Published on October 3rd, 2013 | by John I.0
Designing the Backend of Your eCommerce Site
When you’re hosting your eCommerce site, it’s easy to just pick a host and forget it. As a business owner, you have to be mindful of all aspects of your business, especially the backend. Apart from the cost, you need to be aware that you could be sharing server space with other companies and that comes with its own risks. If there is a problem with another site that’s a tenant of your server, there’s a chance that could spread to your site. You need to make sure you are backing up your site as well as your host and that the security of your site and your customer information is sacrosanct. That means it’s being protected by the necessary encryption protocols.
Take Charge of Availability
Sites go down no matter how many hosts claim to have 99.999 percent up time. With that in mind, you need to be prepared to handle those faults. You can design a customer sorry page with alternative communication means to handle customer queries when your site goes down. Make sure its design is consistent with your site design so that customers don’t get thrown off. While most businesses do lose some customers during those times, being able to have that one piece of your site ready puts you in better light with customers.
Even when things are well, there can be problems. E commerce websites that experience traffic spike due to the popularity of a particular product have a different set of problems to consider. Having thousands of people placing an order at the same time can lead to slow performance or even a crash. According to StrangeLoopNetworks.com, nearly 60 percent of customers will abandon a site after waiting three second for a page to load and 80 percent of those won’t come back to the site. The worst part is that nearly half of those who abandon will share their negative experience on your site with friends. These statistics drive home the point that designing your site for quick loading doesn’t just mean front end optimization but making sure your backend is also up to standard. Using tools such as Google’s Page Speed and Webmaster Tools will help you understand any performance issues.
Designing for Scalability
These days, the cloud is very much a part of any eCommerce site design; some hosts even combine traditional hosting with cloud resources can help make performance more efficient so that it can handle peaks and spikes in performance. Scalability helps to create a consistent experience for your customer so you will want to make sure your host has those capabilities.
When designing the back end of your site, make sure you have a site flow map so that you walk the site in your customers’ shoes. After putting forth marketing and promotion, customers will need to access your site via desktop or mobile device through your IP address. As customers place items in their cart and choose to checkout, they will need the proper visual cues and proper confirmation. Once you understand how your site needs to operate, you’ll be more sensitive to its function