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How Content Delivery Networks Can Improve the Performance of Your International eCommerce Platform

From a software perspective, developing an International eCommerce platform can be very challenging due to many reasons. Firstly, the technological infrastructure may be extremely different in each targeted country. Secondly, most users will use different devices to access your international eCommerce platform. So, the resources required to effectively and quickly transfer data between different countries can be very intensive.

Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take to optimize your international eCommerce platform for optimal performance. We go through some of the best practices in this article.

Incorporating Industry Best Practices

Content Delivery Network: Difference Between Static and Dynamic Data

One of the easiest things you can do is utilize content delivery networks. A content delivery network or CDN has checkpoints present across the globe. These checkpoints cache certain resources of the site beforehand. The information is then delivered to the user through the nearest checkpoint, via the shortest route.

With CDNs, the platform essentially loads the static resources rather than dynamic data. These generally include the presentation of the site- it's interior and exterior. To put it into perspective, think of it like a car. Static resources are the structure and body of the vehicle. On the other hand, dynamic data is essentially the engine of the car. It requires communication with the server to present results. However, things like styling, images, the core HTML code, style sheets, and JavaScript files of your site can be cached.

Ultimately, a content delivery network is a distribution network of content. The basic idea is that whenever you load a website, you request a static IP. That static IP address will point to a physical device that can either fulfil the request or forward it further.

Reduce Latency

Network Speed Improvements

In the most common scenario, the domain simply contacts a server. The server handles the request and then responds. However, if that server is physically far away, there can be a lag between the request and the response. It is because the electrons will take more time to travel to the server's location and then back. There can be a delay of one to two seconds if the request is going from one continent to another.

As a result, latency is a huge problem for international eCommerce. That is one of many reasons why content delivery networks exist. They provide data warehouses to store commonly requested static files of your website. However, you will find some more advanced CDNs too. They can handle dynamic data in some cases and provide very robust caching of commonly requested data.

To conclude, content delivery networks can reduce the latency to a few hundred milliseconds instead of thousands of milliseconds. Thereby, they improve the page load speed for the end-user. To give you a better idea, it takes tenths of a second instead of 1-2 seconds. That means CDNs can make your site load ten to twenty times faster. It is a considerable speed improvement, which results in better customer experience. And better customer experience is a vital contributor to bringing in more sales and revenue.

Dialing In the Final Pieces

Optimizating Your Platform Performance

Now the user is rapidly getting the requested content. However, are those contents loading intelligently within the user's device? Is your site's data-optimized according to the needs of the end-user and to ensure quick transmission?

Let's say you have a bunch of containers. You can fill an entire room with them if you do not stack them up. However, once they are stacked, they will only fill a small portion of the room. The same idea applies when data is transferred through the wire.

The information that gets delivered from the server needs to be as optimized as possible because the data transmission may be limited. The user could be using a mobile device, such as a tablet or a smartphone. It will take less time for the data to transmit if you compress the files. Again, the end result is that it improves the load speed of your international eCommerce platform.

Many large international eCommerce sites have optimized their platforms around these factors. However, consumers are continually expecting improvement. So, continual optimization of performance is critical to ensure an excellent customer experience.

How Clarity can Help

Clarity International eCommerce Experts

We encourage you to use these practices for your international eCommerce project. Make use of content delivery networks. Optimize the resources of your platform.

As you continue to improve your international eCommerce software, make sure you thoroughly test any updates. Check if any of the new changes are causing issues with performance. You can set up automated testing for functionality as well as for performance. Each new build of your eCommerce application should be tested to pass specific criteria.

We strongly recommend incorporating some form of validation and testing, even if it's manual at first, whenever there are any changes or updates. Run automated testing or do manual testing to check your platform's performance with different device types, connection speeds, and in different regions. So, you can check if users that fall under those categories are receiving the desired performance. Lastly, work closely with your software team to ensure your eCommerce platform delivers the kind of performance you want.

If you have any more questions related to this topic, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced team. They can provide a complimentary analysis. Or answer any questions about the next step in the process of expanding your eCommerce platform internationally. We certainly look forward to answering your question and talking with you about your upcoming international eCommerce project.

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