Important Infrastructure for Your E-Commerce Business

If you’re just setting up your e-commerce business, there are a lot of little things that you need to do in order to keep your business running smoothly. You might…

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and/or links to our own products.

If you’re just setting up your e-commerce business, there are a lot of little things that you need to do in order to keep your business running smoothly. You might think that some infrastructure doesn’t apply to small businesses, but it’s actually one of the most important aspects of every business.

The important infrastructures needed for your e-commerce business include high-quality digital marketing strategies, and an efficient physical base. Digital marketing strategies encompass advertising, social media, and web design, while a physical base involves manufacturing, storage, fulfillment and employees.

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Infrastructure can cover everything from user data to padded envelopes. This article will go through all the different elements of infrastructure for e-commerce business and what you will want to consider purchasing.

What Is Infrastructure For E-Commerce?

From the advent of the internet and doing business online, one thing has been a constant: e-commerce infrastructure.

It is the infrastructure that your business needs to stay online and in operation. From storage space for inventory, to a physical location, infrastructure is what you need to get your business going. E-commerce infrastructure includes all of the infrastructure needed to run a successful company.

E-Commerce Infrastructure is an ever present pillar for any business looking to take advantage of online transactions but what does it entail?

It requires many different types or resources including internet access components, networks, web servers (both physical and virtual), software services like databases with metrics tracking tools among others; all which provide necessary information so businesses can track their data while also analyzing trends such as customer demands.

What Is Network Infrastructure For E-commerce?

Network infrastructure is the infrastructure that supports a business network. It encompasses servers, data storage solutions and all networking equipment used to connect users to each other and to their computers.

Due to the fact that infrastructure has become such an important part of any business, it’s worth noting that infrastructure is not confined to just within a company.

Network infrastructure may exist between multiple businesses or even outside the boundaries of the organization; infrastructure exists in all layers including hardware and software.

What Are The Infrastructure Requirements For E-commerce?

The infrastructure requirements for e-commerce are actually quite simple. They consist of the infrastructure needed to support employees, infrastructure that will store and manage inventory, as well as infrastructure needed to provide a desired user experience. Infrastructure can run the gamut from internet providers and server farms to virtual infrastructure and delivery trucks.

As you can imagine, this was quite complicated in the beginning. But advancements in technologies and the development of websites, services, and software management applications, it has never been more accessible than before. Let’s take a look at some critical e-commerce infrastructure for your business.

Invest in High-Quality Digital Marketing Plans

For e-commerce businesses, digital infrastructure is critical to your success. According to this study from the ACIS 2008 Proceedings, a company’s online presence is becoming increasingly important, and failing to engage customers online could result in loss of business.

Customers will primarily be interacting with your products on the internet, from the marketing stage to the shipment stage. E-commerce is an increasingly competitive field, and businesses that don’t continually generate traffic will get buried in search results.

This is why investing in high quality photography and video marketing for your products is very important.

Here are some of the elements of digital infrastructure you’ll want to take inventory of before launching your e-commerce business:

Use Online Marketing to Increase Brand Influence

In our increasingly online world, the most likely way to make sure consumers come across your brand is through online marketing. You need to decide where your target demographic, or your core type of customer, is most likely to come across your brand.  

Just imagine the kind of person that would buy what you make. Chances are that person looks a lot like you!

There are a few ways to make sure that the customers you want will eventually find themselves on your website.

Incorporate SEO Best Practices To Boost Traffic

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of making it more likely for user traffic to find its way to your website through search engines like Google.

After all, you found THIS article via SEO.

For example, if you sell handmade blankets, your target demographic might research “Warm, unique blankets,” “Great Mother’s Day presents,” or “New apartment decoration.” By including those keywords in your online descriptions or in your meta tags, you can make it more likely that your demographic finds your website.

All you need to do is consider when people might buy your product and tailor your website to those people.

Use Advertising & Social Media To Generate Leads

This study from the IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review shows that paid advertisements and social media presence significantly impacted the amount of traffic that visited websites.

Paid ads through Google and social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, are important parts of the infrastructure of your business. Make sure to build a presence online on all of the platforms that you think your potential customers will be on.

Consider Selling on a Marketplace Platform

Next, you’ll need to determine where you want to sell your products on the internet. You have two options: To find an existing platform or create your own to sell on your own website.

