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August 9, 2017

Lightning Speed E-commerce

Posted by Arish Ali (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:25 PM

Lightning Speed E-commerce

Think about the last time you needed to access a service. Perhaps it was to pay a utility bill, pick an internet and phone package, choose an insurance plan, or place an order with your favorite retailer. It's very likely that on each of these occasions you simply reached for that do-it-in-a-minute app on your smartphone. When your employees, partners and customers need to access services or assets within the enterprise ecosystem, would you be surprised if they too instinctively reached for their smartphones? Like you, they too are accustomed to the convenience, speed, addictive ease, and ubiquity of mobile. And that's not all they're counting on.

As customers switch channels, they expect to receive the same quality of user experience they've always associated with your brand. Anything short of that frustrates them - even leading them to bail on a transaction or intended purchase. That's why, beyond the mobile-first approach, it's important to make sure that the experience your brand delivers is uniquely compelling and yet unfailingly consistent throughout a multi-event, multi-channel journey. And why not, if that's what it takes to keep your customers coming back for more, and the competition at bay? The challenge then is around executing a strategy that delivers on this vision.

It begins with adopting an approach of continuous innovation that supports rapid and flexible response to frequent change and feedback from customers and users. Embracing agile application development methods, promoting adaptive planning, making evolutionary advances, rapid prototyping, and continuous improvement are all integral to the game plan. Things that can happen only when enterprises get past traditional monolithic deployments. Costly, time consuming and inflexible to customize as they are, monolithic deployments hinder innovation. And worse, they lead businesses to overinvest in superfluous digital capabilities while underinvesting in features that can potentially differentiate the user experience.

A mobile-first, cloud-native, microservice-based modular e-commerce solution is the essential alternative.

Microservices allow you to pick and choose the exact capabilities you need, and then to deploy these independently. With microservices, you can replace one with another, easily customize them, and even plug in a third party service through a simple microservices adapter layer. Because changes are made to individual capabilities, the scope of regression testing is minimal with fewer resources needed to execute it. With a full set of out-of-the-box e-commerce microservices at your disposal, you can build the ideal digital platform for all your unique needs. Each microservice can scale independently and the whole platform can scale based on traffic and demand. This ensures your sites and apps always stay up and running even at peak Black Friday load. On the other hand, the computing capacity powers down during low traffic periods to save costs. What's even better is that microservices can be easily integrated into an existing solution - monolithic or loosely coupled. So for instance, if you are using a monolithic e-commerce platform, you do not have to completely re-platform to fold in a new capability for 'rating and review'. This microservice can be quickly integrated into your existing solution stack, and deployed just as quickly.

Today, you have the flexibility to deploy the microservice-based modular e-commerce solution to serve as a full, end-to-end e-commerce platform, augment your existing commerce stack or simply be your licensed source code in whole or part. Apart from the ease with which this fits into your tech landscape, it offers great commercial advantage. At a time when advantages are scarce and competition is abundant, your enterprise is looking for the flexibility to do more with less. It can no longer afford the luxury of excess, be it in consumption, investment or capacity creation. A cloud-native microservices based e-commerce platform enables you to build and consume only what your enterprise needs, when it needs it. And also stay ahead of your customers and competition.

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