Most clients are now found online, and every company aiming for handsome returns has an e-commerce site. This site is generally used for product catalogs, transactional tracking, and advertising. Most business owners assume that owning an e-commerce site is as easy as putting together a few website elements and getting a web hosting provider. There are, however, many elements included in the development of an e-commerce website. One of these is its database. This is the system that stores and organizes data.
Without a business IT solutions expert to guide your choice, you will get overwhelmed by the sheer number of database options available. Most will, however, not suffice for e-commerce sites and will generally be a waste of your resources or affect your site’s responsiveness. The following are the best database options for e-commerce websites.
These are like spreadsheet sets with each of them comprising rows and columns of data. With a relational database, you can, for instance, have a row of customers and link this with another row comprising orders. With such a database, you will only have to update one type of information in case your customer data changes and the changes will automatically relate to what you already have. It works best for marketing content, product catalogs, and transactions.
Document databases comprise files with specific names and data. Each information in the database is assigned a title known as its “key.” This is used for the search and retrieval of the data. You can, hence, define the data you want to include in much the same manner as assigning names to files in your computer. Because of its versatility, it is possible to store a vast amount of data in document databases, but managing and updating them can be difficult. As such, they work best for non-product content like ‘’about us’’ pages and blog posts.
These are the most recent options. They are not essentially databases but rather hosting processes. With a cloud database, your e-commerce website is hosted and updated by a third party, so you have fewer issues that would make you worry. It is convenient and can even be mixed with relational and document databases and can handle all kinds of e-commerce tasks. The database should, however, only be managed by a trustworthy provider to guarantee your transactional information and customer data will not be used maliciously.
API (Application Programming Interface) will connect your site to a third party for the storage and retrieval of data. Though not commonly used as the primary database for e-commerce sites, some of them can be customized to replace your existing database entirely. Like cloud databases, you should ensure the API supplier will not expose your data to competitors or use it maliciously.
Though the above tidbits might have a distinction between the available databases, the difference might not be as clear in practice. You might, hence, incorporate features from different databases when building your site. Without an IT expert’s input and guidance, building a fully operational e-commerce site is virtually impossible. So look for a reputable provider of business IT solutions to help you on this matter.