Is Your Online Store Ready for Upcoming Holiday Season?

A revenue loss of billions of dollars occurs annually due to unplanned downtime/outages of online eCommerce websites of small, medium and large organizations round the globe for numerous unpredictable reasons.

Is your ecommerce website ready for upcoming holiday seasonFacebook and Twitter are two big names in the field of social networking, and Skype is very well known globally due to its highly popular voice over IP (VoIP) communication, chatting and video call services. Hundreds of millions of users depend on these websites to keep in touch with their friends, families, and business partners/stakeholders. All of these websites faced some of the nastiest outages during last two week’s time; thus, a huge havoc was created among the online customers of these services on the internet. These outages caused the substantial losses to the respective companies and the users of those services globally.

Outages – Loss Analysis

A long and nasty outage of Skype services on September 21, 2015 lasted for over 15 hours and hundreds of million users suffered from unavailability and degradation of service. Meanwhile, Facebook faced a worldwide outage of over 30 minutes on September 24, 2015 caused over 1.49 billion users to suffer. Similarly, Twitter faced a nasty outage of about 13 hours on September 14, 2015 and a huge customer base suffered during that period.

These kinds of website, application or service outages cause large scale sufferings not only to the end-users that use those services, but also to the companies that run those services. In fact, the volume of suffering for the service owner companies is much higher than the customers. The service owners face huge financial, credibility and reputation loss due to such service outages. For instance, Amazon online store goes down for just a single minute; the revenue loss it would sustain will be over $66300/minute. Similarly, if we calculate the per minute losses based on the latest financial results of the different companies like Facebook and Google, we find that Google will have to sustain as much as $37260 loss per minute, and Facebook will lose about $31188 per minute.

These figures are raw figures based on the quarterly earnings of the companies. For example, the net revenue of Facebook for the second quarter (Q2) of Y-2015 was $4042 million. If we divide it into 3 months, 30 days, 24 hours, and 60 minutes, we will get the earning of about $31188 per minute. Thus, the total loss for the last outage of 30 minutes, Facebook lost an estimated revenue of about $935648.

This compounding impact of revenue loss for companies is not confined to just large corporate and big online websites, but the impact is equally critical for small, medium and home industries dealing with the online sales, marketing and all other types of services/businesses. According to a research, one single minute of outage leads to about $7,900 average losses to an eCommerce website. This value is much higher for big corporate that is up to $66,240 at an average. Similarly, another research suggests that slow page loading speed costs more than $2.7 billion or about £1.7 billion globally.

Outage Causes

In general, we can say that the outages are due to technical reasons, but in reality, many mistakes related to service management are major cause of such nasty outages. The above cited outage of Skype services was due to huge releases of new configurations that were not properly handled by available client versions running globally, and thus, a huge spike of traffic choked the entire system. The main point to mention here is that outages don’t occur abruptly without any specific reasons; those reasons can be either averted or reduced (at least) by taking different types of measures.

Steps to Avert or Reduce Outages

Having looked at the flabbergasting figures related revenue losses caused by the nasty outages, you would definitely ask yourself if your eCommerce website is ready to handle abrupt traffic increase and other technical issues at the right time either to avert or reduce the financial feared losses to your company. If you have not decided about what steps to take to get your website ready for upcoming holiday season, let me help you out through this article. The major steps that you should take are given below.

  • Use an automated cloud-based website/eCommerce monitoring service.
  • Depute a dedicated resource – either on-premises or remotely – to monitor the service status provided by the monitoring service.
  • Make emergency plans to restore your service immediately in case of any uncontrolled outage occurs.
  • Make the customer compensation and incentivized offers in case your website sustains some faults or glitches that cause inconvenience to the customers.
  • Use web application testing services to make sure all processes of your eCommerce website are working as per desired performance criteria.
  • Use WordPress plugin monitoring services from to make sure the installed plugins are working properly, if your website is powered by WordPress CMS.
  • Use customer experience monitoring services in real browsers to make sure the customer is having fun to make purchases on your eCommerce website.

There are many cloud-based monitoring services available in the marketplace to choose from. To get more information and get a better experience of an enterprise level website/application monitoring service, click here.

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E-Commerce Transaction Monitoring in Real Browser – A Critical Part of Successful Online Business

Proper monitoring of all steps in a successful eCommerce transaction through the real browser creates great value and user experience for an online buyer.

Ecommerce MonitoringThe global eCommerce market is about to cross a $1 trillion by the end of 2015 and will cross $1.5 trillion by 2018. It is growing at a rate of around 20% annually. Hundreds of thousands online stores come into existence every year globally to boost the value of the eCommerce industry. With a substantial increase in online business, the increase in eCommerce monitoring services is very natural.

Before we dive into the monitoring of major parts of eCommerce transactions, let’s discuss the main components with technical aspects. An eCommerce system consists of three major components, which include Web Server, Database, and Shipping System. The web server deals with the online storefront and eCommerce transactions. The database is used to maintain the items in an online store, and a shipping system that deals with the warehouse, packing, shipping and delivery status of the items that are sold out. The most fundamental component of an online eCommerce site is the web server that handles the ecommerce transactions.

