SaaS vs License Based eCommerce Grocery Platform: Facts you need to know!

The impact of the digital economy and eCommerce is evident as customer behaviour has been continuously evolving from the past few years. But, the COVID-19 outbreak has just pushed it to another level.

Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation followed by early adopters who are typically younger in age. But this pandemic has also encouraged the late majority and laggards group to upgrade their shopping behaviour.

This sudden change has created many business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Investing in the eCommerce industry, especially eGrocery seems to be a great idea in today’s scenario.

Launching an online grocery delivery marketplace is one of the best businesses that you should consider for current as well as the post COVID world.

How to Launch an eCommerce Grocery Platform?

There are several ways to launch a grocery eCommerce platform. You can code it yourself from scratch or hire a team of developers to do the same. But, why invest so much time and effort into it when there are so many solutions, available in the market. Following are the major two types:

  • SaaS-Based Ecommerce Platform
  • License Based eCommerce Grocery Platform (readymade)

Here, I am sharing some details for understanding the basic difference between these two platforms:

SaaS-Based eCommerce Platforms

These are comprehensive ready-to-use eCommerce solutions with cloud hosting, software, technical support and more.

SaaS-based eCommerce platforms require no comprehensive hardware set-up but it can also limit you in some ways. Lack of customization, complex processes, lacking B2B features, etc. are some of the issues that you might encounter while using a SaaS based eCommerce platform.

Licensed Based eCommerce Platforms

Licensed based eCommerce platforms are also known as on-premise eCommerce solutions. A licensed based platform like Growcer is built by a third-party vendor and self-hosted by businesses with a fully-owned license. It provides complete control of the marketplace to the business owner.

Since both platforms are quite different in functionality and so, they have their own pros and cons. Let’s explore the features of these softwares and understand which one is an ideal solution for launching an online grocery marketplace:

Now, let’s go through the key characteristics of an eCommerce platform to find out which solution is the best bet:

1. Hassle-free Integration with Existing Business Infrastructure

Businesses use various tools and systems for successful day-to-day operations. These tools may include ERP systems, order management systems, tax tools, shipping platforms, optimization tools, etc.

Since an eCommerce store cannot function independently without the business tools, it should be capable of getting integrated with all the existing business systems. Also, various third-party integrations are required to build a grocery eCommerce marketplace.


Owners of Saas based eCommerce marketplaces are supposed to use only Saas based integrations. Since there are limited APIs options, it is difficult to integrate a Saas based eCommerce website with all your existing business systems and tools. And in that case, the technical support from teams like Shopify is of no use and the only option is to hire developers or outsource the work.


In the case of Licensed-based platforms, owners can get custom integrations generated for their eCommerce website. It is very easy and convenient to incorporate existing business systems/tools seamlessly. Modern licensed platforms like Growcer can be integrated with almost any API. The multi-vendor platform comes pre-integrated with PayPal, Stripe, Google Analytics, Mailchimp and many more APIs.

2. Cost of Ownership

To launch and manage your grocery eCommerce store, you have to pay a certain amount that is also known as Total Cost of Ownership. This price usually includes the entire cost for development, design, deployment as well as the maintenance of the platform.


Usually, the subscription charges of a Saas based platform is comparatively lower than license cost. So, many entrepreneurs consider license based platforms as an expensive option. But, what they don’t consider factors like,

-software customization




On the other hand, license based platforms allow you to have full control over the total cost of ownership i.e. from development to customization to technical support. Here, you can outsource the work but the best option is to hire an in-house team to develop and make your eCommerce store future-ready. The flexibility of options available makes license-based platforms suitable for enterprises, SMBs, and large enterprises.

3. Security Concerns

For any eCommerce website, security is the primary concern. There are several government and company policies that the business must comply with to prevent any security issues.


For Saas providers, complying with strict security and government policies is an issue because it is hosted on the cloud. So it is the responsibility of the service providers to stay compliant with the policies and implement the right security measures.

Some Saas providers do offer compliance with the security but you still cannot enjoy the level of control and flexibility that a licensed-based platform provides.


On licensed-based platforms, sensitive information of the buyers or your business remains safe and protected. In this case, the businesses have complete control over the platform and they can implement several security measures to prevent any security threat. Also, the licensed-based eCommerce store is on-premise, so staying compliant with the company and government policies isn’t complex.

4. Implementation

Hassle-free implementation of the grocery eCommerce marketplace is dependent on several factors like:

  • Preparing and importing data
  • Determining process changes
  • Training of the staff
  • Configuration Management
  • Managing the Import
  • Refinement of data & more..

For both Saas and licensed-based platforms, the above-mentioned factors consume most of the time while launching the eCommerce platform. However, the deployment process is different for both platforms.


In the case of Saas based eCommerce websites, the resources are deployed on the premises of the service providers. The only thing an enterprise owner could do is access/use these resources any time they want. The ready-made integrations can be deployed immediately but no additional customizations are offered by them.


Here, in this case, the platforms deploy resources in-house and within the IT infrastructure of an enterprise. So, the business has full control over the implementation process. This is also beneficial because the deployment time is significantly reduced here because of the easy availability of the resources.

5. White Label Rebranding

White label means labelling or rebranding the eCommerce grocery marketplace as yours and it could be done only by eliminating the traces of the service provider. For example, imagine a business that manufactures and packs a product in unbranded packaging. These products are further purchased by another eCommerce business that adds its own name (white labelling) and sells them online.


Saas-based platforms like Shopify or Yelo offer no white label programs. So, a business owner who got his/her eCommerce store built by Shopify will always have a Shopify signature on its website. The trace can be removed only if he/she switches to a multi-vendor platform that offers white labelling.


In selected licensed-based platforms like Growcer, white-label partnerships are available. Here, the team offers solutions to re-brand and deliver a multi-vendor marketplace without a Growcer signature. This puts brands at the forefront keeping the development partner anonymous.

Wrapping Up

Both of these platforms have a significant market share with a large number of the customer base. But in my opinion, Saas based platforms are more suitable for an online store that is operating at a smaller level.

I suggest you opt for a license-based platform like Growcer if you are planning to launch a multi-vendor grocery eCommerce website. Experience this feature-rich platform through the live demo.



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