E-commerce Architecture: Which One Should You Choose?

Learn E-commerce architecture and how each of its types has its inherent capabilities in helping you build a successful E-commerce business.
Ecommerce Architecture | Binmile

A suitable E-commerce architecture is an essential requirement for E-commerce businesses to innovate faster, and make the best use of content delivery channels.

This blog provides some crucial insights into an E-commerce architecture, its types, and how to choose the best one suitable for your business case.

What is An E-commerce Architecture?

An E-commerce architecture stands for the entire technical design and infrastructure of an online store. The architecture of E-commerce also refers to the style of organizing and structuring a digital or online E-commerce platform or system.

To put it in layman’s terms, the digital ecommerce system is the framework or structure of your online business website, helping it grow, be seen, and ensure a better user experience.

What are the Benefits of an E-commerce Architecture?

  • It helps your E-commerce website get indexed and ranked higher in search engines. However, make sure the website is well-organized.
  • No need to design your website from the ground up. It allows you to upgrade and add necessary functions to an existing website, provided you are aware of how new changes would affect the rest parts and structures of your website.
  • It allows third-party integrations for a better user experience
  • It facilitates a great user experience based on how it simplifies the use of your website

In addition, an E-commerce business platform can drive better user experience and more sales when it provides a seamless customer experience.

A report by Linnworks claims that nearly 76% of people favor convenience when choosing a retailer online, whereas 9 out of 10 people said they liked an online store providing a seamless shopping experience.

Therefore, a robust E-commerce architecture is essential to help you build a ecommerce website capable of driving more user experience and more sales, as a result of improved traffic on your website.

What are the Types of an E-commerce Architecture?

#1 Monolith Vs. Microservices

Monolith E-commerce architecture

It is a unified system consisting of all the features in a huge codebase, and many vital components, such as the data access layer, user interface, and business logic layer.

Pros of Monolith E-commerce architecture:

  • Since it contains all the functions in one place, it is easily implementable and maintainable
  • Things are less likely to go wrong, as everything is integrated
  • With all the functionality in one place, it allows building and testing new features faster
  • No higher cost to set up and maintain the architecture

Cons of Monolith E-commerce architecture:

  • Complex scalability leading to bottlenecks
  • Can’t be adapted to new business needs. Hard to integrate with other systems
  • Hard to isolate and fix problems, as a failure in one component can adversely affect the entire system

Microservice Architecture

It is a segmentation of an E-commerce system into small and independent services communicating with each other through multiple API interfaces. The main upside of microservice is that it functions as a subsystem relying on its business logic and architecture. It also permits greater flexibility and scalability.

Microservice Architecture | Binmile
Source: medusajs.com

Pros of Microservice Architecture:

  • Easy scalability without hampering the entire system
  • Easy to develop, deploy, and scale
  • If one service doesn’t work, it doesn’t affect the rest of the systems. Therefore, it leads to better fault tolerance.
  • Easy to understand each mode’s functionality
  • Enables independent deployment of each model without rebuilding and deploying an entire application.

Cons of Microservice Architecture:

  • Can’t be implemented and maintained due to the complexity
  • More communication overhead hampers the system and augments the risk of errors
  • Very expensive development, deployment, and maintenance compared to monolithic architecture
  • Requires specialized skill sets and more infrastructure

Bottom Line

Now, choosing between monolithic and microservices should be based on what you need. While monolithic is good to go for simple and lightweight apps, choose microservices for complex and scalable solutions. Partner with a leading E-commerce app development company to get a better idea of which architecture type can serve your business and project’s requirements better.

#2 Two-tier Vs. Three-Tier Architecture

Two-tier Architecture

It facilitates direct communication between the interface layer (client) with the data layer of the E-commerce platform. A straightforward architecture like this is also challenging to scale the system or add new functionality.

