The ABCs of Back-to-School E-Tail Performance Are Easy as 123 With the Right APM Strategy
As the summer winds down, students head back to school and there's a predictable upward trend in e-commerce activity in a number of categories. Scholars and their families are flocking to university websites to select courses, register and make tuition payments, and they're heading in droves to retailers like Ikea, Best Buy and Target to buy important supplies, furniture, electronics, clothing and more for the coming academic year. The National Retail Federation's 2014 Back-to-School Survey predicts the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics this back-to-school season, up 5 percent from 2013.
This represents a huge opportunity for e-commerce sites with a stake in the back-to-school market. Therefore, it's critical e-tailers prepare their site to make the grade, and keep back-to-school shoppers satisfied and coming back for more. To maximize return on investment during peak seasons like back to school, e-tailers need a robust application performance management (APM) strategy in place. Here are a few APM pointers that e-tailers need to have on their crib sheet to be sure they pass this year's test with flying colors:
1. Understand the need for speed. Consumers are used to high-velocity shopping, and they won't stand for a slow or poorly performing site. Consumers demand peak performance all the time, whether they're shopping on their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The same applies for mobile applications — native or hybrid. Brands only have one chance to perform before losing shoppers to their competition.
Download speeds are increasing by 50 percent annually, according to Nielsen's law of internet bandwidth. And as consumer expectations increase, they also expect e-tailers to deliver not just a high-quality product, but a great user experience too.
When consumers experience delays, they start running for the exits (and to the competition) and don't return. In fact, Compuware APM 2013 survey data indicated 37 percent of shoppers would shop elsewhere if a mobile app failed to load within three seconds, and they're expectations are just as high if not higher for desktop sites.