2.14 billion. That’s how many digital buyers are likely to buy from ecommerce websites in 2021. And this number is only set to grow with an estimated 90% of purchases to be made completely online by 2040.
Unsurprisingly, many ecommerce companies – small and big, have set their sights on that target market and are proactively taking steps to tap into the immense potential that the industry holds.
While many things can make or break your e-commerce business, ensuring that the technical cogs of your company are in place, and aligned with your strategy is an important step to check off the list.
The foundation of any successful ecommerce website lies in how effectively it is hosted. For this, one of the primary things is to choose the right hosting solution for your business. Selecting the right hosting solution and plan can involve a lot of research, however, even before you embark on that, there are certain basic requirements that you should keep an eye out for.
Web Hosts and Your Ecommerce Business
Here are a few key considerations for web hosting services, that can make or break your e-commerce business, based on how effectively you have implemented it:
Web Hosting Security
Hackers prey on servers that have vulnerabilities, making your website prone to hacking if you do not ensure the security of the web hosting solution. As an ecommerce company, you want to be able to reassure your customers that their data is safe and secure, which is why choosing the cheapest option might not be the most ideal way to go.
Before selecting a web hosting solution, you must ensure that they will be able to provide you with the highest levels of security. Prominent hosting solution providers such as GoDaddy, and BlueHost though expensive, can be great options to consider. Most hosting providers also offer SSL certificates for free, or for a nominal price, which you should definitely acquire for your website.
Pro tip: To avoid any security issues, ensure that your chosen hosting solution takes the necessary security measures and offers the most updated software.
You might have come across otherwise great ecommerce websites that frequently experience issues and lose out in the race because they have longer downtimes. Downtime is basically the duration of time, wherein the server is offline, usually for maintenance or updates.
Another unfortunate scenario is downtime caused due to a sudden influx of high traffic on the website, which can be quite daunting for ecommerce websites. Imagine having a huge sale on your website, having promoted it for weeks, and on the D-day when thousands of customers are logging into your website, they are just not able to access it. Very few brands can recover from this kind of a critical situation.
To ensure that this does not happen to you, it is highly recommended that you enquire about the downtimes of the hosting provider. Certain providers go the extra mile and even work with you to coordinate downtimes during low-traffic hours so that your business does not get affected.
Pro tip: Some of the best hosting providers offer more than 99.99% uptime or less than 0.8 hours in a month.
Time to ask yourself some critical questions.
What kind of support and integrations are you looking for? Do you already have a website? Do you need extra support such as payment gateway or shopping cart integrations?
Several hosting solution providers offer multiple plugins and integrations for easy implementation of payment gateways and shopping carts within your website. On the other hand, budget hosting solutions may not provide you customizable integrations which can increase your website development cost.
Moreover, as an ecommerce brand, you may also need upselling options within your cart, which may be available only with selected plugins.
For example, if you have created a WordPress website for your ecommerce brand, make sure that your preferred Woocommerce plugins can be easily integrated within your website for driving optimal performance at all times. In this case, WordPress hosting solutions such as DreamHost, or SiteGround can be more useful.
Pro tip: Make a list of integrations that you would be looking for even before you start searching for hosting solutions. Many companies such as Woocommerce and Shopify let you create an ecommerce store, choose plugins as well as hosting solutions – all within the same interface.
One of the worst experiences that a customer can have on an ecommerce website is having to wait forever for the products to load. They might as well lose patience, switch to another website and never shop from your website ever again. It is estimated that 57% of customers will abandon your website if they have to wait for more than 3 seconds for it to load. The speed at which your website loads has a lot to do with the hosting plan that you are on.
Some of the most trusted and popular hosting solution providers strike the perfect balance between server locations and accounts per server among other factors, but not all of them get it right. Some of the other servers have a page load time ranging from 5 to 10 seconds, which is asking too much of your customers, to be honest.
Pro tip: Load times can have an impact on your SEO performance as well, which can be instrumental in increasing your reach and higher rankings on Google.
With a good hosting solution to have your back, you have endless possibilities. You can rest assured as you make major decisions for the expansion and growth of your business, without having to worry about potential lags or downtimes. With such challenges eliminated, your ecommerce business can thrive and deliver exceptional customer experience and performance.
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