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How can DevOps help eCommerce businesses grow?


In recent years, the eCommerce industry has witnessed rapid growth, with more businesses embracing the digital age and setting up online stores. As the industry continues to expand and evolve, businesses are looking for ways to streamline their operations and deliver better services to their customers. One of the ways to achieve this is by implementing DevOps practices in eCommerce development.

So what exactly is DevOps, and how can it help an eCommerce business?

What is DevOps?

Software development involves different teams, such as development, IT, and quality assurance, and all these teams should collaborate effectively to deliver a successful product. But these teams are usually siloed, and the development process often becomes prolonged due to a lack of communication between these teams. DevOps is a powerful way to overcome these challenges. DevOps is a set of practices and tools that aim to improve collaboration and communication between software development teams and operations teams, aiming to deliver software applications faster, more reliably, and at a higher quality.

Here’s a comparison between DevOps and traditional development models:

DevOpsTraditional Development Model
Focus on collaboration and communication between teams, including developers, operations, and QA testersTeams work in silos, with limited communication or collaboration
Continuous integration and deployment, with small, frequent releasesReleases are infrequent, often with large changes
Emphasis on automation, including testing, deployment, and monitoringManual testing and deployment processes that are time-consuming and prone to error
Agile methodology is often used, with the flexibility to make changes throughout the development processWaterfall methodology, with a fixed plan and little room for changes
Strong emphasis on monitoring and logging, with the ability to quickly identify and resolve issuesLimited monitoring and logging, with issues often going unnoticed until they cause major problems
DevOps engineers are responsible for overseeing the entire software development lifecycle, from development to deployment to monitoringDifferent teams are responsible for different stages of the software development lifecycle, often leading to a lack of accountability and coordination

The following are DevOps best practices:

DevOps best practices are a set of guidelines and principles that help organizations implement and optimize their DevOps processes. Here are some commonly recognized DevOps best practices:

  • Collaboration and Communication: Encourage collaboration and effective communication between development, operations, and other stakeholders. Foster cross-functional teams to facilitate shared responsibility and knowledge sharing.

  • Automation: Emphasize automation across the software delivery lifecycle. Automate repetitive tasks, such as build and deployment processes, testing, and infrastructure provisioning, to improve efficiency and reduce errors.

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): Implement CI/CD pipelines to enable frequent integration of code changes, automated testing, and continuous deployment. This allows for faster and more reliable software releases.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Use IaC practices to manage infrastructure using version-controlled and programmable code. This enables consistent and repeatable provisioning and configuration of infrastructure resources.

  • Security and Compliance: Integrate security practices into the entire software delivery lifecycle. Implement secure coding practices, conduct regular security assessments, and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

  • Agile and Lean Principles: Adopt Agile and Lean methodologies to foster flexibility, iterative development, and continuous improvement. Break down work into smaller, manageable tasks and prioritize customer value.

  • Microservices: Instead of creating a monolithic application where all functionalities are tightly integrated, microservices allow breaking down the application into smaller, manageable components that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently.

Before we deep dive into the benefits of DevOps for eCommerce businesses, we will discuss a real case study of the eCommerce giant Amazon’s adoption of DevOps practices.  It has been key to its success in maintaining and constantly improving its e-commerce website. 

Amazon adopts DevOps practices through the use of various tools and features. Developers utilize Git and GitHub for version control, enabling them to make frequent but small changes to their code, track code changes, and fix bugs while adding new features to enhance the software application. Amazon also employs AWS CodeDeploy to simplify the software release process and keep track of deployments.

Additionally, Amazon uses Apollo, an internal deployment tool that deploys a specific set of software across multiple hosts, provides versioned artifacts, and allows for easy rollbacks during testing. Configuration management and infrastructure-as-code are other critical DevOps solutions that help monitor and make changes to the software, track system performance and resources utilized by developers, and identify and address issues early on to resolve problems quickly.

Amazon uses a microservices architecture that enables the website to be more modular and scalable.

Challenges that are addressed in eCommerce with a DevOps approach:  

1.) Faster time to market 

For an eCommerce website, DevOps can greatly improve the coordination between developers, system administrators, and QA testers. It results in faster product delivery to the market. In a traditional setup, development, and operations teams often work independently, which leads to delays in addressing any issues as they arise. By adopting DevOps practices, information is shared quickly, and problems can be addressed in real time during the development process. This means issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently, resulting in faster deployment times.

Automation is also a part of DevOp’s best practices. So, by automating the testing process, developers can quickly identify and fix issues before they reach the Ops team for deployment. This not only reduces the time it takes to find and fix bugs but also ensures that the software is of high quality before it is released to the market.

2.) Scalability and performance

In today’s business landscape, where custom applications play a crucial role in setting companies apart, the speed of releasing code has emerged as a competitive advantage.  As eCommerce businesses grow, scalability and performance are the major challenges businesses face. You want the website to run smoothly at all times but, at the same time, want to keep improving its infrastructure. In addition to introducing new products, there is a constant demand for new features and upgrades. Throughout these developments, it is crucial to maintain a consistently high level of service quality. 

One of the DevOps principles is Infrastructure as Code (IaC) which plays a vital role in DevOps and is an integral part of continuous delivery.   It works as a step-by-step manual for setting up and managing your system infrastructure. Instead of manually configuring each server or network component, you use code to define and automate the process.  With IaC, you can use tools like Terraform or AWS CloudFormation to write code that describes your infrastructure requirements. This code is then executed to create and configure your servers, databases, networks, and other resources in a consistent and automated way as per your needs.  

It enables DevOps teams to deliver applications and their underlying infrastructure quickly, consistently, and efficiently, regardless of the scale.

3.) Security

DevOps is an approach that integrates security into the IT lifecycle. DevOps promotes the concept of “Security as Code,” where security practices and controls are integrated into the development process through automation and code-driven configurations. By treating security measures as code, organizations can implement security controls consistently and track them as part of their version control system. This ensures that security is built into the application from the start and can be easily audited and monitored.  The automation, collaboration, and continuous testing aspects of DevOps enable security measures to be implemented consistently, vulnerabilities to be identified early, and infrastructure to be provisioned securely. These practices ultimately contribute to improved application security and reduced security incidents. 

In the world of ecommerce, where customer data is constantly collected, managed, stored, and utilized, there is a higher risk of data breaches. Such breaches can have severe consequences, including damage to your company’s reputation. Using an agile development strategy allows teams to quickly remove potential exploits. If a vulnerability is found in an application that’s already in production, DevOps helps the team respond and address it promptly. This is important because the longer a vulnerability is left unaddressed, the more likely it is for a malicious person to find and exploit it.

4.) Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Incorporating Disaster Recovery (DR) planning into the DevOps pipeline can ensure that organizations manage it along with their application changes. DevOps enables Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) of product changes and uses automation for deployment and testing. This speeds up application rollouts while minimizing human errors. According to a survey conducted by DevOps.com, organizations that incorporate DR into DevOps are better equipped to handle disasters and have faster recovery times. 

By integrating DR planning into the DevOps workflow, the recovery process becomes an application deployment process. This means the same automated tools used for moving applications from development/testing into production and vice versa can be used for failover and recovery. DR environments that replicate production can be used as DevOps workspaces instead of letting them stay idle. This approach helps organizations to avoid additional costs associated with maintaining separate DR environments and enables teams to test their DR plans during regular testing cycles, reducing the risk of downtime during an actual disaster.

5.) Measuring the performance and quality of the website

For measuring the performance and quality of the website, IT staff needs analytics tools. A positive user experience is governed by three metrics: availability, functionality, and speed. Online merchants can use monitoring and notification tools like Nagios, Datadog, and PagerDuty, amongst many others, as part of their DevOps practices. These tools send an alert when something goes wrong with the system, so you can fix it before it affects the service. Teams can rapidly and automatically respond to any reduction in the customer experience through DevOps monitoring.

Monitoring tools also help set up auto-scaling and load balancing, which are important for managing traffic spikes. With these tools, you can predict traffic spikes and prepare the system accordingly. This helps ensure the system can handle high traffic without slowing down or crashing.

6.) How to know if you should consider a DevOps consulting service?

If you’re considering implementing DevOps in your organization or want to improve your existing DevOps practices, a DevOps consulting service like Tecstub can be a valuable investment.

Here are a few indicators that suggest you should consider hiring a DevOps consulting service

1) Your organization is struggling to align its software development and operations teams, resulting in slow delivery and increased downtime.

