Website Performance Can Impact Bottomline

by Sohini Bagchi    Mar 03, 2014

microfocus

With businesses witnessing high volume of online visitors everyday, especially e-commerce companies, what matters the most is the website performance and speed. This is one area online retailers should pay special attention, says Naveen Gurusiddaiah, Head-Pre Sales at Micro Focus India with an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday as he explains the importance of website performance testing for businesses.

Why is website performance testing becoming so important for business?

Website failures can have disastrous impact on the business, more so with the e-commerce sector witnessing a boom time. In the short term, there is loss of revenue and in the long run there is cost to the brand. If a company’s website doesn’t perform to user expectations it is far easier for customers to surf and look elsewhere. In today’s social media world, shoppers are also able to voice their complaints instantly to a much larger audience. Research has shown that even minor delays to website response times can have a sizable impact on customer satisfaction, page views, conversion rates and site abandonment.  88% of online visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience so taking a passive approach to website performance is a massive risk to reputation and for e-commerce sites; revenue too.  Website performance thus is of immense importance to a business directly impacting their reputation and revenue.

How can one achieve competitive edge with website performance testing?

There is no denying the value and importance of a business’ online presence, especially in today’s economic climate. Businesses need to ensure their websites are able to withstand high amounts of traffic at peak periods, as well as being able to perform to a standard their customer now expects. Testing should form a comprehensive part of any online retailers’ business operations. Performance is vital part of ensuring a retailer is a success online- and this should not be left to a chance. Testing has become mission critical now that online shopping has seen a huge surge. Therefore it is necessary to deploy a testing software application that is easy to use, full functional set of interfaces (clients), which enables businesses to perform automated functional testing in a variety of development environments and programming languages. They are an efficient, cost-effective way to ensure mission-critical applications meet performance expectations and service-level requirements.

With increased mobile usage, how will testing help protect the brand identity?

If businesses get their online presence wrong through improperly tested mobile applications and untested websites to be accessed from mobile devices, the potential for backlash against the brand is instant, costly and can come from many directions; from loyal customers, to the media. Even the most usable website or mobile application can be rendered useless if the backend infrastructure can’t handle the volume of traffic during peak times. It just goes to show that a solid performing website is still a competitive advantage, and that any company delivering an equally good web experience on mobile is likely to win the customer retention and acquisition battle.

Are businesses realizing the importance of website performance testing?

Nearly one third of organizations in sectors like financial services, retail and media, leisure and entertainment do not know if their website is monitored on a 24×7 basis according to data. This reflects that many organizations still haven’t got the basics covered since the birth of first generation websites in the mid- 1990s.  In a survey recently published, it was observed that 26% of CIOs polled, from 590 organizations across the globe, admitted that they are either not aware or that they aren’t monitoring response times for mission-critical transactions.  These include transactions such as shopping cart and database record retrieval on their websites. 

The situation is even more challenging for web apps for mobile platforms. Mobile technologies are revolutionizing how people shop. They allow consumers to compare prices with those of competing brands while in-store. They are becoming more and more central to the shopping experience. As per research data, 34% of CIOs are not tracking how quickly their own website loads on mobile devices and 36% are not tracking how quickly their web application loads on mobile devices. That’s despite  research confirming that online buyers only wait an average of seven seconds before abandoning a website due to lack of responsiveness. Mobile shopping will ultimately drive new store sales and service models as well—models that have the potential to deliver significant financial benefits related to higher close rates and transaction sizes, as well as lower labor and occupancy costs for those retailers that get it right. Lately, businesses have started realizing the importance of testing due to enormous dependency on the web for all kinds of retail activity – be it through the hand held phone or through a computer.