How Black Friday and Cyber Monday Were Saved with Performance and Monitoring Tools

Ah, the holidays. A great occasion to spend quality time with your family, eat a little too much, and indulge on the fantastic shopping deals. Online shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday account for a critical chunk of a retailer’s yearly revenue. Any downtime or abnormal slow performance will directly impact the bottom line of the business. So how should these e-commerce companies protect this increased income by preparing their site and applications properly to handle the drastic increase in load?

We partnered with InternetRetailer.com to conduct a survey of senior retail executives to see how e-commerce sites prepared for the holiday season, and how these preparations were crucial in surpassing their revenue goals. We went into the survey looked for specific answers, such as: If these sites invested in performance monitoring tools did they fare better through the holidays with less downtime? Were sites with a performance troubleshooting process in place more likely to exceed their goals? How has mobile e-commerce traffic grown year over year?Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 11.00.25 AM

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The results were quite surprising. We knew performance mattered as every minute of downtime these e-commerce sites would be losing money. However, we didn’t realize exactly how crucial having monitoring tools and a troubleshooting process were.

Some interesting facts:

  • 92% of retailers that had a site performance troubleshooting process were more likely to have met or exceeded their revenue numbers
  • 70% of retailers who exceed their revenue goals added new site performance and monitoring tools prior to the holidays
  • 24% reported their holiday mobile traffic increased by over 41% from the year before

The mobile piece is quite interesting. Though we know the mobile experience is a crucial stage in the buying cycle — notably for discovering and browsing — it still isn’t typically the final device used for the purchase stage. However, as the mobile traffic increases, the user experience still remains an absolutely vital cog in the purchase decision. In a previous study we conducted with the University of London, we found 86% of customers who have a bad first experience on a mobile app will never return to the app for a second chance.

The report doesn’t only highlight interested facts derived from the survey, but also insight from some of the top e-commerce companies in the world. Charles Hunsinger, CIO at Harry and David, details their troubleshooting process, “ We have several different tools in place, and they give us a lot of information to understand, if there is an issue, where it is coming from.”

On the mobile angle, Heather Dettmann, Digital Business Manager at Finish Line, states, “We know that customers will continue to explore and purchase products through a variety of touch-points, and we’ll continue to be everywhere that they are …. and deliver the best possible customer experience.”

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