The cloud is a relatively new concept, giving users the ability to store their files, programs, music, and more on a server or set of servers located offsite. The cloud has revolutionized computing and shopping, enabling companies to post large volumes of merchandise online that give customers a great variety of products. No more need for large hard drives or even personal server computers, no more expensive software.
The cloud is accessible from any computer anywhere there is Internet access. It’s not only a current technology, but it’s also widely expandable. The world of e-commerce is changing the face of retail permanently as well. Almost 80% of shoppers want to do their shopping online, and half of them like the option to pick up in store. The ability of a retailer to be able to track their inventory accurately at every location is now more important than ever before, and the ability to report that information back to a shopper, no matter what time of day or night, relies on the cloud.
It’s not just goods and merchandise bought online, either. Auction places like eBay, travel agencies like Experia or Travelocity, and even investing and banking are now available online. All of them are brought to you by the cloud. E-commerce sites can be set up as supplements to other, more general websites, too. Candidates for government office can have them as fundraising options. Hairdressers can sell some of their hair products that way, as well.
E-commerce is able to broaden the reach of a company well beyond a physical boundary, even globally. That kind of reach would be completely impractical any other way, and more than likely, too cost prohibitive. They are also on pre-built platforms so even the smallest company can open a web store without having to find a programmer to get things set up. Because they are all pre-built, e-commerce also has a time savings factor built in as well. You no longer have to wait for a website designer to create a page for you.
You can also tie in your favorite social media pages to a web commerce cloud based program. People can share what they find on Facebook, or pin it to Pinterest, and that kind of free advertising is priceless. It’s easily done thanks to cloud storage, as is adding apps to the page.
Cloud storage is fully scalable, so as the business grows, the e-commerce site can grow, too. It’s not tied to a single server that would have to be upgraded in order to make something new happen. The cloud also has its own security features, which when paired with the site owner’s own security can add several layers of protection for any customer. Cloud storage, since it is spread between several servers, provides an increased chance for reliability, because if one server goes down, it’s only a piece of the puzzle, so the entire site doesn’t crash.
The role of e-commerce on the cloud is only going to increase as time goes on, because of its convenience, safety, and cost-effectiveness. The changes in retailing will continue to evolve, and it’s going to be an exciting time.
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Director, Digital Strategist, Business Development, Young Entrepreneur