What are the benefits of cloud eCommerce?
- What is cloud eCommerce?
- What options are there when it comes to cloud-based eCommerce?
- What are the advantages of using cloud eCommerce?
- What are the disadvantages of moving to cloud eCommerce?
- Is moving my eCommerce store to the cloud the right option?
You’ll likely have a massive list of requirements when it comes to developing or replatforming your eCommerce website.
You want it to be fast. You want it to scale as your business grows. You want to be able to edit it from anywhere.
Cloud eCommerce has become the hosting solution of choice for businesses all across the world. If you’re currently using a physical server, there are many advantages to moving to the cloud.
Let’s look at what cloud eCommerce is, the pros and cons, and how to make the most of cloud technology.
What is cloud eCommerce?
There are two hosting options available when it comes to overseeing your website. The first is to host your website on a physical server. You can either manage this onsite or get a specialist hosting provider to look after it for you.
In the past, this was the only option available to businesses that wanted an online presence. However, over the past decade a more flexible solution has become available; cloud eCommerce.
Cloud eCommerce is when your eCommerce website is hosted entirely online using a remote network of servers. This means you can access your website, as well as your storage and databases, from anywhere in the world – all you need is an internet connection!
What options are there when it comes to cloud-based eCommerce?
There are two choices available to you when considering cloud eCommerce for your business.
The first is to use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) eCommerce platform like Shopify. These platforms are cloud-based and paid for on a monthly or annual basis. The key advantage of a platform like Shopify is that everything is included in the price, from the hosting to the security patches.
The second is to host your eCommerce site on a cloud-based provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS). With this option, you get more flexibility as you can use it alongside the open-source eCommerce platform of your choice. For example, you can use AWS to host your WordPress or Magento site.
AWS is currently the largest cloud computing company in the world, estimated to control about a third of the global market.
One of the reasons why AWS is so popular is that it had a massive head start on competitors like Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. This meant the company could carry out significant research and development and identify what its target audience wanted from a cloud eCommerce provider.
What are the advantages of using cloud eCommerce?
So now that you know what cloud eCommerce is, why should you move your store across? Here are just some of the reasons why migrating your website across to the cloud will make your business more efficient.
You can access your eCommerce store from anywhere
Whether you need to add products using your mobile phone or access data at home, the cloud means you don’t have to be in the office to update your site.
You don’t need expensive hardware
With cloud eCommerce, you don’t need a physical server, storage devices, or a data room. This means smaller businesses without a large IT budget can take advantage of an eCommerce store.
You can adapt your system to meet your needs
Cloud eCommerce systems, especially SaaS platforms, come with many features and extensions. This means you can ensure your cloud eCommerce store meets your precise requirements and expectations.
You can scale when you want
Most cloud hosting systems work on a ‘pay as you use’ basis, so you can add new resources and features as needed. For example, if you see more traffic during Black Friday, you can temporarily up your bandwidth to keep shoppers happy.
If you’re looking for a platform that grows as your business does, cloud eCommerce is a great starting point.
You can stay secure
Some people think that cloud eCommerce is not as safe as an onsite server, but eCommerce providers have extensive fail-safes in place to ensure data is protected. After all, if they are responsible for a security breach, they can get in a lot of trouble!
If you use a SaaS solution, all security patches and updates are included as part of the service.
Another benefit of cloud eCommerce is that all your data is automatically backed up and stored. This means that if something goes wrong, you can get back up and running as soon as possible.
What are the disadvantages of moving to cloud eCommerce?
While cloud eCommerce has many benefits, it’s not without its disadvantages. Here are some things you need to consider.
You have less control
While cloud hosting providers have invested significant resources into ensuring their infrastructure works as well as possible, there can still be downtime issues. And when this happens, there’s not much you can do to fix the problem.
It always pays to have a contingency plan for your website for when downtime occurs. For example, using social media to keep customers in the loop, utilising social commerce, or having a backup site you can redirect to.
On the plus side, with cloud eCommerce, your data is stored across multiple locations. This means that one single issue won’t significantly affect your eCommerce store.
You need internet access
As your website is hosted in the cloud, you can access it from anywhere…as long as you have Wi-Fi or a decent mobile internet connection.
With the rollout of the 5G network and the increasing availability of superfast broadband, this isn’t an issue for most people. However, if you live in a very rural area or are a fan of the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle, this is something you may need to bear in mind.
Is moving my eCommerce store to the cloud the right option?
We always say that anything that makes your website quicker and more responsive is definitely a good option!
If you’re frustrated with your physical servers or are looking to replatform your eCommerce store in the near future, we’d definitely recommend cloud hosting.
The key thing to remember is that there are various hosting options. For example, do you go with an inclusive solution like Shopify, or opt for the combination of an open-source platform and cloud-based hosting provider? And even after that decision is made, there are many providers to choose from!
Not sure which eCommerce platform is right for you? Download our free cheat sheet.
Xigen: your cloud eCommerce specialists
When migrating your eCommerce site to a new platform, it must be done right. If you’re considering replatforming your store, Xigen can help.
Our team of eCommerce experts will work with you to select the right platform and hosting solution for your specific needs, and create a plan of action for moving everything across. This means no disruption of service and minimal downtime for your valued customers.