Digital experience monitoring plays a vital role in the ecommerce economy. The industry is booming with millions of websites selling everything imaginable. Online stores are expected to be super fast and easy to navigate; users are quick to assess website performance and if said perceived performance is below expectations, they will quickly move on to competitor’s website.
Marketing strategies will bring users to your website but the conversion of users into customers is what determines a successful business. This requires a website to be optimized for performance and to deliver an unparalleled digital experience. It is not enough to host a website according to ecommerce best practices; the site should be able to handle common ecommerce challenges without compromising performance.
An ecommerce website should have 100% availability, 24/7–irrespective of the customers’ locations or the time of the day. A browser initiates a complex request-response process that involves the DNS server, CDNs, and internet providers and a failure at any of these points in the network can result in website downtime or degraded performance.
Proactively monitoring your website can be the key when it comes to building your brand online. Constantly measuring performance and analyzing users’ digital experiences on your site can give you valuable insight into potential mistakes. Some common issues that hurt the performance of ecommerce sites include:
- Site speed and availability: Websites are usually not optimized to handle load effectively. There are numerous instances when major retailer’s websites have suffered downtime during a sale. This can be avoided if your site is configured to manage heavy traffic effectively without dragging down performance or speed. Your site should have a well-planned network (DNS servers, CDNs, etc), all of the components should be optimized to deliver performance, and there must be a contingency plan for any unplanned outages at any point in the network.
- Easy and quick transactions: A fast website is just the first step to ensuring a successful online presence. To generate revenue from the ecommerce site, it is necessary to ensure the user can place an order easily. From the homepage to the checkout is a multi-step process–the user searches for the product, adds it to the cart and then moves on to the checkout page to make the purchase. Any error at any point in the process can result in an abandoned cart. Placing an order shouldn’t be a complicated process with users redirecting through multiple pages just to make a payment. A single page checkout is more user-friendly; the user will not have to load a new page for each step in the checkout process. Websites should offer flexibility in the checkout process; the user should be allowed to check out as a guest and not be forced to create an account with the website; the page should offer multiple payment options making it easy for the user to complete the purchase quickly.
- Seamless integrations: Ecommerce sites use multiple third-party APIs to manage the product catalog, inventory, user accounts, order processing, shipping etc. If any of the integrations fail, it can affect the user experience. Since the integrations can be complex, there needs to be visibility at all API service levels.Websites must keep track of all the third-party integrations on the site; the availability and performance of these APIs should be proactively monitored for performance degradation. Ecommerce sites are offering mobile apps to enhance the digital experience from handheld devices; these feature-rich apps use several APIs and this makes it even more significant to use DEM tools for API monitoring.
These are a few instances that illustrate how the success of an ecommerce site depends on the digital experience it offers. Preemptive measures are important to mitigate the effect performance issues/downtime can have on the business. A comprehensive monitoring strategy is essential to ecommerce; the value and insight that a digital experience monitoring tool brings to your business are undeniable.
Read more about the performance challenges and how DEM can save your retail business in our latest ebook, The 5 Ways Digital Experience Monitoring Can Save Your Online Retail Business.