Same day deliveries — that is the future of e-commerce. To align with such demanding expectations, organizations need to do more than just accelerate inventory management and logistics; they must fast-track the entire e-commerce setup. Speed is key in retail. And that is why retailers require fast deployments, quick upgrades, speedy resolutions, rapid payments, and prompt deliveries.
Today, quick turnaround times — of a few weeks or months — are the norm for deployment of source code, administration panels, inventory controls, payment options, shopping cart systems, user-friendly storefronts, and more! And that’s not all. Post deployment, the e-commerce platform must be able to handle version upgrades, changes to product catalogues, performance improvements, and more; as swiftly and seamlessly as possible. In other words, agility is the key differentiator for retailers who want to position their brand as a cut above the rest.
So, how is agility achieved? The first step is to structure the e-commerce solution using the right software architecture via cloud technologies. Unlike traditional solutions, cloud offerings ensure that speed is a top priority. Cloud technology bundled with ready-to-use widgets, valuable microservices, and loosely coupled architecture are mandatories for an agile e-commerce product that is on the fast track.
Stepping up CX improvements with widgets
Widgets are typically small snippets of code that are plugged into an e-commerce solution to enhance usability. With widgets around, developers do not have to waste valuable time on editing the source code to customize buttons, feedback forms, product displays, and more. Instead, they can deploy widgets that provide a wide array of functionalities including search boxes, product browsers, ratings, reviews, social media sharing, feedback form customization, and embedding of products; all in a flash! Some widgets also enable the generation of reports, deployment of analytics, and much more. Overall, widgets enable brands to reduce costs and time required to make small, yet essential changes to e-commerce stores.
Reducing complexities with loosely coupled architecture
The concept of simplicity in modern e-commerce systems often fades with disproportional complexities arising from multiple components and customer touchpoints. Delays arise if these components are strongly linked with each other, as upgrades to one impacts the remaining as well. To prevent such cascading effect amongst components, loosely coupled architecture is the way to go.
A subset of service oriented architecture, loose coupling ensures that components in the e-commerce solution remain as independent as possible. As a result, limited interconnections ensure that failures and other risks remain isolated. This, in turn, improves application agility and reduces time-to-market of new features. When web applications are loosely coupled with back-end systems, it increases reusability, reduces risk, and simplifies onboarding of new applications.
Accelerating optimization with integrations
When deploying an e-commerce solution, there are several integration types that retailers need to keep in mind. Integrations merge old and new processes, help incorporate new applications, and simplify third-party customizations. What’s more, to optimize functionality, retailers prefer to integrate their product with not one, but several third-party vendors. For instance, a retailer could have at least three third-party integrations for payments, content management, and compliance. Many times, integrations also involve migrating legacy systems to modern microservices. Yes, that is how complicated software integrations can get! The silver lining is that these integrations can be made fast, if the e-commerce solutions are built using robust APIs and DevOps principles, which ensure minimal regression testing requirements.
Quickening releases with microservices
Microservices based architecture breaks down monolithic architecture into smaller, independently scalable components. Using these individual components, microservices support today’s paradigm of continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD). And in the e-commerce landscape, the demands from customers and businesses are constantly changing, and websites usually have a complex graphic user interface. Such scenarios require microservices based architecture to ensure that changes are fast and effective, while being transparent to the end user.
Achieving agility requires a combination of technologies and strategies. Through years of experience, we at Infosys, have honed in the capability to deploy a complete e-commerce solution in 6-8 weeks. Our agile solution suite is comprised of ready-to-use front-end applications, ready-to-configure back-end microservices, and out-of-the-box integrations. With loosely coupled architecture, we ensure that individual capabilities can be launched independently. In addition, a unique architecture design minimizes the need for comprehensive regression testing. This is how we ensure that retailers stay on top of their game with agility, flexibility, and continuous deployments.