Many sellers find it simpler and easier to sell on online platforms like Etsy or Amazon. This is because existing platforms are easy to use and offer a lot of freedom to e-commerce businesses to sell what they want. They’re also more familiar to consumers, who might be more likely to trust a business on Etsy than one with their website.

However, Etsy and Amazon will take a percentage of all of your sales. Furthermore, since Etsy and other platforms are so popular, it can be harder to get discovered among all the other sellers on their sites.

If you don’t want to deal with these downsides, you can always host your platform on your own website. You can do this with websites like Builderfly, which is free and extremely simple to use.

However, savvy consumers might be less likely to purchase something from a website they don’t recognize. You might be better served by sticking to a tried-and-true platform like Etsy. If you build a loyal customer base, you can switch to your own web platform later on.

Use Cloud Computing Services To Analyze Data

Cloud computing services will store and analyze data for you and occasionally provide other services that will help you advertise more effectively.

A cloud computing service can help you determine which ads brought the most people to your website, which of your social media influencers are generating the most clicks, and other helpful data.

There are many services out there that can help you crunch your numbers, but two of the most popular are Google Cloud Services and Amazon Web Services, or AWS. Look through the pros and cons of each one to determine what will work best for you!

Enhance Operations With an Efficient Physical Base 

No matter how small your business is, you’re going to need to determine what kind of physical infrastructure you need. Even if you’re running your business out of your basement or bedroom, you’ll need to find a way to structure and streamline your business so that filling orders is a snap.

Have an Adequate Supply of Production Materials

If you’re making a product to sell online, you probably already have all the materials necessary to make it. If you want to sell in bulk, though, make sure that you have enough supplies on hand to fulfill orders on short notice.

Manufacturing materials include shipping materials, such as packing tape, boxes, and stamps. If you want personalized boxes, several websites like PackLane will offer custom packaging and you can save huge on your shipping costs with PirateShip.

You’ll want to have enough manufacturing materials in case you get a large order, but not so much that you have an excess of materials for a long time.

Improve Quality with Secure Storage Facilities

If you keep your product in-house, find a safe place to store them. This will depend on your product, but it’s important that you keep them in their own separate, clearly labeled containers. You don’t want to suddenly lose any of the fruits of your labor.

Make sure you have a reliable system for inventorying and update it every time you make a sale.

Hire Employees & Customer Service

Finally, you will need a reliable set of employees to perform all the tasks that will take you, the business owner, away from your most important duties. It’s not always easy to recognize when you need to bring in outside help, but if you find yourself with less and less free time, another employee will help ease your workload.

If your business gets a lot of customer feedback or reviews, you may find that your best place to invest your money is on a customer service specialist to answer emails or phone calls. On the other hand, if you tend to sell out of products quickly, maybe you need to bring on manufacturing help.

Only you will know the exact needs of your business. Make sure not to overspend on employees, but also treat and pay them fairly. A loyal employee will earn you more money in the long run, and a cheap employee with poor performance may cost you reviews and reputation.

Final Thoughts

Building your e-commerce business will take more than a passion for your product or service. You need to create a stable infrastructure where you can create, sell, and market your business as easily and effectively as possible.  

This article went through just a few elements of e-commerce infrastructure that entrepreneurs will have to think about. However, if there’s anything else you will need to keep your business running smoothly, it’s a regular part of your infrastructure that you need to factor in when planning your future.

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Benjamin and Sheila Harty

WE HELP E-COMMERCE SELLERS THRIVE!

Welcome to Skyline FBA! We are product photographers who specialize in E-Commerce Hero Images (the main listing image), and we help entrapeneurs create the visuals they need to get their products noticed in the online world.

We started our journey selling on Amazon ourselves, so we know just how hard it can be to run a profitable e-commerce business.

Our mission is to create step-by-step resources that bring together the best strategies and tips from successful clients in our network. We're glad you're here, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

- Benjamin & Sheila

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SkylineFBA.com is a participant in several affiliate programs, including the Amazon Associates program, and may be compensated for referring business to these companies at no additional cost to you. This post may contain affiliate links and/or links to our own products. We never recommend anything we don’t love or wouldn’t use ourselves.
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