If your business doesn’t have an ecommerce platform, you increasingly run the risk of missing out on custom, as well as falling behind your rivals. Online shopping is a convenient way for busy shoppers to get what they want when they want, which is why using a reliable hosting service is imperative.
The 2012 WorldPay Ecommerce Basket Survey revealed that more than £3,370 was spent online by each UK shopper over the last year. Around 40 per cent of people make internet purchases at least four times a month, while almost 60 per cent of consumers conduct an online shop as many as three times a month.
Everything is snapped up over the internet, with nearly half of females buying shoes online in the last year and 43 per cent of consumers purchasing car and breakdown cover. The benefits of having an ecommerce platform apply to companies in all sectors – but only if their website is fast, runs smoothly and is always available.
One of the most popular ecommerce platforms is the open-source Magento, which serves more than 110,000 businesses in the world. Magento Enterprise is used by some of the most well-known brands and merchants. Just a handful of these include Nestle, Lindt of Switzerland, Men’s Health, The North Face and Paul Smith.
Magento boasts an array of features that make having an ecommerce platform hassle free. These cover everything from personalising the shopper experience to engaging customers and to capture their attention to layered navigation and multiple payment and shipping options. However, all of the best features in the world cannot make up for poor hosting and if your online store does not pick the right host, you will not enjoy the full advantages of Magento.
A good place to start when choosing a Magento hosting partner is finding out what its network is like. One thing you need to look out for is a company that owns its own fully-redundant fibre-optic network, as that way you know it will understand Magento’s hosting resource requirements, increasing your ecommerce site’s speed and reliability.
By choosing a hosting partner that has such knowledge of the ecommerce platform and that owns its own network, latency will be significantly reduced – by as much as 20 per cent – which means fewer delays and faster page loads.
While enjoying fast page loads and reduced latency is something you will want to achieve all of the time, this will especially be the case if you are an ecommerce company that needs to launch a sale or deal with demand from Christmas shoppers. A slow website will be frustrating for shoppers who are trying to make purchases, costing you money and potentially damaging your reputation.
As well as the technical attributes you will want your Magento hosting partner to have, it is also important you are happy with the support in place, so you can seek assistance whenever you require it. Sometimes you will want to speak to a person, especially if the problem you are trying to communicate is a complex one.
By having a team of system administrators, you can call upon their expertise to fix any issues you have, as well as ask for advice if the problem is something you can resolve on your own.