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Get Your E-commerce Business Ready for Future Online Adventures
If you have an e-commerce business, you’re probably thinking how to gain new customers amongst the fierce competition and how to improve your website’s features and design. But are you also focusing on your website’s high availability and server uptime? To avoid falling behind your competitors, you should spend some time on your server infrastructure, as slow loading times and security issues will deter possible customers. Let’s see what you can do.
Recent Worldwide Changes in E-Commerce
The pandemic has changed trends across all industries, including travel, education, entertainment, retail, tech, legal, as well as the way businesses operate. We’ve seen a growth rate in internet usage that’s typically seen throughout a year happening in just a few weeks.
People that never made an online purchase before, did so for the first time during this pandemic. Some brick and mortar stores also went online due to the present circumstances. Overall, there’s been a growth in internet usage of about 70% in the first part of 2020. The pandemic rushed an even further growth of online retail.
How did your online store handle this Black Friday-like period? Did you encounter downtime periods? Let’s look into the e-commerce software available and some server types that could help you keep your online store’s uptime to an all-time high.
Which E-Commerce Software is Best?
If you don’t already have an e-commerce software of choice, or if you want to migrate, the choice can be daunting. WooCommerce? Magento? Shopify? Prestashop? It’s important to choose the e-commerce solution tailored to your business needs, but how?
Depending on your website’s structure and features, some platforms are more suited for a large number of products without detailed information on each, in which case a fast database is necessary (if not mandatory), while others are more suited for a low number of products, each product having its own page and a comprehensive description. For each type of shop, the resources you need are different. Additional features on your website, such as reviews, comments, photos, and other plugins, also call for different server specs.
What you should do: Make a plan, choose the features you want for your online store and website, and decide on a suitable e-commerce platform.
Which Server is Best?
Now that you’ve decided on the perfect platform for your e-commerce business, let’s take a look at which server will suit your business. The global web hosting services market size was valued at USD 56.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.5% from 2020 to 2027. Why this growth?
Web hosting services allow both individuals and companies to host their online presence through various types of servers. As e-commerce websites receive higher and higher volumes of data and users’ expectations change, websites, web applications and their supporting infrastructure must be robust and efficient. If your business bases its commercial activity online you should take note of this, since:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- Slow page load speed times can increase your cart abandonment rate by 75%.
- A one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
The key question here is: Are you willing to compromise conversions due to an improper server configuration? A server is only as powerful as its hardware, and as flexible as you make it.
There are several server types you can choose from for your e-commerce business:
- Shared servers
- Dedicated servers
- Bare metal cloud
What you should do: Learn more about the server types, answer the below key questions about your business, and then choose the best server infrastructure for your needs.
- How many visitors do you have per day?
- How many visitors do you have at particular times of the day?
- Are you expecting higher traffic on some days?
- How big your e-shop is and how many products does your store have?
- What plugins you have or need installed?
- How well optimized the theme is?
- How is your website developed?
- Which e-commerce platform are you using?
For e-commerce businesses, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration when choosing your provider:
- Performance – the performance of the server should be able to support all of your online store’s apps and features, and help you deliver the best e-commerce experience for the customer.
- Scalability - scaling up or down according to seasonal changes in orders will make your life easier. Also only paying for what you use.
- 24/7 Support – no IT system is perfect and you’ll want a 24/7 support team available in case something goes wrong. A minute of downtime can cost you a lot of money.
- Cost/Performance Ratio – Although sharing server space can lead to lower overall costs, it’s a good idea to think long-term, and choose the best infrastructure for your money.
- Security – Sharing server space can lead to security issues due to its multi-tenancy. Better opt for a dedicated machine instead. And always check your provider has security certifications in place.
Make the right choice based on your use case. Download our full whitepaper on online retail here and find out the pros and cons of the above server types, and more:
- E-commerce: Stats and Trends
- Rise in Online Retail
- E-commerce: During and After the Pandemic
- Customer Expectations and How to Match Them
- E-commerce Platforms Overview
- Server Specs for Online Retail Businesses
- Specific Requirements for E-commerce Platforms
If you have any questions, our experts are here to answer your questions. Contact us anytime.