Why eCommerce Businesses Fail – Top 5 Technical Reasons?

To cause failure of an eCommerce business in today’s fiercely competitive business environment, the technical reasons are equally critical along with the basic business management related factors.

eCommerce failureA popular axiom “think creatively, plan rationally, and execute intelligently” describes a successful startup business eloquently. Any short lapse in the proper implementation of this business principle puts your eCommerce website in the list of 97% of all startup websites that fail at the end of the day. It requires both the technical and managerial perspectives of starting and running a successful business. You can find numerous reports, researches and case studies citing the reasons that punctured the bubble of the dotcom boom in the early 21st century globally. A large majority of those reports focused on the reasons pertaining to business management for that global failure, and the technical reasons were analyzed at the secondary level.

In today’s changed business environment, we are going to re-analyze the technical reasons that leave a direct adverse impact on the survival of eCommerce businesses. Top five reasons for a failure of eCommerce business in today’s competitive market environment are given below.

1.     Poor Content & Website Design

Poor website imageIt is obvious from many researches that more than 99% of the traffic that terminates on your eCommerce website does not convert into purchases. But, some of the eCommerce websites have more than 1% of conversion ratio due to numerous value added features, capabilities and qualities. According to the WebVantage Technologies research, the remaining 3% of the eCommerce businesses that sustain in the market earn double, triple, quadruple or even more profits. The first and most important quality of those successful websites is the content, and perfect web design. A website with poor content and design brings disastrous results to the business because, any online visitor that visits your website does not remain more than 5-7 seconds, if your website design and content is not up to the mark. Your website is supposed to capture the attention of your visitor within that short period of time.

To avoid eCommerce website failure, you need to take care of the following points related to the website design and its content.

  • Proper description of the products in legible size and fonts
  • Well captured photos, and related images in natural and eye catching colors
  • Use of attractive heading at the proper place on the web page
  • The website should be secure, reliable and smooth in terms of surfing its contents
  • The related items should be properly linked in a professional level website layout
  • The on-site search option should be at a prominent/notable position on the website
  • Proper video formats should be used that can draw attention of the visitors
  • The user interface should be easy to use, organized and intuitive

2.     Poor User Experience

Poor user experiencePoor user experience really sucks your eCommerce business! You will not only lose your potential customers, but also create a bad reputation online that spreads like a jungle fire. So, your business sustains a substantial loss – tangible and intangible – on the internet marketplace. Normally, online visitors want your website to load in about 2 seconds or so.  If your website suffers any kind of slow speed, then you are sure to lose more than 40% of your potential revenue as suggested by many researches. The cost of an outage is critically high in the range of thousands of dollars per hour. So, you should make sure that your eCommerce website don’t fall victim of the following important factors that impact the user experience directly.

  • Avoid slow speed of your website. It should load in about 2 seconds or so.
  • Your website should not be cluttered with many things, items and information
  • The checkout process should be very simple, easy and secure
  • Checkout form should be as short as possible

3.     Use of Poor Technology

Poor technology useTechnology is one of the most powerful factors for a successful online eCommerce business in the modern era of information technology. A large number of eCommerce websites fail due to the use of poor technology in their back-end operations. The back-end platform technologies include operating system, server type, web-technology, eCommerce software platform and others. The eCommerce software platform is one of the most important factors – if improperly chosen – can lead to complete failure of your eCommerce business. A bad choice of operating system, server type, CMS platform, and eCommerce software can create numerous issues related to the speed, security, and performance of your eCommerce website.

Thus, the bad performance creates a horrible customer experience, service outages, malfunction of the website, and other systems that lead to a complete failure of your website at the end of the day. So, to make your eCommerce website safer, you need to take the following steps carefully.

