6 Scalability Challenges Ecommerce Firms Will Face--and How Shopify Plus Can Help

After queries about customization, the most frequent question we get asked is if Shopify Plus is a scalable ecommerce platform for enterprises.

The brief answer? Yes.

We understand that business commerce demands robust infrastructure that is capable of serving increasingly more clients, along with more complicated operations, integrations, and service. That is why Shopify Plus was designed for high-growth companies which are going to scale.

But we also know that expanding your company does not come without its challenges. Here are six of the most frequent challenges high-growth merchants face as they scale their businesses--and the way Shopify Plus can help remove growing pains.

Top challenges faced by high-growth businesses --and what to look for in a scalable ecommerce platform.

The challenge: Your website must be equipped to deal with high traffic volume and revenue spikes.

Few feelings are worse than drawing hundreds--or even thousands--of traffic to your website, just to have it crash.

That is exactly what happened to Bombas, before it made the change to using Shopify Plus. After appearing on Shark Tank, visits to its website skyrocketed. But despite attempts to prepare for the influx of visitors --such as costly retrofits and server maintenance fees--clients were met with broken pictures and shopping carts they could not check out. So many carts were abandoned abandoned the firm estimates it lost upward of $15,000 in sales the night of its own television appearance.

While scaling does not always mean that you have an impending TV appearance on the horizon, it will imply an exponential increase in traffic to your website. Your store will also have to be equipped to manage high-traffic sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). Just take it from Gymshark, whose website crashed and was offline for eight hours during a Black Friday sales event.

Billions of dollars in transactions move during these volatile events. In addition to that, they may be the beginning of countless customer relationships, but only if these buyers really become loyal clients.

That is why no matter what your company is and whoever your clients are, you want your website to have the ability to take care of traffic without crashing or slowing down. It is not worthwhile to sacrifice performance and reliability, particularly through these potentially rewarding events.

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The solution: Shopify Plus' cloud-based infrastructure is made for resiliency.

For many years, high-volume merchants spent up of $1 million to maintain and maintain their sites functional. Why is Shopify Plus uniquely suited to take care of enterprise requirements without the enterprise price tag?

Shopify Plus' cloud-based infrastructure--that powers over 600,000 merchants at 80,000 requests per second at its peak--functions on a bunch of Shopify's own servers operating Docker using the Rails app, together with a couple AWS feature-based augmentations.

It was constructed to be resilient, with systems for controlled latency and solutions to ensure no single point of failure. To maintain peak performance, Shopify's in-house staff manually performs extensive passive load testing and optimizations by combing through crucial areas of the platform.

The end result is 99.99% uptime, with servers capable of handling thousands of transactions per minute, all without slowing your store's overall performance.

Shopify Plus is the only platform we hope to handle the Large spikes in traffic and transactions that come from Good Morning America, The View, along with other nationally televised flash revenue"

--Greg Merrell, co-founder of Simplistic, an ecommerce service whose client list includes Black and Decker, Electrolux, and Fashion Nova.

A Shopify Plus Partner, Simplistic specializes in producing online shops that could withstand the great traffic and revenue surges that--in Fashion Nova's case--come from statements like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's trend lines. For its other powerhouse customers, the agency frequently builds one-off flash sale websites to accompany important media appearances on shows such as Good Morning America, Shark Tank, The Ellen DeGeneresShow, and much more.

"With more than a thousand successful flash revenue, we can unequivocally recommend Shopify Plus for all your high-traffic needs," states Merrel.

In terms of regular or yearly sales events? Australian clothing manufacturer LSKD moved to Shopify Plus and made ecommerce its sole attention in 2020. That same year on BFCM, it'd 19,000 shoppers on its new website with no issues.

If we had that on our previous platform, it could not have handled it--that is extremely eye-opening," states Jason Daniel, LSKD's founder and CEO. "Shopify Plus can manage growth, which is remarkable."

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The challenge: Scaling up means improved inventory, order fulfillment, and customer management requirements.

Front-end performance is 1 thing, but behind-the-scenes operations can make or break a multimillion-dollar enterprise. Large-to-enterprise operations need a platform that incorporates your shop with a host of other critical systems. Done right, these integrations can result in labour drop costs, in addition to increased accuracy and productivity.

