The most conspicuous thing about modern e-commerce is its rapid growth. In the fast-paced digital world of today, more and more purchases are made through Internet services worldwide. The research jointly conducted by eMarketer and Statista claims that online retail sales will hit a whopping $6.51 trillion in 2023, with eCommerce websites making about 22% of the whole retail sales.
Obviously, the competition is tough in this market. That’s why many e-commerce businesses have been wondering about ways to increase their sales while saving up costs. What’s the solution? Low code! The whole low-code development movement is getting increasingly popular across industries, and the domain of eCommerce isn’t an exception.
Both low-code and no-code platforms provide effective tools for managing an e-commerce store cost-effectively. Using low code, e-merchants can:
- Connect any data source in one place with no migrations involved;
- Add options for new products instantly;
- Control sensitive customer data accessibility.
Why low code is popular among e-commerce businesses
Before we dive deeper into details, let's ensure everybody is on the same page, shall we? So here’s a bit of glossary to get started:
What is eсommerce:
Electronic commerce or (E-commerce/eCommerce) is the process of buying and selling products and services via the Internet. These aforementioned transactions happen either in business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer, or consumer-to-business modes.
What is low code:
Low-code development is an approach that requires little coding skills when creating software. Instead, citizen developers can create applications using pre-made components and graphical interfaces.
What is no code:
No code builders are platforms that let you create various business applications without writing a single line of code (hence its name).
Low-code/no-code platforms allow fintechs to stay ahead of regulations and industry changes while adhering to high-security standards. Such platforms help financial entities to respond to market changes faster with in-house development teams.
So why are the reasons e-merchants resort to low-code platforms? Let’s find out.
Save money on development costs. If you have a limited budget, that’s the primary benefit, I think. This way, you don’t need a developer to start your ecommerce journey. This level of flexibility will save you money in the long run.
Benefit from faster Time to Market (TTM). Using pre-built components (that are optimized for both mobile and web performance), citizen developers can create an e-commerce website or application fast. The difference is even more striking, especially when compared to solutions you have to build from scratch.
Provide a more enjoyable shopping experience. You can develop a user/mobile-friendly website with low code so your customers can easily navigate through it.
Scale up fast. Low-code builders let you develop tools to manage inventory, procurement, and supply chain operations in an easy manner. This way, you can grow your business faster with little budget.
Ecommerce low-code/no-code platforms
Low-code builders are universal for any industry, but there are several ones targeted precisely at e-merchants. Although it would be time-consuming to cover all of them, let’s check some of the options in the market.
Perhaps, it would be logical to start with Shopify, a renowned leader among ecommerce platforms. Although the platform doesn’t promote itself as a low-code tool per se, it has everything to set up a store in a matter of hours.
If you want to develop your own fully customizable website with little coding skills, go for Shopify. You can play around with free design themes, add merchandise, and select from over 8.000 apps to make your online store stand out from the rest. Shopify provides various sales channels, apps, POS, and features that significantly facilitate the selling process, even for e-commerce rookies.
Let’s move on. Meet VTEX, the builder that enables e-commerce businesses to achieve faster time to market, reach clients across multiple channels, and discover new growth areas.
The platform represents a turnkey commerce, marketplace, and OMS solution in one place. VREX allows merchants to sell across all channels, collaborating with channel partners and expanding product assortment.
The next stop is Interplay, a low-code headless eCommerce platform by Iterate.io. But what is headless architecture? It’s easy: you can have all the business logic and functionalities in a set of APIs that specialized backends support. This way, Interplay Commerce provides users with all the flexibility, speed, integration consistency, and connected low-code development environment that they might need.
Mowiko provides a drag-and-drop interface so that merchants can add and remove components to their e-commerce apps with no effort. Mowiko works with 60+ e-commerce platforms and payment systems. It is worth noting that you can’t create a store with that builder , but you can integrate your eCommerce platform into Mowiko to get a fully-functional mobile application.
Another case worth mentioning is Popup, a platform for the creation, management and hosting of online stores. Sure, it’s rather a no-code builder, but it allows you to build any type of online commerce experience in a matter of seconds. The platform will be open to the public in the first quarter of 2023. In the meantime, Popup already raised $3.5 million in a pre-seed round.
Low-code/fintech business cases
E-commerce experts consider simplification as a crucial reason behind low code popularity. But what about actual business cases? Let's check some of the eCommerce projects done with low code.
As low-code enthusiasts, we’ve done several projects for the ecommerce domain here at Akveo. Let’s observe them in detail, so without further ado, let’s meet Klekticc, an online furniture store in Dubai, UAE.
The client needed to put info about orders and wholesale in one application. Before the project took off, the client used to store all data in different apps, which wasn't convenient. However, as an SME business, the client didn't have enough budget to resort to services like Tableau.