  • Choose the most secure, powerful and robust operating system
  • Choose the best cloud hosting service provider with 99.99% of system up-time
  • Choose the most featured and dynamic content management system CMS platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla or the likes.
  • Choose the reliable and effective eCommerce software platform such as Woo Commerce for WordPress platform and others that suite the web technologies you are using
  • The website should have responsive design and support for mobile devices
  • The open source technology is more suitable for SMBs eCommerce websites
  • The exciting features and advanced capabilities should be used to create ease, and great experience for the online visitors
  • Use web technologies that are SEO friendly, lightweight and fast

4.     Low Search Engine Ranking

Low search engine rankingThe search engine optimization SEO is the heart and soul of eCommerce business on the internet. A successful SEO strategy can make your business a multi-million entity in a short span of time; otherwise, your business is destined to fail for sure. The SEO is a combination of powerful use of social media, content, programming skills, website designs, and many other such factors. According to B2B marketing research, more than 10.3 billion monthly searches conducted on Google only in 2014. A large ratio of over 54% of marketers believes that a huge growth in the adoption of SEO will continue in 2015. A gigantic spending of over 12% increase was observed during 2013-2014 globally, as per Adobe, Inc research report. More than 76% of SEO professionals tap the power of social media to achieve SEO objectives, according to IMPACT branding and design research report. The SEO is used to induce customer loyalty in more than 95% of existing customers, says the Regalix, 2014 report.

In the light of such overwhelming figures, it is very clear that bad search engine ranking can lead to disastrous business results for your eCommerce website. To avoid from this impact, take the following measures.

  • Use the professional services of SEO experts
  • Use social media extensively to promote your eCommerce website
  • Use associate/partner websites and blogs to promote your website
  • Always create useful and valuable content – video, audio, and text – for viewers, listeners and readers respectively
  • Use affiliate programs to get useful links, and subsequently the potential customers from your business affiliates
  • Make SEO friendly and mobile-optimized websites

5.     Lack of Perfect Monitoring and Analytics

testing and monitoringTesting, Monitoring, and Analysis play instrumental role in handling all technical as well as non technical problems that damage your eCommerce business on the internet. A properly tested eCommerce website under different real world scenarios will definitely prove to be one of the most powerful online websites to face the common issues that arise on the internet in day to day operations. In many studies, it has been found that the lack of traffic analysis on your website, and proper monitoring of their experience can lead to complete failure of an eCommerce website in this cut-throat competitive marketplace. There are many unified monitoring service providers available in the marketplace to monitor your eCommerce websites with 100% precision and accuracy. Among such enterprise level monitoring services, SiteObservers website monitoring service is the best to provide a comprehensive set of monitoring solutions for your business.

You should use the following services to save your eCommerce website from a complete failure or any service degradation.

  • Use enterprise level eCommerce website monitoring service such as SiteObservers for free
  • Use the user experience monitoring service to measure user experience in the real browser
  • Get instant and real alerts for any kind about untoward incident in your eCommerce services
  • Get detailed reports, and root-cause reports related to the issues or faults that damage the performance of your website.
  • Always use the best analysis software to make sure you are targeting the right segment of customers get deeper insight into the issues of and behavior of your website visitors.

SiteObservers offers unified monitoring solutions for all types of eCommerce websites and other online business activities related to customer experience and high level of website performance. You can monitor numerous WordPress eCommerce plugins through this enterprise level monitoring service. To know more about SiteObservers’ free web test development services, click here.

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How SiteObservers Monitors Help SMBs in Achieving Sustainable Business Growth?

Consistent website performance, early warning system, responsive customer support and great customer experience create a competitive edge for a sustainable business growth in this fiercely competitive business ecosystem.

SiteObservers sustainble growthAccording to the Micro-Focus, Inc research, the software testing market silently crossed the $46 billion globally. This silent increase in testing happened due to the fact that the software errors incurred over $59.5 billion loss per year in 2011, only in the USA. The current loss is estimated at about $90 billion in the USA market. The other major factors that cause serious losses to the global IT industry include website low performance, IT resources’ bottle-necking, improper monitoring of unwanted incidents in the network/systems, power outages, and others.

