Testing times for ecommerce businesses
You don’t need us to tell you that ecommerce businesses are facing the most challenging of times. The social, political and commercial shock that’s been triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has left us all trying to figure out new ways of connecting with each other, as honestly and authentically as we can.
The imperative for social distancing has put additional pressure on non-contact forms of communication, encouraging increased use of online resources. And, while that’s giving many businesses a much-needed lifeline, in many cases it’s also adversely affecting the customer experience (CX), as ecommerce operations record traffic levels that are way beyond normal seasonal expectations.
We’ve recently explored how the growing phenomenon of the so-called ‘perma-peak’ might change the way we look at the traditional peaks and troughs of ecommerce, but this swift impact-driven spike in demand is sparking the kind of back-end problems that are usually a feature of the run-up to Christmas or major sales.
Tactics for tackling problems may be making things worse
Websites are creaking under the weight of demand and retailers are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in stock levels or in the availability of services – like supermarket delivery slots. With customers looking for stability and reassurance from stores, tech teams are having to make rapid changes to make sure that online ordering doesn’t descend into chaos.
However, some of these quick-fire changes are actually causing glitches that are rippling through websites and breaking functionality, which, in turn, has a knock-on effect on the CX. Customers are accepting of limited functionality – so long as it’s clearly signposted and properly navigated. For example, shoppers will grudgingly accept a temporary cap on the permitted number of items available to buy, but they’ll be less tolerant of a broken button or a ‘page not found’ notification if it frustrates their buying goals.
If a transaction is botched, there’s the potential for short-term damage – lost revenues – as well as the more worrying slip in customer loyalty as a result of a poor CX and adverse PR.
A quick and effective solution is essential
At thinkTribe, we help ecommerce businesses to optimise the CX via a realistic, customer-centric load testing and web monitoring programme that’s designed to deliver immediate, actionable results.
While we collaborate on an ongoing basis with many clients, we’re also able to respond quickly and effectively to urgent requests for business-critical testing and monitoring services. Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked closely with a major high street food retailer to ensure that online functionality is prioritised and that shoppers are able to make their online purchasers smoothly and rapidly. Our intervention is already paying dividends.
We’re happy to share our expertise
Tribe’s managed load testing and synthetic website monitoring services free up your technical team to focus on delivering the best CX.
If you’d like a rapid response to your performance issues – and the benefit of 15 years’ worth of experience gained working with the UK’s largest brands – get in touch today.