Though we may have grown accustomed to transitioning over to a more digitized way of living over the last couple of weeks, it’s safe to say that our new normal will indeed be changed forever. More of us have opted into making purchases online, with many retailers suffering from a decrease in footfall as we all do our best to stay safe.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed all facets of our lives, ranging from how we work to how we relax to how our children learn. There are countless implications of this, including the potential for long-term and, in some cases, permanent changes to business processes. Just 12% of the respondents in a recent Gartner survey believe their businesses are highly prepared for the impact of coronavirus and the majority expect the pandemic to disrupt operations for the foreseeable future.
Deloitte’s annual Holiday Survey of Consumers found that online is king when it comes to the 2019 holiday shopping season. According to the report, consumers of all ages are more likely to rely on Cyber Monday than Black Friday and expect to spend nearly 60% of their holiday budget online. Given eCommerce’s popularity these findings aren’t terribly surprising, however, they underscore that online retailers cannot afford any downtime or performance glitches when Cyber Monday dawns.
A recent ZDNet article by Joe McKendrick states, “Business leaders are losing patience…they are leaning on their IT departments harder and harder, pressing for more and faster delivery of software that will keep their companies in the digital race. They like what IT is delivering, but the challenge for IT managers is to step up the pace of delivery with as few glitches as possible.”
In a recent Eggplant survey on retail trends it was apparent that companies are facing some common challenges in delivering a high-quality digital experience. Nearly every retailer we surveyed recognizes the importance of evaluating how the user experience impacts business outcomes, yet 30% have a drop off rate of 50% or more on online properties.
Forever 21 recently made headlines after filing for bankruptcy and announcing plans to close as many as 350 stores. The move is the latest in a series of seemingly successful brick and mortar retailers admitting defeat in the face of omnichannel trends—JCPenney, Abercrombie & Fitch, Kmart and Sears are just a few of the big-name brands to announce significant store closings in 2019.
On June 18, many Google Calendar users worldwide got an unexpected surprise when logging into the app—an error message. The issue was resolved approximately three hours later but, as anyone who lives and dies by their calendar knows, three hours is plenty of time to wreak scheduling havoc. The same day, restaurant chain Taco Bell also made headlines for tech issues, when heavy traffic in response to its free Taco giveaway caused the app to crash.
The trends from the last several years are clear: Retailers are reaping the rewards by providing an Omni-Channel experience on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to CNBC, Cyber Monday in 2018 experienced a 19.3% Year on Year increase in Sales with a record $7.9 billion while retailers pulled in $6.22 billion and a further $3.7 billion in sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving respectively.
A surge in traffic is in many ways a dream for any website. After all, more traffic means more customers and more sales.
However, you can sometimes do your job too well when your successful marketing campaign brings surges of traffic, causing your website or app to slow down and even crash. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your website or app fail just when you have the most to gain.
Most blogs and articles just state traffic-induced crashes as something that can happen. But if you don’t understand how high traffic crashes a website or app, how can you expect to avoid the problem?
In a recent Forbes interview on the retail customer experience, Harley Manning, VP and research director of Forrester’s customer experience team, said; “Customer expectations are rising slowly—but faster than brands are making improvements.” He further elaborated that the average score in the firm’s CX Index™ for US digital retailers decreased from the prior year, with no retailer breaking through the 85th percentile to make it into the “excellent” category.