2) You’re not sure how to implement DevOps best practices, such as continuous integration and continuous delivery.

3) Your team lacks the expertise to manage and automate your infrastructure and tools.

4) You’re looking for guidance on how to adopt the latest DevOps tools and technologies to improve your development and operations processes.

5) You want to optimize your cloud infrastructure and reduce your operational costs.

How Will AI Impact The Future of the IT Industry in 2023?

Ai impact on IT industry
Ai impact on IT industry

In 2021, Daniel Kahneman, a renowned psychologist and economist, said, “Yes, AI may have flaws, but human reasoning is deeply flawed, too. Therefore, clearly, AI is going to win; how people adjust is a fascinating problem.” 

The above statement highlights the transformative role that AI is set to play in our everyday lives and the business landscape. AI’s evolution is not a recent phenomenon and has been a subject of research for over three decades. Although what AI can do was something people weren’t very aware of until a few years ago. I would like to take you a little around seven years ago in 2016. During this time, AlphaGO, an interesting computer board game driven by machine learning, was launched by Deepminds (currently a subsidiary of Google).

It ignited widespread conversations in the AI industry when it defeated the world’s leading Go player, Lee Sedol. This victory marked a significant breakthrough in AI development since Go is believed to be an exceedingly complex board game known for its vast number of potential moves, posing a challenge for AI systems.

AlphaGo leveraged advanced machine learning techniques and was trained using a combination of supervised learning from human experts and reinforcement learning by playing games against itself. Through this process, it developed a deep understanding of the game, enabling it to make strategic decisions that surpassed human capabilities.  It broke the assumption that AI can never surpass human intelligence and made the world realize the immense potential that artificial intelligence has to offer.

The emergence of ChatGPT and its impact

The biggest revolution in the field of Artificial intelligence that has recently hit the world is ChatGPT. Multiple industries have witnessed its applications right from marketing to development to HR operations to medical science to data analysis, and the list doesn’t seem to stop. If you are someone who has been actively engaging in online trends, then ChatGPT is topping the charts with news of how it can replace jobs or how it can change how businesses carry out various operations.

According to the McKinsey study, big tech organizations such as Google invested about $20B to $30B in AI in 2016, with a major chunk of about 90 percent spent on R&D and deployment and 10 percent on AI acquisitions. Also, various sources have cited that big companies such as Microsoft and Google plan to prioritize and direct their capital to develop AI technologies which are also one of the major drivers of massive layoffs around the globe. 

Let’s elaborate on how it can actually impact the IT industry:

AI for Quality Assurance

Using AI for Quality Assurance (QA) in software testing is a helpful approach.  When a development team creates new code, it needs to undergo quality test before it can be released to the market. Doing this manually by the QA team can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort and time. However, AI has the capability to identify repetitive patterns, making this process easier and faster. By using AI for qualitydata analysis, QA departments can avoid human errors, save time on running tests, and quickly detect potential defects.  There are various tools in the market, such as Applitools, Testcraft, and Testsigma, amongst several others, that are AI-powered and help with test automation.  Accenture conducted a study revealing that AI-powered testing reduced testing time by an astounding 80% and increased test coverage by up to 50%. 

At Tecstub, we have adopted Testsigma to automate our testing processes. Testsigma is a cloud-based no-code test automation tool. Its easy-to-use interface enables any user to automate any type of application very easily. As we work on large-scale and complex B2B eCommerce projects, we use  Testsigma to automate our test cases and provide more quality work to the client.

Some of the benefits of using AI for Quality Assurance are :

Accelerated timelines

A significant aspect of a QA engineer’s role is to maintain the stability of existing functional code when new code is introduced. However, as more features are developed and added, the volume of code requiring testing increases, and with that, more time is needed to perform all the testing. This is where AI bots can play a vital role. Unlike manual testers, AI bots have the capacity to adapt and evolve alongside code changes. They can continuously learn and identify new functions within the evolving codebase. When AI bots detect modifications in the code, they can be programmed to differentiate between new features and potential defects resulting from code changes. All of this helps in saving time, resources, and effort. It leads to accelerating the release cycle with frequent updates and enhancements even when the project is huge. 

By integrating AI into repetitive testing tasks, QA engineers can dedicate focus to critical aspects of the software. This allows for enhanced efficiency and productivity within the testing process. 

Improved test coverage

The incorporation of AI in testing can help efficiently with test coverage. AI algorithms can learn from past test results and prioritize the most critical test cases based on their impact and probability of failure. This approach optimizes test coverage by focusing on areas more likely to encounter issues.
By leveraging AI capabilities, testing processes can seamlessly analyze file contents, data tables, memories, and internal program states. This comprehensive examination ensures that the program functions as intended.  

AI for image-based testing is another effective application of AI in quality assurance processes. As we all know that there is an increasing number of platforms with diverse screen sizes and configurations. It poses a challenging task for test engineers and developers to effectively test the UI layer. The UI layer undergoes frequent changes as businesses aim to enhance the user experience. Hence, there is a pressing need for visual AI testing tools that can comprehensively test the various UI layer variations. Automated testing tools like Applitools is a visual testing and monitoring platform. Applitools utilizes Visual AI and offers features like Applitools Eyes, which boosts test coverage and reduces maintenance efforts.  It also has a feature called ultrafast grid that facilitates cross-browser and cross-device testing, accelerating functional and visual testing by 30 times. Applitools seamlessly integrates with modern test frameworks and works alongside popular testing tools such as Selenium, Appium, Cypress, and more.

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly prevalent, testers will experience enhanced ease and efficiency in creating, executing, and analyzing software test cases without the need for constant manual updates. Moreover, they will have improved capabilities to identify controls and establish connections between defects and software components, surpassing previous levels of accessibility and efficiency.

Defects prediction

Implementing Analytics in QA offers the advantage of predicting future failures based on historical data. Predictive Analytics utilizes statistical algorithms and machine learning to extract valuable insights and identify patterns and trends. These predictions help proactively identify failure points, enabling QA teams to make informed decisions. A great example of this is Microsoft Defect AI. Altran and Microsoft utilized machine learning models on Azure to detect potential software bugs earlier in the development process, reducing the need for multiple cycles of coding, testing, and bug fixing. This approach resulted in significant time and cost savings.

Machine learning-based defect prediction can help QA processes by:

  • Identifying high-risk areas in the codebase, allowing targeted testing efforts.
  • Providing insights into potential problem areas that require further review or refactoring.
  • Supporting decision-making by quantifying the likelihood of defects for different code segments.

AIOps  (Artificial intelligence for IT operations)

According to Gartner, AIOps refers to platforms and software systems that integrate big data, AI, and machine learning capabilities to improve and partially replace various IT operations processes and tasks. These include activities like monitoring availability and performance, analyzing and correlating events, managing IT services, and automating workflows.

AIOps leverages big data, analytics, and machine learning to achieve the following:

  1. Collect and consolidate vast amounts of data from various IT infrastructure components, application demands, performance monitoring tools, and service ticketing systems.
  2. Extract meaningful insights from this data to identify important events and patterns related to application performance and availability issues, distinguishing them from background noise.
  3. Diagnose the root causes of these issues and promptly report them to IT and DevOps teams for quick response and resolution. In certain cases, AIOps can even autonomously resolve these issues without human intervention.

AIOps makes IT operations easier by bringing together different tools into one smart system. Instead of using multiple separate tools and doing things manually, AIOps automates and streamlines the process. This means that IT operations teams can respond faster to issues like slowdowns or outages. AIOps gives them a complete view of what’s happening and helps them understand the context of the problem. With this information, they can take action quickly and even anticipate issues before they happen. 

For example, consider a large e-commerce company that handles a high volume of online orders. With AIOps, the company can use AI algorithms to monitor and analyze their systems in real-time. The AI algorithms can detect anomalies, such as sudden spikes in website traffic or server failures, and alert the IT operations team immediately. This allows the team to proactively address the issues before they impact customer experience or lead to downtime.

Another major application of AIOps that is being widely used by organizations is Process Automation. The biggest use case in this category is leveraging the power of chatbots for customer support. Several companies employ AI-powered chatbots to handle basic customer inquiries and provide instant responses. These chatbots utilize natural language processing to understand customer queries and provide relevant solutions, freeing up human support agents to focus on more complex issues. This automation not only improves response time but also enhances customer satisfaction. 
The second similar use case is for employee support. A Harvard Business Review study reports that between 34 and 44 percent of global companies they surveyed are using AI to help resolve employee technical support issues. They have implemented a smart response system to streamline common questions from employees.  

