On a spring day in May 1984, Jane Snowball, a 72-year-old grandmother living in Gateshead, England, went about her typical weekly errands, buying groceries from her local Tesco supermarket. Unlike the rest of the world, however, Mrs. Snowball didn’t travel to the store and make the purchase in person; she did it from home using a modified domestic television connected by a phone line to the Tesco store. This experiment—conducted in partnership between the city’s Social Services department, Tesco, and Rediffusion Computers—was the first recorded online shopping transaction, and it led the way for companies like Amazon and eBay that spearheaded the industry a decade later.
Fast-forward to today, and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of companies selling goods online every day. In 2016, global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $1.9 trillion, with predictions for that number to exceed $4 trillion by 2020, according to the eMarketer report “Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016.” Meanwhile, the European e-commerce market was expected to grow 12% in 2016, with web shoppers in Europe projected to spend €509.9 billion by the end of the year.
With numbers like these, it’s safe to say the e-commerce industry is alive and flourishing. But that’s not to say the business doesn’t come with its challenges. Performance bottlenecks, unplanned outages, and massive traffic spikes can all cause downtime, not to mention the additional fallout that ensues: lengthy and expensive maintenance, faulty checkouts, poor user experiences, time lost working on strategic objectives. And it’s not just the smaller companies that are suffering; these issues are impacting the e-commerce giants as well.
In the face of all this, users are becoming increasingly impatient, and after waiting just 3 seconds for a page to load, 40% will abandon your site.
In an industry where the name of the game is speed, the way you manage and monitor your e-commerce site can potentially make or break you. Some of the most common application management and monitoring challenges that e-commerce teams are facing include:
- Lack of deep visibility. Many e-commerce teams may feel they have sufficient visibility, but without a deep-rooted view into the health of their applications, they never reach their potential in terms of speed and responsiveness. This also means they lack valuable insights that can help remove performance bottlenecks and improve user experiences.
- Disparate and disconnected tools. You may have one tool that tells you the network is down. Another tool that tells you the site is slow. And yet another tool that tells you how your servers are doing. Having to manage and monitor all these separate tools can make performance monitoring much more time-consuming and inefficient than it needs to be.
- Lack of foresight. It’s common for e-commerce teams to be stuck in constant reactive mode—often learning about an outage or problem through customers—as opposed to proactively fixing problems before they happen. This is because they’re not getting a true understanding of site performance in real time, which in turn limits their predictive analysis.
- Limited deployment time. This is likely true across all IT functions, and it makes it all the more difficult to purchase traditional on-premise solutions, which not only carry a hefty price tag, but are also prohibitive when it comes to staffing. Add to that the complexity and set-up time of traditional tools, and you’ve got an e-commerce team desperately looking for an alternative solution.
The good news is you don’t need to have the budget of an Amazon or eBay to solve these common challenges. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based software analytics tools can help make it possible for a company of nearly any size—and with almost any budget—to improve application performance, and, in turn, customer satisfaction. A software analytics solution can make it possible to monitor every detail of your e-commerce application—from the end-user experience, through servers, down to the line of code—all through a single user interface. And because a SaaS-based platform is designed to provide added freedom, flexibility, and control, the excessive costs and obstacles of traditional on-premise options can be significantly reduced.
Thousands of companies are using SaaS-based software analytics every day, from Trainline and Luisa Via Roma to Bringmeister and HolidayCheck. That’s because a software analytics platform gives them:
- Accelerated problem resolution
- Anytime, anywhere app management
- Enhanced user satisfaction
- Reduced infrastructure and maintenance costs
In this e-book, you’ll learn how e-commerce companies of all shapes and sizes are tackling application performance challenges and staying ahead of the competition. Read on to explore four unique stories of e-commerce success that resulted from one simple purchase: a SaaS-based software analytics platform.