Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Ecommerce: how to use the Cloud to scale-up

by Dominik Birgelen, CEO of oneclick AG

In 2023, the UK ecommerce industry amounted to overall revenue of £103.72 billion, which is projected to increase to £146.19 billion by 2028. To capitalise on the industry’s significant potential, ecommerce businesses need to lean on innovative technologies that can help them scale with growing demand while delivering unparalleled efficiency. In a highly competitive market, businesses that manage demand fluctuations effectively can thrive in the competitive market and scale seamlessly. 

There are a number of technologies that have revolutionised the ecommerce sector, and the cloud is one of them. However, companies need to implement it in the right way to reap the cloud’s numerous benefits such as scalability, cost savings, and security. 

Key ways to scale using the cloud 

There is no denying that the ecommerce market is highly competitive as barriers to entry are low. Companies with the ability to scale efficiently can gain a competitive advantage. By using advanced cloud platforms, ecommerce businesses can streamline their operations and scale when required:

On-demand resources & autoscaling

Cloud-based platforms can facilitate the provisioning of on-demand resources, allowing e-commerce companies to scale up or down based on traffic and demand fluctuations. This makes it possible to rapidly adapt to market requirements and drive higher revenues. Businesses can also use auto-scaling features to automatically manage resources in response to changes in requirements. This can help companies perform more effectively during peak times and drive cost savings when the demand is low. 

Flexible working & seamless training 

With cloud platforms, ecommerce companies do not need to limit their talent hunt to a restricted geographical area as they can facilitate access to desktops and applications from any end device via the browser. This not only makes it easier for companies to recruit talent more efficiently but also positions them as an attractive workplace that offers flexible working. As a result, they can penetrate new markets more seamlessly. 

Furthermore, businesses can leverage cloud solutions that feature integrated learning management systems (LMS) to provide their employees with appropriate and seamless training and evaluation. This allows organisations to deliver new and existing courses based on employees’ tailored learning requirements and track the progress of employees.  

Integration for collaboration 

Ecommerce companies often work with external suppliers and partners such as manufacturers, logistics companies, and payment providers. When scaling, ecommerce companies can integrate external service providers into their operational workflows to make any relevant data available to their partners via a centralised platform. This allows them to streamline processes and begin collaborating in the shortest possible time. 

    Optimising operational costs with the cloud

    While modern cloud solutions are a game-changer when it comes to scalability, they also significantly help ecommerce companies in cost reduction in infrastructure investments and ongoing operational costs. 

    With cloud platforms, companies do not need to invest significantly in infrastructure. This in turn helps them save on upfront and operational costs. Through operating virtual desktops on cloud platforms, businesses can enable their employees to use any end device they choose as a thin client. This makes possible bring-your-own-device (BYOD) models, eliminating costs on end devices. 

    Additionally, ecommerce companies can optimise their costs by opting for pay-as-you-go models. This allows them to only pay based on their actual resource consumption rather than a fixed price, significantly preparing them for market fluctuations by reducing any cost burdens. 

    The importance of the cloud in boosting data privacy and IT security 

    A UK consumer survey by Statista found that 54% of respondents believe that companies should be responsible for protecting consumers’ data privacy. As a result, businesses not only need to bolster the security of their digital assets for themselves but also for their customers. Cloud solutions can help e-commerce companies ensure their data stays within a defined hosting location, ensuring control and compliance.

    By using secure cloud solutions, e-commerce companies can safeguard consumer data and their digital assets alike. Not only does this help them earn consumer trust, but also enables them to comply with regulations and avoid any penalties. E-commerce companies can strengthen their cloud security by implementing security solutions that are based on zero trust architecture (ZTA). ZTA practices require that every access, whether from outside or inside, is reliably authenticated. Companies can continuously monitor user activity and revoke the granted access immediately if any suspicious activity is identified.  

    Companies within the industry have to operate with razor-thin profit margins and implement lean but efficient structures. Today, businesses that want to increase their profitability need to implement innovative cloud solutions to reduce operating costs and drive scalability and efficiency.