Efficient Software development  

The software development field is also getting revolutionized by the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to Grand View Research, the global market for AI in software development was valued at USD 136.55 billion in 2022, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030.

AI-powered tools, including natural language processing, machine learning, and computer vision, are transforming how software is created. This paradigm shift is enhancing software development processes and reshaping the job market. As a result, new roles, such as AI engineers and data scientists, are emerging, offering promising career prospects. The demand for AI engineers is projected to grow by an impressive 21% between 2021 and 2031, surpassing the average job growth rate of 5% for all occupations.

Some of the benefits of using AI for software development are:

Accelerate development process 

AI has reshaped software development processes, enhancing efficiency and productivity. ChatGPT can assist developers in generating code snippets, offering suggestions, and providing documentation. OpenAI’s Codex is a popular tool that converts human language into code. It is the underlying technology behind GitHub Copilot, which developers widely use.

Codex can understand basic instructions in natural language and generate a code in response. This enables programmers to enhance their applications using a natural language interface, making building upon existing systems easier and saving them time.
This accelerates the software development lifecycle, reducing coding errors and improving code quality.

Write better code

AI-powered code recommendation tools like Intellicode by Visual Studio, an AI-driven coding engine that integrates directly into your coding workflow and leverages machine learning to provide developers with intelligent suggestions and recommendations to improve their code.  The AI tool can help with code refactoring, suggest code optimizations, reduce redundant computations, improve memory management, or optimize algorithms. These optimizations allow the resulting code to run faster and consume fewer resources.  

So many tools are available, such as Tabnine, that help developers complete their code faster. Tabnine supports various programming languages, including Python, TypeScript, Rust, Go, Bash, etc.,  and seamlessly integrates with popular code repositories such as GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and more, allowing developers to easily connect their codes. Another advantage of Tabnine is that it can analyze developer-specific coding patterns and generate intelligent, cohesive, and personalized outputs. With other tools like Mintlify, documentation work becomes easier and faster. 

As AI technology evolves, the IT industry will witness further advancements and innovations, fostering efficiency, productivity, and innovation. Organizations that embrace Artificial Intelligence Solution will gain a competitive edge, unlock new opportunities, and meet the ever-changing demands of the digital era. The integration of ChatGPT and AI technologies marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a smarter and more automated IT industry.

Categorized as eCommerce

Navigating the Digital Commerce Ecosystem: A Comprehensive Guide for Business Owners

Digital ecommerce ecosystem

When you visit an online shopping website and casually scroll through the product listing as you munch on your favorite snacks, did it ever occur to you about what goes on behind the scenes once you hit the “buy” button? From browsing through countless product listings to finally receiving a confirmation email, the journey of an online shopper may seem simple at first glance. But there is a complex network of various systems that come together to create a seamless online shopping experience.

At the heart of it lies the digital commerce ecosystem, a dynamic system of interconnected processes that work together to make sure that each customer has a smooth and enjoyable buying experience.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the intricate back-end mechanism that powers the digital commerce ecosystem and helps an online order make its way from the merchant’s warehouse to the customer’s doorstep.

Also Read: Ultimate Guide for an Effective Digital Commerce Strategy

Major components of an eCommerce ecosystem are:

An apt eCommerce platform:  eCommerce platforms play a critical role in enabling businesses to sell products and services online. These platforms provide businesses with the necessary tools to create and manage an online storefront, process transactions, and manage inventory and shipping. There are numerous ecommerce platform options available, each with its own set of features, pricing structures, and integrations. Some of the popular eCommerce platform options available are WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace .

The platform that businesses should choose solely depends upon their needs and the complexity of their business model. For example, a complex eCommerce business will need an eCommerce platform that can handle the complexity and scalability that comes with it. In this case, a popular example is Magento which is open source and offers good customization options, and supports scalability. But to get started with Magento, you will need a dedicated team of Magento developers to help you get started. On the other hand, a business with limited needs or that is just getting started can manage with ready-to-use and drag-and-drop eCommerce solutions such as Shopify.

Payment processors: Payment processors play a critical role in enabling ecommerce businesses to accept payments from customers around the world, which is essential for growing and scaling an online business. They facilitate online payments, validate payment information, and help process payments with ease. Some of the popular options available are Paypal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, and several others.

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a payment processor: 

  1. What payment methods are your customers already using
  2. Will the payment easily integrate with your existing system and technologies?
  3. How good is their security and market reputation
  4. How competitive is their pricing?
  5. How good is their customer service?

Powerful backend system: It typically includes a powerful backend system that integrates ERP and WMS to manage operations such as inventory, sales, and customer data. For example, Shopify provides an ecommerce platform with built-in ERP and WMS capabilities. Additionally, a reliable shipping and logistics service is essential to ensure the timely delivery of orders to customers. FedEx and UPS are popular examples of such services.

Communication channels: Internal and external communication channels  help transparency amongst various entities involved.  External communication channels, such as social media platforms and ticketing platforms, can help to address clients’ concerns directly. Other modes of communication include email newsletters and customer support services that enable the ecommerce website to communicate with its customers and vendors effectively. For instance, a customer service representative can use email or chat to resolve a customer’s query, or relevant social media platforms can be used to share updates and engage with customers.

Marketing: Advertising, SEO, Social media marketing, and email marketing are ways to reach out to new customers and nurture existing ones. For instance, leveraging the power of email marketing to send out personalized product recommendations to your existing customers or using the right social platformswhere your target audience is present for brand building and reaching out to new customers.

Analytics and data: Analytics and data can help ecommerce websites in various ways. For example, by using real-time data analytics, ecommerce businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and shopping patterns. This information can be used to optimize the online shopping experience, increase conversions, and boost sales.  Common tools that businesses can use for tracking their website analytics are Google Analytics, Hotjar, Mouseflow, Crazyegg, and several others that help business owners to dive deeper into website performance metrics.

A real-time example of this is Amazon. The ecommerce giant uses a sophisticated data analytics system to track user behavior on their website in real time.  This allows them to personalize the shopping experience for each customer, recommending products based on their previous purchases and browsing history. Additionally, Amazon uses data to optimize its supply chain and logistics, ensuring that products are delivered quickly and efficiently to customers.

All the components of the eCommerce system must be in sync to provide the customer with unparalleled service and support. If you have one faulty system, it will directly impact the customer’s confidence in your brand. So, your system should work seamlessly from when the customer comes to your website to get their order delivered finally.  

Secondly, from a scalability and business perspective, you need to keep improving your existing system through customer feedback and use appropriate marketing and advertising channels. 

Major challenges faced by today’s eCommerce businesses :

Poor website design and user experience

A website’s design and user experience are critical factors in driving traffic, retaining customers, and increasing sales. A poorly designed website with a confusing layout, slow loading times, and a complicated checkout process can lead to high bounce rates and lost sales. A recent survey conducted by Vistaprint revealed that 42% of consumers are hesitant to buy from a website that appears unprofessional or poorly designed, and an additional 21% claimed that they are unlikely to make a purchase at all. With the increasing number of touchpoints between businesses and customers, it’s crucial to comprehend how both the front-end and back-end of an ecommerce website operate individually and collectively, to provide a smooth and seamless omnichannel experience.

Inaccurate understanding of new technologies 

One crucial factor in achieving success is leveraging technology to streamline operations, automate processes, and enhance customer experience. For instance, if you plan to launch an e-commerce platform, you must ensure your website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimized for search engines.  Moreover, you need to stay abreast of the latest developments in online payment systems, data analytics, and cybersecurity to protect your customers’ sensitive information and maintain their trust. 

Failing to adopt new technology or software can leave your website vulnerable to security breaches or outdated features, leading to a decline in website traffic and sales.

Inefficient operations and fulfillment processes

Efficient operations and fulfillment processes are critical for ensuring that orders are processed accurately and shipped on time. This includes inventory management, order processing, and shipping and handling. Inefficient processes can lead to delays, errors, and unhappy customers. The back office operations need to be constantly monitored and upgraded to keep up with the customer demands and prevent any bottlenecks. 

Inadequate marketing and advertising strategies

A robust marketing strategy is critical for the growth and success of any online business. Without a well-planned marketing approach, businesses risk being invisible to potential customers, limiting their growth potential.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract more traffic organically.

In addition to SEO, email marketing and social media marketing are other critical components of any online marketing strategy. By creating and nurturing relationships with your existing customers, you can encourage repeat business, increase customer loyalty, and cross-sell other products or services. 

