Google Has Called Amazon.com Its Direct Competitor

Sandra Merezhynska, Stfalcon

Amazon in the past year has produced a real boom in the financial market, when the company’s shares rose in price immediately doubled, overtaking the value of Google stock. The net profit of Amazon.com in 2016 amounted to $136 Billion, and the number of active users has long exceeded the mark of 300 million. Maintaining and processing such a huge amount of data requires tremendous resources. In this article, we will find out, what to consider when developing a high-load project, considering the experience of Amazon.com.

The Amazon history — beyond the usual

The Amazon warehouse in Swansea

Like many giants of the modern market, Amazon was started in the garage. We all know the story of the online bookstore, which, thanks to the creative approach of its owner Jeff Bezos, has grown up to the largest trading platform in the world. Named in honor of the most full-flowing river, Amazon today is 4M purchases a day and more than 350M items in the catalog. Its warehouses are listed in the Guinness’s Book of records. Their territory is equal to 700 arenas, like Madison Square Garden, which is almost 550 acres.

Every month Amazon is visited by approximately 188 million of users. Over the past few years, the online store has become so popular that evenGoogle Analytics came to be called Amazon.com its direct competitor. A survey conducted in summer 2016 by PowerReviews company has shown that 40% of primary requests for products are received via the Amazon.com website, whereas 45% of respondents use line search engine.

Opportunities and guarantees for Amazon.com users

The online store, via its 20 main departments, sells almost everything — from electronics and furniture to food. Amazon.com representatives are in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, England, India, China and Japan.

In addition to the widest range and relatively low prices, a big bonus for the user is easy payment. All payment transactions are run through Amazon and sellers do not get data from buyers’ cards. It is enough for a user to fill in his account with the card details once and all following payments will be held from the card automatically. There are few independent stores like Endless, which also make the payments via the Amazon account.

Why Amazon goods are cheaper

In large part, the popularity of Amazon.com depends on loyal prices and quality products. In addition to the company, sales through this online platform can be carried out by registered traders, however, the guarantor still is Amazon. The trading platform receives profit from direct sales of its products and of the merchants, whose products are presented on the website. Throw in the largest turnover and, in consequence, lucrative contracts with vendors.

Considering Amazon.com experience when developing a large online store

Design

To please millions of users, representatives of different nationalities and taste preferences, website navigation should be simple, convenient and understandable. The company’s logo consists the message to each user — the orange arrow from letter A to Z implies the existence of any goods in the store (from A to Z). The semi-circle, which this line forms reminiscents the smile — an online store where you are always welcome. By the way, the first logo was also fully passed on its activity — under the letter «A» was placed text: «Amazon.com. Earth’s biggest bookstore».

Amazon.com logos 1995 and 2017

Item card

Amazon’s item card is also meaningful. In addition to standard viewing features of the product, it consists choice of color and size, view ratings and reviews, you can see the full statistics for the selected item:

  • Number of customer reviews and questions, that have received a response;
  • A detailed ranking, based on the number of voters;
  • By the example of shoes — hit ratio of shoe size on the website with the size of your foot.

An online resource is constantly analysing goods and the performance of functions, provided to users. This allows making the online store pages convenient for users, giving them the correct information about the product. Plus, interactive communication enables each user feel that his opinion really matters.

Platform and Database

The lagrer the project, the higher the cost of mistake. Once a website had been unavailable for 49 minutes, the Amazon’s damage during that time amounted to approximately $5.7 M. It is a huge job to keep everything work correctly on Amazon — for example, to build the page you need to access in an average of 120 services. To maintain the efficiency of one of the largest web-projects 24/7 were selected:

  • Linux
  • Oracle
  • C++
  • Perl
  • Mason
  • Java
  • Jboss
  • servlets

C++ is used to handle requests, while Perl and Mason are used for the content constructing. We can only guess why the company has chosen this particular technology stack. Linux is simple OS for servers, the Oracle is a serious database for highly complex projects, is responsible for storing information about purchases, data user cards, etc. C++ and Java were also designed to handle high load projects — they offer the ability to quickly process large amounts of data, reliable and interact well.

Servers

The number of Amazon’s data centers has already reached 30 objects, another 10–15 are at the design stage. Full information about servers is not disclosed, although it is known that only in the USA the total capacity of the Amazon’s DTS is about 600 MW — it is equal to 1 million of home computers. For to compare — wind farm San Gorgonio Pass (CA), with the capacity of 615 MW, uses 3,200 wind turbines to get the energy.

Scalability

The goal of any online project development is its popularity and, as a result, large customers flow. The downside — the high traffic and large amounts of data can cause serious problems in the operation. In order to avoid them, your future online store is supposed to have enough «strength» and to be ready to scale. Then the website’s growing will not be an issue.

Insights

If you have decided to create an online store, designed for a large number of goods and users, in addition to user experience, you should consider following factors:

  1. Quality server equipment to ensure smooth operation. Servers can be purchased or rented.
  2. Competent team which will support the operation of high-loaded online store 24/7.
  3. A properly thought-out project structure ready to scale. Large Internet service should initially be ready to expand (content, number of users, geographical coverage, functionality).
  4. Reliable development platform with a large supply of «strength» to withstand the maximum load.
  5. Willingness to take big financial investments. Development of high load project is much more than just creating an online store. Savings at the development stage can result in large financial losses if the system is idle due to technical problems. While a well-designed and good functioning website will bring you a considerable profit.

 

Source: The Startup

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