Without a doubt, 2020 will likely be remembered for so many reasons that they could end up rivalling the length of your average CVS receipt. It was the year many of our favorite events were canceled, when many of us became office mates with our kids who were learning how to Zoom for the first time, and when most of us ended up shopping online almost exclusively, making several questionable purchases in the process. If you’re anything like me, you also had to walk your parents through the do’s and don’ts of buying online.
In 2020, it was estimated that the US ecommerce market grew 44% over the previous year, a nearly 3x increase compared to the rate of growth of the past decade. That’s a number that shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point. Consumers went from occasional online orders to buying everyday necessities in bulk (I’m still a little confused over the run on toilet paper, but that’s for another discussion.)
On the retail side, there were certainly those who were better prepared than others. Some organizations were built for and have experience with managing traffic spikes all the time. Other retailers were turning to ecommerce as their primary revenue stream for the very first time. Accelerating their digital transformation during the pandemic is how they survived.
So why is now precisely the right time to move your ecommerce site to the cloud?
Reason 1: Scaling capabilities
One of the biggest challenges last year for ecommerce retailers was old infrastructure. Many organizations with a long history of steady traffic were thinking, ‘if it ain’t broke,’ well you know the rest. “We sell widgets, widgets don’t make it to viral videos, widgets don’t have Cyber Week sales (although I bet they do now), so scaling isn’t an issue for us!”
Having an infrastructure that can truly scale based on traffic demands, even if minor, can have a tremendous impact on revenue, brand image, and customer loyalty. While many data center providers claim to scale, what are they doing really? Oftentimes, they provide a larger server, charge you more, and add another minimum 12 months to your agreement. Let’s not forget how much time it takes to go through that whole process.
Reason 2: Develop faster
During this pandemic, once everyone settled in with remote work, grocery delivery, and other changes to their daily routine, the ecommerce world quickly shifted to figuring out how to serve their customers best. Developers were tasked with improving the user experience and creating new applications. Back in 2019, most of us were aware of ‘curbside pick up’ as a service offered by just a few of the major retail chains. In a Digital Commerce 360 survey of 245 retailers, the number of those offering curbside pick up went from 6.9% in December 2019 to 43.7% in August 2020.
Teams with access to cloud resources could build, test, and deploy new services without being held up by the procurement process. Not only did these teams have access to the resources they needed when they needed them, but they could also ‘pay-as-you-go’ at a much lower cost.
Reason 3: Security
While the recent spike in ecommerce has created a remarkable opportunity for retailers to reach a wider audience, it also increased cyber attacks. Mid-way through last year, the FBI has already reported an increase of 400% in cybercrime.
However, unlike COVID-19, these hackers didn’t just show up in 2020. News stories of major retail or ecommerce data breaches are frequent, but they are far from the only targets. As a smaller retailer, with limited team resources, the cloud is the best way to quickly improve the security of your storefront, as opposed to using costly hardware that requires the hiring of specialized teams of people to manage it.
Reason 4: More bang for your buck
A common theme in the previous points is the cost savings associated with cloud adoption. If we just limit the cost conversation to what specific servers cost in the cloud, versus the cost in a data center, then we’re missing a big part of the actual savings. Beyond the monthly costs to run similar resources in both environments, the cloud provides a number of other ways to reduce spend.
The ability to add and subtract resources in minutes, and only be billed for the time they are running, fits with today’s on-demand and faster development mindset. With no long-term commitment, organizations are free to take more risks with development, and push teams to think more creatively.
While the thought of moving an entire ecommerce site to the cloud may seem like a daunting task, there are a number of resources and partners that can help make this move successful. You’ll want to discuss areas like migration timelines, security capabilities, plans for growth, etc. with these partners to ensure your cloud journey doesn’t include too many bumps in the road. Leveraging the cloud unlocks a number of opportunities for merchants to take advantage of this next wave of online shopping, and Webscale is here to help.
With thousands of applications migrated to the public cloud, Webscale has developed highly defined DevOps workflows to reduce the time it takes to launch ecommerce sites from months to weeks, even days if needed, depending on project size. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the world’s simplest cloud migration from our cloud and ecommerce experts.