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Are you building an ecommerce website? So you need to know these 8 technical aspects

September 24, 2020

12 min read

This story originally appeared on PCMag

  • Website security.
  • Website performance.
  • Scale according to your needs.
  • Think about mobile devices first.
Are you building an ecommerce website? So you need to know these 8 technical aspects
Are you building an ecommerce website? So you need to know these 8 technical aspects

Building an ecommerce website isn’t a complicated task. You can focus on creating strong products and promoting your brand while reaching out to a software company to handle the technical details, and you don’t even need an engineering degree. While you don’t have to be a programmer, it is important that you understand at least the basics of what your website hosting provider offers in terms of ecommerce features, and that this problem continues to matter after your ecommerce . Work.

I spoke to Stergios Anastasiadis, Director of Engineering at Shopify, about the most important technology on an ecommerce website and what we need to know to get started. “We have dealers who sell products from home,” said Anastasiadis. “All you need is an internet connection and any successful trading platform should be able to run the technology on their website.”

First of all, your provider will help you determine the appearance of your website. It also offers the ability to save all of your data and complete and finalize transactions. These are just the most obvious obligations of an ecommerce provider. Additionally, you need to know a lot about the specific technology your partner is using to make sure your website is functional, successful, and secure.

1. Website security

Photo: Shahadat Rahman via Unsplash

You want your ecommerce website to be safe from hackers. The best websites offer Transport Sockets Layer 256-bit (TLS), which enables a secure end-to-end connection for all data and transactions on your platform. Websites must conform to the TLS 1.2 standard and must update a browser or operating system if they currently support TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1. TLS has been replaced Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) as the standard for the security of communication in a network. From the moment someone accesses your website to the moment they leave, all data is encrypted.

One easy way to implement this is to use it Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) instead of simple HTTP to improve your website. The use of HTTPS combines Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) support with TLS. For any type of online web transaction that requires privacy, HTTPS is an obvious candidate. so much so that since January 2017 Google Chrome They marked any non-HTTPS site that asks for login or credit card information as “not secure”.

Additionally, your ecommerce software should provide you with a payment processing tool that provides additional security during the shopping cart and checkout of a transaction. Products like Stripe are combined with e-commerce tools to meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) without you having to do any additional work.

2. Website performance

If a customer finds that your website is too slow, or that your competitors’ website is happily fast, they will likely lose it. Your web pages should load in less than 100 milliseconds (ms). If the platform doesn’t load during this time, your ecommerce provider should be working on a solution before you know it.

Your ecommerce provider likely has technicians who keep track of page load times using website monitoring tools to make sure your website is performing at its peak. Usually, when websites have problems for any reason, employees are automatically notified by email or phone that a problem has occurred. Remember: these load times are real on mobile devices and computers. So be sure to track how your website loads on different devices.

3. Scale according to your needs

E-commerce services have different resource requirements depending on the size and workload of a store. You want to quickly and easily scale your website based on load times as traffic on your page increases.

If your inventory is growing rapidly, or you need to support heavy activities like flash sales and seasonal sales, then you will need to scale your platform to accommodate those needs or risk customers getting frustrated with your website’s performance and clicking another . Business. Monitors traffic and user peak load times to prevent errors and scale server resources accordingly.

Fortunately, scaling the server requirements is easy as long as you or your ecommerce site provider is using a cloud provider that is standardized on a Trusted Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform. With such a platform, you can scale your server performance to your heart’s content with just a few clicks mouse. Even better, you only pay for that extra muscle while you’re using it, as opposed to working with physical servers that simply turn off unused power and cost you the same.

4. Think about mobile devices first

Photo: Roberto Cortese via Unsplash

These days, most ecommerce services will help you build your platform on the mobile web before you even think about a desktop. This is because most content that works on mobile devices will render properly on a computer, but not the other way around.

“As consumers shop on mobile devices more than ever, optimizing e-commerce websites for mobile devices is critical,” said Anastasiadis. “From a technical point of view, functions created with a mobile-first interface can offer retailers more flexibility and scalability.”

If you speak to a potential vendor and tell them they’re developing “Web First” and moving to mobile later, they’ll likely want to leave. Regardless of other factors that make the business attractive, such an outdated philosophy will penalize your website from the start.

5. Cloud hosting

Your service provider probably stores its data in the cloud with reputable providers such as Amazon, Google or Microsoft. Find out which service you prefer by examining factors such as backup, disaster recovery (DR), security, and availability.

If you’re running a service yourself, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are great options, but you can choose between the three or even a different provider. Choosing one of these options is vital as it will determine how often your website crashes, whether or not your stored data is safe and whether you can access it again in the event of a disaster.

6. Website updates

Your website is not a suggestion to set up and forget. You want a provider who is constantly adding new code to your website to improve performance or add new features. Unfortunately, some providers only send a new code once a day or even every two days. You want a provider who can provide code at any time of the day. That way, you’ll never have to wait for issues to be fixed or shiny new features to show up on your homepage.

However, you also want accurate reports on when these code updates are triggered, especially if they don’t reference the directly Front end Your website, but are more related to the operation of Backend relevant to the provider. These types of functionality are generally well implemented, but there is always a chance they could break something on your part as well. You want to know exactly when these updates will take place, preferably with a test window in advance. If that’s not an option, however, you’ll definitely want an accurate deployment plan so that you can test the site for yourself once the new code is released.

7. Data engineering

Ask your prospective ecommerce provider if they have a dedicated data engineering team that can help you create custom reports on your website’s performance. With the help of this analysis, you can determine whether the products are correctly positioned, whether people are leaving the shopping cart too often, or whether you need to fundamentally rethink the website navigation.

Sure, most vendors offer ready-to-use reports. However, if your provider doesn’t have a team available to create custom reports for you, you may need to work with a third party to perform this function if necessary. This will cost you extra money and is an unreasonable hassle. The good news is that most companies offer this service in one form or another and keep updating the tools that emerge from the analysis.

This feature is also useful when you start analyzing your site statistics using business intelligence (BI) tools like Tableau Desktop. Using a BI tool is a must if you want to get deeper insights into how your customers are behaving on your website, the products or services they have selected or rejected, and similar knowledge points. Make sure your provider can help you collect the transactional data required for this type of analysis. Also, customize a data storage option on your platform for more information. In addition to standardized reporting products, services like Shopify offer a fully managed data warehouse for larger retailers.

8. Third Party Integrations

Photo: Rob Hampson via Unsplash

Even if you’re a newbie to tech, you likely already use a variety of software to run your business. The ability to connect all of your tools together is critical to streamlining workflows and optimizing data intelligence. For example, if you run email marketing campaigns through MailChimp, the combination of your marketing and e-commerce platforms ensures that the “Thank you” and “Promotion” emails are directly linked to the website. This gives a better overview of who bought what, which promotions worked, and whether you can claim customers who have left a cart.

Finally, look for an ecommerce provider that offers native integrations with as many third-party tools as possible. The more native integrations there are, the more options you have to expand your toolset.

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