With the rise of e-commerce, many people are now moving away from going to shops and buy online. This is thanks to the convenience that it provides to everyone. For example, you can buy what you want on your phone and have the delivery arrive at your door within 24 hours at the fastest. However, many people take this for granted. There are a lot of moving parts that allow companies to deliver on the promise of e-commerce. Here’s a closer look at the technology that makes it all possible.
Displaying The Storefront
Before everything else, the e-commerce store has to set up its product display. Like a brick-and-mortar store, if a customer doesn’t know that a product is available, then they won’t buy it. The e-commerce site should link to a database that has all the current offerings of the store. This ensures that when customers order a product, it will be in the inventory. This needs to be seamless and smooth. MSSQL performance monitoring is essential to this because the database has to update quickly enough so that buyers are not disappointed when they click on a product and find it is not available anymore. Additionally, the automated database should immediately order a replenishment of stock so that products will always be available.
The Order Comes In
With the storefront active, customers will be browsing through the pages and making orders. This is where the shopping cart comes in. Early online shopping had people buying products individually but the shopping cart changes things. Buyers clicked on an item and it went into the shopping cart then everything got calculated. Shopping cart software is an essential part of an e-commerce site. There are two choices for an online store, either they get a license to install a particular shopping cart software, or they redirect to a hosted shopping cart that another company maintains. The latter option is cheaper but it does mean that it gives control to another company.
Processing The Payment
Now that the order is totaled up and the customer is done, payment happens. In the past, this was where a lot of the problems came up since online payment was spotty and there were only a few options available. But nowadays, payment processing is much easier. There are several payment gateways that an e-commerce site can use. While some sites still use manual payments involving wire transfers and money orders, people are now more trusting of online payments. Credit cards are the preferred way to pay while digital wallets like PayPal are becoming just as popular. There are even businesses that accept digital cash and cryptocurrencies. The important thing for e-commerce sites is that a customer can pay for their purchase and that they can securely get the money.
Preparing The Order
With everything paid up, the online database then sends a message to the warehouse for fulfillment. This is the part where actual people can finally be part of the process. Someone at the warehouse receives the order, and they ready it for delivery. For small online businesses, this isn’t even a warehouse, sometimes it is a garage or something similar. They check the order and ensure that it is protected for the entire trip. This usually involves bubble wrap and packing foam. It is then packed into the delivery package, boxes for the fragile orders, and simple document packages for smaller offerings. Then the order delivery form is printed out and attached to the package. For larger companies like Amazon, there is minimal human involvement here. Robots go through warehouse shelves and scan things via QR code and do most of the work, with humans merely checking in to see whether everything is going okay.
Sending It Out For Delivery
This is the final stretch for delivery. Many customers receive the tracking number for delivery within a day of their order. The technology behind this is simple information tracking. Most packages have QR codes or bar codes that are scanned as they progress through the delivery process. This is updated in the delivery database and ensures that the customer knows where the package is. The last step is when it goes from the local distribution center to your door, usually with a phone alert from the delivery service about the impending arrival
Considering all the steps your order needs to pass through to reach you, it is a miracle of science that it does so consistently. With thousands of online orders every day, there are only rare problems. For these occasions, they usually involve something unpredictable happening. Even then, it is easy enough to resolve the issue thanks to implemented procedures.