Two-tier Architecture | Binmile
Source: medusajs.com

Pros of Two-tier Architecture:

  • Easy to develop, add and test new features
  • Easy to understand and work with
  • Reduces traffic loads and improves data processing efficiency
  • Prevents concurrent modifications by using transaction control
  • Not costly to set up and maintain

Cons of Two-tier Architecture:

  • Can’t tackle abrupt load fluctuations
  • Limited capacity to scale, thus resulting in bottlenecks as the business grows
  • Hard to change and adapt to new business needs
  • More vulnerable due to lack of additional layer for protection and validation

Three-tier Architecture

It consists of an extra middle-tier architecture for managing client and server data flow. The architecture can also handle data validation functions and authentication.

Three-tier Architecture | Binmile
Source: itransition.com

Pros of Three-tier Architecture:

  • More flexible in terms of technology choices
  • Reusable components allow for cost savings and rapid development
  • Improves data integrity by providing an additional layer for security and validation
  • Can be scaled faster

Cons of Three-tier Architecture:

  • Difficult to scale, as layers handle data volume surges or traffic loads with major modifications
  • More expensive than a two-tier architecture, in terms of development, deployment, and maintenance
  • More complex and time-consuming to upgrade
  • Results in more latency and a slowdown in response times for customers

Bottom Line

Choosing between two-tier and three-tier architecture based on their pros and cons should involve properly understanding your business requirements and your project’s scope.

Remember, including more levels in the systems would make development more challenging and complex. If you are still confused, hire an E-commerce development company to better understand which architecture type can serve your business purpose well.

#3 Composable Vs. Headless An E-commerce Architecture

Composable Architecture

This architecture refers to an E-commerce platform’s different services that can be developed and deployed in different ways to cater to specific business requirements.

Pros of Composable Architecture:

  • Services can be configured differently to suit specific business needs
  • New services can be added to the platform without hampering the functionality of existing ones
  • Independent scalability of services
  • Easy optimization of the platform for specific business needs

Cons of Composable Architecture: 

  • Difficult in terms of implementation and maintenance as it’s too complex
  • Difficult to deal with by a less experienced team
  • The system is prone to a slowdown and error, as services communicate via APIs
  • Expensive operational costs

Headless Architecture

This architecture shows the front-end presentation layer (showcasing user interface and handling user interactions) separated from the back-end functionality, such as inventory management, payment processing, etc.

Headless Architecture | Binmile
Source: medusajs.com

Pros of Headless Architecture:

  • Flexibility when using technologies for front-end and back-end
  • Easy integration with other systems
  • Easy to optimize front-end to ensure an improved customer experience
  • Easy to optimize back-end for greater scalability and enhanced security

Cons of Headless Architecture:

  • Hard to implement and maintain for businesses with a less skilled development team
  • Prone to slowing down and errors due to communication overload
  • Expensive development, deployment, and maintenance

Bottom line

Like other architectures mentioned above, choosing between composable and headless E-commerce architecture should be based on your business needs and the scope of your project.

Keep Reading: Cross Platform eCommerce App Development Guide

Closing Statements

An E-commerce architecture provides a solid groundwork for enhanced visibility online and profitable growth for E-commerce businesses. Therefore, choosing the best architecture type is very essential to ensure you have the best technical assistance to support your business requirements.

When it comes to choosing the best architecture type, don’t forget to evaluate your current architecture in terms of scalability, performance, reusability, and cost-effectiveness. Once done, try to focus on the architecture that you think is conducive to your E-commerce needs. For instance, you can consider headless, microservices, or composable architecture if you want to scale and customize your business quickly.

If you are still confused, consider hiring a reputable app development company. The reason why you should consider this recommendation is that choosing the best E-commerce architecture is an overwhelming task, especially if your development is less skilled.

Binmile, for example, can serve your business requirements the best. We have a team of highly proficient IT specialists in building futuristic software solutions for E-commerce and other industry players.

Arun Kumar Sharma
AVP - Technology

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