Bringing customers to the door of your ecommerce website can be a tricky business. Too few and revenue line starts to look a bit dim, too many and you can bring your website infrastructure down altogether.
The current “Click Frenzy” promotion running in Australia has stirred up some spectacular interest in the Australian online shopping consumer. The buzz is back in online shopping for Christmas!
Unfortunately, while our ecommerce stores had customers lining up at their virtual doors to take advantage of the deals offered, some of those stores found that they could only open the door just enough to let a slow dribble of shoppers slip in; or worse, couldn’t open the door at all.
Following is a snapshot of customer experience on the Click Frenzy websites last night;
1.% sites with some outage time between 8pm to 9pm12.4%
5.Longest downtime – from 6.30pm to Still down at 10.20pm
% sites with some outage time between 8pm to 9pm 12.4%
Slowest Average Homepage Load 51.02
Fastest Average Homepage Load 480ms
Fastest Website: http://www.hammockheaven.com.au/
Longest downtime – from 6.30pm to Still down at 10.20pm
We know that if shoppers have a poor experience they are quick to abandon our ecommerce sites as the switching cost is so low in a competitive online environment. If the virtual door to one shop is closed then it’s far too easy to duck next door; and likely the shop next door will be the first one they knock on next time they go shopping.
We also know that the shopping cart conversion rates for websites with pages loading in less than 2 seconds are considerably higher than those with pages loading in over 5 seconds. Beyond 10 seconds and abandonment rates really start to climb.
The great news for our ecommerce sites is that there is technology available which is quick to implement and solves the problems of dealing with the traffic spikes like the Click Frenzy promotion.
In the USA, “Black Friday” traffic and load has been a feature of ecommerce planning for most US online stores. Bringing on elastic capacity as provided by Content Delivery Networks is a standard practice for these etailers.
Retailers should always be asking themselves:
• Have I estimated how much traffic my marketing campaigns are going to drive to my site?
• Have I estimated how many transactions my website will need to handle?
• Under what load does my website start to slow down?
• Under what load does my website stop?
• Do I have a contingency plan for any and all of the above?
As a retailer, too many customers is a wonderful problem to be solving. With clever use of readily available technologies such as Front End Optimisation and Content Delivery Networks, our ecommerce stores can keep the doors wide open and the customers flooding in.