The testing and monitoring of your online system or application plays an instrumental role in the sustainable growth of online businesses, especially the small and medium sized businesses. Micro-Focus estimated the cloud-based testing (TaaS) market value at about $700 million in 2013 with an average growth of over 33% per annum.

The service downtime is another frightening factor that hits IT businesses very badly on a regular basis. According to the IDC research, the total loss to the Fortune 1000 companies due to application down-time falls in the region of $1.25 to $2.5 billion per year with an average of over $100,000 cost per hour. International working group on cloud computing resilience IWGCR studied the impact of prominent 28 cloud service providers in 2013. It found that those cloud service providers sustained a loss of over $273 million during 2007-2012 due to unplanned outages.

The total losses sustained by SMBs due to the issues related to information technology include both the tangible and intangible losses. The tangible losses result in due to the loss of wages, transaction revenue, legal penalties, corrective maintenance cost, and many others. The indirect cost may include brand damage, loss of customer confidence, loss of partner’s goodwill, and decrease in the morale of the company’s owners and employees.

To overcome all those issues that can hinder the sustainable growth of SMBs, SiteObservers cloud-based monitoring service offers a comprehensive solution either to minimize the damage or to avert is completely. SiteObservers offers solutions that help reduce both the tangible and intangible losses to your businesses.

It offers numerous kinds of monitoring services, such as website monitoring, application monitoring, mobile monitoring, customer experience monitoring in a real browser, server monitoring, SQL monitoring, MySQL and many others. A small and medium sized business can fully benefit from SiteObservers monitoring services to achieve the following major business objectives.

1.     Decreasing Downtime

DowntimeThe KISSMETRICS research suggests that more than 44% of the customers that face bad online experience on your website or web service platform are likely to tell about that experience to other shoppers. Thus, a substantial damage is likely to occur to your business and brand reputation.

SiteObservers helps SMBs to keep an eagle eye on any kind of untoward incidents that occur in your online systems, and alert you immediately to take preventive measure either to avoid or reduce the downtime. The major services that can help reduce the downtime of your online services include website monitoring, server performance monitoring, application monitoring and others.

A comprehensive automated monitoring services offer not only the options to detect the faults before they impacts the customers, but also provides a deeper perspective on the issues to get them resolved as quick as possible. Thus, you enjoy a full command over the services that you offer to your valued customers.

2.     Increasing Revenue

increasing revenueIncreasing the traffic volume, and subsequently the conversion ratio has always been a major problem for small and medium sized business in this cut-throat competitive marketplace. According to the Wasp Barcode Company’s State of Small Business 2015 report, more than 48% of small businesses consider a big challenge to increase the revenue in this competitive business ecosystem. Nevertheless, a sizable majority of over 57% SMB executives estimates an increase in the revenue in 2015.

A properly monitored and well maintained website/web-service help increases the potential traffic and consequently the revenue in multiple ways, such as increasing your search engine ranking, increasing customer experience, reducing negative preaching by your unsatisfied customer, and getting indirect referral sales. This all can happen with the help of close monitoring of your online services by the enterprise-level unified monitoring services of SiteObservers. Its services help you achieve the objectives of 99.99% service up-time, and subsequently help increase the traffic of your potential customers.

It helps improve the response time, speed and service level agreement SLA objectives through highly professional monitoring and alert systems.

3.     Improving User Experience

user experienceA huge ratio of over 56% of SMB executives thinks that the improvement in customer experience, and the retention of existing customer are two major strategies to increase the revenue of a small business, reveals the WASP Technologies research. The same research also says that more than 38% of the SMBs wants to invest in information technologies to make their business processes more efficient. This is clear indication that the automated monitoring of user experience in real browsers is one of the important aspects to achieve the sustainable business growth.

SiteObservers offers enterprise level user experience monitoring services for all types of websites, mobile apps, web applications, and WordPress plugins. The server performance monitoring of popular database and OS platforms increases the reliability and customer satisfaction; thus, SiteObservers’ services play an instrumental role in increasing the customer experience and confidence in your online website and products.

