Online shopping has seen exponential growth over the last two decades, with companies such as Woolworths and BHS giving way to the unrivalled dominance of Amazon and other online retailers in the so called ‘death of the high street’. If you invested $1000 in Amazon ten years ago, that investment would be worth more than $23,600 today.
For an online e-commerce platform, business is 24/7, 365 days a year. The increased use of the internet and rise of smartphones has transformed the way we shop and added pressure on these companies to support the demand. Buying habits have changed and the ability to shop anywhere, anytime via our mobile devices has seen mobile sales rise, with 43.3% of all online shopping in the UK in 2017 done via a mobile device.
The rapidly growing and round-the-clock nature of online retail, means that e-commerce sites not only require high availability and performance, but also a supporting platform that can cope with variable demand requirements. Some peaks in demand are easy to predict, others can come out of the blue. With the cloud’s scalability, it makes it a great option for e-commerce businesses. Let’s look at choosing the perfect fit cloud solution for online retailers.
Increases in traffic can take businesses by surprise. Forecasts change year on year depending on economic activity and it’s difficult to predict the success of marketing campaigns and promotions. Other peaks in traffic are to be expected and can be prepared for in advance such as seasonal demand from Christmas and other calendar events. Also, the recent rise of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK has seen retailers beefing up their online efforts to stay ahead of the curve.
To cope with these variable demands throughout the working year, e-commerce businesses need to adopt an agile and scalable cloud solution. The option to easily increase or decrease resources on demand means businesses can adjust to any spike in business; even those they weren’t expecting. Through the cloud’s use of Virtual Machines (VMs) instead of physical infrastructure, adding any extra resource should be a quick and simple process.
As well as this, some cloud hosting companies can provide ‘auto-scaling’ ensuring e-commerce businesses the peace of mind that their performance is always in line with traffic demands. At Secura, our Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) platform allows for auto-scaling to be fully controlled by the customer enabling rapid scalability around the clock.
As well as the convenience and practicality of scalable resources mentioned above, adopting the right cloud platform can also provide a cost-effective solution. Options such as pay-as-you-go and resource-based pricing are available with cloud hosting providers.
This means that when online retailers are experiencing high peaks in traffic and using more resources than average, their cloud plan adjusts accordingly. Most importantly, they don’t continue to pay these higher prices when traffic and resource use is low, as the service will scale back down. At Secura, our Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service is fully flexible and charged depending on usage meaning you’ll never pay for resources unless you’re using them.
We hope this blog post has been useful and you understand the benefits of adopting a cloud platform for online retailers. If you’d like to find out more about our VPC service, or have any questions regarding this blog post, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Matthew is Secura’s content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.
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