Ecommerce platform trends and architecture today
Ecommerce platforms represent some of the fastest growing technology, driven by the need to accommodate agility, innovate functionality and improve deployment. The role of eCommerce platforms is changing and this, too, is giving rise to fresh evolution across architecture and delivery. These key trends demonstrate the change that is taking place in the eCommerce world today.
A collection of component parts
For a range of reasons, from reducing reliance on one IT partner through to ease of scaling, the current trend is away from eCommerce services delivered by a single platform and towards multiple component parts. This provides more flexibility, enabling targeted upgrades or replacements of individual elements and making it easier to test components in isolation.
The option of a fully managed service
eCommerce platform vendors have historically been more likely to offer a software package that individual businesses implement internally. However, increasingly the trend now is towards providing an eCommerce platform as a fully managed service. As a result, there has been much less investment by eCommerce platform providers in feature development. Resources are, instead, being diverted to focusing on improvements such as cloud optimisation, integration through APIs or externalising business specific customisations.
Separation of functions
Increasingly, the separation of user interface and the rest of the eCommerce platform is proving to be the popular choice. APIs provide the interaction between the separate user interface and the other parts of the platform and more options are available when it comes to the way that the user interface is designed and built. There are many advantages to this, for example removing the user interface function reduces the overall size of the eCommerce platform, provides more business control and offers a degree of bespoke flexibility.
Public cloud hosting
There is a significant shift in favour of public cloud hosting, especially with larger organisations that are keen to reduce budgets and improve agility and flexibility. The public cloud has many advantages when it comes to hosting eCommerce architecture. Major cloud providers have heightened security in place that (with the right provider and implementation) is frequently more effective than that which could be achieved privately. Reduced infrastructure costs are another obvious benefit of switching to public cloud hosting, as is the improved agility and scalability that can be achieved.
Microservice applications have already seen significant adoption in other sectors – Netflix and Amazon are two of the big success stories. Although take up in eCommerce has not yet been achieved at the same level there is growing energy behind microservice eCommerce architecture. Of course there are challenges too, such as deployment complexity and the fact that there are more moving parts involved. However, the idea of each service existing in isolation is beginning to catch on.
These are just a few of the trends currently driving eCommerce platform architecture today. From deconstructing older monolithic structures to moving architecture to the public cloud to streamline and improve scalability, the evolution in this key sector is constant and ongoing.
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