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App Development
6 minutes read

Is Cloud eCommerce Right for Your Business? 

By Alvaro Insignares
By Alvaro Insignares
App Development
6 minutes read

Cloud computing has become popular for many eCommerce sites due to its convenience, availability, and performance. Online retailers wanting a flexible solution for their eCommerce business will be interested in learning more about cloud eCommerce. 

There are several different cloud-based solutions that your business can explore. This post will explain the different cloud computing options suitable for digital commerce. Today, most popular eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, only offer cloud hosting. 

As a result, if you choose to use an eCommerce platform to conduct your digital commerce, you will more than likely be relying on cloud computing. 

What Is Cloud eCommerce? 

Cloud eCommerce relies on cloud computing technologies to handle hosting, manage and scale data storage, run payments, inventory management applications, etc.

Many business users prefer a cloud solution to an on-premise solution because it simplifies maintenance, security, and scalability. Plus, it enables businesses to focus on their online store and customer experience instead of coding and IT infrastructure. 

A cloud-based eCommerce platform makes it easy for businesses to create and maintain a digital storefront without managing physical servers on-premises. With cloud eCommerce solutions, businesses don’t have to concern themselves with any of the technicalities behind their store. 

On-premises digital commerce requires physical computing hardware like servers to be operated within your business location. Hosting your eCommerce store physically on-premises requires a significant investment in time and money, but it offers complete control over the store. 

However, if your business grows fast, you might find there are difficulties when scaling an on-premises eCommerce solution. On-premises hosting should be built into your business plan if you choose this route due to the significant investment it requires. 

In addition, you should also proactively plan for an influx of customers coming to your website on days or periods when there are sales or generally higher traffic demands. Failure to account for traffic spikes caused by an influx of potential customers can cause your website to crash. 

What Is Headless Commerce? 

Headless commerce is a term you may have encountered while researching cloud eCommerce. Headless commerce refers to an eCommerce architecture where the website’s frontend is decoupled from the backend

Most cloud eCommerce services are also considered headless. The benefit of the headless approach is that it enables designers to update and optimize the customer-facing portion of the eCommerce store without affecting the underlying functionality. 

Cloud Computing Solutions Best Suited for eCommerce 

There are several cloud solutions businesses use to conduct business and optimize flexibility. However, when it comes to eCommerce, three cloud models are better suited than others. The most common cloud solutions for eCommerce are:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS providers make software available to businesses over the Internet. In almost all cases, SaaS requires a monthly subscription fee for continued access. The great benefit of SaaS is that software doesn’t need to be installed to run on any computer or device. 

As long as you have an Internet connection, SaaS software can be accessed from anywhere. One of the most popular examples of SaaS in eCommerce is Shopify. Shopify is a popular eCommerce option because users don’t have to do any software setup or maintenance. 

With eCommerce SaaS like Shopify, your business can pay a small monthly fee and immediately begin selling products without having to concern itself with scaling, maintenance, updates, security, or hosting. 

The only drawback of SaaS, as with most cloud options, is that you won’t be able to use the software without a stable Internet connection. 

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS providers make hardware and software available to users over the Internet, which enables them to develop and run their own applications. Like SaaS, PaaS generally requires a monthly subscription fee for continued access. 

The great benefit of PaaS is it enables organizations to develop and maintain their own applications without investing in the underlying tech infrastructure. For example, instead of investing in software and hardware, organizations pay a small subscription fee to access the technology they need without having the responsibility of hosting. 

PaaS is great for businesses that want more control over their product than SaaS but don’t want to purchase hardware and software or be responsible for hosting. In eCommerce, the most popular PaaS solution is Magento Commerce Cloud. 

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS providers offer services such as networking, storage, virtualization, etc., over the Internet. Instead of investing in expensive on-premise IT infrastructure, IaaS delivers IT infrastructure over the cloud. 

Compared to PaaS and SaaS, IaaS offers organizations the greatest flexibility. With IaaS, your eCommerce business essentially rents an infrastructure powered by cloud computing that can be used to build applications, platforms, and services. 

IaaS is often structured as pay-as-you-go, which means businesses only pay for the resources they actually use. In addition, IaaS enables businesses to completely control the infrastructure of their products and services. 

The most popular IaaS providers include AWS, Google Compute Engine, and Magento 1 Enterprise Edition. 

SaaS is likely the best cloud eCommerce option for many businesses since it is the simplest to start using. PaaS and IaaS are also great options, but your business will need skilled developers to use these services effectively. 

eCommerce SaaS like Shopify is popular because it doesn’t necessarily require professional development. Businesses can quickly create digital storefronts with little to no technical know-how. Of course, Shopify also has a rich ecosystem of Shopify Plus Partners that are experts at developing solutions for the platform. 

Final Thoughts 

Due to customer demands, cloud eCommerce is the best option for most businesses. You never know when demand will spike. As a result, many organizations utilize cloud eCommerce due to the great convenience and flexibility these solutions offer. 

If you want to learn more about cloud eCommerce, contact an experienced eCommerce development partner like Koombea.

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