Moreover, new technologies are launched quickly. This sort of adaptation requires flexibility which many platforms do not offer.

The solution: Out-of-the-box CMS and OMS capacities which make managing multiple shops, fulfillment centers, and relationships simple.

When a high-growth merchant begins out on Shopify Plus, the platform's out-of-the-box CMS and OMS capabilities are a powerful foundation to begin with. It makes handling multiple online shops, fulfillment centers, channels, and connections simple.

When a merchant's needs expand beyond that base, Shopify Plus finds the top partners and developers in the world, builds a community around them, and incentivizes them to scale and build their businesses around the Shopify platform.

Due to its open API and technology community, the expandability and flexibility that Shopify Plus provides can work with any high-growth merchant's or Fortune 500 company's backend technologies, such as:

By way of instance, organic beauty manufacturer 100% Pure leverages the Shopify API to power its own assortment of custom connections which allows the company to easily sync stock, product info, and electronic marketing tools, such as in its four international storefronts.

I simply hit the Sync button and it is done," says Quan Nguyen, the business's vice-president of technology. "We save so much time being able to sync everything across multiple shops."

The challenge: Resources will be stretched further, including your team's time and capacity.

Many ecommerce shops start small and learn to do things lean and economically. Scaling up means there'll be more moving pieces at higher volumes, in addition to more customer issues to take care of.

This latter point is very important. In 2020, a Salesforce study found that client expectations are in an all-time large. Eighty percent of consumers now consider the experience that the business provides to be as significant as its services and products, while 66% expect businesses to understand their needs and expectations. But without hiring experts for every department, it can be tough to deliver on this sort of experience as soon as your staff is consumed with handling repetitive time-consuming tasks.

The solution: Ecommerce automation which lets you do more with less.

Traffic, sales, and order management are important fundamentals of a strong ecommerce shop, but what really sets Shopify Plus apart are its automation tools to provide clients back their most precious resource: time.

Merchants using Shopify Plus can leverage ecommerce automation, so their staff is free to concentrate on real growth and providing great customer experiences, as opposed to spending some time doing non invasive, repetitive, and tedious tasks.

There are three chief ways Shopify helps teams do so: Shopify Flow, Launchpad, and Shopify Scripts.

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Shopify Flow

There's an endless assortment of non invasive, repetitive tasks that need attention so as to keep operations moving. Before, you would need to assign a worker to this mind-numbing job --but Shopify Flow automates common tasks to:

  • Track and reward top clients
  • Label and segment customers from campaigns
  • Organize products for visual merchandising and search
  • Hide, pause, and republish products based on availability
  • Automate inventory management and reordering
  • Notify customer support of fresh draft orders
  • Expedite shipping notifications for your logistics staff
  • Flag, stop, review, or cancel high-risk orders

Amidst these use cases, it is important to be aware that there is no single use case for Flow. It is flexible enough to adapt to each merchant's shop across a broad selection of scenarios.

By way of instance, apparel retailer Shelfies automates custom orders and fraud detection, while denim company GOOD AMERICAN automates inventory publishing and product information tagging with Flow.

On other platforms, each time you will need to do something--like create customized workflows--you need to build them from scratch. So, to have a user friendly app like Flow that enables us to begin doing much of the ourselves is very reassuring."

--Mehmet Dokumcu, head of electronic and ecommerce at GOOD AMERICAN.

Using Flow during 2020 BFCM occasions, Shopify Plus companies offloaded 464 million choices.

"The more you automate with tools such as Flow, the more money a company can create," explains Julio Giannotti, web manager at Interline, which possesses home furnishing brands such as SCANDIS and Dania Furniture and uses the instrument to automate refunds, employee discounts, and out-of-stock levels.


Big events--such as flash revenue , product drops, and vacations --are critical to business, but they could also be incredibly taxing and stressful.

That is why the Shopify Plus team created Launchpad, a tool which produces launches smooth, calm, and automatic. It schedules and coordinates events and sales and keeps track of your achievement with real-time analytics.

This frees up your team out of frantically coordinating the disorderly start to boosting it tougher on social or with paid ads, knowing that Launchpad will care for the operations.

