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How is Edge Cloud Driving the Transformation of Online Retail?

Like all other industries, retail also experienced an acceleration in the digital transformation, which was brought about by the pandemic, and the shift to digital-first. For some time, e-commerce was the only option available, and retailers across the globe got this opportunity to prioritize a safe, secure, and scalable digital presence to serve better, and generate revenue from, their newly discovered remote customer base. After some years, E-Commerce shops came forward to favor flexibility and creativity to serve more and more customers from the edge of the network. While doing so, they have managed to reduce costs, boost performance, and transform UX while keeping their apps secure in the face of the new demands of their new remote customer base. 

Edge computing can prove phenomenal in catering to this sudden shift and providing great shopping experiences quickly & safely compared to legacy CDN and security offerings. An edge cloud platform lies between e-commerce infrastructure and edge devices, either in the cloud or data centers, to process & serve customers’ applications as close to end users as possible — almost at the edge of the internet. Ultimately, customers get a better, faster, and more personalized online shopping experience – which helps in improving conversion rates and generating more revenues. Read on to learn how.

Work bigger and faster 

The edge cloud has evolved out of the CDN, and providing some core features during its evolution has created a good home for authoritative edge computing features. It’s come out as a function without needing a physical kit, letting businesses worldwide get closer to their global user base than ever before and providing far greater UX than possible. CDNs have always given a superior scalability model for apps due to the enormous size of their networks, and it allows them to take a lot of the burden off of existing business applications. However, with edge computing, businesses have succeeded in going one step further and delivering more excellent content to the edge. While previously they delivered straightforward, static content like images and CSS, edge computing has allowed even more complex parts of the app to sit on the network’s edge. 

Today, existing CDN features such as real-time purge let edge clouds serve more complex and dynamic content from the edge, enabling more & better content. Edge computing moves things even further, as apart from the content of the application, retailers can now get some of the app logic at the edge. And, the more at the edge, the better it is. This is a big step for online retailers, who have had to divide their apps into microservices over the past years, allocating their content across a cloud infrastructure from so many third-party providers. In today’s era, all those building blocks can run at the network’s edge. This leads to reduced latency, which translates to better performance and more sales, as now we have more of the application sitting closer to the customer.

A new way to build a security infrastructure 

For security, retailers always wanted to have experts and their products look after their online presence while they focused on infrastructure. Security has always been at the network’s perimeter; antivirus has evolved to firewalls, and firewalls have evolved to cloud firewalls, and so on. Therefore, it makes sense today to have security at the edge. Suppose an organization chooses to do so for its application. In that case, it can use the previously mentioned building blocks to create a security setup, combined with available products, readymade for its needs. 

Because, with the right tools, the retailers will come up with more brilliant & more innovative solutions than any vendor can offer. As their application is unique, their challenges are also unique, and therefore, they need a unique solution to deal with those challenges. 

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Stay agile & keep costs down  

As far as cost savings is concerned, it depends on the stage & scale of your e-commerce business. For example, CDNs are mandatory for large global operations, but other options are also available for smaller, local setups. For the latter, while considering how to make your app and what kind of infra to rely on, there’s quite a lot of freedom to stay agile and avoid significant infrastructure investments. By moving content to the edge, you can save precious bandwidth and high storage costs, minimize the burden on your servers, and reduce the costs you pay for moving data out of the central cloud. 

These problems are eliminated with edge computing, with which you can cache more than ever before as you can instantly purge content, which removes any worries over serving stale content. In simple words, the more you move at the edge, the more you can reduce the complex infrastructure and bandwidth costs. Because To convert e-commerce shoppers, you will have to offer them a fast and reliable online experience every time they visit your site or app. Apart from allowing retailers to offload content with edge computing cost-effectively, you can also deliver that reliable CX by radically simplifying image delivery because image transformation is handled at the edge.

By allowing developers to do what they do best, online retailers can boost & adapt their applications according to their customers’ needs, meeting unique business challenges with unique functionalities. Furthermore, this kind of developer enablement will lead to a bespoke & better user experience that will enhance online sales. ISmile Technologies, as proud partners to the top public cloud providers AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, can provide you with a cloud governance model and core framework to ensure your operations in the public cloud are scalable and secure. Schedule your free assessment today.

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