ecommerce benefits from cloud computing

5 Ways eCommerce Can Benefit from Cloud Computing

The oversaturated eCommerce market is dictating its terms of competitiveness. Now minor weaknesses and delays can cost thousands of losses and paralyze your business. Therefore, online store owners need to be flexible, intelligent, and also grasp the latest innovations to use to their advantage. Retailers take different steps, such as building a headless commerce structure to prepare the website for growing user demands.

Also, cloud services have entered the arena to increase eCommerce agility and flexibility. 2020 has shown the benefits of cloud technology. Organizations that used the cloud could better overcome the pandemic’s challenging months. And those who didn’t use them suffered significant interruptions in services and communication with employees.

Cloud business tools and computing applications provide numerous enterprises with the most secure ways to store their sensitive data and increase productivity. This article will explore the benefits of cloud computing in eCommerce.

Five Opportunities of Cloud Computing in eCommerce

Cloud hosting provides an alternative to on-site devices. Instead of storing data on one computer, cloud technology allows keeping information on different devices. These devices rely on separate servers located quite far from each other.

However, each machine is interconnected and works as a unified system. Most eCommerce businesses use a hosting server to harness the processing power of several devices. Thus, they create a cluster of servers. And this cluster is called a cloud.

Online stores have different functionality than other sites. They need additional support and flexibility to maintain databases, protect personal data, process payments, and track sales. 

Therefore, adopting or migrating to the cloud is an excellent solution to problems other devices can’t solve. Let’s go over the five primary ways online retail stores can use cloud computing to their advantage.

1. Ease of Scaling

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that retail needs to be prepared for dramatic changes in consumer needs. Cloud computing in eCommerce can help to stay competitive and satisfy the market. So, during the COVID-19 pandemic, even the largest retail stores were forced to adapt to new expectations.

For example, not all stores, including the Walmart giant, had an online presence in some countries. Self-isolation and quarantine have spurred retailers to give a rapid response. Cloud computing has been vital in scaling businesses and entering new sites. Those businesses that couldn’t quickly rebuild their processes had to lose the fight to those who were able to.

Cloud computing simplifies scaling up or down the power of an IT solution. It allows quickly adding resources to an account or removing those resources instantaneously. With this powerful tool, you don’t have to worry about space usage or the fear that customers won’t be able to access your online store because the storage has run out.

IT administrators can expand the number of virtual machines in just a couple of clicks. They can provide and customize services and reduce the cost of a large onsite IT staff.

2. Site Performance as an SEO Bonus

Website speed plays a critical role in the success of eCommerce businesses. Several studies prove that users will leave the page if it takes more than three seconds to load.

During the holidays, a sudden spike in traffic can slow down your site. Thus, it will stop responding. As a result, the bounce rate will increase, and the conversions will drop. 

Statistics illustrate that to achieve maximum conversion rates in eCommerce, store owners must ensure site speed between 0-2 seconds. These numbers are ideal, but in real life, this metric should be 4 seconds maximum. The increase in page load time will cause the conversion rate to fall by an average of 1.2% with every second of waiting.

transaction converion rates
Image credit: Portent

The cloud improves availability and reduces network performance latency. The point is that cloud service providers store data alongside their user base. It helps to achieve low latency. The availability results from a 24/7 team dedicated to delivering consistent cloud services.

Also, high performance and speed have a positive effect on SEO. Search engines will better perceive sites that load quickly and provide a pleasant user experience when ranking. It will increase traffic to your eCommerce store. As a result, thanks to cloud computing, your website will work flawlessly, boost conversions, and ensure a stable flow of organic visitors. And you will prosper with SEO and user-friendliness.

3. Reduction in Expenses

Cloud computing lowers IT costs. Since stores don’t need to buy equipment, they can use that money for other needs, which is crucial for fast-growing stores. Because buying new equipment is inconvenient and expensive, cloud computing can quickly expand resources.

Besides, large data centers consume a lot of electricity and space. Therefore, eCommerce stores can reduce electricity bills and increase space with cloud applications.

Plus, cloud solutions help to save on labor and maintenance. Thus, IT staff can use the freed-up time for more critical development parts.

Employees, in turn, can benefit from cloud-based tools, from video conferencing services to accounting software, which are designed to organize and securely store company data and finances. These factors foster labor productivity.

4. Data Protection

Online stores have large volumes of confidential user information at their disposal. Because customers trust their addresses, card numbers, and phone numbers, they expect their data to be protected. And if a leak occurs, the store can irretrievably lose its reputation. Cloud technology provides secure data storage as this task becomes the responsibility of professionals to monitor resources.

Modern technologies and strong policies designed for IT environments protect the cloud from attacks and leaks. Independent third-party auditors ensure that the cloud storage organization meets the highest standards.

Case in point, Standards for System and Organization Controls (SOC). This standard shows that a cloud service provider has limited access to information systems. It also evaluates system security and availability, processing integrity, and confidentiality.

system organization controls
Source: Imperva

Also, as online stores operate with various forms of payment, cloud providers must comply with PCI requirements.

5. More Effective Data Analytics

Online sales let you gather data about customer activities on various channels. From the website to social media, the amount of information swamps your systems and becomes easy to lose. How can you consolidate, store, and share siloed data across multiple channels? Cloud analytics comes to your aid.

This term denotes the practice of storing and analyzing data in the cloud and using it to derive meaningful business insights. Unlike on-premises data analytics, migrating to the cloud opens opportunities for combining all company data sources to create a more comprehensive picture.

One of the main benefits of cloud analytics is data consolidation for better communication. All teams, such as marketing, sales, and customer service, can quickly access this data in one place, regardless of location. Cloud analytics also involves processing big data sets to find patterns, forecast future demands, and extract other information in real-time.

Wrapping Up

Technology, including cloud services, is changing the eCommerce marketplace for everyone involved. Cloud technologies have already revealed their advantages and effectiveness for eCommerce businesses.

Cloud computing in eCommerce can empower and enhance online retail sites from direct benefits such as data security to less obvious customer acquisition through better search rankings. The listed benefits of the cloud are just the tip of the iceberg. The future of eCommerce will surely be full of innovations and unexpected changes that will take businesses to the next level.

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About the author

Alex Husar, chief technology officer at Onilab with almost a decade of successful Magento migration and PWA development projects for eCommerce companies around the globe. Being a Computer Software Engineering specialist, Alex is equally competent both in terms of full-stack dev skills and the capability to provide project-critical guidance to the team.

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