When looking for the right technology for SaaS eCommerce, you should consider its advantages, disadvantages, and other benefits that you and your customers may get. Your online store should ensure the most remarkable customer experience, but it is often overlooked because of the costs of investment or complex customization.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Sylius platform and the features that make it a suitable eCommerce platform for Software as a Service, ideal for unusual SaaS eCommerce projects.
What is SaaS eCommerce?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a way of giving access to applications through recurring payments. This solution hosts a particular software on the cloud instead of the company servers. Currently, it is the most popular solution for online businesses due to its easy access (you just need the Internet and a browser) and professional technical support from the provider’s side, saving a lot of time and money.
What’s more, Software as a Service market is growing rapidly, causing a huge variety of service providers you can benefit from without worrying about building those services internally.
Usually, you can integrate with them via API. Most of those types of businesses share a great UI too. Nevertheless, the purchase process in a SaaS is very unique, and it requires an eCommerce engine with unique capabilities.
When is SaaS eCommerce your way to go?
One of the most crucial factors in this SaaS eCommerce is cost efficiency related to no implementation cost to start with and low monthly fees depending on the actual use of the solution. Software as Service vendors also provide technical support and solid security, reducing maintenance costs. Moreover, you do not have to worry about data storage because it is regularly saved in the cloud. This model’s usual disadvantage is that eCommerce platforms’ flexibility may be troublesome. Nonetheless, Sylius deals with compatibility with other systems really well, in fact, this is why we tend to call it an eCommerce framework.
Why is Sylius may be a good choice for creating SaaS eCommerce?
Sylius works out really well for unconventional projects, especially in the subscription model where you are selling virtual products, and there is no typical online shop with a product browser. The more complex or unusual our project is, the bigger range of possibilities Sylius can offer.
The application programming interface (API) is well-developed and easy to work with at the same time. No solution would integrate with all internal systems because of their number and customization. The thing needed is a clear interface that allows you to easily merge with Sylius architecture, which is exactly what you get.
For instance, it can be combined with an accounting system without problem. You can easily use Sylius in a headless setup with or without an intuitive and simple admin UI – you can either use the default one. The other option is to build your own or even integrate it with your whole management dashboard.
Sylius, as a framework, allows us to easily connect with the existing system without disrupting operations within the platform. Sylius’ characteristic is high compatibility with various systems; thus, it doesn’t require to be monolithic. In fact, it highly supports integrations, best-of-breed, or even microservice architecture. For example, it doesn’t require an online shop with a product browser. You can easily disable the shop UI, admin UI, or even API. The entire sales-related frontend could be disabled with only a few lines of code. Moreover, working with Symfony is not even required; you can also operate in pure PHP, which, according to W3Tech’s data, operates over 77% of the internet.
Sylius is a Symfony-based application that consists of components and Symfony bundles, which are integration layers with the framework. The biggest strength of Sylius is its modular design which allows you to change it into a SaaS eCommerce without turning it upside down and only using the puzzles it provides to build the software you need. The alternative is to build one from scratch, which is usually much more difficult, time and cost-consuming, and riskier in final delivery.
All that makes Sylius a perfect framework for building challenging SaaS eCommerce platforms. It is a really simple solution for such tasks and can achieve nearly top-notch performance with proper hosting and architecture.
Subscription payments and state machine
Creating a payment in the form of a subscription is not much of a challenge due to the state machine implemented to the mechanism of payment and taking orders. A state machine, or finite-state machine, generates and transitions outputs based on the given input and current state.
To put it simply, the state machine generates a reaction (event listeners) in response to the previous action; for example, it sends an e-mail when someone subscribes to your platform. This is really important if you want the processes to be executed in a specific order and predetermined way, which is a must-have for SaaS eCommerce.
Of course, you can freely add other event listeners to it, depending on your needs. As previously mentioned, the system is based on Symfony thus, creating new event listeners and custom subscriptions is simple e.g. sending the information about insufficient funds to pay for a subscription to the client or API. Another example would be Netflix, where the event listener checks every set time if your subscription is active.
The state machine in Sylius can also be integrated with the other systems like Pimcore (and create architecture along with the other systems).
What about taxes?
Settlement of taxes can be really troublesome, especially when a company operates internationally and business units are spread across several countries. Sylius taxation system will save you the nightmare of wrongly settled taxes and enable you to change the price of your products in a blink of an eye.
The Sylius taxation system has built-in some of the most popular tax rates. Also, it enables the software developer to apply appropriate taxes for different items and zones using API, so this problem is solved using out-of-the-box solution. Worth mentioning here is that this solution may not be suitable for bigger eCommerce businesses like the previously mentioned Netflix due to the huge amount of data that needs to be processed. Such a solution present in Sylius is perfect for loyalty programs etc., due to easy configuration and plugins like SyliusBonusPointsPlugin.
Considering the aforementioned issues, Sylius is perfectly suited for custom online stores and can be considered as a solution for creating SaaS eCommerce. Easy customization and high compatibility with various systems allow the creation of a platform you have always wanted without any limitations. If you are looking for a solution for non-standard eCommerce projects, Sylius may be a good fit – contact us and tell us about your idea!