As an example, if Frankies Bikinis established a brand new item, workers used to have to manually alter homepage pictures, videos, and create the new collection reside. Now, using Launchpad, the organization starts pre-planning and automating product launches beforehand and during regular business hours. Besides saving time, it has helped create sales--in 1 instance, a new style sold out in just two minutes. The firm also used Launchpad for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday occasions to roll out and roll back discounts, theme changes, and goods.

I [use] Launchpad for this I do not have to stay up so late," says Brittney Bowles, director of advertising and ecommerce in Frankies Bikinis. "I trust Launchpad to manage everything."

Throughout 2020's BFCM alone, Shopify Plus' features--including automation--helped companies generate over $1.8 billion in sales.

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Shopify Scripts

Shopify Scripts allow you to create personalized experiences without difficulty.

There are lots of different script types, which range from line-item discounts to automatic transport rates to customized payment methods. These are especially important as clients hit the most crucial moment in their shopping experience: check-out.

Shopify Scripts produces real, direct, business outcomes. By way of instance, after Merchology redesigned its website --including live and dynamic pricing with Shopify Scripts--it increased its mobile earnings by 340 percent . Meanwhile, Brooklinen used it during Black Friday Cyber Monday to unite a free gift along with three reduction"thresholds," thus increasing average order value.

If you are a Shopify Plus merchant, you can begin with the 15 downloadable scripts in this informative article .

The challenge: Managing inventory and earnings across different stations manually can be complicated and time consuming.

The huge majority of shoppers investigate and see more than 1 channel. Based on 2019 Criterio research, less than 10 percent of online shoppers buy from the first site they visit.

That could be through conventional outlets such as brick-and-mortar locations, mail order catalogs, as well as direct-to-consumer telemarketing. It might also be via online outlets like ecommerce websites, social networking, email marketing, and marketplaces. Today, more than ever, it is vital to market everywhere your customers are.

In 1 study, stock management software firm Stitch Labs discovered that retailers that sell on just two different online marketplaces see a 190% leap in earnings over those who market in only one.

Of the firms surveyed, nearly 75% stated that using a multi-channel system has increased earnings, 64% said it upped consumer loyalty, and 62% said it gave them a competitive edge .

But trying to run several stations manually--such as marketing, inventory management, and analytics--is near impossible.

The solution: Sell across multiple stations using integrated apps and tools.

Shopify Plus' multi-channel software lets you maximize inventory management, leverage merchandising templates, expedite record and upgrading products, streamline orders and satisfaction, and quantify channel effectiveness.

Apps like Sellbrite and Stitch Labs make it effortless for Shopify merchants to sell and list their stock through a multiplicity of channels. If you are on Shopify Plus, you can sell across more than 20 online stations, all provided natively in the dashboard. Additionally, it incorporates into offline channels, such as Shopify's award-winning Tap & Chip Card Reader and the Shopify POS system.

Shopify is really scalable. Especially as we began to transition into brick-and-mortar, that Shopify includes a POS system and links up--it gave us an impressively slick performance in the store."

--Neil Waller, co-founder in Shore Projects.

Supporting omni-channel operations is in the heart of Shopify Plus. In the case of electronics JB Hi-Fi--that has 200 stores across Australia--it has experienced a rise in efficiency and what it is ready to offer concerning customer service because moving to Shopify Plus. In 2015, the average time a click-and-collect order required to be prepared for pickup was 14 hours. Now, 95% of orders are ready in one hour.

"Every item of inventory you see on the site is physically in a shop," says Simon Page, CIO of JB Hi-Fi. "It is not an alternate online warehouse somewhere. It is not just interconnected, it is a reflection of what is happening in bricks-and-mortar. We are able to look up the inventory availability in real time through API, specific to a shop location."

The challenge: An increased risk of losses because of cyberware attacks.

Seeing as how the typical cost of a malware attack is $2.6 million, cybersecurity is a really big deal. It's not only about the cost to your systems--a cyberware attack may also mean losing the confidence of your clients.

