This piece is part 2 in our dive into eCommerce Infrastructure. Part 1, titled "eCommerce Infrastructure (Part 1) – Understanding you options for eCommerce infrastructure solutions" defines and describes the traits of four of the most commonly seen eCommerce website solutions.
In this piece, I cover the rationale behind choosing the correct infrastructure solution in accordance with your business objectives. The goal here is to enable you to make informed decisions when deliberating over the best solution for your eCommerce business. We recommend understanding the realities of each infrastructure solution before researching individual platform providers. Figure 2 illustrates the differentiation between infrastructure solutions and platform providers.
What should drive your decision process
Figure 1 is based on conjecture; its purpose is to help visualise points being made throughout the piece. In reality, each plotted point would be subject to a standard deviation that would be dictated by the traits surrounding the business in question. By comparing infrastructure costs against business revenue, we are able to look at the effect company growth, stage of business and other variables have on the decision of which infrastructure solution is most suitable for your business.
Unfortunately, it is common for price to drive the decision process for businesses. This is of course understandable, however, we would recommend shifting your focus away from price at this stage of the process. Doing so allows you to explore your options free of constraints and you may just find that you discover a solution that will better align with your business goals. The options listed in Part 1 although ordered by escalating price, is not definitive. It is surprising how frequently we have discussions with clients who are running bloated infrastructure at a disproportionate cost to the front-end aesthetics and back-end capabilities. These situations arise from a lack of experience in eCommerce strategy which reduces the ability to anticipate future requirements.
If you refer to Figure 1, you should see that each infrastructure solution has its own setup and ongoing costs. This varies by provider, some allow for flexibility of pricing structure and payment timing others are more ridged. Pricing flexibility gives businesses the option to take a phased approach to development, paying for capabilities as they are required. This reduces the initial investment from eCommerce businesses and allows for the website to scale commensurate to business growth.
The justification for each option’s price tag is touched upon in Part 1 . The pricing and suitability of each solution for your brand changes dependent on a range of variables. If we split the topic area into three Figure 2, infrastructure type, platform provider, and eCommerce brand. At each of these three levels, some variables affect the price and suitability of each. This piece focuses on variables determined by infrastructure types and eCommerce brands, deliberately avoiding variables that platform providers bring.
Stage of business
Correctly judging what stage of business you are at, while taking future growth into account is necessary if you wish for your infrastructure to assist your business growth. Having a thorough understanding of which solution corresponds to certain stages of business will save you time, money, and migration headaches in the future.
The reality is that each eCommerce business is different. There are comparisons you can draw with competitors, both indirect and direct. However, even if you find an exact replica of your business there’ll still be room for error. With business and team structure among the many variables influencing the increasingly nuanced decision-making process, it can help to speak to someone with experience. If you are unable to make an informed decision it can pay off to enter discussions and seek advice from a source of experience.