5 reasons to switch your e-commerce to the cloud
Over the last couple decades, the rise of e-commerce has made a huge impact on how businesses function nowadays. These days any business that wants to be successful selling products or services online depends on its e-commerce solution. The next step in this evolution – cloud-based e-commerce – brings up a new major decision companies now need to make to stay ahead of the curve – whether or not to make the switch.
An e-commerce cloud offers major benefits to those who choose to go with it! Faster speeds, improved server usage, and tighter security just to name a few. On top of that, businesses that go with the cloud enjoy great budget savings due to lower setup and maintenance costs.
That in short is what makes cloud solutions the way of the future, and why many companies are now shopping for cloud technology.
Let’s however look a bit more into details of what’s involved with this revolutionary system. Here are 5 factors a business owner would need to consider about moving the company’s e-commerce from an on-premise solution to the cloud.
1 - Lower cost of set-up and maintenanceAs a business owner, one of your primary concerns is always about how much it’s going cost you. Obviously. So, let’s take a look into it for a moment.
Cloud e-commerce software is provided as a service (that’s why we use the term software-as-a-service, or SaaS). That means you save right at the start. Migrating your business to a new system is always a big move that usually also means big investments. Not this time however!
When going with a cloud-based solution you avoid large upfront investments to purchase the physical servers and facilities needed to manage and maintain the software, as well as software licenses themselves. The switch from your old system can be done in stages with little to no impact on your daily operations.
As you keep using the service, the on-premise solutions are going to involve some ongoing costs, such as of hardware maintenance and software upgrades, data storage, security backups, power and cooling, etc. And in some cases the additional costs of meeting regulatory standards of protecting credit card and personal data. On top of that eventually it’s inevitably going to get outdated to the point of no return.
With the cloud solution it’s the vendor (and not you and your IT department) who hosts the software and maintains the hardware infrastructure.
For you as a business owner this means that the initial costs as well as maintenance costs are typically going to be much lower because you simply implement the software and adjust it to meet your requirements – that’s it. Everything is accessible online through a web browser interface. Payment is a pay-as-you-go system or a predictable, yearly subscription/sales percentage model. So, again, little to no investment upfront, making it a safe choice.
If you are a small business, you may even qualify for free service with certain providers. Virto Commerce for example, lets you get a fully featured enterprise class product completely free with a revenue restriction. That way you can start easy and upgrade your e-commerce platform once your business becomes a success.
2 - Less hassle for you and your IT staffOur cloud e-commerce solution is known for being very developer-friendly. Everything is configured to make you IT team’s experience working with it as easy and enjoyable as possible.
You leave it to the vendor to worry about the hardware and major software maintenance. There is no need for your team to re-invent features, as we have a lot of ready solutions with open source easily accessible code. Whichever obstacle you might face tweaking the system to your company’s needs, chances are we have already gone through it and are happy to share our solutions!
We will happily assist with helping your developers get familiar with all the changes and make the transition smooth and easy. So, your IT staff can focus on what matters most for your business – customizing the features to fit your needs perfectly and working on developing strategies that are going to help you grow and expand.
3 - Always up-to-date
The on-premise solutions tend to work well once you set them up and fully customize them to your needs… And then the provider releases an update.
The problem with this type of set-up is that any customizations or integrations you’ve made are tied to the existing software version, so once an upgrade is implemented they will be wiped. In many cases your IT team will have to start re-customizing from scratch.
Needless to say this can get very time (and resource) consuming which is why many companies choose to not upgrade at all and stay with an outdated version missing out on a lot of new features and latest business trends. But even then there is always a risk of losing access to your built-from-scratch features whenever there is a change in your team structure.
Cloud e-commerce providers make sure your previously implemented customizations automatically carry forward when the platform is updated. Their solutions are continuously being enhanced, so you can be sure you're always using the latest, most advanced version. And having an easy access to all the code for all the team members makes sure possible staff changes have no impact on your system’s functionality.
4 - Better organization and tracking
This one is a no-brainer. Having all your data stored in one place with an easy on-line access is going to help your business function in the most efficient way possible by reducing possibility of errors and helping your supply chain run smoothly.
You can have several stores on the same cloud platform with one central control point. Regional dealerships have an easy way to join the main system with an option of their making their own unique customizations.
It means better organization and tracking of orders and stock items across multiple physical locations, faster status updates and all your required information available to you from anywhere and at any time.
5 - More flexibility
Your business is constantly evolving, and it is absolutely essential to have an e-commerce solution that will be able to grow and evolve along with it. Who wants to be stuck in the same place?
With the cloud based e-commerce solution you can respond to any upcoming market opportunities faster by quickly adding new sites for new business models (B2B or B2C), brands or countries, all on the same platform. Marketing campaigns, cross-sales, even any non-standard solutions are easy to implement.
In addition, Virto Commerce functions as an open source e-commerce platform. Meaning that not only will you get a ready-to-use solution with an access to decades of vendor experience and to the local partner network, but also a full access to the code, which would allow you to adapt the platform to your specific needs without any technical barriers.
On top of that our platform has module based architecture. This means for example, that your store front would be clearly separated from the back-end, so either can be updated or changed independently from one another. Migration of the whole system and implementations of new features can be done gradually without having to switch in one go – you can run beta-versions along with your current version, switch parts of your customer base at a time to the newer versions, etc.
Neither will there be any need to update the whole system at once for any tweaks and adjustments you might want to make. You can easily change or replace any module or add a new extension without affecting the rest of the system. For example, easily change your product pricing without ever touching anything else.
E-commerce solutions are progressing fast, and you don’t want to be left behind! However, it’s important to take the time to consider what’s right for you and your business. Each company is unique with its own needs and requirements. Luckily, cloud solutions for e-commerce cover a wide range of them.