The past two years of the pandemic have been challenging for many companies. But one sector also experienced a big boom: electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce. The current International Trade Administration Report makes it clear that e-commerce increased significantly, especially during the times marked by the lockdowns.
The industry is expected to grow 8% annually through 2024 as more consumers shop online. The Future of Retail 2021 study confirms that the e-commerce market grew by almost 34 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic. The underlying technology plays a special role in the success of cloud computing in particular.
Early Cloud Adoption
The pandemic has taught us all one thing: cloud computing needs to become a business enabler. Germany is currently among the top 15 countries regarding cloud infrastructure adoption, giving it a significant lead and advantage over other countries that have been hesitant to embrace the technology.
Forty-seven per cent of retail executives believe the pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption and helped numerous e-commerce companies address rising demand during the crisis. Below are some advantages that the introduction of the cloud offers e-commerce providers.
Businesses that relied solely on brick-and-mortar stores have had a particularly tough time during the pandemic. Due to lockdowns and various regulations, more and more consumers were shopping online – unfortunately, numerous shops did not survive the crisis for this reason and had to close.
Retailers with cloud-based e-commerce applications and strategies could successfully scale their business in line with the changing needs of their customers. For example, cloud hosting enabled e-commerce firms to scale their online presence, personalize the services offered and set conditions under which storage space or computing power usage could be increased or decreased.
Retailers with a cloud-based e-commerce app or website save costs for physical retail stores (which nobody visited during the pandemic) and have the peace of mind that their security is guaranteed.
Most hyperscalers, from Amazon to Microsoft to Google Cloud, offer a secure cloud environment that adheres to strict security policies and government regulations and has its security experts managing the cloud data centers. This eliminates the need for an e-commerce company to maintain its cloud security team. In addition, more resources can be devoted to developing intelligent software programs that improve the e-commerce experience for the customer.
With all e-commerce data in the cloud in one place and access to cloud providers’ analytics tools, it’s easy to put different data points to good use on one dashboard – this made inventory management especially easier.
E-commerce companies were able to better adapt their offer to changing demand, which led to an optimization of resources and offers. Cloud computing makes operations scalable.
Businesses are, therefore, better able to match their data needs with demand – for example, more data resources are needed during the Christmas season. For example, many cloud computing platforms offer a pay-as-you-go model, which allows companies to keep their operating costs low. Less hardware is another cost savings for any e-commerce business as they can pass those costs onto the cloud provider. Cloud technologies consume only a fraction of the energy costs compared to data centers, and even these have to be borne by the provider.
The Right Tools To Be Successful In This Highly Competitive Segment
The pandemic has shown that success in e-commerce depends heavily on how quickly and optimally a company uses cloud computing. E-commerce is a cut-throat market – if a brand is not flexible enough to adapt to customers’ changing needs, it won’t be easy to survive in this area.
A solid cloud strategy enables better scalability and security, and cost savings. These savings, in turn, can be reinvested back into the business to offer more features—and, in turn, win more customers. The challenge for e-commerce players is to take full advantage of the hybrid cloud sector to support innovation at scale and help more businesses realize the full potential of the cloud.