In eCommerce, data — especially customer data — is everything. Collecting information about your visitors and customers provides various advantages. It gives you the kind of transparency over your target market that is essential to make well-timed changes. These small improvements can get you closer to a fully optimal business conduct. There are at least a dozen reasons why backing up your data with frequency should be pivotal to you, but there are a few key factors that trump the rest.
1. Simple Recovery
Even people with the best of intentions — and even those who have great work ethic — make mistakes. Files can get deleted accidentally, or you could get a virus or malware, even if you have top notch security. With regular backups, there is no need to be frightened about these potentially damaging occurrences. When you have backup data at your fingertips, you can do a simple recovery any time.
2. You Want an Extra Layer of Protection
Your hosting service probably does a good job of safeguarding your site from potential outside attacks, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t or that you shouldn’t do your due diligence. Creating regular backups of your data adds an extra layer of protection to your services. Some hosts do occasional backups, but not as frequently as you would, and when they offer you a version from months before, there is a very high probability that the version they restored will be significantly different than the most recent version of your site.
3. Audit and Tax Reasons
Most businesses — and that’s true for online businesses as well — are required to keep their business record for a significant period of time. They have to do this because: one, they are regulated to comply, and two, the data could serve tax purposes. Even if the main computer stores the data for you, you have to have more than a single copy of it if you want to cover your bases.
4. Competitive Advantage
Not many store owners think about this aspect, but having regular backups can actually turn into a competitive advantage under specific scenarios. If anything untimely happens, the businesses that can get around quickly would enjoy a tremendous competitive advantage over those who failed to regularly backup their site. This doesn’t have to be an apocalyptic event either, but rather a wide range data hack which is known to happen in the industry from time to time. Getting back on your feet quickly after an event like that can be difference that separates you from the competitors.
5. Downtime is the Kiss of Death
The vast majority of online businesses with major data loss never truly recover; and a high percentage of them simply close down shop within two years. The risk of an event like that is real, and any eCommerce entrepreneur should prepare for that hypothetical event accordingly. Having a disaster plan in place virtually guarantees survival, and a huge aspect of that plan is frequent backups.