Based on TrustedSite.com's 2020 research, 92 percent of customers have concerns about buying from unknown sites . Another poll of American shoppers, conducted by Sapio Research in precisely the exact same year, found that 92 percent of individuals say safety is important to them when they shop online--and over half have abandoned shopping carts because they did not trust the website with their credit card information.

While on-premise solutions offer the capability to deploy PCI compliant storefronts, you as the vendor are responsible for ensuring financing, which may create headaches that divert you from your company. But, every security patch requires resources and time to deploy and test. This is time and resources taken away from what should be your core focus: growing your company.

The solution: Shopify Plus delivers the gold standard in data and client security.

With Shopify Plus, you can depend on the security and service that undergirds the safety of over 600,000 merchants. Consider it an economy of scale to get peace of mind.

With Shopify Plus, your website will be hosted and secure in full compliance with Level 1 PCI DSS from the box; this is the golden standard of verifying security criteria for organizations that manage any online payments. Shopify Plus also manages various compliance evaluations and risk management, making certain your website is secure, with no need for you to handle a routine evaluation of your website.

Most ecommerce sites use SSL encryption technology and HTTPS protocols to safeguard a shopper's personal information during the checkout procedure. By comparison, Shopify covers the whole shopping experience: from the storefront to the admin.

This implies credit card, payment and other sensitive data in operational data stores is encrypted in transit and at rest, such as user passwords being hashed via the bcrypt hashing algorithm.

As an extra level of security and trust, while Shopify websites redirect traffic through domain-validated SSL (DV SSL), Shopify Plus provides all customers a free extended validation SSL (EV SSL).

Extended validation SSL Certificate--also called EV SSL--as they appear in the URL window of major browsers.

The challenge: Selling internationally means more competition.

Based on Shopify data, 35 percent of Shopify traffic comes from international visitors, a number that is expected simply to rise. Fintech research experts Kaleido Intelligence jobs that ecommerce sales will increase by 14% annually over the next five years--outstripping domestic ecommerce development.

But if your website isn't customized to appeal to international clients, you might be at a loss if you scale up and are competing in a global market. Clients are comfortable shopping in their own language and paying in their own money. Website speed is another factor that means the difference between a conversion and an abandoned cart.

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The solution: Shops that leave fast anywhere in the world, with many languages, currencies, and payment choices.

Shopify Plus is designed to operate in a global market, with the capability to operate in 20 languages and 133 local currencies. It is possible to set international pricing, use international domain names, offer local payment methods in local currencies, and completely customize the experience for local shoppers. It is this customization and scalability that's enabled mattress manufacturer Simba to expand to new international markets, resulting in $100 million in global sales.

Shopify Plus has also got speed behind it. Shopify provides merchants with a world-class content delivery network (CDN) powered by Fastly at no additional cost. It allows websites to leave instantly anywhere in the world, especially the US, UK, APAC region (Asia, Australia, and New Zealand), and both South America and southern Africa.

As opposed to create thousands of small, scattered points of presence (POPs), as heritage CDNs did throughout the dial-up age, Fastly requires a fundamentally different approach. It focuses its efforts on putting stronger POPs at strategic locations, which allows them to function more from the cache, such as static and event-driven content. This implies to merchants is a better cache hit radio. For customers, it means a better user experience.

As a redundancy, Shopify also provides access to Akamai's CDN, what the company calls its "Media Delivery Network."

"An yearly license with Magento Enterprise begins around $50,000 and goes up. Hosting was costing us another $6,000 a month and the CDN was $2,000 a month. Getting our permit, hosting, and CDN from Shopify Plus saved us about $100,000 per year right off the bat in comparison to Magento."

--Red Dress Boutique owner Diana Harbour.

Last Thoughts on Finding a Scalable Ecommerce Platform

Shopify Plus functions as the basis for high-growth ecommerce startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, from Audi and The New York Times to Unilever and GE. Despite these firms' fundamental differences, each needs to give a terrific customer experience with a reliable, robust, and innovative technology backend.

The Shopify Plus platform simplifies scalability, so rather than thinking about website design, servers, or hosting solutions, you are ready to concentrate on building your brand. Does Shopify Plus have the proven ability to scale, but in addition, it includes a scarce resource that high-volume merchants would kill for: reassurance.

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