Often times, e-commerce executives are laser focused on increasing their revenues through smarter marketing efforts, and this sometimes may cause them to neglect fields where they can leverage quicker returns. And these fields can even be at the core of what they are all about: their web shop.
E-commerce market has become completely competitive and now each and every website should be offering a top-notch design matched with the best messaging. Consumers would not be shy skipping your web shop if you ever fail to deliver them what they really expect or even more than that. In this regard, your site should have a superb uptime, quick loading, and should offer the feeling of solid security.
Almost immediately loading pages
In our digital world, time is everything. Metrics are calculated in minutes, if not seconds. And surely, time is money. Each click brings up next excitements for the customers in their shopping journey and the expectations are quite harsh in that respect. Customers expect almost immediate responses for their actions, so, achieving this is no longer a nice-to-have for e-commerce companies.
Delays and waiting times dramatically affects the results negatively. There is a lot of research on this particular subject, conducted by likes of Amazon, Google or Microsoft.
Acceptance levels of such delays also change in time, thanks to the advancements in technology. For example, back in 2006, customers expected an average of 7-8 secs or less for a webpage to load, but in 2010, some research found that number to be around 2 secs, only.
In short, if your web shop does not respond as quick as what consumers expect, they might just bounce away to your competitors, and the worst part is that they might not even come back again.
Superb uptime of nearly %100
The real success appears in tough times. There is no exception to this when it comes to handling the web site traffic. As American author James A. Michener once said, mostly, we are not ready for what we expect.
Most of the effort of e-commerce companies goes into the marketing, and from there, into increasing the visits and the user base. However, when there appears to be the most-desired peaks in the website traffic, it simply crashes or finds itself in real hard time. This can occur during a Cyber Monday, Black Friday or through a sudden word-or-mouth on social media or anything similar to these.
E-commerce companies should not have to worrying that their web shop is live and in function. Setting this as a must-have within the overall strategy, is at the core of achieving a growth with a loyal customer base.
Secure and peaceful shopping
E-commerce worked hard to prove its customers that it’s a secure way of shopping. Therefore, it really needs to prove itself by really meaning it. Site-wide HTTPS, DDoS mitigation when needed, and PCI compliance are must-haves to speak of a secure online shopping experience, nowadays.
PCI Security Standards Council Compliance
PCI SSC, i.e. PCI Security Standards Council is an institution that sets specific data security standards that should be available in online merchants of all sizes. An e-commerce company should be closely following the updates regarding the security standards set by PCI and this surely requires a continuous resource allocation into this.
The reason behind such standard security compliance is crystal clear because e-commerce companies deal with the credit card holder data, which are the credit card number, cardholder name, expiration date and security code. All these data should be guarded safely no matter what and this should be also a top priority for e-commerce companies of all sizes.
Achieving this compliance might not be very easy for retailers with their very own expertise, and for that reason, some of the top e-commerce SaaS platforms offer this in their packages as a feature. If companies prefer to handle it by themselves, there are certain steps down the road which needs to be handled in care.
DDOS Attack Mitigation
No one warns you before they strike your web site with an attack. Mostly such attacks come from outside parties with hostile efforts, and are mainly triggered by bots that search the web with a particular focus on common vulnerabilities. Again, as it is the case in PCI, DDoS mitigation is being taken care of by the major e-commerce SaaS platforms, but in case of a self-built e-commerce site, this also require certain amount of technical resource.
Using HTTPS has two major advantages: much better search ranking in Google and increased customer trust thanks to the higher site security.
HTTPS is a site-wide SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is actually the security standard to setup an encrypted link between the browser of the users and a web server. This makes sure that all the data transfer occurring through his link stays private and integral. Transfer on unencrypted channels is insecure and can be intercepted. Ensuring that any transfer happening within your store is private and well under control, gives your customers the relief that they assume %100 while they are shopping online.
E-commerce is a game where many factors come into play. The tech stack of your web shop is just another crucial aspect in this battleground, and it would not be an exaggeration to state that it comes ahead of almost everything because it constitutes the shopping experience that your customers await from you no matter what. Creating and bringing up that experience comes first, and then comes the improvements into that.
Note: I am Burc Tanir, the CEO and the co-founder of Prisync.com, the competitor price tracking software for e-commerce companies of all sizes from all around the world. As an e-commerce enthusiast, I eat and breathe e-commerce and will always love to connect with e-commerce enthusiasts on anything about e-commerce. Feel free to drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.