4.     Preempting Damages

Prempting damagesThe Global Threat Intelligence Report 2015 suggests that the cost of one incident report regarding the DDoS attack is about $2000, which includes investigation, correction and creation of report. This is the direct cost, but what about the indirect cost and fringe damages such as revenue loss, customer loss, brand reputation loss and many such other factors?

It is very critical to devise a preemptive technical strategy to avert any kind of such attacks or the performance degradation. SiteObservers monitoring services are very useful tools to help you preempt such types of losses without incurring huge costs. You can choose the enterprise level SiteObservers monitoring services that can provide you early warning system, detailed causes of the problems, and detailed reports of the events to make your corrective strategy more effective and efficient.

What Does SiteObservers Offers to SMBs?

SiteObservers is an enterprise-level unified monitoring service that offers comprehensive solutions to increase revenue, user experience and brand value through multiple monitoring and technical support services. The main features of its offerings include:

  • Unified platform that offers monitoring solutions for website, application, and WordPress plugins at one place.
  • It is a FREE service with multiple options to upgrade for additional features and capabilities.
  • Affordable prices and plans for paid subscription
  • Prepaid and post-paid billing options
  • 24×7 customer support
  • Support for service level agreement SLA, and root cause analysis RCA.
  • Powerful drill-down options
  • Detail oriented reports
  • Multi-level escalation and alarm management system
  • Support for free Web Test development service

To know more about SiteObservers’ free monitoring services, click here.

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SiteObservers’ Free Web Test Development Service – A Perfect Solution for Your Online Businesses

An Automated Web Test Development, embeds the technical understanding of web developers, simplifies the functions of web administrators, and increases the revenue for business owner by creating a high-level of customer experience in real browsers on cross platforms.

Web Test DevelopmentTesting has been an integral part of any product development life-cycle – software or hardware –, since the inception of engineering, research and development in this world. With the advent of modern software products, the automated testing has replaced the manual testing to a large extent. The automated testing is by and large associated with the operations of products as per desired criteria.

The automated web testing is one of such modern testing techniques, which leave a considerable impact on modern web-based applications and services globally. The automated web test testing have been in the marketplace for more than a two decades now. They are available in different forms and manifestations such as regression testing, cross browser compatibility testing, customer experience in real browser testing, acceptance testing, eCommerce transaction testing, website performance testing, server performance testing, and many others.

According to the Micro-Focus Inc research, the software testing market has silently crossed the $30 billion mark globally in 2011. It is expected to reach $46 billion by the end of 2015. The global market value of cloud-based testing as a service TaaS was recorded as $700 million in 2013 with a consistent growth of over 33% for many years to come. Normally, the automated web test takes care of the following major things.

  • Identification of bugs for all supported browsers
  • Detection of functionality issues on website
  • Measuring overall customer experience in real browser

The development/execution principle of web test is based on black-box testing in which both the knowledge of code and design and the knowledge of website functionality and desired outputs is required. The SiteObservers’ automated web test service is a fully managed service that covers creation, execution and maintenance of all desired functional and usability tests.

Importance of Automated Web Test

Web test importanceThe website performance and the user experience on that particular website play a very critical role in the success of an online business. The automated web tests deal with the identification of any bottlenecks and operational issues on the website through a regular monitoring of desired functions and features automatically. It is has been found by many researches that any website that suffers from loading errors lose more than 48% of their visitors and many of them opt for the competitor websites. The automated web tests help web administrators have deeper perspective on performance as well as on any kind of untoward developments in the smooth working of the website and its functions. The main reasons for using an automated web test are given below.