An eCommerce system should always be in a reliable, stable and smooth condition to create a great experience for an online buyer. Any kind of issues with the online commerce system can cause huge damage to your online business. For example, a recent research suggests that 69% of the buyers abandon shopping due multiple problems, especially the technical issues and error messages. The impact on the sale abandonment due to unnecessary information in checkout form was found over 61% of all ecommerce websites. The same study further suggests that more than 92% of the people interpret the checkout form fields wrongly.

It has also been observed that the eCommerce website bugs such as page layout issue, error messages, features failure, link down, site maintenance, process loading issue, slow down of the website are very lethal to the online business. A huge number of customers – and consequently a huge volume of revenue – is lost due to malfunctioning and other issues on your eCommerce website and processes. It is highly desirable to check the critical paths of website such as home page, checkout process, product pages, popular categories, search results and engine, and the help section. In other words, the important pages, processes, and actions of an eCommerce website should be checked on a regular basis to make sure that customers don’t face any kind of problems.

To track the performance of eCommerce website, pages, processes and transactions, it is highly advised to use the automated cloud based ecommerce monitoring service to measure the customer experience in real browser. Some of the most important things related to the ecommerce website that should be monitored through enterprise level monitoring services are listed below.

  • Website Loading Speed
  • System Availability
  • eCommerce Checkout Process
  • Product Content Availability/Validity
  • Payment Process Reliability
  • Shipping Status Reports

You can use the ecommerce monitoring services to track the customer experience with your online processes, pages and features of your website. You can use web application monitoring service to create a professional level eCommerce test case and run in the real browser to measure the real world experience of your customers visiting your online website.

The monitoring of ecommerce transaction parts such as, visiting the desired item page, viewing the features/description of the item, adding to the cart, checkout, and payment process play a very critical role in materializing your online sale. A smooth operation of all these parts of parts gets you a substantial revenue and good reputation for your online website in the customer’s viewpoint. It is important to note that the cart/checkout abandonment ratio for eCommerce website is very high at about 75% to 90% due to different reasons as mentioned above in this article.

So, to make your eCommerce website more productive and a revenue generating machine for you, you should choose an eCommerce monitoring service from an enterprise level Monitoring Service Provider Company. To know more about such an enterprise level free cloud based unified ecommerce monitoring service, click here.

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Major Reasons to Monitor Health of WordPress Plugins

A regular monitoring of your WordPress Plugins helps in maintaining all features and functions of the website consistently to increase the revenue and reputation of the website.

Title snapshot01The WordPress content management system (CMS) has become one of the most popular web development platforms on the internet owing to its gigantic libraries of WordPress plugins and themes available in the marketplace. Those plugin codes are developed by many contributors across the globe, and they offer full freedom to the web masters to choose the most suitable functions, features and capabilities that are suitable to their respective websites or businesses. Those plugins cover different aspects such as security, reliability, statistics, eCommerce, performance, affiliate marketing, sales programs, search engine optimization and many others.

Almost all WordPress websites – one way or the other – are designed for commercial purposes; so, they extensively use different plugins such as, eCommerce, sales, marketing, SEO, security and others. The performance of the entire WordPress website – directly or indirectly – depends on the health of those plugins that perform different functions, and provide various features. Any kind of performance issue with those features and functions can lead to disastrous commercial consequences for all sized businesses especially for eCommerce websites. Therefore, it is very critical to monitor those plugins on a regular basis to maintain their health and performance as per desired criteria.

There are numerous good reasons to monitor the performance of WordPress plugins; the most important of them are given below.

Increased Revenue

Increased revenueA professional website should have flawless working of all plugins simultaneously so that smooth web transactions, especially eCommerce activities can take place with full security, and all related options functioning properly. If website plugins malfunction for even a short period of time, a substantial loss of revenue can happen. Therefore, to maintain existing revenue and to increase the prospective sales, you should have your plugins fully monitored and tracked through enterprise level WordPress plugin monitoring services. The monitoring of WordPress plugins provides you with the prior information about any degradation in performance, and alerts you to take necessary actions well in time to avert any revenue loss.

Higher Reliability & Security

Higher reliabilityThere are numerous WordPress plugins related to security and reliability of the website. If those plugins start malfunctioning, the entire website would be at risk in terms of performance, reliability and security. So, it is very imperative to keep a close eye on the performance of your security and reliability related WordPress monitors to make sure your website remains secure and reliable. Any kind of breach in security or in performance criteria leaves bad impression on your customers, and subsequently you lose your valued customers as well as the trust of search engines. Any website that suffers performance issues on any function or web transactions with customer, it leaves a very bad impression on the minds of customers. So, losing customer confidence will definitely lead to an adverse business impact.

