Why the Cloud will Rule the 2017 eCommerce shopping season?

Online retailers are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for the holiday season that is practically upon us. According to a report by IBM online sales have increased by 21.5%, of which 57.2% are mobile shoppers. Global online sales in this period are projected to touch 8.8% of the total retail spending in 2018, a considerable sum when you consider that the industry is geared to haul in $2 trillion in 2017.

That being said, online retailers have their work cut out for them to avoid becoming that bad headline during the blockbuster season. In the past, we have been witness to many such incidents where established retailers buckled under the pressure of high traffic during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. In 2016 we saw the Macy’s website succumb to the holiday e-traffic on the second biggest online shopping day of the year, Black Friday. The year before it was Target and Neiman Marcus, and Best Buy in 2014. Clearly, performance is of strategic importance for eTailers as almost 67% of Millennials and 6% of Gen Xers prefer online shopping to in-store shopping. As time and performance become the ultimate currency, here’s a look at why the Cloud is all set to rule the eCommerce shopping season to help the eTailers pass this stress test.

  1. Speed and Performance:
    The cloud is built for speed and performance and the consumers of today look for just these qualities in an online store. Consumers are looking to access the products, assess and compare them and to proceed to complete the check-out in the shortest possible timeframe. Any lags here, whether it is to load pages or to complete the transaction is only going to lead to cart abandonment. The cloud servers and platforms are designed to give eCommerce sites the advantage of speed with optimal performance.
  2. Scalability:
    An eCommerce store has to be ready to handle seasonal spikes in heavy traffic, especially during the special sale days. The cloud gives an eCommerce store the capability to increase their capacity, in terms of the bandwidth, storage, CPU etc. on-demand, when the eTailers need it. This gives eStores the capability to scale up to cope with the increase in traffic and scale back down when the holiday rush is over. Cloud servers bring operational agility to eCommerce stores and allow them to deal with high traffic much faster than in-house applications or servers.
  3. Security:
    Delivering a secure shopping experience is of paramount importance for eTailers. A number of high-profile data breaches and vulnerabilities have impacted consumer confidence. This means that eCommerce vendors have to ensure that they take all the necessary steps to deliver a secure shopping experience to their consumers. Leveraging cloud managed services, eTailers can easily manage vulnerabilities as the software gets updated automatically regularly. This immediately eradicates vulnerabilities from legacy applications.Additionally, now cloud platforms have their own vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection, and prevention measures which increase the security of the eCommerce platform. The cloud also helps in data protection since all the data is stored securely on the cloud servers. Most cloud providers go for ISO 27001 certifications and various types of security audits to make their solutions more secure for their customers. This allows security layers to be implemented at application, facility, and network levels, thus ensuring complete data protection.
  4. Disaster Recovery:
    The cloud gives eCommerce stores great disaster recovery capabilities. If an eCommerce website is hacked or if the server develops a fault, the consequences would be enormous especially during the holiday season. However, with the backup and recovery solutions provided by cloud server, eTailers can rest easy. The disaster recovery solutions are easy to implement, cost-effective and use the expertise of the cloud hosting company, making the cloud even more attractive for eCommerce.
  5. Greater control and reduced burden:
    One of the greatest advantages that eCommerce stores get with the cloud is that of greater business control. They can reduce the hardware burden, the time and money spent on making software upgrades and their dependence on IT. The cloud gives retailers the flexibility to seamlessly integrate with third-party solutions (ERP, CRM etc.) that often go hand in hand with robust API-driven integration. Product upgrades and changes to the eCommerce sites can be done easily across devices. This helps eTailers improve conversion rates. By leveraging Cloud testing, eTailers can determine how their site will respond under a load based on a set of defined parameters, and from a variety of virtual device types, including smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Along with this the cloud also helps eCommerce sites respond to issues and bugs faster and also provide a connected digital experience across all devices and channels.

Along with getting their marketing plans ready for the holiday season, eCommerce sites have to make sure that this time around they are ready to face the holiday rush. In the growing eCommerce landscape, hope is not a strategy. So, instead of hoping for a good holiday run, prepare for one by leveraging a robust cloud solution to ensure great site performance. Do this to set the cash registers ringing this holiday shopping season!

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