5 Best Practices to Optimize E-Commerce Sales
Tallying over $30 billion in online sales during the holiday shopping season, 2010 will go down as the year e-commerce emerged as the most convenient means of shopping for consumers. As more retailers look to leverage their websites to increase sales and revenues, they should be well prepared to keep those sites healthy and viable.
Monitoring your website from an end-user perspective provides a true view into the health and vitality of the applications being used to drive business online. Web application performance management allows organizations to identify problems before they become critical incidents and impact their ability to increase sales.
Consistently monitor your website to avoid costly interruptions that influence return on investment. The following is a list of five best practices to ensure that your website is as efficient as possible during peak shopping hours:
1. Understand your company’s mission, goals and key success metrics. As a precursor to developing a dashboard or creating standard metrics, it's important to understand what your business does and what makes it successful. An online retailer defines success by the number of products it sells per day. It's unlikely that using the same standard metrics template for measuring a corporate website or a charitable organization would also prove successful for an online retailer.
Performance monitoring solutions have the potential to illuminate varied data specifically related to different areas of functionality of the application (e.g., latency for checkout vs. content download vs. video displays). An appropriate examination of the most relevant metrics goes a long way towards optimizing your web application.
2. Create metrics with context. When creating reports or dashboards, simply saying that there were 323 visitors from Argentina who visited the site from Aug. 1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2010 isn’t useful. Put this statistic in context by comparing historical data in addition to providing data on the marketing spend for these two periods. Give specifics to management about actual business results. The number of visitors to an e-commerce site is likely to increase during the holiday shopping season, so your dashboard and metrics can be adjusted so that activities are optimized for the increased traffic.