There are many factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform but two of the most important are speed and scalability. The reasons are simple; online shoppers expect a fast online experience and you need to be able to effortlessly scale your operation as it grows.

It might seem an obvious point but slow e-commerce operations are bad for business and it’s not only about customer frustration. When websites are slow, every business metric suffers, from page views and bounce rates to conversions, revenue and customer churn.

Customers expect blistering performance

There’s lots of research to show that customers expect a website to load lightning fast, typically two seconds, and the majority who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to make a repeat purchase.

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You might think the answer to slow speed lies in faster networks and devices but this is not true. Yes, faster networks can increase performance and devices galvanised with the latest and greatest processors can also make a difference.

However, if the e-commerce platform isn’t optimised then you certainly won’t benefit from great speed; indeed ‘crash and burn’ may become your favoured expression for its faltering performance.

The world’s most popular

Magento is the world’s most popular e-commerce platform and with good reason. It is built specifically for e-commerce performance and scalability, it’s easy to add third party services such as all-important payment gateways, database applications and shipping and shipment tracking modules and its very SEO friendly. Importantly, it also supports mobile commerce.

If it’s not implemented properly then you won’t get the maximum benefits. Magento is a very feature-rich and comprehensive system it needs the appropriate server resources to power it.

Along with selecting the appropriate server, you also need to ensure you select the appropriate partner. Collaborating with a Magento-certified hosting partner will ensure you get the most out of your e-commerce platform. Hosting providers with expert experience in Magento have teams dedicated to advising and ensuring your site is built for optimum performance. Cogeco Peer 1 is exceptional in its technical support, expertise and the technology solutions offered.

Advantec Ecommerce

Does your platform scale?

You also need to consider scalability by looking ahead at how your e-commerce platform will develop in the coming years. Does your platform scale well? E-commerce sales consistently rise year on year, and if like the sales your site also follows this trend, you’ll need to integrate other systems at some point in the future.

You need to consider scalability by looking ahead at how your e-commerce platform will develop in the coming years

Depending on your needs this could be anything from accounting, fulfilment and warehouse management to CRM or ERP systems. Of course you may already have considered this and have a good idea of how to distribute the transaction processing load across multiple servers to maintain performance as site traffic grows in volume.

Limitations?

Have you considered whether there are limits on the number of products you can offer or whether the number of items a visitor can buy at any one time is restricted?  Are you also familiar with bandwidth limitations or whether the e-commerce platform stores inventory information within the program or whether it connects to commercial databases such as SQL or Oracle to gain larger storage capacities?

Given that speed and scalability are the most important features for a successful e-commerce operation, they are points that should be uppermost in your mind.