By the year 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce. That means that for any retail store, you need to optimize your online store application – now! Deliver a unique online shopping experience through your eCommerce site by adopting modern strategies, such as headless commerce and serverless architecture, for faster development and seamless customer experience.

AWS Amplify is one such tool by AWS which can make development faster and more efficient. Let’s discuss how it works and when to use it.

Saving time

As a retail business, you know that time is money! Things change everyday in the retail sector, meaning that if go-live of your online store or mobile and web app is delayed, major opportunities may be lost.

However, development from scratch by your in-house tech team could take time. Depending on the complexity, deployment can take months – time that your retail business may not be able to afford.

With AWS Amplify you can leverage serverless architecture, meaning that your front-end developers can leave application infrastructure to the cloud provider while focusing on the UX. The cloud provider (such as AWS) provisions servers to run the application, with associated databases and storage systems, at any scale. This significantly speeds up development, reduces development costs and increases flexibility and agility; a major advantage in the fast-paced retail industry.

By using AWS cloud-native and serverless technologies, such as AWS Amplify, a retail major was able to increase their “speed to market by at least 50 percent and [was] able to accelerate the launch of [an omnichannel digital selling application]”.

AWS Amplify – How does it work?

Using the products available on the open-source Amplify Framework, retail brands can build fullstack iOS, Android, Flutter, Web and React Native applications for eCommerce or ops-related functions. As the graphic above (source: AWS) indicates, you can configure your backend microservices and then integrate app code with backend using case-centric client libraries, with a headless commerce approach. You can efficiently develop front-end UI for your application by configuring pre-built Amplify UI components. You can also leverage git-based workflows for continuous deployment and hosting with Amplify Hosting. In these ways, AWS Amplify supports serverless architecture and headless commerce.

Creating great UIs with a few simple clicks using Amplify UI Components

As a frontend developer, you know that the frontend user interface – the first impression made by the eCommerce website – is crucial for the success of your online retail business. Amplify Studio makes it faster and easier to create high-quality UI/UX frontends, as it offers a large selection of pre-built, customizable web components.

This visual development environment can be used to create frontend UI and backend elements with just a few clicks and minimal coding. Alternatively, designs can also be imported from Figma, an AWS diagram tool, as credible code. This significantly speeds up development.

Building progressive web applications with AWS Amplify

For example, an integrated set of services – React JS library, GraphQL, AWS AppSync, AWS Amplify and other AWS services – form a complete solution to build progressive web apps (PWAs).

Progressive web applications are faster, more reliable, more secure and more engaging. They offer benefits to developers and end users, since it makes multi-platform development and deployment easier, faster and less expensive.

An AWS solution architect “explored a pre-built PWA” that provides user-friendly polling and survey functionality, using:

  • Amplify Framework and AWS AppSync for Backend GraphQL service
  • Amazon Cognito for user authentication
  • Amazon DynamoDB for storage
  • AppSync SDK for offline-first support
  • Amazon Pinpoint for analytics data
  • Amplify Console for application deployment

Using these AWS services, it’s possible to develop and deliver such PWAs quickly and easily.

Simplifying retail development with AWS Amplify

Integrate with AWS’ 175+ services

With AWS Amplify, a single command can be used to “support evolving requirements, teams and traffic”. Guided CLI workflows can be used to configure the backend by accessing 175+ AWS services using CDK or CloudFormation. By integrating with AWS services, retail application development becomes much faster and easier.

It provides access to all of AWS’ services, with which it is possible to transform the application from time to time as needed, ensuring that the technology suits evolving requirements of usecase and development practices.

Sync with existing and new AWS resources

Your retail application system may have existing libraries, databases, repositories and other AWS resources. When developing a new web or mobile application, they can be easily connected to these existing AWS resources, and new ones too, with just a few lines of code using Amplify Studio or Amplify Libraries. This flexibility speeds up initial development.

Implement retail user authentication

User access management is extremely important for retail businesses with thousands of registered users. AWS Amplify provides secure authentication and authorization to manage sign-up, sign-in, access and account recovery. Multifactor authentication (MFA) can also be included through AWS Amplify. With Amplify CLI or Amplify Studio, you can create a backend with strong authentication rules. This speeds things up compared to configuring a separate custom IAM solution.

Depend on secure hosting

AWS also offers the “most secure global infrastructure”, a crucial aspect for retail applications as they involve monetary transactions and private user information. Via the AWS content delivery network (CDN), Amplify Hosting provides fast, secure hosting globally. By building directly on such strong hosting security, you can reduce application development time as compared to provisioning server security of on-prem data centers.

AWS cloud managed service provider support

Another good way to speed up development is by working with a cloud managed service provider. Such service providers have the technical expertise to assist customers with all AWS products, as well as provide technical support.

It’s possible that your in-house development team might require extended technical support in working with all AWS products and services. Rather than proceeding with a ‘trial-and-error’ approach, experienced AWS cloud managed service providers can provide faster, bug-free development.

Speed up the development and deployment of your retail application. Take advantage of AWS’ great tools and features to take your application live, faster and more efficiently. Contact our team of AWS cloud consultant to learn more about how to get started with your next cloud project.