We asked and you told us! What are the must haves for IT infrastructure for E-Commerce?
The number of consumers purchasing items online is exponentially growing which only means one thing. It’s time to implement the best IT infrastructure possible. No sweat right? Enabling real time shopping cart incentives, omni-channel optimization, peak loads during holidays – easy peasy. NOT! This is when you gotta take out the inferior IT infrastructure thinking cap, build out the correct infrastructure, and KNOW (not hope) that your system is smooth as silk.
1. Scaling up or scaling out – David from DART- Creations (a website for web designers and webmasters) has worked for companies which have over 200+ million in yearly revenue. What’s his secret? David says, “The fundamental question when investing in any infrastructure (both hardware and software) which tends to have peaks is whether that infrastructure is capable of scaling up OR scaling out.” Of course, this can’t be an afterthought or done after the fact, since “ one cannot complete an ecommerce infrastructure project and then optimize for peak loads.”
Bottom Line: Think ahead.
2. Quick Website Load Times – Loading time is a critical factor of page abandonment. These days we don’t have time to waste our precious seconds to get our daily shopping fix. We’re ready to press the buy button so these e-commerce sites better be ready for us too. Swamy, M. Mahesh, CTO at Unilog, a global technology company that specializes in e-commerce and enriched product catalogs, emphasizes the biggest IT infrastructure requirements for a best-in-breed e-commerce site include: easy-to-use search and filtering capabilities…. real-time order status and shipping information, order by scanning barcode on the item, and quick website load times.
Bottom Line: Your website better work at the speed of light.
3. Omni-channel implementation – The rise of tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktops and various other internet providing sources all mean one thing: more sources to shop from. Companies offering their products and services online need to put into effect systems and processes to enable the complete omni-channel customer experience. What’s the key? Implementing this process with a cost-effective infrastructure that can optimally integrate all customer touchpoints. Josh Marti, CEO of retail technology provider Point Inside, believes, believes, “in order for a company to successfully implement an omnichannel strategy, retailers must first invest in the underlying infrastructure by not only providing a digital index of their fulfillment centers, but also by digitally indexing their stores. Next retailers should optimize the fulfillment processes by providing mobile tools to store associates in-store. Retailers must also leverage customer signals from both online and in-store. By understanding shopper location and what customers are searching for, retailers can create a tailored, relevant, and contextual experience – all without using PII.”
Bottom Line: Listen to your shopper.
4. Customer 360- These days you need to be able to predict your customer moves before they even know what they’re thinking. That’s why implementing a customer 360 program should be a no brainer. That person that just picked out the sneakers … yep they’re going to want new socks too. It’s a sure bet that they’re going to love it if you suggest the no-sweat material for their new running shoes. Ali Hodroj, Technical Director and also an E-Commerce Guru at GigaSpaces, a provider of in-memory computing solutions, says “building the correct event driven architecture workflows with low latency and asynchronous capabilities allows companies to provide actionable insights and increase sales dramatically.”
Bottom Line: Read minds via technology.
So there you have it. The top tips from some of the best in e-commerce. When planning your company’s IT infrastructure make sure to think ahead, plan for speed, follow people everywhere, and know what they want before they do.