For virtual stores that will see an increase in sales over time, investing in new and secure forms of data storage is a central need.
*by Caio Klein
Companies have already realized that investing in technology has become critical to staying competitive in the marketplace, especially on high-demand dates like Black Friday. This need for technology has arisen largely because digital customer service channels open up opportunities to reach audiences far beyond traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In e-commerce, for example, such a scenario is very significant, since the physical limitations imposed by the rights of commerce no longer apply to this world. To give you an idea, Brazilian e-commerce closed the first half of 2022 with sales of R$ 118.6 billion, showing a growth of 6% compared to 2021.
This year we still have an additional factor that contributes to the growth of e-commerce and, consequently, requires attention to the technical problems of websites. According to the Brazilian Retail Association (ABV), the combination of Black Friday and the World Cup at the same time of the year should increase sales by 12%, the result could be an entry of up to R$20 billion into the economy.
However, it is necessary to think and plan so that the virtual store can function properly and have top-notch resources that support the business as a whole. This is because computers have a limited amount of memory and processing power, which should therefore be respected. For this, it is essential to have solutions that make the load elastic and ready for scaling in situations of the highest number of visits, so that the store can receive a much larger number of customers.
Cloud as an ally of e-commerce
Without a doubt, cloud migration plays a key role when it comes to business support technologies. In general, the cloud is nothing more than a collection of data centers managed by specialized companies in the sector. In this way, through the technologies that these organizations make available, it is possible to consume memory and computer processing in a much more dynamic way.
In other words, if a company’s application requires more memory or processing, the missing resources need to be requested and obtained immediately, since these “data centers” have huge amounts of resources and can allocate them for use when needed. This even helps keep costs down, as the company will only pay for the time it uses this environment.
Therefore, it is obvious that online stores have to rely on almost infinite infrastructure through global cloud service providers. This gives businesses peace of mind that e-commerce will not be limited by scarce computing resources.
Challenges for companies not investing in the cloud
Assuming that virtual environments are infinite, the technology behind these environments is based on computers with real and limited resources. Without them, virtual stores do not exist, and no matter how small the virtual space that a digital visitor occupies in this system, it is necessary to count on preservation in the form of RAM memory, process cycles and other processes that include the manipulation of a digital order. For this reason, the cloud is definitely the best possible environment to accommodate the current increase in computing resource demands.
Without the cloud, it would be necessary to purchase the “hardware” necessary to meet peak demand on seasonal dates, there are several difficulties in this task. Among them are: the fact that the company does not know exactly what the peak demand and actual resource consumption will be when it happens, the realization that all the necessary automation needs to be set up for the application to benefit from the additional resources that the company buys, as well as the need to allocate large CAPEX- and for the purchase of equipment that will be idle most of the time.
System integration: the key to e-commerce success
Digital transformation is usually presented as new solutions, processes and systems that are integrated into the existing environment. The retail market in particular is going through a very strong digitalization process, since new sales channels, such as e-commerce or marketplaces, CRM solutions that add personalization in dealing with the end customer, promoting efficiency in buying, selling and logistics, which are included in daily life activities of traders.
All these innovations put enormous pressure on the mechanisms of interconnection of legacy systems, which must necessarily receive and consolidate information from new digital channels. Therefore, in a highly interconnected environment such as e-commerce, it is imperative that the integration infrastructure can scale along with your application, allowing you to interact with all the building blocks and supporting services that guarantee the success of a virtual store.
Another critical point is related to knowing how to use all resources. What many do not know is that for the delivery of goods it is not necessary, for example, to establish your own logistics network. Currently, there are already companies specializing in this service, optimizing the entire logistics process, covering important steps such as means of payment, tax calculation, inventory management and so on.
Security in e-commerce
Just as physical stores require protection, online stores and systems also need security, as vulnerabilities grow as the system becomes more scalable and robust. In this sense, a security scheme designed to protect and monitor virtual e-commerce environments can be the key to the success of the operation.
Part is usually defined by processes and procedures, but another significant part consists of tools that help prevent, monitor and mitigate possible attacks. After all, would you set up an infinitely large store without security guards, security cameras and electronic sensors scattered everywhere? In the virtual universe, the threat is similar, which is why cybersecurity is so important.
Additionally, during times of high demand, systems become more vulnerable to the actions of malicious agents, increasing the need to invest in cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions to counter these attacks, monitor and protect network operations.
In order to avoid cyberattacks, it is necessary to assess the degree of risk of the company’s IT environment. Services such as penetration and/or intrusion testing mimic the actions of hackers and are important for identifying security holes. Therefore, creating and establishing an information security awareness program with your employees and managers is another point that greatly contributes to risk reduction.
In short, all these topics are directly related to the goal that companies want most: winning and keeping customers. In order for the online experience to become a positive differentiator, companies must increase investment in technologies responsible for interacting with consumers. Only then will they be prepared and protected to serve their customers excellently not only on Black Friday, but at any time of the year.
*Caio Klein is Sky.One CPO.