E-commerce load testing during the off-season

Summer – the e-commerce off-season – time to get those servers in shape!

It happens every year. I exit the holiday season with some extra weight and I then spend the next three months getting ready for my summer “peak” season.

It’s a vicious cycle of gluttony followed by desolation and exercise. Ugh.

Just as most of us use our “off season” to get ready for when we need to perform, the systems that run businesses need to do the same. For retailers selling goods online to consumers, the typical off season are the months leading up to Black Friday and the subsequent Cyber Monday.

As I’ve outlined in the previous webinars, namely how “7 seconds can cost you $7 million”, user expectations around performance are increasing. Attention spans are decreasing causing frustration levels to increase as shoppers inundate retailers with web and mobile traffic. Some interesting stats include:

  • The average online shopper expects web pages to load in 2 seconds or less, after 3 seconds, up to 40% will abandon the site
  • 74% of users will abandon a mobile site after waiting only five seconds for it to load
  • Once visitors leave, it’s very difficult to get them back. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience
  • 38% of UK online shoppers abandon websites or apps that take more than 10 seconds to load

It’s important for organizations getting ready for the retail peak season to understand what will happen when users swarm to their sites. The only way to figure this out is by doing intelligent load testing. Load testing simulates hundreds, thousands, and in some cases, millions of users to determine where bottlenecks might occur. These simulations should also include mobile speed and device simulations as more shoppers are using their smartphones and tablets as the primary point of sale.

With less than 126 days until Black Friday, it’s time to give those servers a workout with load testing that will ensure frustrated users are converted into happy repeat customers.

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