Ineffective customer service and communication

Providing good customer service is a straightforward method to retain customers and achieve stable revenue growth. However, businesses often struggle to nail this aspect of an eCommerce business which leads to decreased customer satisfaction and loyalty. For instance, if a customer has a problem with an order and receives a slow or unhelpful response from customer service, they may be less likely to return to that business in the future.

How our approach addresses the above challenges? 

agile approch

Customized solution

We understand that each client has specific requirements, and therefore, we work closely with them to understand their challenges and dive deeper into their business to identify any further gaps before coming up with a recommendation. It ensures that our recommendations align with their goals and objectives. We offer a very customized/personalized consulting approach, with our rich domain expertise, which helps identify gaps and suggest best-fit solutions. For instance, one of our clients faced challenges because of a lot of manual work in their order processing system. So, we helped them automate their entire process of printing and labelling shipping orders to process their orders faster. 


At Tecstub, we firmly believe that being Agile is one of the most important values we bring to our e-commerce development projects. Our approach to Agile development has helped us to create e-commerce solutions that are robust, scalable, and meet the needs of our clients. One of the key advantages of 

One of the key advantages of Agile development is that it prevents a single point of failure because of its adaptive nature. It allows us to be flexible and responsive to changing requirements. We understand that the world of eCommerce is constantly evolving and that our client’s needs may change rapidly. Using an Agile approach, we can quickly and effectively adapt to these changes, ensuring our solutions remain relevant and effective.

Another important benefit of being Agile is that it allows us to build e-commerce solutions by breaking down the development process into smaller, more manageable chunks.  This approach is beneficial for our customers as well, where instead of waiting for 2 months to see the entire system in action, the client gets chunks of features delivered very frequently and gives us a chance for an early feedback loop to be able to pivot if required. As a result, we can test and validate our solutions at each stage of the development process. It also helps businesses to gauge the effectiveness of their product and understand the needs of their customers, giving them the liberty to pivot if needed.

Unifying the business logic and technology 

In the world of eCommerce, the backbone of any successful business lies in its business logic. This refers to the set of rules that govern how data is processed and workflows are executed in the backend code of a system. As every eCommerce business is unique, the complexity of its business logic and implementation varies accordingly. Moreover, as businesses grow and evolve, their business logic may require modifications to cater to new requirements. To address this challenge, our team, with over eight years of experience in developing B2B eCommerce platforms, has honed its expertise in mapping business logic to technical specifications. Based on the specific needs of each business, we recommend the most feasible technology stacks for long-term success.

Unlike most digital commerce solution providers that favor technology implementations that are more profitable to them, Tecstub’s approach is solution focused, which means we are receptive to exploring new technologies that are most suitable for a given problem, thus eliminating the constraint of being restricted to a narrow range of tech stacks.  

Here is an example of what we mean by business logic. To ensure the growth of a B2B eCommerce website, building strong relationships with customers is essential. A way to achieve this is by offering special discounts or offers that are exclusive to them. By tying this business logic to our system, we can enable a particular user to view and take advantage of these exclusive offers, thereby fostering a stronger relationship between the customer and the business.


The traditional monolithic digital commerce architecture doesn’t support an eCommerce business’s rapidly changing needs. Although they are feature-rich systems that fulfill all the needs of a digital commerce business, as the system scales and becomes complex, making modifications becomes tough. 

In today’s modern eCommerce world, Microservices architecture helps manage the growing needs of businesses. Microservices are independent software units loosely coupled and communicate with each other using APIs. They can be used together or scaled independently. It gives us an advantage where we can help businesses by providing them with customized solutions faster and more efficiently. Check out our case study right here.

Our focus is not just building a platform; instead, we want to provide a complete system that spans all the needs of an eCommerce business to grow and flourish.

When it comes to eCommerce, it’s about more than just setting up a website. The real challenge lies in implementing the right business logic and processes to ensure a seamless and successful online presence.  At Tecstub, we understand the importance of a comprehensive approach to eCommerce. That’s why we offer end-to-end solutions encompassing every aspect of the process, from initial business ideas to implementation and ongoing maintenance.

If you’re looking to take your eCommerce business to the next level, look no further than our team at Tecstub. Our experienced professionals can help you optimize your website, streamline your operations, and increase your sales. Whether you have specific business queries or just want to learn more about how we can help, we encourage you to connect with us today here

Categorized as eCommerce

Top 4 eCommerce Developer Skills to get success in 2023

eCommerce Developer Skills

In today’s rapidly growing digital landscape, e-commerce has become a fundamental part of the retail industry. Last year, people all over the world spent more than 26 trillion U.S. dollars on online shopping. And it’s predicted that by 2024, the amount we spend on shopping will go up to over 30 trillion U.S. dollars. With the increase in online shopping, businesses want to have a sustainable brand, and they seek eCommerce development services that can help them create, maintain, and optimize their online presence.

To be successful as an e-commerce developer, it’s important to have a diverse set of technical and interpersonal skills. In this blog, we’ll explore four key technical skills that every e-commerce developer needs to succeed in this field.

Whether you’re an aspiring e-commerce developer or looking to enhance your existing skills, keep reading to learn more about what it takes to thrive in the e-commerce industry.

1.) Understanding databases and query optimization

Understanding databases is critical for eCommerce developers because a website’s database structure has a direct impact on the website’s functionality and performance. A database serves as a data storage unit that helps in storing, retrieving, and processing requests, making it a crucial component of an eCommerce website. A poorly designed database can lead to slow website performance, increased downtime, and a poor user experience. 

To ensure that a database is effective, it should possess the following qualities:

  1. Straightforward yet functional database structure: The database table structure should be straightforward and cover all necessary functionality while still maintaining a positive user experience.
  2. High performance: It’s important for a database to work faster so that customers can easily interact with a website and have a smooth shopping experience. To achieve this, it’s necessary to choose a database with good indexing and performance optimization options.
  3. High availability and scalability: A well-designed database should have high availability with automatic snapshots and should be able to scale to accommodate future platform growth and sudden traffic spikes.

By understanding databases and ensuring that these qualities are met, eCommerce developers can create a robust, high-performing eCommerce website that meets the needs of customers and drives business growth.

2.) Being up to date with technologies 

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve. A basic eCommerce website may suffice initially, but as businesses grow, scalability and performance become increasingly critical. Upgrading technology becomes necessary to address performance issues that arise as business demands increase.  For example, leveraging cloud databases like Firebase and Redis can help development teams to meet performance issues that may arise because of extra load on the server or using Kubernetes to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of ecommerce applications, making it easier to handle spikes in traffic and maintain uptime.  

So, understanding cloud platforms such as AWS,  Kubernetes, Jenkins, Git, and Docker is helpful in building powerful and scalable applications.  

it platforms
Knowledge of latest tools and technologies

They should also be familiar with working with APIs because APIs allow developers to customize and extend the functionality of their platforms. By leveraging APIs, developers can create custom integrations, build new features, and improve existing ones.
Moreover, developers need to keep themselves up to date with the latest industry trends and emerging technologies to provide innovative solutions that meet changing market demands. Knowledge of technologies like big data for personalization, AR for enhancing shopping experiences, and speech recognition technologies for voice search features can be a game-changer for developers. By continuously upskilling themselves, developers can create cutting-edge applications that exceed user expectations. 

3.) Understanding the importance of user experience

The front end and backend of an eCommerce website are equally important. The ease of navigation and accessibility to the right products play a significant role in customer retention and directly impact the overall revenue of the business.
According to a study by Vistaprint, 42% of customers are unlikely to purchase from a poorly designed or unprofessional website, and 21% said they are “not likely at all”. As the number of consumer touchpoints grows, it is essential to understand how the front and backend of your ecommerce website function separately and together to create a seamless omnichannel experience.

eCommerce developers should have a solid understanding of the importance of a good user experience and accordingly incorporate it into their development. For example, the purchase process is a critical part of the e-commerce experience, with 69.8% of shoppers abandoning the process after putting items in their shopping cart. However, improving the checkout design can increase the conversion rate by 35% for an average large-sized e-commerce store. Also, the payment process should be short and require a few clicks to avoid cart abandonment.  Site speed is also a crucial aspect for any website with a considerable difference in conversion rate between sites that load in 1 second and 5 seconds.

4.) Knowledge of server architecture

Server architecture in eCommerce refers to the technical infrastructure and system design that supports the functioning of an online store. This includes the physical servers, software applications, and networks that work together to enable eCommerce operations such as website hosting, order processing, inventory management, and customer data storage.

