Digital transformation is no longer a choice for most companies; it has become the norm of doing business. Technology is a crucial enabler of this transformation, providing business owners with the means to gain an edge over the competition.
As part of their digital transformation journey, companies are finding that they need to have competitive, user friendly and robust e-commerce business models. Even traditional brick and mortar businesses, which in years past could depend only on word-of-mouth to build their client base and reputation, are now required to have a viable e-commerce strategy. Having no online presence is as good as being non-existent to today’s customers.
But today’s business owners are very lucky because software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment models, enabled by the cloud, have democratised e-commerce and made the barriers of entry lower than ever before. People no longer need to make large upfront investments (i.e. to buy hardware for their on-site data centre or to purchase expensive software licenses) to kick-start their entrepreneurial pursuits or take their business to the next level.
The cloud now provides all the flexibility, scalability, security, as well as a wide range of services required by companies big and small for a fraction of the price as and when needed.
From merely hosting a static website to inform the world about your business to building a sophisticated e-commerce presence complete with all the bells and whistles, the cloud provides you with a platform to pick and choose the features and services you need to up your online game and build your brand reputation on a global stage.
When it comes to helping businesses achieve e-commerce success, some cloud providers don’t just “talk the talk”. Alibaba Cloud, for example, grew out of Asia’s largest e-commerce platform so the company knows the ins and outs of the e-commerce industry, the challenges that it presents as well as the tools needed by companies carrying out their e-commerce strategies.
As such, the products and services offered on Alibaba Cloud cover several main categories, including: domains & websites, database services, elastic computing services, storage & CDN, networking, security, analytics and big data, monitoring & management as well as other application services.
With just a few clicks, a company can for example choose to: install an e-commerce plug-in to start selling its products and services to a wider online audience; make use of ApsaraDB for RDS to manage its client database on MySQL; protect its investments with a suite of security services (that include DDoS prevention, network intrusion detection, web application protection, host intrusion protection, vulnerability detection and Trojan detection); use its data to gain actionable insights with Quick BI business intelligence and data analytics services; and leverage advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning to further optimise the user experience (e.g. with personalised product recommendations).
It all may sound highly technical and complex, but Alibaba Cloud offers comprehensive support and resources to help companies understand and implement the technologies effectively.
Just imagine the amount of time, effort and investments required to achieve the same functionalities and capabilities on your own. What was previously only possible for enterprises with deep pockets is now accessible to everyone with the cloud.
To give you an idea of how it works in a real-world situation, this case study explores how a health and fitness startup managed to create a robust online presence by using Alibaba Cloud’s extensive suite of products and services to grow into an international online brand.
For more information on how the cloud makes e-commerce simple, safe, affordable and accessible, click here.
As cloud becomes ever more so important, it also needs to have a robust security capability. Download this spotlight on Alibaba Cloud's security capability to find out.