3 Types of Cloud Technology Primed to Change Ecommerce in 2022
According to reports compiled by TrustRadius, eCommerce sales grew by a whopping 25.7% in 2020. This is at least partly due to the massive influx of digital transactions brought about by a global pandemic. The value of the entire eCommerce industry today is approximately $4.2 trillion, expected to rise to $7.4 trillion by 2025.
Other than increasing demand for digital products and services, one of the key catalysts of this exponential growth is the growing number of innovative technologies that enable companies to carry out complex business processes with fewer resources. These allow online stores to save time and costs. Those savings generate more value. Business owners can invest that additional value in their company or pass it on to the consumer.
Cloud computing is a critical piece of the technology landscape, poised to revolutionize the face of eCommerce. Indeed, the demand for cloud-based tech is higher than ever before. More and more businesses are turning to cloud-based solutions to run their operations.
What is cloud computing technology?
The term “cloud computing” refers to the hosting and distribution of information and on-demand computing resources via the internet. The internet, of course, is really nothing other than a remote network of interconnected servers. Cloud-based solutions allow organizations to store data to a remote database rather than storing, managing, and processing it on an on-site hard drive or local storage device. Cloud services offer a number of advantages for people who use them.
Consumers are already familiar with many cloud-based computing services. These include your email provider, audio and video streaming services, and on-demand software such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Slack.
Companies are beginning to see the value in outsourcing all of the heavy lifting involved in crunching and processing data to cloud-based computing solutions. Doing so allows even the smallest business to benefit through improved productivity and boosted sales.
When it comes to cloud services for online merchants, the three broad categories are IaaS, SaaS and PaaS. Listed below is a brief explanation of all three.
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS is a subset of cloud computing technology that delivers virtualized computer resources via the internet. The infrastructure components that would normally be found in an on-premises data center are hosted by a cloud provider under an IaaS model.
In most cases, companies turn to IaaS technology to help save costs on expensive on-site installations. These typically include storage databases, servers, and data warehouses.
These days, IaaS is becoming increasingly prevalent. It’s typically easier, faster, and less expensive to run a project. There’s no need to purchase, manage, and support the underlying infrastructure usually associated with such tasks. IaaS allows a company to rent or lease infrastructure from another company. This is especially useful for smaller eCommerce stores. Additionally, IaaS solutions are highly customizable and scalable as they can be replaced or upgraded at any time without affecting your initial investment.
Leading IaaS solutions for the eCommerce industry include Amazon Web Services (AWS), EC2, Digital Ocean, and Magento 1 Enterprise Edition.
SaaS: Software as a Service
SaaS refers to a software licensing and delivery model. Individual users receive their licenses and gain access via the internet.
SaaS eCommerce solutions are cloud-based systems. These can be accessed on any web browser rather than stored on a physical device. This negates any need to purchase, install, and run software applications on a local computer. Users access the software and their account online.
With SaaS solutions, you don’t need to worry about engaging with an IT specialist to download, install, and maintain software on each device. You also don’t need to worry about carrying out software updates. These are all taken care of in the cloud. Much of the time, admins are able to grant staff access to their version of the software. Personalized logins ensure that employees only gain access to resources appropriate for their security level.
Additionally, many eCommerce stores have implemented SaaS solutions to benefit from a flexible payment structure. Instead of forking out a significant upfront investment for software, most SaaS providers operate a subscription model with a fixed, inclusive monthly account fee. This means businesses can run applications smoothly and reliably with minimal input and minimal initial costs.
Some examples of SaaS solutions for eCommerce include Shopify, MailChimp, and ZenDesk.
PaaS: Platform as a Service
A PaaS vendor offers hardware and software tools via the internet. Businesses typically utilize PaaS to develop applications. Developers can use these platforms to create unique, customized software for their companies. These tasks would otherwise be extremely time-consuming and expensive.
This negates the need for developers to start from scratch when designing new applications. It also saves a significant amount of time and money in the process. Companies are enabled to create one-of-a-kind, unique applications. They don’t need to worry about squandering precious resources that could be utilized elsewhere.
Through the power of the cloud, PaaS solutions enable developers to set up and construct live staging environments for their websites. Doing so allows them to generate and test new updates without any downtime. It also eliminates introducing any new, untested modifications for users currently visiting the website.
eCommerce PaaS solutions include Magento Commerce, Oracle Commerce, Hybris, and Sitecore.
Digital shopping platforms are increasingly migrating to cloud-based technology.
You may have an eCommerce store that still relies on traditional data storage, analysis, and processing. However, there are plenty of benefits waiting for you if you deploy cloud technology within your operations such as WooCommerce hosting from WPEngine. These benefits include improved scalability, data security, and increased accessibility for all employees. They also include the ability to save money via pay-per-use and subscription models.
All of this helps bring more value than ever before to the end consumer. It also allows eCommerce stores to cater to shifting consumer demands and ever-increasing customer expectations.