In general, there are three kinds of server architecture: 

  1. SAAS architecture: It allows merchants to get their online store up and running in no time. They are a quick-fix solution for small eCommerce businesses or who are just starting out. All the technical needs are easily taken care of by the eCommerce SAAS provider. This approach offers scalability, flexibility, and cost savings as resources can be easily scaled up or down based on demand.  It involves hosting the software and data in the cloud that can be accessed by various web browsers. 
  2. Two-tier architecture:  In this architecture, all the eCommerce operations are handled by a single server. This approach is suitable for small businesses with low traffic and minimal data storage needs.
  3. Microservices architecture: In this architecture, the eCommerce application is broken down into small, independent services that work together to perform specific functions. They communicate with each other using APIs, and this approach enables agility, scalability, and fault tolerance. It allows businesses to scale a particular section of the website independently without disturbing any other. 

Knowledge of server architecture is essential for eCommerce developers to create high-performing, scalable eCommerce websites that can handle the demands of a growing customer base. By understanding the server architecture and optimizing its performance, developers can provide a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for customers, leading to increased sales and business growth.

The success of an e-commerce business depends heavily on the skills of its developers. A developer who possesses a deep understanding of e-commerce platforms, web development, databases, and server architecture can create a high-performing, scalable, and secure online store that meets the needs of the modern digital marketplace. Additionally, staying current with industry trends and emerging technologies is crucial for developers to provide innovative solutions and stay ahead of the competition.

Categorized as eCommerce

Optimizing Broken LCD Screen Verification in the Warehouse: A Comprehensive Guide

Optimizing Broken LCD Screen

At TecStub, our primary focus is to develop solutions that help businesses thrive digitally and are well-optimized for performance, scalability, and sustainability. As a software engineer at Tecstub, I have focused on developing solutions that checks all the boxes of quality, scalability, reusability, and performance while solving a business challange. Out of the many projects that I have worked on, few have been quite challenging and interesting in their own right. 

In this blog, I will share one of my learnings from working on a project for automating the testing and verification process of received damaged goods in the warehouse for an eCommerce company. The purpose of this feature was to help the warehouse team reduce the manual work involved, improve overall efficiency and fasten the order processing operations. 

Navigating Complexities: A Close Look at the Existing Process for Handling Broken and Damaged LCD Screens

A digital commerce application serves as a platform for selling products online, and each business involves its own set of intricacies. In the application I was involved with, we had a unique provision that enabled customers to send broken and damaged LCD screens to our client’s warehouse in exchange for payment.

Upon arrival at the warehouse, a dedicated team would conduct rigorous testing and verification of the received LCD screens. The screens were assigned a grade (such as A, B, C, etc.) based on their condition, which determined their pricing and the corresponding payment to be made to the senders.

Given the daily volume of 100-200 broken screens, it was impractical for a single person to complete the testing and payment processing in a timely manner. Thus, multiple team members were required to simultaneously test and verify the screens. However, this process has encountered various challenges that impede the efficient execution of the testing and verification of these damaged products.

To facilitate the above process digitally we built a functionality in the web application that included a backend system that handled the processing of orders for broken screen LCDs. The system featured a comprehensive list of the various brands of LCDs received, with each brand and model categorized into grade levels (A, B, C) and accompanied by text fields indicating the estimated count (total quantity as specified by the sender), received quantity (the total quantity of the model that is actually received at the warehouse), the price per unit, total payout, and tested quantity.

The warehouse team was responsible for updating these text fields to facilitate further processing. 

Graphic representation of the backend panel

The process to update the field: 

The users were able to obtain a comprehensive list of their order details by downloading and printing a form from the system. The LCD processing team was responsible for manually updating the received quantity for each model on the form, followed by updating the quantity for each grade after testing. Once all team members had completed their updates, they submitted their forms to the master admin who updated the system accordingly.

To streamline this process and allow for multiple users to test, verify, and update the backend panel simultaneously, we needed to develop a solution that eliminated the need for manual entry on paper. Our solution had to account for users accessing the system from multiple devices, including web and mobile applications, and ensure that all updates were immediately visible without overwriting any existing records.

Optimizing the Existing System

1.) Since multiple users might be updating the same fields, we used the Firebase listener event that helps us update and reflect the new values in various fields without reloading or refreshing the page.  It ensures  the uniqueness of the field values and enables multiple users to access the backend system simultaneously and perform the testing and verification process.

2.) The second need was to update multiple fields simultaneously in our database as well, and to accomplish it, we used Firebase batch functionality. The batch functionality allows you to execute multiple write operations as a batch. But here, there is a limitation where only 500 operations can be performed in a single batch. So, we have included a check in our code logic that if the total number of writes reaches 499, it triggers a new batch creation. 

3.) We have also implemented cloud functions of Firebase that help data syncing with MySQL. Since some team members are also using the mobile app, this functionality has prevented the need to mutually call APIs for data updation. 

Since implementing this system, we have achieved remarkable improvements in the accuracy, efficiency, and speed of our warehouse processes. This has led to significant time and resource savings while simultaneously boosting overall team productivity. 

Drawing from my experience in building digital commerce applications, I have learned that as businesses grow, their backend processes become increasingly demanding. To remain competitive and future-proof, businesses must continuously adopt innovative technologies that can help establish a robust system. Automation is one such way that can enable businesses to scale, stay on track, and meet ever-evolving customer expectations.

About the author

Kushal is a Software Engineer at Tecstub from the Shapeshifter team and has been involved in the end-to-end development of custom business modules. He is known for his impeccable debugging skills and query optimization techniques. He is also proficient in working with new technologies such as AWS, GraphQL, and Firebase.

Categorized as eCommerce

9 eCommerce Trends For Your Business Growth in 2023

Ecommerce trends 2023

The eCommerce industry has witnessed significant technological advancements in recent years. An interesting example would be Nike’s augmented reality-based solution called Nike Fit. According to the company, three out of five people wear the wrong shoe size, and they developed this to address such problems when people shop online. 

It wasn’t just Nike; other leading brands, such as Gucci and Adidas, are also exploring new ways to expand their reach by creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the Metaverse. 

All these reflect the role of technology in eCommerce in providing customers with an exceptional experience. As the competition in the eCommerce industry continues to grow, businesses need to adopt innovative approaches to meet changing customer demands.

However, 2022 has seen its share of political and economic crises, such as the Russian-Ukraine war and the recession in the U.S.A. 

The big question is will these factors impact the digital commerce industry in 2023. If yes, how and what measures can businesses take to be least affected by the results? Apart from that, what are the other latest eCommerce trends that will dominate the industry? We will answer these questions in this blog, so let’s start with top eCommerce trends in 2023.  

1.) Unified Commerce

Unified commerce means bringing all your sales channels, payment systems, products, and customer interactions together on a single platform. It involves connecting your backend system to all the customer touchpoints (online and offline) they use to view and buy products. The ease of a single platform allows the consumers to purchase, receive and return items on their chosen channels. One of the key advantages of unified commerce is that it allows real-time critical data to flow between different channels. 

The centralized platform offers various benefits:

  • It gives a holistic view of the inventory and stocks, making it easier to view and update stocks in real-time.
  • You can access data insights across multiple touchpoints that help understand customer behavior and other performance KPIs.
  • Saves resources and time invested otherwise in integrating various other platforms.
  • Connecting online and offline sales channels drastically improves the customer experience leading to customer loyalty and higher spending.

The information can help chart effective marketing strategies, improve operational efficiency, and mitigate the hassle of managing numerous resources to help your business scale. 

2.) Improved customer service

For any business to thrive, retaining customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. However, for B2B businesses, the buying cycle is long and exhaustive, and there is a huge dependence on building long-lasting customer relationships. Good customer service is one of the simplest ways that help you retain your customers and have consistent revenue growth. As per a report, 72% of B2B buyers state that real-time, always-on customer service is key to boosting customer loyalty.  89% of consumers are more willing to make another purchase if they have a positive customer service experience. Interestingly,  good customer service can make customers more accepting of mishaps such as shipment delays. 

Having powerful customer service can greatly help retain the existing customer base. The customer should also be able to choose their communication channel, be it mail, phone, chat, or social media.  In 2023 businesses will have to work towards providing their customers with seamless customer service and reach them where they are available. 