Reduced Operational Complexity

Reduced complexityAs we know that plugins are the heart and soul of WordPress platform; without them, it is not possible to run an enterprise level WordPress powered website. As we know, the codes of WP plugins are developed by various companies, developers and contributors, so there are enormous chances of compatibility issues of those plugins with other plugins, themes, and other codes integrated into the WordPress websites. If any error or issue occurs during the operation of a website, it is very difficult to trace them immediately. You need to follow different procedures to trace the faults. But, an enterprise level WordPress plugin monitoring service provides substantial information about the root cause of the problem immediately through the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) capability of monitoring services. Thus, you can reduce the operation complexity and increase the uptime considerably.

Higher Search Engine Optimization SEO Ranking

Higher rankingSearch engine optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in the modern eCommerce and online businesses. Any website suffering from frequent downtime, broken functions, and other performance related issues would get less value for search results. If you have industry grade plugin monitoring service in place to track all functions and features of your website, your website would be considered as a well performing and reliable one. Thus, you get higher ranking in search engine matrices. Meanwhile, you get instant alerts to optimize the performance of your WordPress plugins without any prolonged outages.

Greater Customer Satisfaction

customer satisfactionIf you monitor plugins of your WordPress website through professional plugin monitoring service, you will be able to increase performance of your website, decrease the downtime, increase the up-time, and make your website working smoothly. Thus, your customers feel great experience while visiting your website that will definitely lead to greater customer satisfaction and subsequently more business for you in the future.

You can get the best options for WordPress website monitoring services but many of them don’t offer monitoring at WordPress plugin level. SiteObservers is the only all in one free monitoring service that offers WordPress plugin level monitoring for all kinds of websites powered by WordPress. To learn more about the enterprise level free WordPress plugin monitoring service click here.

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Monitoring of IT Change Management – An Ignored Area & Its Impact on SMBs World

Proper implementation and monitoring of IT change management policy increases operational transparency and reduces the leakage/wastage of valuable resources drastically.

Change managementThe Change Management (CM) is one of the fundamental components of all industry best practices, project management methodologies – PMBoK, Prince2, and others –, and many other management tools. The project managers make sure that any kind of change or modification in the processes, activities or functions is properly recorded, documented and communicated to all stakeholders. This reduces inconsistency in the project processes, and consequently the project cost. The case of IT operations is also similar to this one; you need to take special care to monitor the change management in the IT resources to enhance the efficiency and reduce the operational cost on a regular basis.

Current Facts & Figures

facts and figuresIn the real-world industry environment, the situation is not encouraging in terms of the monitoring of IT change management especially in the small and medium business world. According to the Netwrix Inc research report 2015, the small businesses have only 42% IT change management policy in place, while the ratio in the medium sized businesses is just little over 52%. This study further revealed that just 58% of the all types of organizations have IT change management control in place. A startling figure, which this study revealed is that the above given figures are about 2% below the figures recorded in 2014. The decline of change management control policies is SMBs is over 3% as compared to the previous year’s figures.

On the other hand, the 80% of the companies that have IT change management policies in place document the changes properly for future reference or help. In the field of IT change documentation, SMBs lag far behind the large corporations. The documentation of IT changes in small, medium and large organizations was recorded as 73%, 77%, and 90% respectively in the 2015 survey.

Impact on SMBs

Bad impact on SMBsEither an irregular IT change management policy or a complete absence of it will impact adversely on the performance of both the operational staff and the organization itself. It has been found in the Netwrix research 2015 that, more 67% of the organizations irrespective of their IT staff team-size have suffered outages due to either unauthorized or incorrect changes in the IT systems. This ratio is even worse in case of corporations that accounts for as much as 73% of downtime associated with wrong/unauthorized configurations. Many SMBs are directly dependent on the IT services of large organizations; thus, the impact automatically multiplies on the performance of SMBs.

It is very imperative that the change is only thing that remains intact always universally. It is a universal phenomenon with the universal impact. The main things that change in the IT operations and monitoring environment include technologies, processes, functions, IT staff, business performance, market trends, IT trends, and others. If those changes handled improperly would result in the wastage of valuable resources, a damage to the company reputation, and subsequently substantial business losses. A few points of this impact are given below:

  • The configuration and operational mistakes will take place
  • The information of the system will remain confined to certain staff members
  • New staff would be helpless, if proper documentation of the procedures, events, activities and norms is not available
  • In efficient handling of emergency situations
  • Huge rework takes place to increase the operational cost
  • Huge risk of customer dissatisfaction
  • Inefficient use of available valuable resources
  • Problems in audits and industry certifications
  • Possible increase in the future business risk

In the nutshell, SMBs should focus on the IT change management by adopting different monitoring mechanism; one of such mechanism is the cloud based IT unified monitoring service that include website monitoring, server monitoring, application monitoring and plugin monitoring. It helps them to provide sufficient information to devise and implement the change management policy. To know more about such an enterprise level free cloud based unified monitoring service, click here.

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