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E-commerce – Uptime and Web apps are the keys

Be FastSince 2011 e-commerce has grown from $856,000,000.00 to closing out 2013 at more than $1,248,000,000,000.00 in global revenues, a nearly 41% growth rate over a two year span. The forecast for 2014  is targeted at $1,500,000,000,000.00, another 20% increase is gross revenues (see chart below). With trillions of dollars in play year on year now, and astounding revenue growth rates still ahead, it is critical that any e-commerce site be diligently monitoring not just their website uptime, but more importantly their Web applications. Obviously it is critical that your customers be able to get to your website, but if it doesn’t build fast and complete client requests and transactions even faster then you will be losing clients and revenue at an alarming rate. The latest figures show that if your site doesn’t do a full page load in 3 seconds or less, then your customers will leave and abandon you and head over to your competitors site to spend their money there – the ultimate double negative hit in business. If your website takes an average of 4 seconds to load statistics show you will have already lost  nearly 20% of the customers accessing your webpage and this equates into a loss of over 7% of your gross revenues. If your website loads in about 8 seconds the impact due to customer impatience is horrific, with nearly 49% of people giving up and never returning.

 

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So, speedy page builds are the first in your e-commerce battle.  Some quick tips on what to check; Avoid Excessive JavaScript and compress it, Database optimization and Optimize Images. But this is just the beginning of what you need to pay attention to. In addition to your potential customers leaving, a slow site also impact your page ranking. Don’t give up rank rating due to something you can fix with effort and the proper test and monitoring in your tool box.

 

Your total package of web applications need to be zooming along at optimum performance levels too or you will still fail to retain site visitors and close on your sales. Depending on the exact configuration of your site, you need to be looking at and monitoring areas such as; Java/JMX, UDP/TCP, SOAP, MySQL, TomCat, servers and of course the volume of your web traffic.  It is also of paramount importance that you are continually testing and monitoring transaction management and full page loads and on a scheduled basis you should be stress testing your site with a load tester so that you not only see the results of your site under various levels of traffic but you can also identify the stress breaking point of your website. This will give you the information you need as you plan for surges in traffic due to holidays, scheduled events and market campaigns.

 

With e-commerce revenues growing at the astronomical pace they are, with customers shopping more and more online it is imperative that all websites be running at optimal performance levels. A second here and there in your performance can spell the difference between success and failure. Oh, and one more thing to remember, make sure you have your site optimized and fast not just for PC based visitors, but also for mobile visitors as they are the fasted growing segment of e-commerce shoppers.

 

Ralph Eck

About Ralph Eck

Ralph is an international businessman with a wealth of experience in developing; telecommunications, data transmission, CATV and internet companies. His experience and expertise positions him uniquely in being able to; analyze, evaluate and critique technology and how it fits into a business’ operational needs while supporting its’ success.