3.) Personalization for brand loyalty

Personalization has already been a game changer for the eCommerce industry in the past few years. And moving forward, the personalization game will even become more critical.  Marketing strategies such as ABM (Account-based marketing) take a different approach to personalization, and it helps you determine accounts that have the potential to be the biggest revenue generator for your business. Using this technology, businesses can send personalized content to decision-makers of these accounts on the platforms they are active.

Common ABM strategies include:

1.) Identification of the key accounts 

2.) Content marketing strategy relevant to individual accounts

3.) Defining customer journey map 

4.) Leveraging behavioral data for creating customer personas 

5.) Developing the right content that inspires action 

4.) Impact of inflation on average order value 

Inflation in the U.S. has been at its record high in forty years. But how does it impact an eCommerce business? Let us understand this from a business perspective which is that during inflation, there is a direct decrease in purchasing power. It directly impacts manufacturing costs, and businesses might struggle to retain and gain clients. 

As per reports, the rising prices and the economic downturn have recorded payment delays of 10.5 days in the B2B eCommerce industry, and in 2023 this will continue to increase. When there is financial uncertainty, shoppers need extra assurance, and businesses should work on price optimization. 

Some steps that the companies can take to balance out their profits are: 

1.) Introducing deals and offers such as discounts on buying bundled items

2.) Do an inventory audit to identify the best sellers and those that don’t sell a lot. The key is to focus on the products that bring in maximum profits.

Read more: How we Automated the Commission Process for a B2B eCommerce retailer?

5.) Environmental concerns and sustainability

The climate crisis is one of the crucial issues looming worldwide. The eCommerce industry has also played a significant role in increasing the carbon footprint. The transportation and logistics industry is a major contributor to CO2 emissions in the U.S. and accounts for 29 % of greenhouse gases. With increasing awareness about the environmental impact, people have become more mindful of sustainability and ecological balance. They are ready to pay more or buy from brands that focus on these factors. 

It is a great opportunity for brands to build brand loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors. They can opt for eco-friendly and sustainable practices such as: 

  • Creating packages using packaging materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable such as 
  • Making provisions for buyers to choose sustainable shipping options (e.g., “Ship all items together in one package, rather than sending them based on their availability”)
  • Making it easy for people to reuse and recycle items. 
  • Adding labels to packaging asking the consumers to reuse and recycle

6.) Dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing is also called real-time pricing, where the price can change in real-time based on factors such as the demand and supply ratio, currency fluctuations, etc. It allows businesses to control their pricing and offer the right price to the specific customer at the right time. It will be a significant step in helping businesses maintain revenue and get the least affected by inflation. Businesses should conduct extensive research before they implement dynamic pricing in their system. It includes thoroughly understanding the competitor brands and customer base and identifying the sweet spot between being enticing and profitable. 

7. ) Social Commerce

As per a report by McKinsey, social commerce is set to grow three times as fast as traditional eCommerce platforms. It is already set to reach 1.2 trillion dollars by 2025 from its current $492 billion. Influencer marketing is one of the major aspects of social commerce that drive user engagement and sales.  When a product is recommended or endorsed by an influencer or creator, the buyer automatically trusts the product and is ready to buy it.

Investing in social commerce is definitely needed because it helps with customer engagement and boosts sales. But it also impacts the customer journey that businesses will need to take into account when they incorporate social commerce into their business.  Let us understand it how. So, in a traditional setup, when a buyer discovers a product, he heads to the brand-owned channels, such as their website, or app, to complete the purchase. But with social commerce, the consumer stays in the respective platform such as Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook to complete their purchase.  It might affect the direct-to-consumer relationships for brands, and to combat it, businesses will need a holistic approach to influencer partnerships and for social-first content.  



8.) Visual Search

Visual search allows users to search using images and is commonly used through tools like Google Lens. With 62% of Gen Z and millennial customers seeking visual search capabilities and 23% of Google search queries yielding images, this trend is rising. Despite this, only a small portion of about 8% of eCommerce brands have incorporated visual search into their website.

To stay ahead of the competition, eCommerce businesses can optimize their website for visual search. Major eCommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify offer visual search features that can be easily integrated into your website.

Some of the ways that you can prepare your website for visual search are: 

  1. Adding images to your sitemap so that it can be crawled by Google 
  2. Adding alt text to your images to give the right context
  3. Sizing the images in the right sizes
  4. Caption images with relevant keywords
  5. Modify chatbots to accommodate visual searches

9.) Rise of Mobile Commerce (m-commerce)

One of the most popular eCommerce trends for businesses is going to be m-commerce.  If we go by the numbers, a report by Statista suggests that by 2025, mCommerce will account for over 10.4% of all retail sales in the US.  it is also one of the leading eCommerce trends in India, with an estimated eCommerce sales of $38 billion in 2020. Mobile Commerce isn’t a new phenomenon but something that is gradually happening for years now. As more and more people are getting used to smartphones and the internet being no more premium service, there has been a significant shift in the mobile consumer base. With time the average hours spent on mobile devices will only rise, pushing the growth of mobile commerce. So, eCommerce businesses should leverage platforms to connect directly with customers on mobile devices. It must include social media apps, SMS and Whatsapp messaging that initiates one-on-one conversations. 

Businesses in 2023 will majorly focus on improving the customer experience, sustainability, and stabilizing profitability. Unified commerce will keep gaining traction, and more and more businesses will look forward to unifying their various platforms for a seamless customer experience. Other technologies, such as blockchain, will keep evolving. 


What are the top eCommerce trends?

The top eCommerce trends are:
1.) Social commerce
2.) Mobile commerce
3.) Unified commerce
4.) Personalization
5.) Visual search
6.) Unified commerce

How should businesses leverage eCommerce trends?

Businesses shouldn’t try to incorporate all the eCommerce trends. They should first assess the needs of their business and accordingly incorporate the relevant trends.

What are the new technologies for eCommerce?

Big Data, AI-powered personalization, content creation, progressive web apps, and BNPL (Buy now pay later)  are some of the technologies integral  to eCommerce.

Which will be one of the most crucial eCommerce trends?

Social commerce and influencer marketing is becoming one of the most powerful tools for online selling. It allows businesses to expand their customer base and make more sales.

Categorized as eCommerce

How will Web 3.0 and Blockchain Technology Impact the eCommerce Industry?


Since the Internet came into existence in the 90s, it has undergone a significant transformation. The first version – Web 1.0, was the readable phase focused on passive information sharing with minimal interaction between web users and websites. 

Next came Web 2.0, also called the writable phase, which completely transformed how users used the Internet. It opened new avenues of higher user participation, real-time information sharing, and giving users a voice.  One of the significant drawbacks of web 2.0 is data privacy concerns.  Currently, big corporations and organizations control our data. They drop cookies into our systems, record each activity we do on the web, such as our browsing history, surfing patterns, and personal information and hand them to advertisers.

But now, we are gearing up for the third phase of the Internet revolution, web 3.0, also called the semantic web. The positive factor of this web 3.0 is that it puts the power in the hands of the users making the web a more user-centric platform. Now, what exactly does it mean?

So, all the data we share on the web through various websites and online communities is stored in a centralized infrastructure owned by tech giants or government organizations. Companies buy servers, install the intended software and then store the data that the user shares. So they are the sole owners of our data records, and it is entirely upto them how they want to use it.   But with web 3.0, this will change where all the data will be decentralized, and no third party will own the data. 

What is Web 3.0 all about, and what exactly is decentralization?

The main crux of Web 3.0 is decentralization and an effort to make the Internet intelligent, backed with artificial intelligence and big data.  Technologies like Blockchain form the backbone of decentralization, a relatively new data storing and managing technique built on two core concepts: encryption and distributed computing. Encryption means that the data can only be accessed by people who own it, and distributed means that the data will be shared across multiple systems or servers in the network.  If the data in one system doesn’t match all others, it will corrupt the chain. 

The biggest advantage of web 3.0 is that it will allow people to exchange information online securely and privately. 

Now let’s explore how the powerful features such as security and decentralization that Web 3.0 offers can impact the digital commerce industry:

1.) Enhanced Security: Data breaches and fraudulent transactions are the biggest concerns for online retailers. As per a Fraud Survey 2020 report – 47% of businesses lost $42 billion due to fraud in the previous 24 months.  Web 3.0 is one of the most secure and reliable platforms compared to its predecessors.  From a safety standpoint, blockchain-based payments can significantly reduce fraudulent activities, given the transparency and visibility it offers through interconnected systems. The system will allow transactions to be tracked right from when the user clicks the buy button until the time he receives his order.

