A study from Comscore revealed that 4 out of 5 of the US’s ~86 million smartphone users accessed retail content on their smartphone during July 2012.
Many smartphone users check pricing and deals on their phones even while visiting a physical store. If your site is fast and responsive, you could win new customers or solidify relationships with current users. While mobile shoppers love apps, mobile web enables them to search new sites quickly and efficiently during sales.
Assuming you have a mobile-friendly site, here are few questions to ask to ensure a smooth holiday shopping experience:
1. What is weighing down your site?
2. Are you taking advantage of holiday opportunities?
3. Do you load test and monitor the site regularly?
4. The final question remains: Is your mobile site ready for the holidays?
Few days back the launch of the iPhone 5 followed a similar pattern to Apple’s other previous product launches. And while Apple seems to be training the media to certain launch event expectations, it also seems to be training its Apple Store customers to expect closed doors at its e-commerce website.
Just as with the last major product launch (remember the “new” iPad?), the Apple Store was taken offline immediately preceding, and for some time after the media event. In this instance, for 7 hours. Keynote measurements of the Apple Store, a member of the Top Retailers (US) performance index, show the outage and captured the state of the website before, during and after.
A 7 hour outage for any online retailer is huge, and Apple’s outages appear to be intentional. The closing of the Apple Store in this instance raises interesting questions about managing customer expectations and online experience. Are launch event outages a defensive practice, or an intentional component of the overall launch experience? Is it worth handling the spike of non-buying visitors (pre-sales won’t be available until a couple days later) during the launch event, when most ‘lookey-Lous’ will likely get their fix through the subsequent media tsunami? At what point does opacity change from creating a sense of mystery to confusion?
The overall performance and availability of the Apple store is quite high, with it consistently ranking above the Index average for online retailers. Indeed, the past 6 weeks reveal improvement in Total User Experience Time and solid availability:
Apple appears to take Web performance seriously. Launch events such as today’s are consistenly ochestrated to careful detail. So while most online retailers strive for 5 nines, is there something to be learned from Apple? Could an intentional full outage (outside of planned maintenance/change) be a viable e-commerce strategy in certain circumstances? If so, when?
Article Source: http://www.keynote.com
Recent web traffic analysis shows that many Social Retailers are getting an enormous amount of traffic from mobile devices. In the case of LivingSocial, they’re getting more traffic from mobile than the desktop. Breaking down mobile traffic between the apps and the mobile web, the web is preferred over apps nearly two-fold. This affinity of LivingSocial users for mobile websites is in line with general mobile retail shopping preference finding revealed in a recent Keynote Mobile Study.
So it would stand to reason that LivingSocial is doing everything possible to maximize the performance of their websites on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Yet, looking at results in the Keynote Startup 3-Screen Index, their performance isn’t where you’d hope it would be. On tablets the 43.9 second average response time of their site is downright painful, faring far worse than the average startup.
But the mobile challenge LivingSocial faces is ones other companies would love to have. Their customers and prospects are actively seeking them out on mobile devices and with a few improvements, the company can quickly improve the mobile user experience. For smartphone users they’re delivering a clean, simple website designed in accordance to many mobile best practices. However with 300 KB of content it is on the heavy side. Trimming down the size of the site delivering fewer and lighter content could lead to faster downloads.
Worse yet, they make the iPad user go through a 3 step registration process that isn’t required of smartphone users. Mobile websites are important for all retailers because they’re far more discoverable than apps which require a download from an app store. Three additional steps needed to get to a home page increases the likelihood of user abandonment. Requiring upfront registration and collecting information is very common in Social Retail. But if fake information will get you to the destination, companies should weigh what’s gained in collecting junk data against the potential loss of real prospects.
As we’ve mentioned here before, adopting cloud computing strategies can generate transformative advantages for IT organizations, but not without important considerations. Reducing cost and improving user experience can be achieved by moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud.
So how do CIOs get started, and more importantly, enforce and improve the quality of service they deliver to the business in a cloud paradigm? Vik Chaudhary recently spoke with the editors at CIO Insight on how companies can take advantage of the cloud with three straightforward recommendations.View The Video
“Never read the book when you can read the Cliff Notes (am I dating myself?) and never read the Cliff Notes if you can watch the movie.”
The bottom line is that a good movie or video can quickly convey a powerful message requiring very little effort on the part of the viewer. In many ways the picture can paint much more than a thousand words when done right. Keynote’s new Monitoring the Cloud: Behind the Scenes video is a great example of how video can make the complex seem simple.
During the holidays I tried to explain to my brother what we at Keynote do. I gave him the long version and it didn’t seem to sink in. His eyes rolled up like a shark when I mentioned mobile Web testing and performance monitoring. I remembered his advice from the past and gave him a high-level, short description and received a polite nod of implied understanding. Now that this video is available I can finally get the message across to all of my family. I’m now looking for forward to the next family gathering when my relatives won’t describe my job as “something with phones.”
Source: Keynote System
In most cases a users impression is built on how fast your site loads. Modern websites not only need to perform well, but need to possess the rich features of the web 2.0 world. With a focus of having rich features of java, flash and java-script libraries, you still need to have a high performing website. With the ever improving web 2.0 technologies our web pages have got more rich and diverse. It is definitely a challenge for the engineers to maximize web site performance.
Web pages have gotten more complex and heavier with all the media and site components. Evolution in the area of web performance is fast and complex with these changes, it is quite challenging to track your website in terms of loads and performance. There are always interaction with the java scripts, css and web applications and these days with a lot of focus being on the front end architecture of websites, transaction monitoring and web application monitoring are some of the main areas of focus for businesses.
Having a feature rich website and maintaining a robust IT infrastructure with an efficient load testing strategy would be great for your online business. A feature rich website having customer friendly features such as adobe flash components, video streams, roll over details and product reviews are likely added from your third party providers. With these additional features and capabilities, the performance of your online business might have to be compromised sometimes.
These modern composite websites created for online businesses with decision making features ensures customer interaction. If the site is low on performance or if a page doesn’t load, your customers would not be blaming any behind the scenes third party providers. You will still get the blame and soon your customers will rush to your competitors.
There is always room for customer retention with preventive measures. Quality control must be the main focus with understanding and managing your composite website. A detailed web performance analysis, transaction monitoring and measurement of your site with all the added components will be a good start. A specialized web tool to monitor your sites performance is very critical. Analysis should be in terms of real browser, as in how your customers experience your site. With this analysis, you will be able to obtain critical information that will help improve your site and your online performance. This web performance data will definitely provide you with insights for customer retention.