By Klaus Enzenhofer
Mobile performance can make or break retailers, and the importance of application performance management (APM) cannot be underestimated. A record level of mobile shopping is creating a perfect storm many companies have never weathered before.
To stay on their feet during this time of tumult, savvy e-commerce players have employed a smart APM strategy. That strategy has to include load testing and web performance optimization in the preparation phase and for the production monitoring, real user monitoring combined with synthetic and deep visibility to help sail smoothly through the holidays.
Mobile shopping has become a standard practice for today’s consumers and there is more at stake here than ever before. Not just relationships with individual customers, but your overall brand equity can be forever tarnished if your site doesn’t perform.
According to our recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive with U.S. consumers, predicted that 49 percent of smartphones and tablets owners would use mobile devices during the recent holiday season to search for and buy gifts. This is an astounding 200 percent increase from Compuware APM’s analysis of the 2012 holiday shopping season.
Even more telling is that 37 percent would shop elsewhere if a company’s mobile site fails to load in 3 seconds. And even worse for sites with poor performance, 40 percent of the “Mobile Generation” are likely to complain on social media about a poor shopping experience.
Disappointed users can and will cause substantial collateral damage to brand reputations through negative commentary and ratings when their expectations are not met. Unsatisfied consumers vent and no company wants to bear the brunt of this due to a weak APM strategy.
Complexity is on the rise – 36 percent of mobile consumers use more than one device to shop, and 34 percent use native apps – so there is much to consider. If you haven’t already addressed the rapidly changing e-commerce environment, you need to make this a top priority.
The mobile surge is being fueled by what we’re calling “the mobile generation” – the survey shows that the younger the buyer, the more likely he or she is to shop by smartphone or tablet. In fact, 66 percent of survey participants age 18 to 34 years old will purchase via mobile devices and 53 percent will make more mobile purchases this year than last, compared to an increase of 36 percent overall.
And don’t forget, the critical importance of peak performance under pressure didn’t end with the holidays. More “rush” events where mobile websites and apps are expected to hold up under very heavy traffic are right around the corner. The Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, the Winter Olympics and the World Cup are all opportunities to win or lose your mobile customers. Organizations must have a plan to manage and maximize their rush events to ensure success, and to capitalize on all potential revenue from peak shopping times.
Seconds matter and performance is the key ingredient to winning customers, winning brand loyalty and driving revenue.
Klaus Enzenhofer has over five years of experience and expertise in the field of Web Performance Optimization and User Experience Management. He works as Technical Strategist in the Centre of Excellence team at Compuware APM. In this role he influences the development of the dynaTrace Application Performance Management solution focusing on Real User Monitoring of web and mobile applications. He is a regular speaker at technology conferences on Real User Monitoring and Performance related topics and has also written many articles and blog posts which have been published in print and online publications .