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.