Why Monitoring Capabilities Are Mission Critical for SMBs
With consumers embrace of e-commerce, smaller independent businesses are rapidly emerging and succeeding due to their ability to make real-time decisions. For online brands that must continuously compete against larger giants (i.e., Amazon.com), heavy user traffic is never a bad thing as more traffic typically means more sales. But what happens when there's a sudden spike in website traffic? At any given time, a well-publicized customer review can direct consumers to a website in droves, flooding systems and increasing the time it takes for pages to render content or process payments.
An E-Commerce Nightmare
Poor internal infrastructure is a top barrier of success for businesses. So how are infrastructural issues impacting business? One example is a website's inability to handle stress. A slow-loading website could mean immediate revenue losses and very angry customers. In fact, studies have shown that 57 percent of consumers will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, translating to $3 billion lost annually. As online retailers shift to focus their efforts on customer experiences, they cannot afford to lose customers, but this is exactly what happens when a website performs slowly.
How Prediction Capabilities Can Prevent Loss
A stable web page isn't only a nicely built page, but also one that performs well when it's loaded with users. Website load testing helps businesses determine how much traffic and stress their website can handle. Typically, a simple load test shows how many concurring users a site may handle, but doesn't provide insight into what will happen when users execute transactions on a specific page. While the page may be robust enough to handle a large number of visitors, the transactions that provide revenue may not.
When load testing is combined with transaction monitoring — which among other things provides shopping cart transaction visibilities — businesses can extend load testing to a single page with all its components into specific user scenarios and the underlying scripts that define them. This enables brands to fix issues before they impact end users. With this gained insight, system administrators, IT staff and website operators have the capabilities to prepare networks for traffic spikes and adjust back-end infrastructures accordingly.
The Benefit of Predictions for E-Commerce Retailers
Studies have shown that businesses that improve their website load times by a single second can increase sales by 10 percent. Retailers that implement load tests can determine how their system responds to traffic spikes. Load testing helps SMBs keep pace with crowds through optimization and ensures they don't lose customers to bigger retailers due to preventable website flaws.
Additionally, factors on the user's side can also affect the shopping experience — e.g., the device or operating system they use to access your website. While you can't control these factors, having visibility through the use of real user monitoring is helpful. Real user monitoring provides a much better understanding of the user experience and allows decision makers to break down data into local categories.
From this data, they gather insights like numbers of unique page views per region or the part of the world mobile sessions tend to get disrupted the most. Through analysis of the frontend, backend and network down to the level of page rendering or DOM system, administrators and managers get the chance to specify weaknesses and strengths of a site in detail, offering a better basis to assess changes and adaptions they may have to implement.
Businesses should consider a system they can manage at any time, day or night, to ensure their websites and applications are ready for any number of visitors. A comprehensive monitoring approach can ultimately improve customer service and boost brand loyalty.
Lusine Khachatryan is the director of operations and technology at Monitis, a cloud-based monitoring solution.