The eCommerce sector has been growing steadily for years now, but the unprecedented growth related to the pandemic has caused many retailers to struggle under the immense weight of such sudden spikes in demand.
The Covid-19 lockdowns brought about a crippling decline in retail store sales and caused a growth in online sales that few retailers were truly prepared to manage. The results of this sudden and significant shift in buyer behaviors caused many systems to become overloaded, leaving retailers missing many opportunities, and consumers experiencing immense frustration.
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The rise of eCommerce
The global eCommerce sector is predicted to reach $4.89 trillion during 2021. The overall retail market share for online purchases has increased by almost 46% since 2019 and is expected to continue rising in the coming years.
The world of eCommerce was always expected to grow, just not at the unexpected pace that the pandemic created. Nevertheless, being that its growth was always on the cards, there’s no stopping it now, as the trend towards convenient online shopping is set to long out-live the conditions of the pandemic.
The effect upon retailers
When the shifts started happening, retailers who continued to run their eCommerce platforms via data centers were struggling under the pressures of too much demand and too little compute power. In a desperate bid to manage the spike in demand, retailers functioning via commercial databases scrambled to buy up additional licenses and find solutions for added storage.
Meanwhile, any retailers who had already made the shift towards cloud infrastructure were in a prime position to meet the soaring demands, as their systems were cloud-based and could therefore instantly scale up with ease.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide all of the online technologies that retailers need to instantly manage their growth. Managing demand surges, and capitalizing on these opportunities while consistently providing exceptional customer service is a challenge, but one that can be easily met with AWS. These Amazon services include technologies such as content distribution, scaling compute resources, storage, and networking, as well as a PCI-compliant environment.
Amazon has been a pioneer in the industry of cloud computing. When you consider that they have based all of their cloud service offerings upon first-hand experience managing one of the world’s largest eCommerce platforms, it’s little wonder that it is one of the main players in the field.
Some of the cloud computing solutions provided by AWS include:
eCommerce architecture blueprints
Essential to the successful running of an online business is implementing application engineering and architecture. AWS cloud provides online retailers with ready-to-use CloudFormation templates to use for their eCommerce architecture that will enable the product catalog to scale up efficiently to meet online viewing demand.
Additionally, popular software platforms for eCommerce, such as Magento, offer versions that are highly compatible with these AWS blueprints.
The eCommerce boom has brought with it a boom in the use of promotional discount online coupons as a highly effective means of marketing. Amazon Personalize is a machine learning device that developers can utilize to easily individualize customer recommendations to suit their preferences and behaviors.
With 92% of online shoppers attesting to searching for an online discount coupon before making a purchase, couponing is an essential part of any solid marketing strategy. Applications like Amazon Personalize can be used to tailor promotional offers to target consumers more specifically and drive sales even further.
Regulatory compliance and security maintenance
Another essential component to running an online business is the management of the checkout process. There are many factors involved that must be successfully coordinated, including complying with a credit card and purchase history regulatory requirements, as well as ensuring the security of sensitive data on behalf of consumers.
As part of its Cloud Services, Amazon offers a certified, secure cloud-based infrastructure for hosting eCommerce business applications. AWS holds multiple certifications in relevant eCommerce business securities to allow for application layers to be built without compromising security. This includes the Payment Cards Industry Data Security Standard (DSS).
Companies experiencing growth since switching to AWS
Many companies have experienced considerable growth once switching over to AWS Cloud-based eCommerce solutions. Here are some impressive examples:
Destination XL (DXL) Group
This leading menswear brand for the big and tall suffered from glitchy hosting solutions and site outages until it migrated to AWS. In collaboration with Pivotree (AWS Advanced Consulting Partner), DXL switched to AWS in a hurry to prepare for the next peak season. Following the change, the business not only saved 30% in annual hosting fees but saw its consumer request volume increase five-fold.
Rent-a-Center is a rent-to-own business based in the US that currently runs 3,000 stores and operates on AWS using SAP Hybris. This elastic solution offers high availability and has the capacity to scale up 1000% – with no additional cost for idle servers. They also utilize Amazon CloudFront for their global content delivery.
Motorola set the goal to successfully sell direct-to-consumer (DTC) worldwide, and worked alongside VTEX (AWS Advanced Technology Partner) to launch sites across 37 countries, all operating on AWS Cloud microservices. Via their new AWS architecture sites, Motorola has achieved a 25% conversion rate increase, having been able to service both DTC and Business-to-Business (B2B) sales channels worldwide.
It may seem counterintuitive to migrate your core business applications to AWS when Amazon itself is the giant of eCommerce that most online retailers are competing with. However, not only does their track record, therefore, imply that they are the experts in superior Cloud-based operations, but their products sell themselves.
The reliability, flexibility, and scalability, coupled with the security standards, affordability, and availability make AWS the perfect match for modern eCommerce needs.