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Ecommerce Infrastructure: What is it

Feb 06, 2023 by

Prince Joel

Prince Joel

Learn why it is important for your business to have a well-defined ecommerce infrastructure.
The growth of the ecommerce industry has been on the rise over the last few years. What’s the catalyst for this growth? The answer is straightforward: value provision and problem-solving.
Ecommerce provides easy access to goods and services, which has helped companies tap into a large customer base who were lacking this service. It may sound simple, but without a functional business infrastructure, you'll quickly lose customers or potential customers and go out of business.
In this article, you will learn why it's important for your business to have a well-defined ecommerce infrastructure.

What is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce involves buying and selling goods and services online. It can happen between businesses (B2B), between a business and a consumer (B2C), between consumers (C2C), or between a consumer and a business (C2B).
Some examples of ecommerce businesses are Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Walmart.

What is an Infrastructure?

Infrastructures are systems needed by a business to operate smoothly. It is a key component of any business, as it ensures growth and sustainability.
This could be software such as operating systems, applications, and security tools, as well as hardware, such as servers, routers, etc.
It also includes the people, procedures, and guidelines that support the infrastructure.

What are Ecommerce Infrastructures?

Ecommerce infrastructures are hardware and software components required to operate and maintain an online store.
They are the foundation upon which ecommerce businesses are built, empowering businesses to sell their products and services over the internet.
They include the hardware, software, and services needed to manage online transactions and process orders.

Components of an Ecommerce Infrastructure

Below are some infrastructures all ecommerce businesses should have:

Web Servers

A web server is a hardware or software that stores data and communicates it to users through HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) request. It is in charge of hosting websites, handling visitor requests, and supplying web page content.
Web servers use scripting languages like PHP, ASP, and JavaScript to generate dynamic web pages.
A web server in ecommerce is a computer that stores and serves web pages to users over the internet. They allow customers to access product information, view prices, and purchase goods.

Database Servers

A database server is a computer system that stores, manages, and retrieves data from a database. It is the backbone of an ecommerce system, as it hosts the databases used for online transactions and stores customer information.
It is also in charge of effectively managing the data's organization and security. Database servers also provide expansion, ensuring websites can handle large amounts of data.

Payment Processing System

A payment processing system is a system used to process financial transactions in an ecommerce system. It lets merchants receive payments from customers, securely process the payments, and transfer the funds to the merchant’s bank account.
This system is also part of the ecommerce functionality responsible for confirming clients’ identities and providing a secure platform for consumers to make their purchases.
This handles payments from different sources, such as debit and credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers spread out across different locations. It provides online content to users based on their geographic location.
CDNs are used to improve website performance and deliver a better user experience. In ecommerce, CDNs are used to provide online content such as product photos, videos, and other information to customers faster.

Security and Fraud Prevention

Protecting ecommerce websites from cyber-attacks and fraudulent activities is important. To protect customers, use fraud protection technologies like SEON, Signifyd, Kount, Cybersource, and more.
For the safety and security of customers and their data, ecommerce security and fraud prevention are crucial.

Load Balancing

This is a process for distributing incoming traffic and requests across a group of servers. It helps to improve the performance of an ecommerce system. This gives no room for failure in the system and ensures the system can handle the increased demand from online shoppers.
It also helps to prevent any server from becoming overloaded with requests and also helps to improve customers' shopping experience.

Backup System

This is a system that stores data, such as customer information, routinely. It helps restore the system to the last saved state in the event of a system failure.
This ensures that the business can quickly and easily recover from any potential data loss. Backup systems can also be used to transfer data from one system to another, allowing for greater flexibility.

Customer Service

Customer service in ecommerce is providing support to customers before, during, and after a purchase. This helps customers find what they need, provides shipping and delivery info, and also resolves order issues. This is critical for any ecommerce business.

Inventory Management

This is the practice of tracking and controlling the inventory of a business’ product. It includes maintaining stock levels, ordering new products, and tracking sales. It is important to keep accurate records of inventory to ensure customer satisfaction and product availability.
Inventory management helps protects against loss due to theft or damage and can help identify areas of opportunity to improve efficiency.

Shopping Cart

This is more of an ecommerce feature than a component of an infrastructure. It allows customers to add products to their carts, views their orders, and check out. It is an essential part of any online shopping experience, as it enables customers to quickly and easily purchase products.
Item selection, item quantity adjustments, payment selection, and order submission are common features of cart functionality. This can easily be integrated with the help of ecommerce solutions like Medusa.

Shipping and Fulfillment

In ecommerce, shipping and fulfillment refer to the process of receiving, processing, and shipping orders to customers. It also includes shipping tracking and order fulfillment.
Shipping and fulfillment are vital for any online business to be successful. This makes sure customers get their orders quickly and are happy with them.
Some examples of providers that offer this service, ShipBob, ShipStation, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Deliverr, etc.

Advantages of a Good Ecommerce Infrastructure

  1. Increased Sales: By providing customers with a better shopping experience, a good ecommerce infrastructure can help to increase sales. Customers will be more likely to complete purchases if they find the process to be smooth and easy.
  2. Lower Running Costs: A well-designed ecommerce infrastructure can help to reduce running costs. By improving the buying process, businesses can save time and money processing orders and satisfying client requirements.
  3. Improved Security: A good ecommerce infrastructure can help to ensure the security of customer data and transactions. By investing in strong security measures, businesses can protect their customers’ information and help to prevent fraud.
  4. Greater Flexibility: A good ecommerce infrastructure can assist organizations in scaling their operations as they grow. Businesses should ensure they are well-prepared for future expansion by investing in infrastructure that can manage greater traffic and revenue.

Using Medusa as an Ecommerce Platform

Medusa is an open source ecommerce platform. Its composable architecture is made of 3 main components: the headless server, the storefront, and the admin.
Traditional monolithic architecture can be limiting in terms of what can be added or integrated into the infrastructure.
Medusa’s architecture is a key advantage for an ecommerce infrastructure. Its abstract layers give businesses and developers the flexibility to decide what are the best components to use in their infrastructure.
Businesses can utilize the best-in-line tools and services in their infrastructure to build a scalable platform with essential ecommerce features.

Conclusion

Ecommerce infrastructure encompasses a wide range of systems and technologies that work together to support online businesses. These include web services, database servers, payment processing systems, and more.
These technologies are essential for enabling businesses to operate smoothly and effectively in the digital world. By investing in robust ecommerce infrastructure, businesses can improve their operations, increase their efficiency, and better serve their customers.
Should you have any issues or questions related to Medusa, then feel free to reach out to the Medusa team via Discord.

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