Сustomized E-Commerce Solution – Surprising “whys” and “hows”!

3 min read

It seems that ready-made e-commerce platforms can satisfy the most demanding tastes. However, the standard functionality of off-the-shelf platforms like Shopify doesn’t always meet the evolving needs of businesses. This article explores the “whys” and “hows” of transitioning to a customized eCommerce solution. 

What prompts a business to create its platform?

1) Tailored user experience. You may map out how users interact with your product to craft a personalized user experience that truly resonates. When thoughtfully designed, this customization enhances user engagement. Tailoring the design, layout, and user stories to your preferences not only creates a more engaging experience.

2) Long-term cost efficiency. While in the early stages of development, customizable eCommerce solutions require a higher upfront investment compared to off-the-shelf options, they result in long-term cost efficiency. Custom solutions eliminate the need for ongoing subscription fees or additional expenses associated with plugins or extensions, which may be required with out-of-the-box platforms, such as Shopify.

3) Scalability and flexibility. Believe it or not, this feature can play a central role in the whole scenario. Sometimes, ready-made solutions aren’t equipped to handle a dynamically growing customer base and evolving technical requirements.

4) Integration possibilities. True, you can integrate many functions with ready-made platforms. However, with customizable eCommerce systems, you gain better control over exactly what functionalities you bring on board, whether it’s ERPs, inventory management systems, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. 

5) Having one more competitive advantage. Your platform will distinguish itself from competitors with unique features and functionality that no other platform can replicate in the same way.

6) Enhanced security. You can create a more advanced security system to address concerns about data breaches and online fraud. Having control over security protocols on your end changes the game and can serve as another competitive edge.

7) Ownership and control. Customizable eCommerce solutions grant you full ownership and control over your online store. Unlike hosted platforms that impose limitations or restrictions, custom solutions empower you to make changes, updates, and optimizations, without relying on third-party approvals or constraints.

Shopify vs Spree

Whereas Shopify is an e-commerce solution, Spree is a platform that can be configured or managed in the way you prefer. Spree is favored for its ability to create tailored, unique user experiences. Also, Spree is open-source and free. Unlike Shopify, it is installed and hosted manually so a fair amount of technical skill is required to support and run Spree. 

With Shopify, you have a quick start. However, any customization beyond a standard scope of features will be a huge hindrance. For instance, you may need a specific shipping carrier that Shopify doesn’t have and such integration is irksome. We’ve summarized the pros and cons of both platforms in the tables below:

The Technology Workflow for a Custom E-commerce Solution

E commerce Solutions img2 development

If you plan to migrate your e-commerce business from one platform to another, let’s consider the migration from Shopify to Spree. 

Things to consider during the migration process

  • Exporting data from Shopify: First things first, you’ll want to grab all the important stuff from your Shopify store — like product details, customer info, past orders, and anything else that’s key. Shopify lets you export these bits into CSV files, which is super handy when moving things over to a new system.

What Data Can Be Migrated from Shopify to Spree?

For the Products Category, the data that can be migrated from Shopify to Spree includes product categories such as Manufacturers, Customers, Orders, Coupons, Reviews, and Multistore features; CMS Pages; and product details including Name, SKU, Full Description, Images in Description, Status, Manufacturer, Price, Special Price, URL, Meta Title, Meta Description, Weight, and Variants (SKU, Weight, Quantity, Images, Price, Special Price), Base Image, Additional Images, Quantity, and Manage Stock.

  • Bringing data into Spree: Got all your data ready? Awesome, next up is getting it into Spree. Since Spree runs on Ruby on Rails, you might need to do a bit of tweaking with custom scripts or Spree’s tools to make sure everything fits just right.
  • Tweaking Spree to fit your needs: Spree is pretty awesome for customization. You’ll likely spend a good chunk of time getting everything just how you want it — like setting up how taxes work, figuring out shipping, and hooking up your payment options.
  • Setting up your store’s look: Unlike Shopify, Spree isn’t packed with ready-made themes. You might need to roll up your sleeves and create a custom theme or tweak an existing one to reflect your brand’s vibe. This usually means dabbling with some Ruby on Rails and CSS/HTML.
  • Adding extra features with extensions: Spree doesn’t come with as big an app marketplace as Shopify, so you might need to add or build some custom extensions to fill in any gaps, especially for things like SEO, analytics, or marketing tools.
  • Setting up payments: And let’s not forget about payments and checkouts. Switching platforms means you can pick any payment provider that fits your budget and needs, possibly saving on fees. It’s all about ensuring the new system integrates smoothly so your customers enjoy a checkout experience.

Instead of conclusion

If you’re ready to take control and possibly save some cash while providing a tailored shopping experience, it might be time to think beyond Shopify. Each step of the way, from analysis to final touches, is about gearing up to give you and your customers a better platform that truly suits your needs. During the migration process, the focus of your attention should be on the following steps:

1) Export and import of data
2) Setting up the platform’s interface
4) Work on payment methods
5) Setting up integrations and extensions 




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