How to make sure your e-commerce platform is ready for serious challenges? Top five things to consider.

As Covid-19 is marching through the planet and more and more people stay at home and under isolation from usual sources of purchasing goods, that’s where various e-commerce platforms come into play. We are not talking about bigger players like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba. They are more or less ready to take full advantage of such circumstances. We are talking about small and medium platforms that can be unprepared for such situation. 

In this article, we have gathered five most crucial things to consider while running an e-commerce platform and technical challenges that will come in handy for software development teams. 

SEO 

Imagine the situation that clients are desperately looking for a quite specific product that can be found only on your platform, but they never had a chance to visit your website because it got lost in Google pages and did not drove enough attention. While you are forecasting a massive boost in clients’ numbers, you should make sure that your platform gets enough online presence. 

We are not going to brag about SEO and how it is important just the most useful tips from a technical point of view: 

  1. Focus on user experience
  2. Put Web Analytics in Place
  3. Focus on Mobile-First Indexing
  4. Increase Page Loading Speed, compress and optimize your images
  5. Optimize your URL for search engines crawls
  6. Make sure your site is crawlable by creating an XML sitemap
  7. Structured data on product pages
  8. Managing Errors

Scalability

You are one step closer to boost the number of clients on a platform and ready to start doing some real business, but have you thought what going to happen when from 50 or 100 orders per day you’ll get 1000 or 10k? 

That is something most of the business owners did not take into consideration and think “ we are going to think about it when the right time comes,” but what if the right time is already past and your system is unable to proceed colossal amount of requests? What are you going to do next? 

 Use these hot tips to ensure the high-load scalability for your shop : 

  1. Migrate to hosting with Vertical/Horizontal Scaling
  2. Adjusting MySQL/MariaDB/AuroraDB
  3. Migrate to flexible servers including installation based on Docker containers

Performance

Is that the revenue stream that you were looking for? How come you are getting 10k visits per day, but only 0.2% convert into a real purchase, there are a lot of factors for it, but most likely people are just tired to wait for screen to load, the response time is super long, and it takes ages to go through with the payment process. 

If you want to be successful, think about performance testing and what you are going to do about it. 

  1.  Add a CDN to Your Server
  2. Follow Strict Security Practices
  3. Use Lazy Loading
  4. Optimize Images
  5. Fix HTTPS/SSL Errors without Plugin
  6. Optimize WordPress Database
  7. Optimize Background Processes
  8. Reduce External HTTP Requests
  9. Reduce Database Calls

Integrations

As far as any online shop will grow urge for integrations it will be just robust over time, starting with simple chatbots, feedback tools, up to payment gateways, and ERP or CRM systems. 

You should be ready to support and implement such integrations easily, so here some ground rules and approaches to consider: 

  1. Look for a complete integration process
  2. If possible choose two-way integration 
  3. Ensure the correct system architecture
  4. Consider SaaS cloud systems for integration 
  5. Well-designed API
  6. Prepare an integration framework
  7. Evaluate training and support options 

Here is a list of basic integrations that will help to boost your e-commerce platform right away. 

UX

Why is it so ugly and misleading? Have you ever heard this question? 

If so, you are most likely did not pay enough attention to user experience, mobile-friendliness and user journey through your platform, and that what is going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of potential clients on your platform. 

In the era of fancy designs and mobile-first approaches, you do not need to lose the race. 

A few things to consider below: 

  1. Keep it simple and practice responsive design
  2. Use clear and simple navigation
  3. Easy user account design
  4. Exceptional UX for search results
  5. Understand your target audience’s needs and demands
  6. Make different elements visually distinct

That’s not a magic pill, and for sure you’ll need to put a lot of efforts into your business to keep up with a tempo of the modern world, but at least you have simple guidelines on where to look while everyone is starting to shop online :) 

If you’ll need additional help and or you’d like to share your experience working with e-commerce products, feel free to reach out to our team. 

Stay safe, wash your hands and grow your business:)