  • Tracking smooth operation of eCommerce transactions, which are vital for revenue generation
  • Increasing sales and customer satisfaction by providing a detailed insight into customer experience, and an opportunity to avert any potential threat to website performance.
  • Enhancing your competitive edge over your competitors by increasing customer confidence and brand reputation for you business.
  • Getting you increased search engine ranking and great reviews on the internet
  • Increasing your website traffic and create enhanced customer retention ratio
  • Providing you with the peace of regarding the better performance of your business

Why to Choose SiteObservers Free Web Test Service?

SiteObservers free web testThe Micro-Focus survey 2010 suggests that more than 3 quarters of the industry experts feel that the testing/monitoring industry is having shortage of skills in the United Kingdom only. And hiring a skilled professional costs a lot to the organization. SiteObservers clearly understands that all businesses, especially SMBs cannot afford to hire highly qualified programmers for creating and maintaining the web tests due to budget constraints. A system administrator may not have the programming expertise required to create a professional level web test. So, it can become a complex scenario for a business owner to work out. SiteObservers offers free web test development and maintenance service to our customers that purchase the paid contracts/plans.

Our technical experts have full command on our service codes, APIs and web tests. They are a comprehensive team of network admin, system admin, technical managers, and application developers. So, they can provide a comprehensive solution to create a new web test case as well as to maintain it in case of your website undergoes software updates or upgrades. Normally, your existing web tests observe some kind of issues when you update or revise some aspects of your website or eCommerce platforms. So, you will need to change your web test on a regular basis, which is a very difficult task for a web administrator. We solve this problem by providing a fully managed web test service for no charges. Our customer enjoys numerous features and benefits from our enterprise level web test managed service, as given below.

Features & Benefits of Our Free Web Test Service

Benefits of free web testLike every professional service, our web test development and monitoring service offers multiple features, capabilities and benefits to our valued customers. The following list names a few of those benefits of our free automated web test service.

  • It is a fully managed and free service on all paid contracts/plans
  • It offers web test development, modification and full maintenance
  • Provides deeper insight into the user experience in real browsers
  • It can track all functions and features of your website and eCommerce transactions
  • Provides real alerts and does not create any kind of false alerts/alarms
  • Supports numerous monitoring intervals such as 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and many others
  • Available in two types i.e. Standard & WordPress
  • It offers detail oriented reports and root cause analysis capabilities
  • Word class customer support is offered round the clock

To know more about SiteObservers’ free web test development services, click here.

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Top 5 MySQL Performance Tips for SMBs

For multiple reasons like security, reliability, robustness, and cost efficiency, the open source license, MySQL is considered as the best option for small and medium sized organizations.

MySQL blogMySQL is the 2nd most popular relational database management system preceded by Oracle and followed by MS SQL database management systems in 2015, according to DB-engine rankings. It is an open source database system; therefore, it is more suitable for the small and medium business SMBs, which normally have very limited budgets to expend carefully. The extravagant expenses can not only deplete the available resources, but also can hurt their survival in the marketplace. MySQL database is a rational database management system that is considered as the most secure and reliable for all sized businesses globally.

It owns many great features that make it one of the best database management systems in the world. It is an integral part of LAMP stack, where ‘M’ stands for MySQL database. It is easy-scalable, secure, and flexible in both installation and operations. A large number of the companies, especially small and medium sized organizations use this database management system for their applications and services.

If properly tuned and optimized for the best performance, it provides the most desirable results otherwise, it is very complex to create bottlenecks for the entire application or service. So, to make it high performing database management system, the following tips should be considered strictly.

1.     Hardware Optimization

Hardware optimizationMySQL database server performance is directly proportional to the optimized hardware resources, provided that the other parameters are working as per required standards. So, you should make sure that you have sufficient hardware resources and optimized hardware configuration to allow MySQL database system to provide high performance. The hardware optimization can be done both before and after installation. You should follow the below given key points for hardware optimization.

