E-commerce companies are looking for ways to go above and beyond. They are trying to separate themselves from the competition and win in the marketplace. To do so, they need to focus on a continuous delivery platform that works seamlessly and delivers the best possible experience to its buyers. Aware of it, online retailers are mainly looking for a company that embraces the agile methodology, with few bugs, high uptime, no errors and an intuitive user interface.
But what are the reasons why a retailer should use a continuous delivery platform and not other development models?
#1. Constant Improvement
Firstly and most importantly, continuous delivery systems provide constant improvements to the platform. Companies deliver improvements every hours, days or weeks. Rather than wait years for a "waterfall" delivery of a new package with many upgrades, companies can expect constant improvements and null to minor problems and outage risks, being extremely scalable because it occurs piece by piece rather than all at once.
#2. High-Velocity Ecosystem
Instead of waiting until your commerce is perfect with all the top features, continuous delivery allows for a minimum viable platform (MVP) to be released as early as possible with the best technology, capabilities, and features available. That means that companies can get their digital commerce to market much faster. At that point, users can begin to experiment and provide feedback helping the developers make upgrades quickly and iterate on the product, creating a high-velocity ecosystem.
#3. Multitenant + Seamless Customer Experience
Customers are not expecting trouble migrating platforms. They do not expect to find their browsing, shopping, purchasing, tracking or customer service experiences to be problematic. Fortunately, continuous delivery united with a platform with Multitenant architecture work to put these all on the platform to thousands of stores at the same time. The updates, corrections, new features and improvements flow seamlessly from one digital commerce to the next, which means that consumers are always able to get what they need.
#5. Agile Development
The agile development movement continues to spread to more and more development environments. Rather than a top-down approach with multiple teams independently developing features and functions, the entire product team works together. There is much more transparency so that each member knows what each other member is doing. They can apply code from one section to another and feel free to emulate design or form decisions.
Platform developers eliminate redundancies in the code and features. In many traditional development strategies, these functions are duplicated in different parts of the program. However, it also serves to dramatically slow down the program and create additional potential holes for errors or hackers.
E-commerce platform companies developing under agile methods, like VTEX, can quickly see bugs or errors that are gaping problems in a tool. Because they can examine how it is being built over time, the obvious bugs immediately become apparent to all developers who quickly resolve them, allowing at the end of the cycle/sprint of development a brand new release is made to the platform on 99.5% of the cases bugs free and negative impacts free.
For every release cycle, specific processes must be completed. Those include testing, localization, security features and other operations. When online retailers work with experienced agile companies, they can have their stores as automated updated platforms. That means each time the platform developers wants to release a new feature, whether it is after an hour, a day, few days or a few months, the automated systems will almost immediately update all systems and modules making it available at the platform, live and ready to use.
Overall, continuous delivery is by far and away the right choice for e-commerce platforms. Very few platforms are being able to do it. On the large scale platforms, with global outreach only VTEX operates its platform under continuous delivery, reaching the astonishing mark of more than ten thousand (10.000) updates in 2017.