Custom Development For Large Scale Ecommerce
There is no dearth of hosted eCommerce and off-the-shelf software, but when you want absolute control over your online store, custom-built is the way to go. The custom development provides the flexibility to tailor the eCommerce solution to the nuances of your business while allowing for seamless integration with in-house and third-party systems. With the choice of technology and development frameworks available today, forward-thinking retailers are opting for fully customized eCommerce solutions that will be faster, scalable, and maintainable.
Your business is unlike your competitor’s. How then, would their solution fit yours? You may need different product catalogs for multiple online stores. Inventory management across stores and departments can be complicated and you could decide to automate certain procedures. A custom order workflow might suit you better or you may want an AI-powered recommendation system to personalize the customer experience. Pre-built eCommerce software cannot meet all such criteria out of the box. While customization is supported, it is limited and often tedious due to the monolithic structure.
Enterprise eCommerce software licenses are available from $50,000 upwards. More economical alternatives can be severely limited in features. Given the “black box” nature of high-end solutions, tailored modifications will be pricey with talent relatively scarce. Costly customizations on top of recurring license costs can be a huge drain on your ROI. Also, you may choose custom development if you don’t want to be tied down to a vendor forever. Every new feature development, upgrade, or integration can be dependent on the provider and subject to high fees. Migrating to a new platform when you hit a growth hurdle can be an even bigger pain.
Fast & Maintainable
Platform expertise is often limited or exclusive in the case of enterprise-grade solutions, posing a challenge to fast-paced implementation. Approvals for customization done on hosted solutions can further delay releases. Developing your own bespoke solution can be faster with the numerous tools, frameworks, and services available today. Infrastructure as a service, BaaS or FaaS providers, and DevOps practices make it possible to host and scale solutions without a large team or long development cycle. Using modular approaches such as microservices architecture (MSA) can also ensure speed and scalability.
Building a Modern eCommerce System
Modular Architecture with Microservices
A typical enterprise eCommerce solution, being the complex monolith it usually is, can be expensive and difficult to scale. With tightly-coupled systems, deploying the smallest of UI changes becomes complicated. The modern approach to eCommerce system architecture is to adopt microservices, which allows for feature sets to be decoupled and developed in isolation. This decentralization will give you deployment and development flexibility resulting in faster time to market.
In a microservices architecture, each microservice is an atomic business function that can be developed independently.
The system as a whole becomes more efficient as you need scale only those services that are more frequently used.
Fault isolation possible with an MSA ensures that the system continues to function even when one of the services is down.
Microservices is best when working with extended teams or when your development units are dispersed around the globe.
Each microservice is a separate block of code and this decomposition makes the application code easier to maintain.
As with development, microservices can be deployed individually and rolled back easily, if needed, without affecting the rest of the system.
Re-Architect Your eCommerce System into Microservices
Can your eCommerce system keep up with your business growth? Is it proving difficult to support dynamic content changes and provide a flawless omnichannel experience?
Consider re-engineering your legacy system around microservices. Rather than rewriting the entire system at once, it may be a better approach to re-architect the monolith in parts, starting with the least dependent services.
Set up a consultation with our team. We will analyze your business case, identify suitable services, and build your architecture roadmap. With proper planning and risk management, we can keep your migration super smooth.
Backends for Frontends Pattern
As the number of microservices grows, the eCommerce system can become very complicated. Each new service has to be designed specifically to interact with every other dependent service. Backend for frontend (BFF) design pattern refers to the concept of designing backends for each user experience. The BFF acts as a layer between the user experience and the resources it requests. This layer is responsible for organizing the microservices by taking disparate calls and converting them into a common form before passing it along.
Devops is a key component of the approach towards agile development and operational efficiency in an eCommerce enterprise. When building a large application using multiple encapsulated services, we focus on developing new business capabilities autonomously, without the need for a large system-wide release. Each microservice can be developed, tested, and deployed independent of other parts of the application. So microservices architecture works better when applied with DevOps practices of continuous integration/deployment (CI/CD) and automated testing. We enhance continuous delivery by adopting a blue-green deployment approach. In effect, we are able to adapt the system to rapidly changing market needs without disrupting production service.
Enterprise eCommerce Features
B2C or B2B, having an eCommerce website has become an irrefutable part of doing business. Core modules inherent to an eCommerce system include:
- Product catalog
- Order management
- Accounts and membership
- Product search
- Pricing and tax calculator
- Discounts and coupons
- Inventory management
- Shopping cart
- Reviews and rating
To meet the challenges of enterprise commerce, your eCommerce solution will also need to support features such as omnichannel retailing, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence.
Multi-Country, Multi-Language, Multi-Brand
When selling internationally, you may want your system to support multiple storefronts, each with its own local currency and language preference. Multi-store functionality allows you to have different stock in different markets. You can tailor promotions and product upselling for each store and manage targeted selling to diverse markets. To ensure the best performance in every region, the stores can be hosted on location-specific servers. Direct integration with international warehouses and shipping carriers is also essential for successful global eCommerce.
Your physical stores need to be linked with your online channels so customers can order anywhere and collect the goods anywhere. True omnichannel refers to providing shoppers a unified experience across the various channels. Multi-channel listings, POS integrations, automatic syncing of inventory and order in real-time across channels, IoT devices, and integrated marketing contribute to creating such a continuous customer journey. A mobile-first approach to eCommerce development along with smart use of beacons or RFID technology for proximity marketing can help you to effectively connect with your on-the-go customers
Customer service expectations have grown tremendously with the advancements in big data processing and machine intelligence. Artificial intelligence is being used to enhance the user experience and boost sales. Bots built with machine learning and natural language processing capabilities can hold contextual chat conversations with customers. You can integrate these trained robots to offer round-the-clock support to website users or engage your customers on other digital platforms. Virtual shopping assistants can also be employed to augment the in-store experience.
An omnichannel commerce solution needs to be integrated with all of the enterprise systems such as ERP, CRM, and BI. Integrations consolidating data from in-store, email, social network, mobile app, IoT, and website channels make the experience richer, smoother, and consistent for the user. A modular, loosely-coupled architecture provides greater flexibility and eases the integration with legacy systems.
A personalized search that will add recommendations based on user preferences can woo consumers away from your competition. The standard catalog search API can be optimized using machine learning algorithms to provide results based on user preferences. The recommendation engine can be tuned to consider the latest stock availability in addition to previous purchase patterns, wishlists, product ratings, and profile preferences.
If you want an eCommerce software that perfectly matches your needs and scales seamlessly with your business, let’s get it custom built.