In November of 2019, Sid Nag, Vice President of Research at Gartner declared, “At this point, cloud adoption is mainstream. Adoption of next-generation solutions are almost always ‘cloud-enhanced’ solutions…” He was speaking about the growth in demand for cloud-based solutions like eCommerce platforms. That’s because Cloud-based solutions fill the need for infrastructure that individual company data centers just can’t meet. Cloud solutions in general are having a positive impact on all types of businesses. For companies that do business on the web, eCommerce cloud solutions platforms are scalable, available, and secure. They have a positive impact on time to market, growth, and efficiency, and save money in the process.
Scalability of Cloud eCommerce Platforms
Imagine a data center that was elastic. Of course, it would contain servers and software and the people to operate it and keep it going and secure, but as your needs changed the assets would magically change as well. Need 5 people – there they are! Need 3 people – 2 disappear!
When you enter your busy season, servers would magically appear. When the rush was past, they would evaporate.
Sounds crazy right?
Well, that’s the type of scalability you get with cloud eCommerce platforms. Your data center is always the right size.
You don’t worry about the number of orders you are processing or the size of your catalogs, much less the number of custom catalogs you create on the fly. Your processing capability expands and contracts just like elastic. It doesn’t make sense to create and support a data center that’s large enough to handle your busiest times if those times ebb and flow.
Cloud eCommerce platforms allow you to adjust your data center size as your needs change. So, you don’t invest in more hardware, software, or people than you need.
The Cloud is Always Available
With a Cloud-based eCommerce platform, you’re never down for maintenance. And you aren’t tied to a location for data service. Your customers experience a stable website with the only limit to speed being their internet connection. Employees have access to the back-end with the ease and speed customers can access the front-end. And because your data is off-site, disaster recovery is easier. 43% of businesses that experience a disaster never recover and re-open for business but 20% of Cloud users recover in 4 hours or less.
As a bonus, software updates are automatic and tested before deployed. Not only will your site always be available, but it will also be available with the latest version.
Cloud eCommerce Platforms are Secure
Cloud solution operators are pros when it comes to security. Can you say the same about your own IT staff? With Cloud eCommerce platforms not only do you know that your data and connections are secure, but you’re also assured of continual security.
For example, when new regulations such as the EU’s GDPR or California’s CPA are enacted, Cloud vendors have you covered. They continually monitor the regulatory landscape on your behalf and keep you in compliance.
In addition, Cloud eCommerce platforms maintain your PCI-DDS security compliance. That’s crucial for any eCommerce business because payment and customer data must always be held secure. And if you maintain your eCommerce platform on-premise, PCI compliance requires a huge commitment of assets, both financial and human. And of course, compliance eats up time as well.
Cloud eCommerce platforms are also physically secure. Their vendors maintain redundant back-up systems and secure physical locations. Think about the server that’s currently hosting your on-premise solution. Is it in a physically secure location that limits access? Are the back-ups redundant and located in multiple locations? If the answer is No, your security isn’t a fraction of what you get with a Cloud-based eCommerce platform.
Faster Time to Market
A Cloud eCommerce platform gets you to market faster. And the faster you get to market, the faster you start producing revenue and the faster you achieve ROI.
It can take weeks to order, receive, and set-up a server for your eCommerce platform. Then you’ve got extensive development and testing cycles to live through.
A Cloud-based solution can be set up in a fraction of that time. You focus on content and let your Cloud eCommerce solution focus on content management and delivery.
Fuel Growth and Efficiency
Cloud eCommerce improves agility and ensures your company stays nimble. Freed from the constraints of a physical IT location, you can pivot to enter new markets. You are insulated from squeezes from the local IT labor market. Those assets can be invested in new products and new marketing campaigns.
Instead of spending time maintaining infrastructure, you spend time A/B testing to identify pages and workflows that convert best.
Develop new products faster when you don’t worry about the limitations of your eCommerce platform. Lastly, Cloud solutions are better equipped to handle “big data”. This means you get better insights and analytics to inform business decisions.
Pay only for what you need and only when you use it That’s a major saving for businesses engaged in eCommerce. And it goes hand-in-hand with scalability. Cloud eCommerce provides the data processing capability for your peak times but doesn’t require you to pay for that capacity in off-peak periods. That translates not only to savings but more sales. That’s because traffic spikes can slow down your on-site server and when your server is slow, visitors won’t wait for pages to load. But it doesn’t make sense to invest in infrastructure to support periodic spikes. Cloud solutions solve that problem. Pages continue to load at lightning speed, no matter the traffic and you aren’t paying extra for capacity you don’t use.
In addition, your IT team is much smaller. That’s because you rely on the Cloud-based vendor for upgrades, patches, maintenance, and security. It’s all included in the package price you negotiate.
Your staff focuses on activities that generate revenue and the Cloud-staff focuses on IT and security.
Keeping your online store up and running is a top priority of any eCommerce business. An eCommerce Cloud solution allows you to focus on growing your business while enjoying a rapid and hassle-free set-up. Whether you are looking to re-platform or are just engaging in eCommerce for the first time, a Cloud-based eCommerce platform is worth serious consideration.