2.) Better Supply Chain Management

A Blockchain can significantly refine supply chains by enabling faster and more cost-efficient delivery, enhancing products’ traceability, and improving coordination between partners. It will ensure that all operations involved in the supply chain are transparent and secure.

Let’s take a scenario where a retailer sources products from the supplier, and the supplier gets the capital from the bank to fill the order. The above transaction involves informational flows, financial flows, and inventory flows. Now it is impossible to keep all the data together so that all entities involved get to know what is happening behind the scenes.

The finance record will not have information about the related inventory details. The implemented ERP systems usually record all types of flows involved. Still, it is hard to evaluate which entries (credits for return, accounts receivable, payments, etc.) correspond to which inventory transaction, specifically for large-scale businesses that process numerous orders in a single day. A blockchain-powered transparent system can alleviate these blind spots and help record all the information together.

Check the below image that clearly depicts how Blockchain helps record all transactions in one place and gives more visibility.

3.) Advent of decentralized marketplaces:  In Web 2.0, big online marketplaces and eCommerce giants earn commission by providing a platform to various sellers to sell their products to consumers. In the Web 3.0 version, third parties won’t need to facilitate such transactions, and the process can directly take place peer-to-peer. In such a model, most of the sales and release of funds will be managed by smart contracts. It means that buyers and sellers agree to a set of pre-specified terms and conditions, and when these conditions are met, the program will be automatically executed.  As of now, there are several types of decentralized marketplaces, such as marketplace applications, blockchain-specific marketplaces, and marketplace platforms. 


4.) Cost-effective and faster: Online transactions and processing using cryptocurrencies and blockchain can help mitigate the additional charges incurred due to mediators or intermediaries such as banks. Also, payment through cryptocurrencies is 96% faster than conventional payment methods. Another benefit of accepting cryptocurrencies is that it helps customers trust your brand and allow you to expand your customer base. According to a study by Forrester Consulting, 40% of customers that pay using cryptocurrency are first-time visitors, and secondly, their order values are 2x more than credit card purchasers.

5.) More effective omnichannel strategies:   The concept of omnichannel marketing isn’t new but comes with challenges for online retailers. The most common ones are transparency, traceability, and trust. The connectivity and transparency that Web 3.0 offers help businesses connect all their sales channels and operational activities, providing a seamless and secure buying experience. The transparency will give retailers and customers real-time access to product details such as serial numbers, order location, source of the order, order processing status, logistics movement, delivery status, and payment status, breaking the siloes. Since blockchain is a secure network where the information cannot be altered, it helps build trust amongst the entities involved.  Here is an example to understand how it can help with traceability. Walmart leveraged Blockchain technology to overcome the challenge of food-borne disease outbreaks, where identifying the source is crucial. But it usually takes days to weeks to identify the source. But with the help of a blockchain-based food traceability system, the traceability was reduced from days to just a few seconds. 

Today, Blockchain and Web 3.0 are in the nascent stages of development but with huge potential to disrupt eCommerce and several other industries. It could make online transactions much safer and more affordable. However, as they are still in their early stages of development, it remains to be seen what their full potential will be. Meanwhile, if you are willing to be at the top of your game in the digital commerce space, connect with us for consulting application modernization of your existing infrastructure to meet the needs of the future. To connect with us, head to our contact us page and we will be happy to get on a call. 

Categorized as eCommerce

How we Automated the Commission Process for a B2B eCommerce retailer?

Automated the Commission Process for a B2B eCommerce retailer

A top B2B retailer in the US needed to automate their complex commission process for their affiliates and sales partners worldwide. Previously, they manually calculated commissions, but as their customer base grew and the number of orders increased, this method became prone to errors, time-consuming, and costly. As a result, there was a pressing need for a solution to streamline the commission process.

The commission calculation was complex, and the technical difficulties made it one of the toughest projects I’ve tackled. Due to the complexity, it took a while to develop the solution. Let’s delve into the journey, the challenges, and how we overcame them.

An overview of how the commission is processed: 

1.) Some of the customers who buy from the website have pre-assigned sales representatives. The role of the sales representative is to provide their customers with assistance while placing orders and they are commissioned when these orders are placed.

2.) The sales representatives receive a commission percentage calculated on a pre-defined minimum spend value in a given timeframe which renews daily, monthly and weekly. For example, a sales representative is getting a commission based on the weekly cycle of a minimum spend of $500.  It means that the customer should spend more than $500 weekly for the respective sales representative to avail the commission. 

3.) Each customer can have multiple sales representatives and vice versa. Also, the commission value and minimum spend value for different representatives will differ. 

Automated Commission Process for a B2B buisness-1

A quick overview of the solution 

To manage the complex workflow involved in the commission process, we have developed a separate sales commission calculation system for the back office team. The system allows the team to add details required for commission calculation, such as commission rate, minimum spend, cycle type (daily, weekly,monthly), type of commission, etc, for various sales representatives.   

When a customer’s order is processed and shipped, the commission is calculated for all related sales reps based on pre-set rules. If the customer receives a discount or returns a product, the commission will be adjusted automatically. The overall commission is then updated for each sales rep and can be viewed by the back office. To see an individual’s commission, they can simply select them from a drop-down menu and get the details instantly.

This approach worked well when there were just a few hundred orders. But as the number of orders increased to thousands daily, the commission calculation became too demanding for the system to handle.

The major technical challenge that we faced was:

Unwanted load on the server

We have implemented MySQL and PHP for the commission calculation. But it involved several database calls that increased the load on the servers, affecting the efficiency of the system. To address the issue we implemented Firebase.

Using Firebase for handling the calculation

Firebase is a kind of real-time database that can handle a large number of data at a time. So, instead of doing calculations using PHP and MySQL, we started processing them using Firebase. 
When the order is shipped, we send all the data to Firebase, and the whole commission calculation is done there. And then, we fetch the details from Firebase and display them in our sales representative commission panel. This reduces the total number of database calls and the load on our server.   

Automated the Commission Process for a B2B

But when we thought that we had created a robust system that would not fail, surprisingly, implementing Firebase also didn’t work out. Here is why –

Limitations of Firebase

The solution we implemented involved using Firebase’s scheduler function, functions.pubsub.schedule(‘every 5 minutes’).onRun(async (context). We used to run the process of commission calculation every five minutes. During this time, whatever orders came into the system, the calculation would be performed for all those orders. So, we were processing commissions for multiple orders at a time. 

Firebase has some limitations, such as limited querying capabilities, and, since our processes were data-intensive mathematical calculations, they intercepted those limitations. In Firebase, the total number of writes (updates) that can be passed to a commit operation is 500. Secondly, the time limit for a single transaction is 270 seconds with 60 second idle expiration time. In our process, this time limit was exceeded and also the total writes were more than 500 since we were performing several functions at once for several orders that are: 

1.) Getting data for commission calculation 

2.) Performing the mathematical calculation with the data 

3.) Updating the commission for each sales representative 

The final solution 

To solve the Firebase issue, we came up with the solution of real-time database triggers of Firebase. Instead of sending multiple data entries to Firebase at a single time and using the scheduler function to process multiple orders, we used database triggers of Firebase. Using it, we send data for every order shipped, and calculation is done for one order at a time. It leverages the cloud functions that enable the system to handle events without updating the client code. The benefit of cloud functions is that it lets you run realtime database functions while giving you administrative privileges. 

This feature has solved many financial problems that our client was previously facing. In the past, commissions were processed and given, only for them to discover later that a product was returned or there was an issue during shipping. Now, everything is calculated and updated automatically, so if a customer returns a product, the commission will be adjusted when the return is complete. This automation has allowed our client to save 40-50% of their costs while making the entire process smoother.

Categorized as eCommerce

How We Built High-Performing Agile and Autonomous Teams?


Since our establishment in 2014, our Engineering team has grown 10x, written more than 1 million lines of code, built more than 100 digital commerce applications, and contributed to growing monthly revenues. Meanwhile, we have constantly strived to make our teams autonomous and processes efficient while maintaining our delivery timelines and quality standards.

Initially, our teams were divided into separate research and development, bug fixing, and new feature enhancement groups. However, this structure had some limitations, such as increased difficulty in managing bug fixes, longer resolution times due to a lack of end-to-end involvement, and limited knowledge-sharing opportunities. To address these challenges, we have adopted a more comprehensive approach, where each team works on a diverse range of tasks, promoting efficient knowledge sharing and broadening their technical expertise.

How have we structured our teams to function efficiently? 

