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How to scale an eCommerce website with a modern CMS

Marketing
Olena Teselko

Achieving growth is a major goal for most businesses. However, many obstacles may restrain quick and extensive scaling. 

One of the most common constraints is the technical limitations of outdated tech stacks and legacy infrastructure. Fortunately, this problem can be easily resolved by updating your existing tech stack or migrating to a more modern one.

In this article, you will find helpful tips on the features and technologies to consider when planning to scale your eCommerce business.

When should you start thinking about scaling?

Scaling should ideally be part of your business plan from day one. However, companies often start to think about it when they reach certain business results that prove they can proceed further. 

According to Gartner, a business is no longer considered small when it surpasses $50 million in annual revenue. 

If you are approaching or have already reached this threshold, it's time to seriously consider scaling.

Difference between scaling and growth

Growing a business means expanding operations and increasing revenue by using more resources. For example, you can grow by attracting investments, expanding the team, or adding new products. However, growth and increased revenue don't always mean more profits.

Illustration explaining difference between scaling and growth

Scaling, on the other hand, aims to achieve efficiency and sustainability, allowing businesses to handle increased demands without proportional resource increases.

How to prepare for scaling an eCommerce website

Technical scalability is the backbone of sustainable eCommerce success. It involves preparing your business to handle growth efficiently, ensuring that your systems, processes, and technical infrastructure can adapt seamlessly to increased demands. 

When it comes to website scalability, selecting the right content management system (CMS) is crucial, as it can significantly affect your website's performance. Headless CMS is a game-changer for eCommerce scalability as it allows the separation of front end and back end functionalities. This decoupling provides the flexibility to evolve and expand without overhauling the entire system. 

However, many businesses still rely on traditional CMSs for various reasons, primarily because when they launched their eCommerce business, there were no other options available. Nevertheless, as the digital landscape continues evolving, companies should keep up with the latest technologies to improve performance. 

Key CMS features that provide eCommerce scalability

Let's discuss the features that will help your platform to grow and adapt to changing business needs.

1. Content flexibility and structure

Modular and flexible content:

Composable components allow users to build content with modular and flexible elements. These components can be reused and adjusted without changing the entire system, which speeds up time-to-market.

Content governance:

Implementing robust content governance ensures a structured and organized content flow, enhancing user experience and facilitating scalability. This feature empowers administrators to define content relationships and hierarchies, providing clear content creation and management guidelines.

Multiple environments:

You can enhance content delivery, reduce risks, and improve efficiency by dividing your content between multiple environments. This feature allows for rigorous testing and refinement before content goes live, reducing the risk of errors and enhancing the deployment quality.

2. API-first approach

API-driven content delivery:

By adopting an API-driven approach to content delivery, you can establish seamless communication between various elements of your ecosystem, providing a foundation for efficient and scalable operations.

Explanation of how API works

Adding third-party tools and integrations:

The ability to seamlessly integrate third-party tools further enhances the extensibility of your CMS, allowing you to incorporate new features and functionalities without disrupting the core architecture.

3. Performance and speed

Caching strategies:

Effective caching strategies optimize website performance by storing frequently accessed data, reducing load times, and enhancing overall user experience.

CDN integration for optimized content delivery:

Leveraging Content Delivery Networks (CDN) ensures optimized content delivery globally, reducing latency and enhancing the scalability of your platform.

Omnichannel content delivery:

API-first CMSs support omnichannel content delivery, extending your reach across various platforms and devices, catering to a diverse audience, and future-proofing your content strategy.

Support for emerging platforms and devices:

Ensuring compatibility with emerging technologies, such as VR, AR, voice assistants, etc., prepares your CMS for future advancements, enhancing its scalability and adaptability. This is also available due to the API-first approach.

4. Seamless content management

Intuitive content creation

A visual editor is essential for non-technical users to efficiently create content at scale. It offers real-time feedback, collaborative editing capabilities, and streamlining workflows.

User management: 

Scaling a business often requires expanding the team to handle more work. Adding new users without a significant cost increase is crucial. 

Validation workflows: 

When a team grows, so does the amount of content, so such workflows ensure quality controls are in check and that every member knows exactly for which part of the process he is responsible for.

Scheduling: 

Along with workflows, scheduling content campaigns is crucial when scaling. Users can plan and schedule releases upfront without needing to stay late or work weekends to launch campaigns on Monday, for example.

Granular user roles and permissions: 

The ability of managers to govern team assignments and access privileges is essential for organizations managing enterprises, multiple brands, or giving access to agencies or freelancers. It is also critical for ensuring legal compliance across distinct brand portfolios.

Localization: 

Scaling often comes with expanding on new markets, so it's critical to leverage multi-language and multi-region content management. This feature allows businesses to scale their content across different markets and languages, reaching a global audience.

Why choose Storyblok to scale your eCommerce website

Storyblok is a headless CMS that simplifies the process of creating, managing, enhancing, and delivering modern content experiences for eCommerce businesses. 

Here is a list of key features that provide the scalability you are looking for:

Powerful APIs for any integration

Storyblok’s RESTful and GraphQL Content Delivery APIs empower users to effortlessly integrate Storyblok with various third-party tools, services, and custom solutions, enabling flexible content delivery across any channel. 

Global CDN for seamless content delivery

Storyblok delivers content via a Global CDN, ensuring fast and reliable access for users worldwide. The CDN automatically scales to handle traffic spikes, giving consistently optimal performance regardless of user location.

Webhooks for real-time integration

Storyblok supports webhooks, enabling developers to trigger custom actions or integrations in realtime, such as content updates or publishing events. This feature facilitates scalability by allowing seamless data synchronization or integration with external systems.

Visual Editor for intuitive content creation

The inclusion of a Visual Editor allows non-technical users to contribute to content creation seamlessly. This feature enhances the agility and efficiency of the content creation process, a crucial aspect of scaling.

Quote from Jamaliya Cobine, Executive Vice President Direct to Consumer & Digital Marketing at Wüsthof Global

Storyblok’s visual editor is a fit for a big consumer products brand, like Wüsthof. When you are trying to sell something on a global scale, having something as simple as the visual editor allows you to see the big picture, visualize what’s to come ahead, and connect our team with our customers a little closer.

Jamaliya Cobine
Jamaliya Cobine
Executive Vice President Direct to Consumer & Digital Marketing at Wüsthof Global

Multi-environment setup for development lifecycle

Storyblok allows the creation of multiple environments (Spaces), for example, for staging and production, facilitating a structured approach to content management across different stages of the development lifecycle. This separation enhances scalability by maintaining clarity between development, testing, and live content.

Team collaboration features

Facilitating efficient team collaboration, Storyblok provides granular user roles and permissions, content versioning, and custom workflow management. These features are integral for scalable content management processes, ensuring seamless collaboration among team members.

Localization for global reach

With support for multi-language and multi-region content management, Storyblok enables businesses to scale their content across diverse markets and languages, reaching a global audience effectively.

Auto-scaling for service peaks

Storyblok employs automatic scaling during high-demand periods, seamlessly adjusting capacity to handle service peaks. This ensures uninterrupted service and responsiveness, further contributing to the platform's scalability and reliability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, scaling an eCommerce website involves preparing your business to handle growth efficiently, ensuring that your systems, processes, and infrastructure can adapt seamlessly to increased demands. Selecting the right CMS is a crucial aspect of eCommerce scalability. 

Headless CMS such as Storyblok provides the required flexibility to evolve and expand without overhauling the entire system. Additionally, features like content flexibility and structure, an API-first approach, and performance and speed optimization are essential for achieving efficient and sustainable eCommerce success.