Introduction

Change data capture is one of the fundamental underpinnings of modern data management. Without knowing when their enterprise data has changed or refreshed with new information, businesses wouldn’t be able to access up-to-the-minute insights that help them stay competitive in a constantly shifting landscape.

In change data capture (CDC), users are promptly notified (either in real-time or near real-time) when changes have been made to a source table or source database. The altered data can then be taken up for processing in ETL (extract, transform, load) workflows and transferred to a centralized data warehouse.

As you can imagine, CDC is a tremendously useful—some would say vital—component of data integration workloads. Yet there’s perhaps no use case for which change data capture is better suited than e-commerce. In this article, we’ll discuss the ways in which CDC is an ideal feature for e-commerce businesses.

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Table of Contents

Change Data Capture in E-Commerce

E-commerce is one of the driving forces of online business, and it heavily depends on real-time analytics and fresh insights. With e-commerce stores available 24/7, businesses literally can’t afford to lose or turn away customers and potential customers. According to an estimate by the IT security firm UpGuard, for example, an Amazon outage in August 2020 cost the company a mind-boggling $200,000 per minute—or a total of $2.6 million in losses for just 13 minutes of downtime.

The fast-paced, take-no-prisoners landscape of e-commerce is a major reason why change data capture is so essential for your ETL workflows. CDC techniques such as log-based CDC, trigger-based CDC, and scanning metadata all help e-commerce businesses stay up to date by boosting the speed and efficiency of their data integration processes.

Related Reading: When to Use Change Data Capture

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Example: CDC for Cart Abandonment

To beat their rivals and better serve their customers, e-commerce businesses need to stay on top of their most important metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators). One crucial e-commerce metric is cart abandonment, i.e. the percentage of shoppers who add an item to their cart but leave the website before making the purchase. The Baymard Institute estimates that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.8 percent, with studies finding results from roughly 50 to 80 percent.

However, companies’ cart abandonment rate is not a constant: it fluctuates by the day, the time of year, and even the hour, depending on a variety of factors. There are many possible causes for a sudden increase or decrease in your cart abandonment rate: higher prices, lack of payment options, a new website redesign, or even serious website performance issues. For example, analysts have noticed that cart abandonment rates tend to spike on days such as January 5 and January 6, when many retailers are out of stock after big sales periods such as Black Friday, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s.

If you experience a sudden spike in your cart abandonment rates, you need to identify the cause and resolve it immediately—but how can you do so if you’re not even aware it’s happening in the first place? By implementing change data capture in your ETL solution, you’ll ensure that you can notice and resolve any problems before they make a serious dent in your profits.

How Xplenty Can Help with Change Data Capture

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By highlighting only those records that have changed since the last extraction, change data capture helps you save a great deal of unnecessary work. This makes CDC ideal for ETL workloads, including real-time ETL for the latest analytical insights.

Looking for a robust, feature-rich CDC and ETL solution? Give Xplenty a try. Xplenty is a powerful yet user-friendly ETL and data integration platform with CDC support for building pipelines from your data sources to your data warehouse in the cloud. With a no-code drag-and-drop interface and more than 100 pre-built connectors and integrations, it’s never been easier to take control of your enterprise data.

Want to learn why Xplenty is the best ETL tool on the market? We’re here to help. Get in touch with our team of data experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, or to start your 14-day pilot of the Xplenty platform.