More companies worldwide are shifting away from traditional on-site IT resource management and embracing cloud computing. Cloud computing entails instant off-site access to key computing services such as servers, data storage, software, and analytics via the internet (the “cloud”).
A major benefit of cloud computing is that it enables businesses to cut down on costly overheads such as on-site infrastructure and IT maintenance, giving them more flexibility to change and adjust their overall business strategy as they see fit. Cloud computing has various benefits for businesses across all industries and sectors, and can boost sales and optimise performance for e-commerce businesses in particular.
For e-commerce businesses which frequently handle high activity volume especially during peak shopping seasons or sales, cloud computing helps ensure low latency and minimal downtime for your site. Cloud computing can also automate essential business processes such as ordering stock, merchandising, managing inventory, and shipping out orders to customers. This creates a more efficient experience for the business and its customers alike, with shorter turnaround times on orders and a greater focus on a smoother customer experience.
DHL has also improved its cloud logistics services over the years to help business owners take advantage of new commercial opportunities provided by this growing trend. Here are some of the specific ways e-commerce business owners can take advantage of cloud computing to advance their sales and business strategy:
The most significant way cloud computing benefits e-commerce businesses is through reducing overhead costs through digitalisation and automation. Almost every aspect of a business can now be digitalised – from warehouse management to virtual showrooms to managing customer queries.
Using the cloud also makes remote work more accessible, giving business owners more variety in hiring and managing their workforce. For small and independent e-commerce businesses in particular, this eliminates the need for costly capital investments, on-site maintenance, or storage fees that can take up a significant part of an already lean budget.
Unlike brick-and-mortar shops, e-commerce businesses rely entirely on the speed and efficiency of internet servers to carry out sales and marketing. While this can mean more flexibility to change their business strategy on the fly, it also leaves e-commerce businesses vulnerable to disruptions such as sudden spikes in demand that can overwhelm servers and temporarily bring their platform down.
Cloud computing helps improve the scalability and responsiveness of e-commerce businesses by allowing them to grow or shrink operations according to demand and supply. During spikes in demand such as store sales or when a product goes viral, cloud logistics services can automate processes such as calculating inventory, sending out-of-stock notices to customers, and updating delivery schedules to account for a shift in inventory levels.
This gives e-commerce business owners better oversight over all aspects of their business even during a crisis, consolidating multiple databases, networks, and systems into a single all-in-one platform. This further lessens any operational bloat, improving overall operational efficiency.
Optimising the customer’s experience is now a key part of many e-commerce business strategies and can even improve customer loyalty and conversion rates. Cloud computing can help improve the online shopping experience for customers through a wider variety of personalisation options at multiple points of the shopping funnel, from browsing to checking out to last-mile delivery.
Automatic feedback from cloud-based digitalised processes also allows business owners to identify and manage errors or disruptions in the supply chain, handling any major issues before they trickle down and affect the customer.
Cloud logistics platforms can even help carriers and shippers such as DHL Express determine the most cost-effective options for ordering, billing, and tracking – creating a fuss-free experience for business owner and customer alike.
Cloud computing has a wide range of benefits for e-commerce businesses, from streamlining and optimising back-end productivity to creating a better customer experience for shoppers. Register for a DHL Express account today to find out how we can help your business grow.