money instead of using a pay-as-you-go service provider who charges a monthly fee. What a lot of them don’t take into account though, are the all costs hiding under the surface, just waiting to cut into their bottom lines. Here are the 3 biggest hidden costs of going it alone:

  1. Maintenance costs. If you’re a typical online retailer, as you grow, your needs will change. You’ll switch or add new systems and features often. And if you have a custom solution, you’ll need to break it apart, and rebuild it, every time you make a change. All these little maintenance costs here and there start to add up really fast.
  2. Turnover costs. There’s no guarantee that the hired developers will work out, especially if they’re freelancers. The developer may leave for another job, could be tied up with other work, or might not even have the expertise to carry out enhancements later on. So, if you have to go out and hire a new developer each time you want to add a new feature, that developer will have to read through someone else’s code. That’s a nightmare for developers, and they will surely charge you extra for it. And that’s just the hard cost. If you’ve ever hired people before, you know it’s risky business. What if they don’t work out?
  3. Opportunity costs. The biggest of the hidden costs are what you’re missing out on during the time it takes to build your own solution. A complex and highly functioning ecommerce site takes a long time to build and even longer to test and debug.  This means you could go many months forgoing sales and branding opportunities leaving a lot of money on the table.  Just imagine six months or longer without a sale… But the opportunity costs are not only about missing sales, they’re also about branding & marketing opportunities.  An online shop creates a whole new way for customers to engage with products and brands online. So as the time goes by to build it, so do more customer engagement opportunities.

PCs: Still The Device of Choice For Ecommerce


Yesterday, Mashable posted a chart that shows Americans still prefer to do their online shopping on a PC rather than on a mobile device.  In fact, a whopping 73% chose to shop on their PCs while only 14% did so on their tablets and just 12% used their smartphones.  This may come as a surprise to some given the recent ubiquity of mobile devices and ecommerce apps.

I think it has much to do with screen sizes. Online shopping is a very visual activity, and the larger the screen size, the better the visuals. Squinting into a small screen like on a phone to discern the texture of a certain shoe’s suede for example, just isn’t very appealing to most consumers.  Continue reading “PCs: Still The Device of Choice For Ecommerce”