There are several challenges that modern day ecommerce businesses face. But what if most of these challenges could be overcome by simply switching from local hosting to cloud hosting?
When starting out, the typical ecommerce business has a variety of hurdles to overcome before it can achieve a degree of success. These hurdles vary in difficulty and most ecommerce businesses being unable to overcome them end up failing within their first five years of launching.
What are these hurdles?
Some of the hurdles that ecommerce business owners commonly have to deal with include;
1. Building customer loyalty and trust
Same as with every other business, people who patronise ecommerce businesses are most likely to only buy from an online store if they trust the company. An ecommerce business that fails to inspire trust in the minds of its potential customers will likely be unable to get them to shop. Even if an ecommerce business manages to earn the trust of its customers, said trust can be lost or shaken in the event of a mishap such as a failure to deliver on quality of service as promised. For an ecommerce business to win over its customers, it has to be able to guarantee them of its long term stability and reliability. If not, said customers will likely be more comfortable trying their luck with retailers they feel more comfortable with
2. Having to deal with different systems can lead to poor experience
In an ecommerce business, there are various technical aspects of operations whose efficiency need to be top notch in order to guarantee seamless operations. This includes the quality of the ecommerce website’s speed, security of transactions, safety of customer information, and much more. Advancements in the ease of use of technology have led to consumers expecting more from online retailers when it comes to convenience of shopping online. This increased demand places pressure on business owners to focus on the technical aspects of running such a business like; bandwidth or server issues, data privacy, dynamic IP address, and security issues. Having to focus on all of these aspects can stretch a business owner in such a situation too thin, and thus lead to ineffective performance in core aspects of the business. This can lead to customers having to endure a poor experience while shopping on the site and lead to them eventually taking their business elsewhere.
3. Lack of cross-departmental collaboration
In any business place, collaboration between departments is essential in order for the organisation as a whole to function as a cohesive unit. Where there is a failure to collaborate, departments might find themselves unintentionally disrupting the performance of other departments and this might eventually lead to the company’s inability to deliver on services. Lack of cooperation between the various departments of an ecommerce company can lead to failures in inventory, processing and delivery of orders, processing of payments, management of data, security, and much more. And each of these issues on its own can lead to an ecommerce business’ downfall.
Shopping on an ecommerce platform is often more fulfilling for customers if the experience is personalised. But for an ecommerce business to be able to effectively personalise shopping for customers, important data is needed. Without the right customer data, it is impossible to effectively customise the shopping experience of each and every customer. But having all the pertinent customer data is not enough as knowing how to apply said data is also important. A failure by an ecommerce company to gather and utilise customer data as necessary can lead to its failure to deliver on the quality of service expected of it by its customers.
These are some of the key issues facing ecommerce businesses as they attempt to grow in an increasingly competitive environment. Fortunately, there is a solution with the capability to deal with a majority of these issues.
How cloud computing can help an ecommerce business overcome its hurdles
Cloud based solutions have in recent years become a favoured choice for many ecommerce businesses. This is because of the many benefits that cloud solutions can offer to enhance the ease of running an ecommerce business. But we’ll be looking only at how cloud computing can help a business overcome the hurdles stated above;
Management of systems
Instead of an ecommerce business owner having to personally commit resources such as time, labour, and cost to the technical issues that come with running an ecommerce business, investing in cloud based solutions will take care of such issues from the end of the cloud hosting service provider. According to Brendan Wilde at Umbrellar, “Asides from hosting a website, reliable cloud hosting as part of its standard features provides solutions to bandwidth or server issues, data privacy, and security issues…” This means with cloud hosting, an ecommerce business owner need not personally deal with issues concerning website speed, security of transactions, safety of customer information, and so on. This gives the company the freedom to focus resources and energy on other issues such as ensuring customer satisfaction.
It normally takes a long time for a new ecommerce business to win the trust of its target market. But with cloud based solutions, this can be accomplished in less time. By showing shoppers that an ecommerce platform is backed by a cloud based system from a reputable company like Google, Amazon, or Salesforce, shoppers will be put more at ease concerning the safety and reliability of that ecommerce website.
Cloud based hosting solutions can offer integrated cloud analytics which will provide insights concerning crucial customer metrics. This means with cloud computing, an ecommerce store will have access to not just all the data it needs, but also interpretations of the data which it can use to improve the functionality, attractiveness, and performance of the business. This information will go a long way in helping an ecommerce business improve customer experience through personalisation.
Cloud based solutions facilitate collaboration throughout a company by providing an easy means through which people from various levels of a company can easily and securely store and share information. By facilitating the sharing of information and communication, it will be easier for departments to carry each other along on various projects and update one another on other matters.
While cloud based systems might not be the solution to all the problems that an ecommerce business might be facing, it is a good first step towards making the company more effective in a variety of ways.