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Optimize Your AWS Cloud for E-commerce

Online retail today is more than just making sales. It is a race to keep up with fluid customer expectations, globalized competition, and offering an omnichannel engagement experience to future and current customers. Speed of delivery, organizational agility and flawless end-to-end execution are now must-have features to survive in the modern marketplace.


The Customer Journey (Source: Sellbrite.com)

One of the leading online retailers today is undoubtedly Amazon. The book-retailer has grown to be a leader in e-commerce, completing millions of transactions worldwide each day. A key to their sweeping success was developing their own online architecture, Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS not only serves Amazon’s own retail business but helps other retailers with their IT infrastructure.

AWS cloud solutions offer a wide array of services to both large and small businesses, from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to software as a Service (SaaS), always addressing cybersecurity, scalability, and performance concerns.


Benefits of using the cloud in e-commerce


Flexibility

The key to keeping up with changing customer expectations is allowing for flexibility in your technology infrastructure to meet changing customer and market demands.

The IT infrastructure needs to be able to handle a Black Friday rush and be cost-effective during the slow business periods. AWS solves this issue with Auto-Scaling, which grows and shrinks your website hosting according to traffic demand.



Beyond infrastructure, the AWS marketplace offers over 3000 e-commerce software applications, which you can easily combine to optimize your business transactions.


Cost

According to a study completed in 2013 for overall business performance, AWS provides 626% ROI during a five-year period, and the payback period is as low as 7.1 months. Instead of investing heavily in on-premise hardware to handle the highest demand -- which then sits idle during slower periods -- retailers can scale up their stor age when needed, and rapidly reduce them when the demand decreases.


Stability

In a 2014 survey from Gartner, the average cost per minute for downtime for a business is $5,600 per minute in the enterprises it surveyed. This cost largely depends on the business size and environment (check out the downtime cost calculator).

Hosting your e-commerce architecture in the cloud ensures that you keep a stable connection with your customers. AWS also provides support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a response time as fast as 15 minutes.


Speed

Website speed today is vital: 40% of customers abandon a websites if load-times take more than 2 seconds. AWS has developed the Amazon CloudFront fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, and applications to customers globally with low latency and high transfer speeds.

But speed is not only important when it comes to page load times. New applications to enhance the customer experience need to be designed and deployed rapidly. Travel Perkins, for example, has managed to reduce development of an end-to-end infrastructure from 3 days on-premise to 2 hours with AWS.


Some companies that have built their e-commerce solutions with AWS (Source: Amazon)

Cloud Architecture Optimization Considerations


Consider your complexity

The first thing you need to assess when optimizing your cloud solution is the requirements of your business: whether you need multiple versions in different languages, the size and variety of your catalog, or managing promotions.

Being able to clearly express your needs will help to configure your cloud according to the services and workflow in your business. With the AWS Trusted Advisor you will be able to address your business requirements and find the configuration that fits best suits your business.


Source: AWS Trusted Advisor

Build for traffic flow

Optimizing for fluctuations in traffic is important when building a cloud solution. The infrastructure needs to perform well in high-demand periods, but keep your business efficient during slower periods.


Optimize for speed

As mentioned above, loading time for your website is key to providing an optimal customer experience and driving conversion. There are several ways load time can be decreased. For example, consider compressing the file size of images, reducing the number of plug-ins, and writing efficient code. Cloud Life Consulting uses expert strategies to increase your website performance.


Monitor your performance

With a managed cloud service, your business can leverage the latest cloud innovations and continuously optimize efficiency. Popsa.com, for instance, achieved 68% month-on-month growth with an expert AWS architecture and continuous support.


AWS and Cloud Life Consulting can help you build, deploy and optimize your IT infrastructure, and let you focus on what really matters -- growing your business.

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