How to Increase Online Sales with Data Center Connectivity
By: Ernest Sampera on April 16, 2020
As coronavirus restrictions have driven more people into their homes and kept them away from physical stores, online retail has seen a substantial boost in demand. Overall online sales have seen a 25 percent increase, with much of the growth coming from virus protection products (such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer) and fitness equipment, which jumped 55 percent as gyms have closed down nationwide.
While the COVID-19 outbreak is certainly a unique event, the growth of eCommerce sales over the last two decades has caused many companies to explore new strategies to increase online sales. Data centers are a natural partner in this process thanks to their ability to provide stable and secure infrastructure along with connectivity to the world’s leading cloud computing services.
5 Ways to Increase Online Sales with Data Center Connectivity
1. Improved Customer Experience
With so many retail options available to online customers, one of the biggest competitive advantages a company can have is the quality of its customer experience. How easily can potential customers find what they want? How streamlined is the purchasing and shipping process? How good is customer support? These are the questions that matter most to customers.
Luckily for online retailers, data center connectivity provides them with the tools and resources they need to build a dynamic customer experience that not only adapts to the changing needs of customers, but also uses innovative technologies to attract and keep new users. From big data analytics that create predictive models of customer tastes and behaviors to chatbots driven by machine learning, colocation data centers make it easy for their customers to access the cloud-based platforms that power retail applications and make it possible to manage their data. This unparalleled flexibility makes it possible for retailers to convert information into action to create a fully-optimized customer experience.
2. Enhanced Security
One of the early obstacles to online retail was the lack of trust customers had in the security of their financial data. People were hesitant to share credit card or banking information to online retailers, even ones that were regarded as legitimate and reputable. Fortunately, cybersecurity measures have improved immensely since those early days to provide the security and peace of mind customers need to make online purchases safely. With new payment options rolling out each year and more data being collected from customers than ever before, online retailers need to prioritize security to retain this high level of trust.
Colocation data center services offer far more security than the typical, outdated on-premises data solution, incorporating state-of-the-art access controls and secure cloud access. The ability to provide direct cloud on-ramps ensures that less customer data (financial or otherwise) is being exposed to the broader internet. Data centers also give online retailers a fully-compliant infrastructure that helps them to meet the demanding security compliance needs of eCommerce sales.
3. Increased Uptime
Reliability matters when it comes to online retail. All it takes is one bad shopping experience for a customer to not only leave and never come back, but also tell everyone they know how terrible it was to visit an unreliable website. If companies can’t provide secure and stable websites and shopping experiences, they will never be able to increase online sales effectively.
While the cloud may offer a great deal of flexibility and cost savings compared to physical infrastructure, retailers that choose to host all of their data and applications in the cloud will quickly become as frustrated as their customers by the relatively low SLA uptime these services offer. Even a few minutes of downtime each year could result in lost opportunities and dissatisfied customers. A colocation data center with a reliable infrastructure and backed by a 100% uptime SLA should be considered a baseline requirement for any company looking to build out services to increase online sales.
The one problem every online retailer wants to have is a growing base of customers. As sales and revenue increase, companies can expand their service offerings to break into new markets and identify new opportunities to grow. Without the right infrastructure in place, however, growth can quickly undermine a business. Rapid growth may be an opportunity, but it also presents a major challenge as the organization must be able to scale its capacity quickly to capitalize on those potential customers.
If their data solution cannot scale quickly to meet demand, they could miss out on that chance. Even worse, if their existing infrastructure can’t handle an increase in online sales, performance could suffer and create a negative customer experience. With data center connectivity, retailers can rest easy knowing that additional capacity is easy to obtain. Whether it’s adding a new server in a colocation deployment or spinning up virtual machines in a cloud provider’s environment, data center customers have the flexibility to right-size their business to both manage and drive an increase in online sales.
5. Improved Logistics
Facilitating the purchase of goods is only one half of the online retail equation; companies must still find ways to deliver those items to customers quickly and efficiently. This is more true than ever before due to the way online retail giants like Amazon have built up the logistical infrastructure to meet customer demand faster than ever. While many retailers can build an appealing website with an intuitive purchasing system, not all of them can easily transition to the physical problem of transporting products to their destination.
Data center connectivity can help increase online sales by enabling retailers to integrate their websites and sales platforms with a multitude of shipping services that can facilitate deliveries and other logistical challenges. They can build hybrid IT environments that easily transfer information and requests to the appropriate channels not only quickly, but also securely. This ensures that online retailers will be able to meet demand and keep their customers happy.
Increase Online Sales with vXchnge Colocation Services
Whether they’re seeking to shore up their infrastructure to handle increased demand during the COVID-19 outbreak or looking to build a customer experience that will set them apart from the competition for years to come, retail companies can find all the tools and data center services they need with a colocation provider like vXchnge.