The Pitfalls of App Overload in Ecommerce

Monday, 29 April 2024

Businesses are constantly seeking ways to enhance their online presence and drive success. One common approach is to extend the functionality of their ecommerce platform through the use of apps or plugins.

On the face of it apps seem a great way to expand your platform’s functionality. There’s plenty of choice, they’re quick to deploy, often relatively inexpensive, and cover a number of functional areas like marketing, customer support, stock management and logistics. However, not all that glitters is gold, there's many issues with relying on apps/plugins/extensions for functionality:


Apps can be resource-hungry. they're not part of the platform's core code and get layered on top of each other so they slow your site down and affect its performance. Each additional app or plugin adds to the complexity of the ecommerce platform, potentially leading to performance bottlenecks and slower page load times. Cumulative effects such as increased server load, additional HTTP requests, and bloated code can impact the overall speed and responsiveness of the website, resulting in a poor user experience. Site speed is one of the biggest barriers to conversion, so the slower your site the less likely it is to convert.


Apps and plugins introduce additional attack vectors and security vulnerabilities to the ecommerce platform. Malicious code, outdated software, and lax security practices can expose businesses to the risk of data breaches, fraud, and other cyber threats, jeopardising the integrity and security of customer information and transactions.


Apps are usually built by a third party, rather than the platform developers, so aren't tested in every combination or situation.Integrating multiple apps and plugins can lead to compatibility issues, as different solutions may not always work seamlessly together. Updates or changes to one app can inadvertently affect the functionality of others, resulting in technical glitches, errors, and downtime

Platform updates in particular are known to break apps. If an app breaks during an update, the platform provider often gives the app developer 9 months to update it. That means you could be left without functionality for 9 months!! If it’s not fixed by then, it becomes unsupported and can stop working as expected.


They're built to work one way and one way only. They're completely inflexible so you end up with something that works how it does, rather than exactly how you want it to.

Without installing it you won't know exactly how it works so may have to install and uninstall several options before you find one that's close to doing what you what. It can become a long-winded and fruitless task just to find one that does close to what you need.

Unsupported or Discontinued

As they are built by a third party, they are often left unsupported. If that happens how do you maintain the functionality? How do you replace them? Do you end up constantly going through numerous apps to get the same functionality? The more apps you use, the more there is to maintain or replace.

Apps will often be removed from the store without warning customers, so if you are running them and uninstall them for any reason (Uninstalling and reinstalling is often used as a fix to get them working when they are unresponsive) they will no longer be available. Some platform errors have been known to uninstall ALL apps, again causing problems if you have an app that has been discontinued.


While many apps and plugins offer free or low-cost versions, businesses may incur significant costs over time as they scale up and require additional features or premium functionality. Subscription fees, licensing costs, and integration expenses can add up quickly, making apps an expensive proposition in the long run. As they are often billed monthly, the initial costs can appear quite low but quickly rise.


Not all apps are built to work on every store so that will limit your choice. Not only that, sometimes you may have an app installed that becomes incompatible with your store and stops working. Hardly ideal.

The Alternative

tradeit offers a compelling alternative to the app overload dilemma with its comprehensive suite of inherent functionality. Designed as a feature-rich and customisable ecommerce platform, tradeit provides businesses with all the tools and capabilities they need to succeed online, without the need for third-party apps or plugins. All functionality in tradeit is inherent to the platform and has been built specifically from the ground up to support both retail and B2B ecommerce out of the box. It’s not a retail platform that has had some B2B functions tacked on to it like Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify or BigCommerce for example.

There’s also no third party developers, who don’t know the platform intimately, building features. There’s no apps, plugins, extensions or bolt-ons to provide additional functionality too. The feature set of tradeit is vast, but in the rare cases where a customer needs something specific it can be delivered for them as part of their installation and look & work exactly how they want. If you're serious about ecommerce growth then speak to us about tradeit.

Learn more about tradeit's comprehensive, inherent functionality.