  • Always install sufficient hardware resources – Disk, Memory, CPU and Network Bandwidth – to cater all resource needs for a database query as well as a process. A shortage in any of these resources will cause problems in the performance very badly.
  • Use sufficient RAM to load entire database engine for an efficient performance. This will reduce swapping process that can decrease the performance.
  • Use high quality hardware and advanced features such as, SATA/SSD drives, battery backed RAM & Cache Controller, RAID 10+, Solid State Cards, XFS file system, high speed fibers, and others
  • Always use small disks and multiple partitions both logically and physically to create high performance and speed of your database and application.
  • Scale-up the resources immediately, if any bottle-necking is observed.

2.     MySQL Configuration Optimization

MySQL configThe configuration is a very critical part of MySQL database server that plays very vital role in the performance of a server. The experts suggest that you should neither emphasize overly nor slightly on the MySQL configuration to achieve optimized performance. You should properly assess your requirements and objectives carefully to make changes in the configuration. Sometimes, the default configurations are okay for small sized businesses, but that does not work for everybody, always. Therefore, be specific about your requirements before optimizing MySQL configurations. In general, some of the basic configuration optimization activities that are useful for SMBs are given below.

  • Configure enough buffer pool size to load whole database engine
  • Configure small size of log files
  • Define a suitable number of connections as per your available resources; the extra number of connection can deplete your resources and server performance.
  • Increase the maximum and temporary table sizes to avoid extra disk writes
  • Configure moderate value for the buffer size
  • Configure server to remove DNS lookup procedure to increase processing speed
  • Insert index on data and remove excessive rows on searches and returns in queries
  • Always keep optimizing your database tables through close monitoring
  • Use VACHAR or ENUM to save the disk space.
  • Use EXPLAIN keyword for queries to have a deeper insight on the query processing.
  • It is good practice to partition the tables in smaller units of database information based on zip codes through the RANGE command. It will give high efficiency and processing speed.

3.     Correct Selection of Database Storage Engines

Database enginesThe database storage engines handle the database operations of tables. There are many different kinds of storage engines supported by MySQL database system. The most common of those storage engines are InnoDB and MyISAM. InnoDB is a default storage engine due to its certain powerful features. You can choose the suitable one in accordance with your requirements and performance objectives. For heavier applications, it is better to choose MyISAM because it is fast in different processes; on the other hand, InnoDB is very easy to scale, but a bit slower than MyISAM. I would recommend using InnoDB for small business applications owing to its flexibility and its support to row-based locking. Many advanced features are also supported in this storage engine. Use can also choose other options for storage engine, if they fulfill your business needs.

4.     Benefit from Opinions of Experts in Industry

MySQL ForumsThe first version of MySQL was released back in 1995; during that past 20 years’ time, the number of MySQL experts has grown tremendously. Similarly, a large number of online forums, group discussions, technical blogs and other resources have developed during past twenty years. These forums are very powerful source to get help and guidance from the industry experts in the domain of MySQL database system. You can ask about your issues related to MySQL database from those experts, and get substantial help from numerous platforms such as, conferences, seminars, Q&A sessions, and others. So, never feel alone in this open source domain of database platform. You can get help from a large number of experts globally. You can get solution for all types of issues or queries related to MySQL database management system on those forums and from the industry experts.

5.     Leverage an Enterprise Level MySQL Monitoring Service

SiteObserversLike every product, service or machine, you should also monitor your MySQL database management system very carefully to avert any kind of issues that can lead to performance degradation or a complete failure of service. To improve the performance of your database, you need to watch your database through an enterprise level automated cloud based monitoring service.

SiteObservers is one of such enterprise level MySQL monitoring services that offer all powerful features, functions and capabilities that your MySQL database needs. It tracks all important parameters that improve the performance of your database. SiteObservers MySQL monitoring service tracks not only performance parameters, but also help find out the root causes of the problems that occur on your database system. It provides in-depth perspective on the performance of the database through detail oriented reports and powerful drill-down functions.

In the nutshell, SiteObservers acts like an eagle eye on every event in your MySQL database management system. To know more about SiteObservers enterprise level free cloud based MySQL service, click here.

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