How to launch an e-commerce platform efficiently

There comes a time when a company needs to decide whether to launch a new e-commerce platform that could potentially generate higher sales. However, without knowing exactly how much such a platform could generate, it is difficult to allocate a budget for its necessary development and infrastructure.

On the one hand, the objective is to minimize development times, looking for a go-to-market strategy as short and as agile as possible; and, on the other, investing in the strictly necessary underlying infrastructure, without wasting resources on idle capacity. This second objective hides two implicit factors: costs and performance. Infrastructure costs must be reduced, while e-commerce performance must be satisfactory for both low sales levels and massive sales peaks.

The question is, can such objectives be achieved? Spoiler alert: Yes.

Stay with us and find out how to launch an e-commerce platform successfully.

Choose a cloud-based, serverless solution

Achieving such objectives can be accomplished by choosing the correct architecture for the e-commerce implementation.

The first step is to develop a cloud-based solution. The necessary infrastructure to set up the new e-commerce must not be on-premises – meaning, not within the company’s own servers. Instead, it must be deployed in a cloud computing provider, such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP (Google Cloud Platform), Azure (platform provided by Microsoft), etc. just to mention a few.

The second step is to design a serverless solution. What is serverless? In simple terms, it can be defined as being able to execute only the logic of your business without worrying about the servers or resources necessary for it. This includes your administration, and escalation in the event of demand peaks; all these factors should be handled by a cloud computing service provider.

The beauty of a serverless solution is that you only pay for what you use, or in other words, that zero usage equals zero cost. This model is known as pay-as-you-go, and it is particularly useful, for example, when launching a new e-commerce platform where the potential performance is not yet known.

In this way, if the e-commerce platform does not achieve its expected success, no economic resources will be wasted on idle infrastructure, and conversely, if the success is much greater than expected, the performance of the system will remain at optimal levels.

This means that your business can support growth in demand and avoid the possibility of having an undersized infrastructure. This is the second advantage of a serverless solution, scaling is automatic, requires no administration, and is virtually infinite.

Go composable for greater flexibility

The third step is going composable. Composable commerce allows companies to combine different, best-of-breed third-party and custom-developed Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) into a single solution built for specific business needs.

It’s an approach to building e-commerce applications by combining pre-built software components that represent a business capability of the application, (such as the shopping cart, check out, or search function) in the way that makes the most sense for how the business makes money.

E-commerce platforms therefore don’t need to develop each business function in-house, and can instead, leverage out-of-the-box tools from a SaaS vendor in a way that allows them to add-on to, or change existing features in real-time.

In the IT market, both regional and global, there are numerous organizations with vast experience developing serverless and composable solutions that have been successfully applied in different e-commerce implementations, achieving optimal levels of performance and low operating costs, with short delivery times.

Apply a MACH mentality

Since 2022 intive has been a member of the MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless) Alliance. The MACH Alliance is a non-profit organization that advocates for open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems. MACH technologies support a composable approach in which every component is pluggable, scalable, replaceable, and can be continuously improved through agile development to meet evolving business requirements.

intive was an early supporter of MACH principles and has implemented MACH architecture for its customer Vorwerk in the award-winning Digital Recipe Ecosystem Cookidoo®, amongst others. intive has also built a strong, ever-growing partnership network with MACH Alliance founders such as Commercetools, Algolia, Amplience, and Contentful.

How to start an e-commerce platform? Conclusions

To sum up, many organizations face the dilemma of launching a new potential and promising e-commerce platform but hesitate to take the step forward due to investment costs and time reasons. Yet, it is important to know that choosing the right architecture – in this case serverless and composable – can help reduce uncertainties, keep budgets in control, and, in the event that the new e-commerce platform becomes very successful, to achieve optimal performance facing peaks of sales with practically infinite scaling.

Taking advantage of serverless technologies can provide numerous business opportunities for companies that apply them, as well as keep businesses rooted in the modern tech landscape.

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