Solution and scope of work
Using UI Bakery, we could build 5 custom dashboards within 10 hours to compare information from data sources such as Airtable, Shopify, and storehouse API. Now the client has a reliable tool to manage data in one place.
Technology Stack: UI Bakery, Airtable, Google Sheets, and Shopify.
Another client provides flexible B2B software for AWS vendors and GCP Marketplace. Their main services include sales pedigree, methodology, and innovation.
Our task was to create a web application that receives data from the AWS and displays clients on several easy-to-use pages with graphs and dashboards.
Scope of work and solution
First, our team split the project’s scope into 3 main steps:
1. Email management
Emails from the AWS Marketplace are parsed via the Mailparser service. In its turn, Mailparser sends data to UI Bakery Automations via webhook. Automation scenarios process the data, enrich it with additional information if needed and finally store it in a relational database on AWS (e.g., PostgreSQL).
2. UI for customers and vendors
We built the UI for end users with UI Bakery, a low-code platform for developing internal tools. There might be different applications for Vendors and Customers. UI Bakery gets the data from the database on AWS.
3. Vendor app
On the main page, the vendor sees the complete list of opportunities. On the app details page, vendors can see the detailed info and the customers associated with this offer.
Finally, we managed to create 3 dashboards with a striking UI within four days.
Technology Stack: AWS, UI Bakery, Retool, Mailparser, PostgreSQL.
As it gets evident from these cases, low-code platforms have all it takes to solve complex tasks fast.
Key takeaways and what to expect in 2023
Mendix’s State of Low Code report indicates that low-code will help to provide unified retail commerce by improving collaboration across organizations (44%) and with third parties (41%), synchronizing customer data (43%), and improving real-time inventory accuracy (36%) through technologies like smart shelves and computer vision.
1. More e-merchants will appear. More people have realized that starting an ecommerce business isn’t rocket science. Low-code platforms can help entrepreneurs build their e-stores without worrying about the technical aspects of the business.
2. More flexibility. In 2023, low-code software development platforms will give citizen developers even more flexibility to deliver tools that fully support modern omnichannel sales models.
3. More speed. As Jon Nordmark, CEO of Iterate.ai put it: “Our tests indicate low-code speeds mobile development 10X — but the more complex the project, the faster it goes.” I guess those numbers are pretty much self-explanatory.
4. More hybrid apps will be built using low code. Fair enough, native apps have their benefits, such as performance and customization possibilities. However, in the modern, fast-paced eCommerce world, agility and speed to market are way more important.
Low-code Hall of Fame
Being curious low-code aficionados, we’ve analyzed what’s going on in the market and reviewed the most potent low-code/no-code builders in 2022. I guess the list will be pretty much the same in 2023. If you are interested to know all the peculiarities, you’re just a click away. Without further ado, take a look at these platforms:
Do you have feedback on any of the tools above? In case you do, please don’t hesitate to share your comments.
To sum up
Building an eCommerce business used to be a complicated process. You have to manage a multi-tier system of APIs and deal with increasing integrations, not to mention developing the app itself. The drag-and-drop approach changes all that: everything from basic web functionality to workflow automation can be done via low-code builders.
According to Gartner’s insights, 70% of new applications in 2025 will be built with no-code or low-code solutions. Low-code/no-code platforms have already established themselves as a driver of large-scale hyper-automation. Such platforms help eCommerce businesses to adapt to turbulence in the economy, abandon cumbersome systems, and quickly create and configure applications to solve constantly emerging business problems.
Summing up all these insights, it’s no-brainer to conclude that low-code builders provide several major advantages to aspiring merchants and established e-businesses alike. If you feel like you don’t want to use any of the current options (say, eBay, Amazon, Magento, Big Commerce, etc) and yet it’s hard to build something different from scratch, go for low code.
Being as powerful and intuitive as they are, low-code apps will help you to deal with any everyday eCommerce or retail business challenges you might be facing.
Hire low-code fintech experts
As noted above, the domain of ecommerce is rapidly developing in the increasingly interconnected world. Selling online gets affordable for more and more people worldwide. However, on your e-merchant's path, you might need an experienced technological partner to get the maximum result out of your efforts.
What about partnering with low code/no code development experts? With 8+ years of low-code development experience, our team helps companies deliver robust applications that cater to specific business needs. Our seasoned consultant team provides expert advice on low-code platforms for companies willing to innovate. We’ll help you define your very first steps so you can start implementing your low-code strategy from day one.
P.S. As you might have already guessed, we love making content about trends in low code (and eCommerce too). So… What about subscribing to our blog to get the latest insights and tips?
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