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How Can Cloud Technology Help Your Online Store Shoot Ahead During Crisis
Online shopping has been a necessity and a panacea during this pandemic. At times when leaving the house induces anxiety, Amazon, the largest e-tailer in the US, has doubled its net profit year over year to $5.2 billion, compared to $2.6 billion at this time in 2019. It may be worrisome if you build your livelihood on selling products or services online, but there is a shiny silver lining: whether because of all the extra time during quarantine or because of some extra cash freed up from daily spending’s and stimulus checks, people are flocking to shop online.
So, is your online store ready to handle the onslaught of orders that might be headed your way? If not, your customers will find other stores (looking at you, Amazon) that can handle their orders, and they may not return. Here are 4 ways in which cloud technology can help your store be prepared and win during times of crisis.
Scale Up When You Need to, Scale Down When You Don’t
Is your store accustomed to processing only a handful of orders each day? What happens if you suddenly receive 100 orders or more in a single day? Hopefully, the answer to that question is not “crash.” If you are lucky to get a surge of orders during this stressful time, crashing is the last thing you want to do. If you aren’t using cloud technology already, this is a great reason to get started.
With cloud technology, your online store becomes scalable so that it can handle sudden peaks in volume. Imagine trying to provision new servers or even get the money to purchase additional servers for your store. Now imagine trying to do that within a couple of days to handle the sudden increase in volume. Sounds impossible, right? With cloud technology, you can achieve that level of scalability with the click of a button. New servers can be provisioned within minutes so that your store can handle the additional volume, and then you can scale back again if volume decreases. This is an amazingly cost-effective way to achieve quick scalability so that your infrastructure keeps pace with your business.
Secure Your Operations
When processing online payments, customers expect the highest level of security from your online store. Any hint of a breach or unsecure website, and it will scare off customers forever. Implementing and managing such thorough security protocols on your own can be a daunting task, especially since most online store owners are not cybersecurity experts. Thankfully, cloud-based hosting options are available that can provide the latest security protocols for your site. Another great thing is that these cloud providers are constantly monitoring for new threats and updating their security appropriately. It helps remove the hassle and worry from your plate so that you can rest assured that your website and your customers’ data is protected.
Maximize Your Store’s Uptime
When your website is down, that means customers cannot place any orders. This, in turn, means that you are not making money when you could. By using cloud technology, you can maximize the uptime of your website. Redundancy and resiliency can be provided as part of your cloud solution, so even if something happens to a server, your site can automatically failover to a backup. This helps to ensure that your site is operating 24/7 so that customers can place an order whenever they are ready. People expect that online stores never close, so you need to make sure that your store is, in fact, always open!
Personalize Your Offering
Online customers are savvy and used to the highly personalized shopping suggestions they encounter whenever they visit e-commerce giants like Amazon. While it is hard to compete with that level of personalization unless you have a Machine Learning department, an online store of any size working with an experienced Managed Service Provider can leverage cloud-based open-source AI databases to add a personalized touch to your prospective clients’ search results.
Keep Costs Down
Just like a brick and mortar store, an online store must also manage expenses to maximize profit. IT expenses are a huge percentage of an online store’s overall budget, so keeping them as low as possible is crucial to operating margins. Attempting to manage physical IT infrastructure, plus the staff who knows how to do that can be extremely costly. Using a cloud solution can help to keep this cost to a minimum because you only pay for what you use.
This ties back into the prior point of scalability. If your store volume doubles next month, then you can quickly scale and simply pay more for your IT resources that month. If you need to scale back down again, then your IT bill just got lower. The “pay for what you use” model is a huge benefit to cloud technology, and it allows online store owners to keep IT expenses in check while still knowing they can handle whatever may come their way.
Another important benefit offered by the leading MSP 3nom is the predictable pricing model. To put it simply, you will never get slammed with a sky-high IT bill if we had to ward off a cyberattack, recover massive amounts of data, increase your server capacity, or upgrade your security protocols. You will always know how much you will be paying this month and can spend the rest of your resources wherever you need them the most.
These are just a few of the many great benefits of using cloud technology for your online store. If you have not invested in a cloud-based solution yet, now is the time to do so! The offering is vast, so do your research and find the one that best fits your needs and budget. You can put your online store in a position to shoot ahead during this crisis—and beyond. Reach out to 3nom today to explore how cloud technology can help your e-commerce business.