As predicted by Forrester, cloud adoption spiked more than ever in 2021 and the trend is expected to continue. The major reason behind this explosion is the growing dependency of many businesses on cloud computing for business continuity exacerbated by the severe impact of the global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way every IT department and development team used to function and pushed most organizations to initiate remote working. The ones who could not adapt to the abrupt change in IT operations and remote access were at risk of forfeiting their business. Imagine how they could have managed to accommodate their employees to work from home or continue to serve their customers if not for the cloud? The results might have been catastrophic on many levels—business and personal. Cloud adoption has been on the rise and the pandemic has served to broaden its use and accelerate technologies that support it.
Online shopping is a good example of enhanced adoption or even dependency because of perceived or real limitations with visiting a physical retail store. Many communities severely limited travel except for emergencies and food necessities during the height of the pandemic. Even grocery sales were included in the online shopping wave. While travel and other social restrictions have been lifted, the benefits of online shopping are evident even to skeptics. Online shopping is higher than ever and will continue to grow. Many consumers find it much easier and a better experience than shopping in a brick and mortar store. Firstly, there’s the comfort of shopping from anywhere, anytime without having the risk of contracting the virus, and there is always some kind of offers and discounts given to internet customers. Couple that with the many other advantages such as home delivery, time-savings, greater product variety etc., and you can see why the phenomena will only expand—and quickly. So why are we discussing e-commerce in a cloud blog? Well, there is an important relationship between the cloud and the e-commerce business. Let’s explore more.
Many retailers believe that the pandemic pushed their cloud adoption process in order to keep the business going and overcome challenges such as constantly changing consumer demands, unprecedented market situations, the need for quick scalability, a responsive website, and other performance issues. Not meeting these challenges in the initial stages could cost a business its reputation and customer retention.
Cloud computing helps online retailers cope with the constantly changing demands of their end-users, for example, the ability to scale up or down the solutions or services based on the requirements. Scalable cloud architecture provides e-commerce companies with a flexible, agile platform for responsive growth and greater connections to end-users.
Cloud computing has the following benefits for the e-commerce industry:
- Scalability: Online retailers find cloud hosting to be the fastest way to build their e-commerce presence. Cloud scalability enables the sites and apps to scale up and down based on the business needs. This feature is what very much sought after by the e-commerce sector. Computing workloads can be balanced easily, for example responding to high consumer traffic during seasonal demands.
- Stability: E-commerce sites and applications are prone to downtime during new product launches, big sale days, or festive seasons. Hosting these sites and apps in the cloud helps them to handle the spike better as they are more scalable and responsive. This leads to greater system stability. New application launches are accommodated more easily, and customers will have a better online experience.
- Speed: A key benefit of e-commerce, is of course the convenience and speed of online ordering. However, catering to ever-impatient customers is not easy and e-retailers need to constantly hone the user experience. Real-time updates to product catalogues, remembering individual preferences, offering discounts, a smooth, hassle-free checkout routine, and more. Everything has to be fast, clean, and accurate.
- Security: Perhaps the single biggest deal-breaker for a customer is when they sense—even for a second—that their personal information or their credit and banking information is being compromised. Customers must have iron-clad assurances that their data is secure, never shared, and used only for a particular transaction. It is compulsory to have a secured and encrypted environment that is PCI-DSS certified that can prevent any DDOS attacks and security threats. Adopting or migrating to cloud-based platforms provides e-commerce business tightened security, selected accessibility, and a backup of the data as a part of disaster recovery. Ensuring a safe and secured shopping space will help businesses not only retain existing customers but also win more new customers.
- Savings – Converting to online shopping can be a huge undertaking even for many well-established organizations. It can be both expensive and complex. Fortunately, cloud computing can reduce set-up costs with lower infrastructure needs, accelerate implementation, and reduce downstream operational spending through the cloud’s typical pay-for-what-you-use payment policy. This payment model has made cloud computing more affordable for many small and medium-sized companies.
These proven cloud-computing benefits have been used by e-commerce businesses for many years. But like anything in business, stepping into an unknown process or adopting new technologies can be a daunting task. A cloud-first approach should consider the following five best practices to derive a proper plan that will help in both cost reduction and business outcomes.
- Have a strategic plan
- Choose the right cloud partner
- Select the best approach
- Gather a team of skilled resources
- Execute and maintain
When organizations take stock of these five best practices, they will be better prepared to oversee the inevitable challenges and make cloud migration a seamless process.
As a trusted Golden Partner of Microsoft Azure, PreludeSys is renowned for helping various retailers in the industry with our promising cloud enablement services to build their online presence and expand their business.
Are you looking for a cloud partner to make your cloud enablement process faster and smooth? You are just a click away from our team of experts who can help you with the best cloud services that you need for your business.