We have three development teams, namely Guardians, Shapeshifters, and Alpha. Each of our teams has a mix of developers, testers, and designers. Each team is a mix of experienced and mid to entry-level engineers. This framework has helped us create the perfect dynamics in the team where each team can handle the end-to-end development and delivery process.  

Our objective is to form cross-functional, self-sufficient small teams that can work independently towards their objectives. Each team member has a well-defined role and responsibility, fostering a sense of ownership. The team leader’s role is to communicate the problem and its underlying purpose, then facilitate a collective brainstorming session to generate a solution. Our approach to managing our teams is built on trust in our people and their abilities and a focus on motivating them to deliver their best work.

Agile majorly focuses on three factors customer satisfaction, quick feedback loop, and continuous improvement

How do we strive to be better every day?

Agile isn’t just a methodology that many of us believe in, but it is a mindset that helps you become more efficient and productive and helps people bring forth their best work. It involves making small and continuous changes every day, and the Agile tools and platforms are an aid to do it. At Tecstub, agility is a core value. Our focus is always on continuous improvement. During the retrospective meeting, the entire team collaborates and answers the following questions:

  • What worked well for us?
  • What did not work well for us?
  • What actions can we take to improve our process in the future?

Getting answers to these questions and transparent communication helps create an environment where everyone has an equal say and can put forward their thoughts. Since the goal of Agile is continuous improvement, retrospective meeting with continuous progress tracking has always helped us improve our processes and delivery times, where everybody is equally involved at every stage of development. We believe that for a team and an organization to thrive, the goal shouldn’t be “To not make mistakes” instead, it should be to fail fast and learn from them.

How We Built High-Performing Agile and Autonomous Teams?

How do we tackle complex business problems? 

We have always taken up new challenges, and our development team has always worked its best to devise smarter and more effective solutions. For example, when we have a complex challenge and our development team isn’t sure of the right action plan to make it work, we run a  Spike . A Spike story in agile is an R&D process where the team takes time to analyze and understand the problem and tries to break it down into smaller stories. But to avoid unwanted delays, we set definite timelines for the  Spike story to complete. 

The goal is not to come up with the answer right away, but to figure out how much time it will take to finish a story. After that, the information and research are shared with the people in charge and their teams. This becomes part of our regular routine and helps us save time and make our stories more accurate.

The Sprint review processes to foster better communication and collaboration within teams 

We have different teams working on different modules for the same project, but during the development phase, all teams work separately.  However, each team is working towards achieving a common bigger goal, and every team must understand the system as a whole and what the other team is doing. Therefore, our sprint review meetings are organized every alternate Wednesday when all teams come together and discuss the functionalities that they have implemented. The main goal of this meeting is to create transparency and foster better communication and collaboration within the teams. 

How do we maintain constant collaboration and communication with our clients? 

We have a 15-day sprint release cycle, and the product owner closely works with the client to discuss and understand his requirements. Once he gets an idea of what needs to be done, he conveys the same to the development team and creates a backlog during the refinement meetings. Each development team member contributes equally to the brainstorming session to devise the right and most effective solution.

It gives the product owner a clear picture of how long it will take and helps determine priority tasks accordingly. Then, if the development team isn’t sure of any details or faces any roadblocks, he iterates the same to the clients. Since we develop and release the product frequently with the constant communication, everyone involved in the process knows the progress. As a result, it gets easier to pin down bugs or issues earlier in the development phase. 

Being Agile has a huge advantage – it lets us help our team do their best work. People like to feel valued and heard, and not be restricted to just following orders. Agile allows our team members to take charge. Having an autonomous team leads to greater job satisfaction, creativity, and overall well-being.

We believe in reaching the destination together, irrespective of the path.  It has helped us establish a transparent environment where each individual is involved in the complete development cycle, unlike the traditional siloed software development approach.

Categorized as eCommerce

How we Optimized our Checkout Process that Significantly Reduced Processing Time

Checkout Process that Significantly Reduced Processing Time-1

We have been working on a B2B eCommerce solution for a North American enterprise designed to bring convenience to wholesalers and retailers in the mobile repair parts industry. The platform has been built using the Magento 1.9 framework and is backed by a MySQL database that ensures seamless performance.

Through the years, our hard work has paid off as the web application has grown significantly, constantly evolving with new and improved features to enhance the user experience while managing complex B2B eCommerce operations efficiently. And today, we are proud to see the website process over 5000 orders daily.

However, this growth wasn’t achieved without challenges. The journey started with low order numbers, but as we continued to optimize and innovate, the platform attracted more and more traffic, leading to higher conversion rates. While this was an exciting development, it also brought new technical challenges that we have overcome with determination and commitment.  

The technical challenge

Our system is deployed in the Magento framework. We have developed a customized solution per customer requirements to manage incoming orders, which includes several third-party apps and various database calls. Our solution worked fine with a slightly longer order processing time. The average time to process an order should be 2-3 secs, but in our system, it was 7-8  secs, and if several orders were being executed simultaneously, the wait time was 10-12 secs. Although the time was slightly longer, it wasn’t a problem since the system’s core functionalities weren’t getting affected in any way. But the system started encountering problems when the number of orders increased dramatically. 

As the business continued to grow and the volume of daily orders increased, the demand on our system became too high, and we started to experience missed orders. This meant that while customers could place orders, add items to their carts, and successfully complete payments, the orders were not being accurately recorded in the backend of our system.

This was a major concern as the ability to effectively manage orders is at the core of any eCommerce platform. A malfunction in this critical component can lead to difficulties in inventory management and satisfying customer orders accurately.

The root cause of the issue was: 

  • When there were several order requests placed simultaneously, the database tables that were frequently called resulted in a deadlock

  • Because of the deadlock, the transactions used to get aborted in between, resulting in a rollback with no orders being actually recorded

The reason for the increased load on the database was because of the execution of six data-intensive functionalities at the checkout which were:

1. The functionality of pre-order, so multiple orders are created at the same time in addition to the normal order that the customer places
2. Generating the Shipment labels for FedEx/UPS/USPS etc.
3. Checking the Fraud using a third-party API
4. Updating the order in ElasticSearch
5. Syncing the stocks from one warehouse to another since we manage multiple warehouses at different locations
6. Updating the order in Firebase

We implemented a few solutions to address the problem, such as database optimization (reducing the number of calls to the database) and moving some parts of the code to the cart page instead of the checkout page. These solutions worked for us and performed well to some extent, but we faced the issue again when the orders increased. Also, when we moved some parts of the code to the shopping cart page, it increased the unwanted load on the cart page. If the cart page isn’t user-friendly or is slow, it can directly impact the shopping cart conversion rates and lead to increased cart abandonment rates.

The proposed solution 

To overcome the issues; the Tecstub engineering team came up with  the following solution:

1.) Reducing the total number of database calls 

2.) Decreasing the total number of operations at the checkout and placing them somewhere else

3.) Make some API calls to execute time intensive processes 

How was the solution implemented? 

1.) Reducing the total number of database calls
We started with identifying the features where the total number of database calls can be reduced. So, for each database query that was called and updated the database 2-3 times, we found a solution to reduce it to a single database call.  What we did was update those extra column values into the 1st call that is being executed.

2.) Decrease the total number of operations at the checkout.

For all the operations that weren’t primarily needed during the checkout process, we added them to a cron file. The cron file was executed every 4 minutes.  So, the orders were scanned and processed, and simultaneously, the extra functionalities that were added to the cron file were executed every 4 minutes. This particular solution helped decrease the load during the checkout process significantly.

3.) Calling APIs to execute time-intensive processes and reduce the load
We created the shipment labels during the checkout process, which would take 3-4 secs to execute. Once this execution was complete, it would initiate the next step of order processing. To overcome this dependence and save time, we created an API for generating the shipping labels with a timeout set to 1 second.  Now we don’t have to wait for the response to initiate the further processing of orders. The API generates the label and stores the tracking number in the database. If there is an error during the API execution, then we have the logs that we can review, but it won’t stop the order processing script from executing, and the order can be placed successfully in less amount of time. 


optimized our Checkout Process that Significantly Reduced Processing Time
Impact after implementing the solution

Our continuous efforts have helped us to improve the average order processing time. The system now takes about  2-3 seconds compared to 7-8 seconds before implementing the changes. Previously, our system struggled to handle just 800-1000 daily orders, but now it seamlessly processes a remarkable 5000 orders daily, a fivefold increase from before.

Categorized as eCommerce