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How to Grow Your E-commerce Business

Thanks to the rise of mobile devices and the evolution of computing technology, the U.S. e-commerce business market is poised to undergo explosive growth over the next few years. Currently, the market is expected to haul in $300 billion this year. By 2018, that number is project to grow to $491 billion, an impressive increase of 64 percent in just four short years.

In the past, managers operated brick-and-mortar stores, drawing business from a pool of customers who lived nearby. But in today’s digital age, that customer base has grown to include anyone with Internet access. As a result, a business owner that might have sold 50 pairs of pants in a week at his or her brick-and-mortar shop, for example, might now be able to sell 1,000 pairs in a week through an e-commerce platform.

In order to grow your e-commerce business, it’s imperative that your site is built on a database that is able to handle ever-increasing loads. Many up-and-coming e-commerce sites are powered by MySQL databases these days. These databases are able to accommodate most traffic loads. But they do have their limits.

In fact, as your business continues to grow, and your e-commerce site gains more and more traffic, your site will eventually experience slowdowns — which customers don’t have a lot of patience for. And worse, with even more of your e-commerce success, it’s only a matter of time before your MySQL database hits a wall. When this occurs, your customers aren’t able to complete transactions. And when transactions can’t be completed, you have no chance to make money. To make matters worse, when your website isn’t functioning properly, your customers will get frustrated and may very well decide to take their business elsewhere in the future.

Rather than risk the above scenarios, e-commerce platforms should be powered by databases that can scale to accommodate growing traffic. When you make the decision to power your e-commerce platform with a database that scales, there are three routes you can take:

  • Replatforming. If you’re having trouble accommodating increasing traffic, you have the option of migrating to an entirely new e-commerce platform. While replatforming is certainly something you can consider, such an undertaking online casino is quite expensive and time consuming. You will have to modify your application code, your database queries, and your data schemas, all of which increases your TCO, as well as increases your business risk. One significant risk of which is losing your data should problems occur during the migration.
  • Sharding. Generally speaking, sharding is a workaround that allows your MySQL database to scale to some extent. When you shard your database, you are breaking it apart into smaller sections, like breaking a sheet of glass on concrete. When you decide to go this route, you lose the power of the relational database. Rather than having to manage one, you now have to manage many. In addition, your e-commerce application(s) will have to be updated to become sharding-aware, which can result in three times the amount of code to deal with.
  • A scale-out cloud database. ClustrixDB is the first database that was designed from the ground up specifically for e-commerce businesses. The database is built on NewSQL, and can scale alongside your business. To accommodate increasing traffic, ClustrixDB absorbs more servers into its database cluster with zero code development and zero downtime. This allows you to rest comfortably knowing that your database can accommodate whatever traffic is thrown its way. In other words, your business is no longer bound by technological limitations.

We believe that the third option is by far the best, and we think you’ll agree.

To take an even deeper dive into how you can make your e-commerce business a success, read our recent white paper titled “Three key elements to maintaining a successful e-commerce website.”