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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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 siteobservers.com 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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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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Top 5 eCommerce WordPress Plugins

The best eCommerce WordPress Plugins are known by virtue of their shopping features, ease of use, market price and value added capabilities useful for all sized businesses.

All online platforms – one way or the other – are heavily influenced by electronic commerce. No platform can survive in the fiercest ever competitive marketplace without the support of eCommerce features and capabilities. It is a very complex and costly to integrate an independent eCommerce platform with your WordPress website. Thanks to WordPress plug-in developers who made the things easier through the development of eCommerce plug-ins for WordPress platform. There are numerous eCommerce plugins available in the market for free as well as for small monthly charges. I am going to introduce you with the best eCommerce WordPress plugins that have established themselves in the marketplace through their rich eCommerce features, powerful value-added capabilities and competitive price plans.

Five most popular and highly featured WordPress eCommerce plugins are given below.

WooCommerce

Woocommerce websiteWooCommerce is one of the most popular and widely used eCommerce plugin in the eCommerce marketplace with over 8.3 million downloads. The market share of this plugin is about more than 24% of all online stores on the internet.  It offers numerous top of the line features that make your eCommerce website one of the best eCommerce sites suitable for both the customers and the vendors. WooCommerce plugin is powered by numerous premium themes to customize your websites according to your business needs. Another important aspect of this powerful eCommerce plugin is that it is available for free. It offers many features related to inventory management, shipping, coupon system, payment methods, and many kinds of reports. You can sell different products through this powerful eCommerce plugin such as digital downloads (software), entertainment items (subscriptions/memberships), and physical products. WooCommerce is very easy to use through intuitive interface both at the front-end and back-end.

WP eCommerce

WP eCommerceWP eCommerce is an easy to use WordPress eCommerce plugin that is free to download and use for your online store. It offers numerous eCommerce features and capabilities such as coupon options, shipping options, inventory management, promotional solutions, numerous payment options, sales and inventory reports and many others. You can also purchase add-ons for many premium eCommerce features of this powerful eCommerce plugin. It has been in the market for over 7 years with more than 0.75 million active installations and over 3 million downloads till now and counting. You can customize your online store through HTML and CSS customization capabilities offered by this plugin. This WordPress plugin supports multiple types of items such as digital downloads, physical items, subscriptions and others.

JigoShop

JigoshopJigoshop is another popular WordPress eCommerce plugin developed by a UK based web agency. It is very easy to use via an intuitive interface powered by over 30 customized and featured premium themes. It is a free plugin to download and use; you can also purchase the advanced eCommerce features and capabilities through add-on options. The major features of JigoShop plugin also include powerful support for SEO, latest marketing tools, and simple inventory management powered by numerous types of reports. It has been downloaded for as many as 0.46 million times and powers thousands of online stores. The free version comes with latest features related to inventory management, data import and export, coupons options, payment options, and featured reports.

Shopp

Shopp websiteShopp is simple and flexible eCommerce WordPress Plugin used by thousands of online stores. It is a lightweight and an SEO friendly plugin. It offers numerous eCommerce features such as customer accounts, catalog management, multiple images, discounts, payment options, detailed reports and others. This plugin is powered by McAfee security to offer highly secure eCommerce environment for both the customers and the merchants.  The limited version of this plugin is available for free to download and use, but for additional features you need to purchase the pro version of this plugin for $75 per month.

Cart66 Cloud

Cart66 websiteCart66 Cloud is one of the secure and reliable eCommerce WordPress plugin, which is available for $95 per year. It also offers a trial period of 14 days for new customers. It has over 8000 active installs and thousands of downloads to its credit. The paid version of Cart66 Cloud is a complete eCommerce solution that offers all features and capabilities required for a professional level online store. You are not supposed to purchase add-ons or upgrades once you bought Cart Cloud Pro. The major features of this eCommerce plugin include shipping, promotional options, taxes, multiple currencies, order management, discounts and many others. You can sell all types of products such as digital downloads, physical items, memberships, and subscriptions.

All eCommerce WordPress plugins are the fundamental tool to showcase items and generate revenue for online stores or eCommerce website; therefore, it is very imperative to take special care about its health and performance. To keep a close eye on the performance of WordPress eCommerce plugins, you need an enterprise level WordPress plugin monitoring service. To get more information about a free WordPress plugin monitoring service, click here.

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