How to ensure your online store can handle changes in customer demand

With many suddenly faced with working from home, companies are turning to the cloud and frantically setting up collaborative tools and workflows. IT employees are putting in 11-hour days to keep everything working. Website traffic has either dropped to desperately low levels (and they’re wasting precious money on idle servers), or business is booming, but they’re losing customers to the competition because their infrastructure can’t cope with demand.  

Meanwhile, those who somehow missed the digital revolution are scrambling to catch up as they rush to get their brick-and-mortar stores online without going bankrupt in the process.

Only those businesses built on technology that has adaptability at its core and is designed to scale up and down with demand will cope with the unpredictability of an uncertain future.  

Ready for anything: Automatic scaling in Microsoft Azure 

If you’ve got an online store and are not leveraging the benefits of Azure, you could be missing a trick.

A cloud computing environment like Azure offers a flexible platform for diverse requirements that’s inexpensive to set up, quick to deploy, simple to integrate, and easy to scale.

Automatic scaling in Azure enables companies to scale server capacity flexibly (up and down) with fluctuating demand. This means you can ensure better performance by running your online store on any number of load-balanced environments, essentially allowing you to showcase and sell your products without downtime.

No sacrifice to deployment quality or speed. No guessing optimum capacity. No performance issues due to demanding processing issues or spikes in traffic. No paying for more than you use or missing out because your servers maxed out.

Just high-performance, hassle-free flexibility to respond instantly to the fast-changing circumstances of our time. 

The proof is in the pudding

Ensuring your infrastructure can handle changes is one thing but creating the right shopping experience is another. You need both. So, combining Azure with Kentico could be a match made in online store heaven.

With Kentico, not only you can help customers find the right product, you can create a personalized shopping experience that will likely see an increase in returning customers.

London Research report commissioned by Kentico looked into how Kentico hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform has benefitted organizations, both from an implementation and a business point of view.

The operational benefits were significant. Interviewees noted improved reliability, uptime, security, and scalability, and that hosting and management were cheaper. One agency reported a saving of $12,000 a month on hosting alone.

Another key benefit was the ease and speed of installation. As deployments are completely automated, downtime was minimized. Agencies were able to build, test, and deploy their applications and content without any human intervention. One agency reported that a process usually taking them 80 hours, took just eight.

Interviewees were also impressed that Kentico in Azure made integration with other systems stress-free, as everything is handled by the platform, and that the time needed to update their sites was dramatically reduced (thanks to the empowerment of the marketing team). 

Don’t stress about an uncertain future 

It’s easier said than done, but there really is no need to stress about what is around the corner, as long as you’re keeping your eye on the ball and looking at how your online store is handling changes in customer demand.

Even though you can’t even guess what the future holds, just remember that the technology you use is everything. It’s time to invest in the technology that will take you through any scenario, scale to any situation, respond to real-time circumstances, and adapt to any new technology, all while improving performance, efficiency, and customer experience.

It should be quick to deploy and affordable to run, and you should be able to capitalize on any opportunity, no matter how big, and make savings where you can, no matter how small.

And you want to ensure it’s built on technology that is as robust as it is flexible, and as relevant in years to come as it is right now.

It all sounds like a lot to think about, but it doesn’t have to be too daunting or time consuming. Read more about Kentico on Microsoft Azure in The Business Case for Kentico in Microsoft Azure report

Yvette Hastings, Content Marketing Director

Posted: Friday 29 May 2020