The e-commerce sector has been growing steadily for years, but the unprecedented growth associated with the pandemic has left many retailers struggling under the immense weight of such sudden spikes in demand.
The Covid-19 lockdowns caused a crippling drop in retail sales and sparked a growth in online sales that few retailers were really willing to manage. The results of this sudden and significant shift in buyer behavior caused many systems to become overloaded, causing retailers to miss many opportunities and consumers to experience enormous frustration.
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The rise of e-commerce
The global e-commerce sector is expected to reach $4.89 trillion in 2021. The total retail market share for online purchases has increased by almost 46% since 2019 and is expected to continue to increase in the coming years.
The world of e-commerce was always expected to grow, just not at the unexpected pace caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, as growth has always been on the cards, there is now no stopping it as the trend towards convenient online shopping will long outlive the conditions of the pandemic.
The effect on retailers
As the shifts began, retailers who continued to run their eCommerce platforms through data centers struggled under the pressure of too much demand and too little computing power. In a desperate attempt to contain the spike in demand, retailers working through commercial databases rushed to buy additional licenses and find solutions for additional storage space.
Meanwhile, all retailers who had already made the move to cloud infrastructure were in a great position to meet the rising demand as their systems were cloud-based and therefore could scale immediately and easily.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides all the online technologies retailers need to instantly manage their growth. Managing rising demand and capitalizing on these opportunities while providing exceptional customer service is challenging, but one that can be easily solved with AWS. These Amazon services include technologies such as content distribution, compute resource scaling, storage, and networking, as well as a PCI compliant environment.
Amazon is a pioneer in the cloud computing industry. When you consider that they have built all of their cloud service offerings based on first-hand experience operating one of the world’s largest ecommerce platforms, it’s no wonder it’s one of the key players in the field.
Some of AWS’ cloud computing solutions include:
Blueprints for Ecommerce Architecture
Essential to successfully running 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, efficiently scaling the product catalog to meet online viewing demand.
In addition, popular e-commerce software platforms such as Magento offer versions that are highly compatible with these AWS blueprints.
The eCommerce boom has led to a boom in the use of online coupons as a highly effective marketing tool. Amazon Personalize is a machine learning device that developers can use to easily personalize customer recommendations based on their preferences and behavior.
Of 92% of the online shoppers who report looking for an online coupon before making a purchase, couponing is an essential part of any solid marketing strategy. Applications such as 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 part of running an online business is managing the checkout process. There are many factors that must be successfully coordinated, including meeting regulatory requirements for credit cards and purchase history, and ensuring the security of sensitive data on behalf of consumers.
As part of its Cloud Services, Amazon provides a certified, secure cloud-based infrastructure for hosting eCommerce business applications. AWS holds multiple certifications in relevant eCommerce business securities so that application layers can be built without compromising security. This includes the Payment Cards Industry Data Security Standard (DSS).
Businesses growing since the move to AWS
Many businesses have experienced significant growth after moving to AWS Cloud-based eCommerce solutions. Here are some impressive examples:
Destination XL (DXL) Group
This leading menswear brand for tall and tall people suffered from glitchy hosting solutions and site outages until it migrated to AWS. In association with turntable (AWS Advanced Consulting Partner), DXL hastily switched to AWS to prepare for the next peak season. After the change, the company not only saved 30% on annual hosting costs, but also saw the number of consumer requests increase fivefold.
Rent-a-Center is a rental company in the US with currently 3,000 stores and AWS with SAP Hybris. This elastic solution offers high availability and the capacity to scale up to 1000% – at no additional cost for inactive servers. They also use Amazon CloudFront for their worldwide content delivery.
Motorola set the goal of successfully selling direct-to-consumer (DTC) worldwide, and collaborated VTEX (AWS Advanced Technology Partner) to launch sites in 37 countries, all running on AWS Cloud microservices. Through their new AWS architecture sites, Motorola has achieved a 25% conversion rate as it has been able to serve 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 ecommerce giant that most online retailers compete with. Their track record therefore implies not only that they are the experts in superior cloud-based operations, but that their products sell themselves.
Its reliability, flexibility, and scalability, coupled with security standards, affordability, and availability, make AWS the perfect match for modern eCommerce needs.