Last Updated: April 12, 2024

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Rohit Rawat

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Is your ecommerce marketplace slow, inflexible, and difficult to update? Are you struggling to keep up with the competition's ability to innovate and scale?

If yes, then ecommerce microservices architecture could be the solution for you.

Traditional ecommerce systems can hold you back. However, ecommerce microservices offer a modular approach that can significantly boost your store's performance and adaptability.

In this blog, we'll break down microservices in clear terms, explain their specific advantages in ecommerce, and provide practical guidance for those considering this architectural shift.

What is Microservices-Based Architecture in Ecommerce?

The traditional ecommerce platform acts as a single large program. All functionalities, like product listings, shopping carts, and checkout, are tightly interwoven in one codebase. This can be efficient for smaller stores, but becomes cumbersome as your business grows, especially if you aspire to manage an ecommerce multi store setup.

Microservices break down your ecommerce platform into smaller, independent programs. Each microservice handles a specific task, like managing product information, processing payments, or handling customer accounts. This modularity offers advantages for both B2C and B2B ecommerce businesses. These microservices communicate with each other using well-defined interfaces called APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

Microservices Architecture Explained

microservice architecture

Business Benefits of Ecommerce Microservices Architecture

Ecommerce success hinges on delivering a seamless, satisfying experience for shoppers. Microservices architecture empowers you to do just that. Here are a few benefits you get with it.

Technological Freedom

Microservices free you from the constraints of a monolith's outdated tech stack. Build modern, user-friendly storefronts with the latest frameworks and tools. This will result in faster, more engaging experiences that boost conversions.

Accelerated Development

With microservices, small, focused teams can work on different parts of your ecommerce application in parallel. This speeds up development cycles, allowing you to launch new features, enter new markets at an accelerated pace, and streamline your ecommerce app development processes.

Phased Investment and Prioritization

You can easily break free from costly, all-at-once platform migrations. Microservices let you modernize incrementally, starting with the areas that impact customer experience the most (search, checkout, etc.), maximizing ROI.

Scalability on Demand

Ecommerce traffic is unpredictable. Microservices let you scale individual components (like the product catalog during a flash sale) without over-provisioning resources for the entire system, optimizing costs and ensuring peak performance. This flexibility also streamlines future ecommerce software development, as you can focus on enhancing specific components without disrupting the rest of your system.

Improved Resiliency

A problem in one microservice is less likely to take down your whole store. This translates to increased uptime, fewer lost sales, and a more reliable shopping experience that builds customer trust.

Cloud Cost Optimization

Microservices are inherently cloud-friendly. This means you can mix and match cloud solutions to host each service on the cloud instance that best matches its needs. This optimizes performance while potentially lowering infrastructure costs.

Use Cases of Microservices Architecture in Ecommerce

There are many use cases of an ecommerce microservices architecture. Here are a few that are the most important.

Product Catalog

A dedicated microservice handles everything related to your product information – descriptions, images, inventory levels, pricing, etc. This allows you to optimize how this data is stored and retrieved, ensuring your product pages load lightning-fast and handle large catalogs efficiently.

Search and Filtering

Complex product search, with options to filter by various attributes or personalized recommendations, can be its own microservice.  This service can be scaled independently to handle demanding queries and uses specialized search technologies (like Elasticsearch) for optimal performance.

Shopping Cart and Checkout

Isolate the sensitive processes of adding items to a cart, applying discounts, and ultimately,  processing payments within their own microservices. This enhances security, and lets you update your checkout flow without impacting other parts of your ecommerce site.

Customer Account Management

A microservice handles user profiles, order history, addresses, and loyalty program data. This keeps customer data organized and allows you to offer personalized experiences (like viewing past orders) without bogging down other parts of your site.

Technological Integrations in Ecommerce Microservices Architecture

Just like any complex system, this modern ecommerce architecture requires robust support to ensure flawless operation. Here are a few key technological integrations that provide a solid foundation.

API Gateways

These act as the "front door" for your microservices system. They handle incoming requests, routing them to the correct service, and manage things like security and authentication. This simplifies things for your frontend application interacting with multiple back-end services.

Containerization (Docker)

Think of containers like lightweight packages for your microservices. Docker makes it easy to package each service with all its dependencies, so it runs consistently in any environment (development, testing, production).

Orchestration (Kubernetes)

When you have lots of microservices running, things get complex! Kubernetes is like an automated conductor, handling deployment of your containerized services. It also scales them up/down as needed, and even self-healing if something fails.

Service Meshes

A service mesh adds a layer of intelligent communication between microservices. They handle things like load balancing (spreading traffic efficiently), monitoring, and secure communication, making your system more reliable and easier to manage.

How to Migrate From a Monolithic to a Microservices Architecture in Ecommerce

Migrate From a Monolithic to a Microservices Architecture

Clearly Define Your Goals

Before embarking on a potentially complex ecommerce migration, establish a firm understanding of why microservices are the answer. Are you facing limitations in scalability? Is development sluggish due to a tangled codebase? Identifying these pain points will guide your migration strategy and ensure microservices are truly the best solution.

Evaluate Your Existing Platform

Take a comprehensive inventory of your current ecommerce architecture. This includes mapping out functionalities, data dependencies, and how everything interacts. Understanding your starting point is essential for crafting a migration roadmap. If you lack in-house resources, consider partnering with a company offering ecommerce management services for expert guidance throughout this assessment.

Prioritization is Key

Not all parts of your ecommerce platform are created equal. Identify areas that will benefit most from becoming independent microservices. Prime candidates include frequently accessed functionalities, sections experiencing bottlenecks, or areas where you plan to leverage a new technology that wouldn't integrate well with the monolith. This strategic approach will streamline your ecommerce website development in the future.

Incremental Wins

Avoid the temptation of a "big bang" rewrite where you attempt to move your entire monolith to microservices overnight. Instead, take an incremental approach, migrating functionalities in stages. This allows you to test, learn, and refine as you go.

Strangler Fig Pattern

A successful technique for migrating in stages is the strangler fig pattern. The idea is to gradually build new microservices alongside the existing monolith. Then, you slowly route traffic away from the monolith parts towards the corresponding microservices. This lets you run both systems in parallel during the transition, minimizing risk.

Data Consistency is Paramount

As you decouple your monolith into microservices, careful data management is crucial. Plan how data will be shared and synchronized between the remaining monolith components and the new microservices.

Rigorous Testing is Essential

As the number of services and interactions grows, so does the testing complexity. Implement unit tests for individual microservices and integration tests to verify how they interact with each other.

Performance Metrics Matter

Keep a close eye on how your microservices are performing. Monitor response times, resource utilization, and error rates to identify areas for optimization or potential problems.

microservice based architecture

Migrate to Ecommerce Microservices Architecture with Narola Infotech

The shift to microservices often necessitates a cultural shift towards DevOps principles. That means you need a technological partner who prioritizes continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) practices, and empowers teams to own and be accountable for the performance of their microservices.

In this regard, Narola Infotech is the reliable partner you are looking for. We offer expert ecommerce consulting services alongside our technical expertise. Our Agile and DevOps approach helps us easily tackle any complex project. With 18+ years of experience under our belt and a keen eye for emerging trends, there is hardly any ecommerce challenge that we haven’t overcome.

Feel free to contact our experts if you wish to discuss your project.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below.

Microservices are an investment in the future. They provide scalability, speed up development, and make your store more adaptable to changing customer demands. Even if things are fine now, they might not scale well!

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