As our lives are becoming more dependent on the internet, several business owners are finding new ways to scale their businesses by adopting ecommerce platforms. The ecommerce boom is allowing them to market their products virtually across the globe, generating high revenues, and reaching new heights of sustainability.
First thing’s first. To set up a customer-friendly ecommerce website, you need to onboard a reliable ecommerce hosting provider. There are a handful of ecommerce hosting providers who claim to be trustworthy. But are they?
Your ecommerce business is nothing less than a do or die situation. Mainly because of the large number of impatient online customers. Few glitches may force your potential customers to shift their attention towards your competitors, thus leaving you to kiss your profits good-bye!
To avoid losing customers, you must ensure your ecommerce web hosting provider offers exceptional services and can help you scale your business without any hassle. If you’re concerned about how to find a reliable ecommerce hosting provider, following are a few pointers you must remember while searching for your ideal web hosting provider.
1. Ecommerce Website Security
We’re all well aware of the increase in a number of cyber-attacks lately. Hackers love to target ecommerce websites as they have sensitive information regarding customers, which can include, but is not limited to their banking details, credit card credentials, etc. thus, are vulnerable to hack attacks if they aren’t secured properly.
If you don’t give importance to your ecommerce security, you may be the next victim of a cyber attack. By not choosing a reliable ecommerce hosting provider, who can secure your online store to fight against the latest malware, you’re just giving everything away to virtual scammers and thieves. They will not steal toilet paper from your website, instead, if your ecommerce website isn’t secure enough, you are risking all the effort you put into establishing your business.
Ecommerce web hosting providers should ensure that your customers won’t think twice before providing you with their credit card information. They should make sure that your website must comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards to protect sensitive data which your website has under its wrap.
Also, look for hosting providers who provide Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate as it plays a vital role in encrypting sensitive customer information. Most of the ecommerce hosting services will provide an SSL certificate without charging you any additional cost as they understand the importance of your website’s security, and you should opt for such reliable ecommerce hosting providers.
2. Dependable Uptime
Website downtime is unavoidable. But you must maintain and update your ecommerce website regularly. Even though your customers might understand if your website is down for regular maintenance, but they won’t be easy on you if it remains dull too frequently.
Time is the essence in the world of online business. Your website can go down anytime due to technical difficulties, and you need to resolve them as soon as possible. You cannot afford the downtime that stretches over hours.
If they are unable to access your online store often to purchase their desired products, they will start searching for other options to quench their thirst for online shopping. No customer prefers delays especially when they are shopping for their favorite products during a sales season.
Another tip to remember is to inform your customers about your website’s maintenance beforehand. This way you won’t have to deal with frustrated customers who cannot buy their favorite products.
Your online store shouldn’t disappear from the surface of the internet more than 90 minutes in a month. Reliable ecommerce web hosting providers like Cloudways can offer 99.9% uptime. They also ensure that your website remains up and running. Even under troubled times, they ensure your website is always accessible, but of course with limited connectivity.
Some hosting providers offer a money-back guarantee if your website faces frequent downtime. However, money should not be a concern here. It is nothing compared to what you will lose in the long run if you depend on an unreliable hosting provider for your ecommerce websites.
3. Website Speed
No one forgives a slow website. A buffering website will only lead to frustrated customers. Your customers want to lay their hands on the product as soon as possible, way before their BFF has it. They don’t want to wait for even a single minute for your online catalog to open.
There is a possibility that they will leave a negative review on other platforms which may affect your business negatively. You don’t want new unhappy customers to stop your regular happy customers to stop buying from your online store, just because a pesky client was unable to buy a T-shirt due to your website’s speed.
Experts have observed that databases are responsible for slowing down your ecommerce website. Your ecommerce hosting provider should be able to optimize your online store in such a way that your potential customers are able to make a purchase within seconds. Ask your ecommerce hosting provider for a trial to judge their databases’ health and speed before onboarding them.
4. Handling the Traffic
As your online business grows, chances are that you may attract more traffic towards your website. With your exceptional services, your customers will recommend you to their friends and family members. Resultantly, you will have more visitors to your website than you originally planned. Consequently, there is a chance that your website’s performance may get affected.
You don’t want to lose these newly found customers just because of the unprofessionalism of your ecommerce hosting provider. Your web hosting providers should introduce features that can handle high traffic during peak sales season without compromising on the speed or performance of your ecommerce website.
Automatic backups are as essential for online businesses as breathing is for a human being. Being proactive will save you from a lot of trouble when a mishap occurs. Imagine opening your website to find out all your data disappear in thin air. Your product listings have vanished and you have to start your site from scratch.
To avoid such circumstances, ask your web hosting provider(s) to regularly create a backup of your website’s data. If a mishap occurs, for instance, a hacker attacks your website, you won’t lose all the essential data. You can quickly recover from the calamity and can continue to keep your customers happy.
In a nutshell
Ecommerce hosting providers should not make your entrepreneurial journey a living hell. Instead, they should assist you in scaling your business effectively.
Amongst the aforementioned pointers, a few other things that prove to be a plus point also includes a 24/7 tech support. More than you can imagine, it creates a difference. Smooth communication with your hosting providers – whenever you need them – not only strengthens your relationship with each other but also allows you to ensure your online store offers optimum performance.
Moreover, “the first impression is the last impression”. The design of your website also plays a key role in keeping the customer on your website. The longer they stay, the more the chances that they will make additional purchases from you. If it is going to be a few jumbled words with no proper formatting, your customers will leave your online store without any second thoughts.
Your website design acts as a storefront for your online business. A professional ecommerce hosting service provider understands the importance of your website’s layout. They know the importance of color schemes, readability options and above all, making things easier for your customers to maneuver through your website. You don’t want your customers to get lost in your online store like a little kid looking for candy aisle in Walmart. They should be able to reach their desired product within a few clicks.
To sum up, you should also compare the costs of different ecommerce hosting providers and their services. Avoid hosting providers who ask you to pay a fixed percentage for every sale you make. As your sales increases, their price will also increase.
Remember the aforementioned points and you will be able to successfully onboard a reliable ecommerce hosting provider for your online business.