14 Jun 2021
Beneath The Stack: Inside Aero Commerce
It’s often underestimated just how much your ecommerce platform holds the power to either make or break your online business. On the surface, we appear to still be in our infancy in comparison to the legacy ecommerce agencies out there, but our founders actually have over two decades of experience in helping ambitious online retailers do more with their ecommerce stores, meaning our clients are in pretty safe hands!
We build stores predominantly using Aero Commerce, an ecommerce platform that’s taken the industry by storm and is on track to reach a quarter of £1bn in revenue through the platform in 2021 alone. Our team recently caught up with Tim Spratt, Head of Platform Engineering at Aero, to learn a little more about what makes the platform a worthy rival against the likes of Magento and Shopify…
Firstly Tim, can you give us a bit of an intro to yourself and your role at Aero?
Sure! I’m Tim, Head of Platform Engineering at Aero Commerce. My role at Aero was initially to craft the Aero Platform from the ground up, and now that we have over 100 agencies onboard, my role has morphed into supporting those agencies to ensure that they’re able to build (awesome) Aero sites to the best of their ability on a daily basis.
What’s the backstory to Aero? Was there a driving force behind the platform’s creation?
We wanted to create a platform that appeals to retailers whilst at the same time is super fast. Those 2 requirements are rarely used in the same sentence. Retailers want to fill their stores with features and the cost of this is that their website has to do more work and so, naturally, slows down. Also from my point of view, as a developer, I wanted to build something that other developers enjoy using, and that is a big thing I strive to achieve - to make sure that every day you come to work and enjoy what you’re working on.
What size retailer is best suited to the platform?
I’d like to say there’s no limit, and if there was a limit I’d like to take up that challenge and work out how we break through it. With what we’ve built you can start small - it costs very little to run a store - but when you gain traffic and popularity online we can scale with you. I think this is one of our strongest USPs. If there’s a limit we haven’t yet found it so I’d say we’re suited to retailers of all sizes.
What makes Aero different from every other platform on the market?
There are two elements to the experience we bring. Industry knowledge and an enjoyable user experience for those building on Aero.
Our collective industry experience means we know what retailers need out of a platform, and through modern fluent code, the platform is extremely simple and straightforward to use - I think it's that hybrid between the two. It’s enjoyable to use but has all the features you would expect and want it to have.
What would you say are the main benefits of Aero over the likes of Magento/Shopify?
Shopify is a SaaS - it's a hosted solution that has its limitations because you can’t touch their code and Magento isn’t too dissimilar. I guess going back to my previous answer, these platforms are historically littered with issues because they have evolved with the industry since their origin.
They all have their advantages, I would never say we’re better than another, it’s about finding the right tool for the job. But from our side, we are in a fortunate position where we can build something with the benefit of hindsight.
How easy is it to migrate from Magento/Shopify to Aero?
Generally it’s very simple, you just need a feed of your products from your current provider - but the bigger you are, the more bespoke work you have. The greater the amount of bespoke work, the trickier the migration. At the end of the day data is data, and as long as you can get it moved easily enough from one side to another it’s simple. From our side, we have tools to help with this plus our support team who love a data challenge!
What makes Aero scalable for business growth?
Aero is very lean and it doesn’t require a lot of resources - we’ve had UKFast comment on its efficiency as one of very few (if not the only) ecommerce platforms that can be run on their public cloud. With some platforms you’re not directly paying for the servers and so you don’t really own your data - this makes it quite tricky to grow.
How can a retailer access a demo of the platform?
It’s probably easiest to just get in touch with our team via our website here, or check out one of our existing retailers that have a really slick looking site to get a real feel for a live site on Aero.
What sort of results on average do you see when a retailer migrates to Aero from another platform?
Results vary across the board, but typically retailers migrating to Aero from another platform see improvements in things like revenue, transactions, conversion rate and especially page load time. I think the averages we’ve had back from Techquity have been +60% increase in conversion rate and -57% decrease in page load speed - which are impressive in their own right!
What’s next for Aero?
We’re already lightning fast but we’re working to make Aero even faster! We’ve got a lot of exciting industry specific features in the pipeline, for example improvements to b2b, search, headless ecommerce. One of probably the biggest yet most underestimated things we will be releasing this year will be improving our onboarding and documentation to really simplify Aero builds.
If you’re keen for a Techquity built site, fuelled by the Aero Commerce platform, get in touch with our team here!