According to some of the eminently coveted market researchers on this planet, e-commerce sales will increase from its current volume of $1.7 Trillion to a staggering $2.3 trillion by 2017 and every single online store want to clutch the market and grow their sales. Eventually, one of the salient factors of the growth of your business's online sales, is the role of web server you are using. Factually, most of the pressing E-marketers are employing e-commerce web hosting services as a growth-hacker of their online sales. These following discussed issues can portray the concept better.
Staying alive on the web, round the clock, is the most important when a company solely depends upon the sales conducted through the website. 99.9% uptime is the business standard. E-Commerce hosting services promise to offer this range of availability. Added to this, a website's performance depends upon the data centres integrated to that web server, where it's got hosted. Currently, there are 4 different levels/tiers of data centre available. Namely, tier 1, 2, 3 and 4, based on the power of the centres infrastructure. Here goes a short summary of the features on which these levels are distinguished.
- The yearly downtime in hours for Tier 1 - 28.8, Tier 2 - 22.0, Tier 3 - 1.6 and Tier 4 - 0.8.
- Tier 1,2,3,4 provide simultaneously 99.67 %, 99.75%, 99.98%, 99.99% website availability.
Here, need is the choice as both 'not enough' and 'way more than' limits are to be cared. The actual server can be a Dedicated, VPS or Cloud one. At the bud, shared hosting can meet the preliminary requirements. When it goes popular, then, VPS for e-commerce site or the dedicated hosting becomes extremely essential. Conclusively, you are to choose a highly reliable hosting service for your ecommerce site.
Page Loading Time and Content Delivery Network (CDN):
Is it than 80 milliseconds? Then, you are out. After ensuring the high availability rate, if the site's page loading speed is not satisfactory, then it's hardly a fruitful condition for the ecommerce business growth. Users can easily get frustrated due to the slow page loading. Eventually, happy customers are always beneficial for the business and they have small patience. Statistics indicate that more than 40% customers expect to load a page within 2 seconds. One second page loading delay can slash up to 11 - 16 % page views.
The answer is CDN and decidedly, 75% of the big sites choose those web hosting services which boast this feature. Technically, CDN is the network of the data centres scattered over various geographical locations across the globe. It shrinks the physical distance between your uploaded content and your users and offers the required bandwidth, thus, reduce the fetching time of web pages.
Intriguing Shopping Carts:
Shopping Cart is a user friendly page layout that can calculate taxes, shipping charges, easily add or remove items for customers to further proceed to payments with a progress indicator to notify the number of items deposited to the cart. This is the linchpin behind the simplicity of transactions or buying process and the spartan user experience which strengthens the e-commerce business growth. Now, almost all the e-commerce web hosting services integrates some of the well-known shopping cart software's like, PrestaShop, Open cart, Oscommerce, Zen cart, etc.
Among all shopping cart software's, only Zen cart requires basic skills to install and configure. Zen Cart offers a number of options to customize the cart using template system to select a design and configure product categories, sales discounts, shipping and payment options. With all these features, it would be better to optimize the Zen Cart in order to provide a good user experience with excellent performance.
Versatile Payment System:
With any e-commerce business, the payment procedure is the next important characteristic to consider for completing a successful and satisfying e-transaction. It's a process in which money is transferred from customers' account to the seller's account. Most of the e-commerce web hosting services integrate most of the existing payment options available on the web, such as credit cards, debit cards, net banking, PayPal, etc. A versatile and secure payment system offers both the flexibility and the needful trust to the users.
Security is the most crucial point to be observed for any e-Commerce hosting service. In an online shopping website, all the monetary transactions take place through the payment gateways. Thus, it is strictly mandatory to provide a secure and safe payment process. All the customer's card data, name, address, usernames, passwords need to be well protected otherwise, the identity theft of the customers will be at peril. So, maximum security provider e-Commerce hosting service is advantageous.
Commitment (Service level Agreement, PCI DSS Certification):
While a host can promise to offer many things only a Service level Agreement (SLA) can ensure to provide certain services. It is a document committing how much support or the uptime it can provide including the penalties for violating the mentioned points. It's needed to be read carefully before choosing a particular hosting service.
PCI DSS certification is the highest level of data security guarantee provided by an ecommerce web hosting service. There are 4 different levels of PCI compliance. The levels are differentiated based on the size of the ecommerce business and the number of online transactions take place regularly. The more the transaction the higher level of PCI compliance the web host should have.
A regular data backup is necessary in any online website to avoid major data loss. If it is not possible to take back up regularly and manually it can be set to process through automatically using some softwares or plugins. A painless access of the all backend management tools are essential here.
A 24x7, over 365 days support is necessity. Before selecting the web hosting service its need to be checked if it's possible to contact their support team all the times even at weekends or holidays. The communication process should be easy enough to make contact within a minute's notice. Other things to check upon are toll free customer service, live chat, email facilities etc.
Author Bio: Joy Mali is a certified digital analyst who helps online businesses to perform better on the web with best solutions & advice. Her content is featured on many mainstream sites & blogs.You can follow her on Google Plus.