How Important is Your Network in a Crowded Ecommerce Market?

Keeping an online business running today demands a supremely efficient ecommerce platform. As such your entire reputation is dictated by the quality of your online delivery via a resilient network that performs optimally whilst facilitating a growing online customer base.

Let’s take a look at some eye-opening ecommerce statistics…

• In 2011 the total value of ecommerce in the UK was £408 billion and grew by 24.9%.
• Europe will double ecommerce sales by 2015, with 85% having shopped online.
• In 2011 online sales in America reached $188 billion. Forecast to reach $270 billion by 2015.
• More than 80% of the online population have used the Internet to make a purchase.
• In G20 countries, the Internet economy will grow at more than 10% annually for the next 5 years and by 2016 will reach $4.2 trillion or 5.3 of GDP.

Key Takeaways: 1) Online investment in ecommerce is accelerating at a phenomenal rate, whilst offline investment is shrinking alarmingly. 2) High street retail is increasingly in contraction as ecommerce explodes across every serviceable industry and retail market.

Ecommerce at Scale
To cater for mass online audiences, ecommerce has redefined social and professional buying habits. Yet without a network to facilitate so many potential requests from a global community, a website has little chance of online survival. It is here that a reliable hosting provider, running a super-fast network, holds the key.

Creating an online shopping experience must be done to the exact requirements of a unique customer base, whilst aiding workflow productivity across a network of internal users. As people are using the Internet in so many different ways – to research, interact and make purchases online 24 hours a day – it becomes all-encompassing, saving people time, money and stress. A business needs to facilitate this shift in culture but it cannot do so with a network that has limited bandwidth and stifled performance.

The Internet is so convenient and technology has developed so much that people can quickly get the answers they need, anywhere, anytime. As broadband and mobile networks become quicker and more secure, it is becoming easier than ever to compare prices and review services online. This is a far cry from having to visit a local store or wait in line on a queued call.

Whether finding travel or accommodation, retail goods or information services, the Internet and specifically ecommerce provide every level of service from the comfort of our homes. It has created the ultimate virtual shopping experience.

Hosting Excellence
Hosted on the right IT infrastructure, ecommerce provides 24/7 service that cannot be matched by any physical store. Interestingly, according to a recent Pew survey, 81% of Internet users have used the web to research products they were considering buying with 20% researching purchases on a daily basis. This is a very large and growing number of people potentially entering your network. If they are hamstrung by slow response times, have a poor online experience or can’t make a purchase, they are very unlikely to return. An ecommerce site that is engaging and intuitive not only captures tech-savvy younger generations but also the vast demographics of mid to senior Internet users.

Ecommerce has levelled the playing field for business because anyone from a home-based operation to a large multi-national ecommerce store is capable of connecting with a global audience. Ecommerce creates a virtual location for vendors to operate a powerful online business to anyone, anywhere, any-time. To make this possible however you need a fast network and IT infrastructure that can handle so many simultaneous requests, across multiple data centres and POPs.

State of the art network connectivity elevates a good ecommerce platform to one that is optimally quick, agile and secure. It manages traffic spikes, performance bottlenecks and maintains an optimum end-user experience so that your visitors come back again and again. This is a huge challenge with today’s burgeoning online society clamouring for instant access, results and gratification.

When harnessed over the right network, your ecommerce environment will become a serious competitive advantage for you. Successful businesses provide an online shopping experience that puts consumers in the driving seat. They help them in compelling ways by being attentive to their needs, across a network that is ultimately responsive. Hosted effectively, ecommerce is the best revenue generating asset you could deploy for a technologically astute online society in 2013 and beyond.