Internet Disruptions Cost E-Commerce Retailers Millions Annually
April 05, 2023

Howard Beader

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Recent data from eMarketer projects that U.S. retail ecommerce sales will accelerate each year through 2027, reaching more than $1.7 trillion and comprising one-fifth of total retail sales. The great societal shift online is no longer an emerging trend, it's how we live, work and play.

Now that so much of our lives take place online, consumers have increasingly higher expectations about online experience. The consequences of poor experience are significant for e-commerce retailers, affecting sales, revenue, and stock price. New research conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Catchpoint shows that one cause of poor experiences are disruptions across the "Internet stack," including routers, firewalls, ISPs, DNS, CDNs, cloud services, website payment providers, and video hosting services — which are particularly costly for e-commerce retailers.

The survey found that nearly 40% of e-commerce retailers suffer customer-impacting disruptions, as many as 76 per month on average, and these can cost up to $1 million per month. Despite the frequency and costs of disruption, however, many e-commerce retailers have been slow to adopt new solutions to proactively reduce or eliminate instances and increase their Internet resilience. Less than one-third of respondents in the survey monitor their full Internet stack today.

But the winds are shifting, with more e-commerce retailers adopting new technologies to gain visibility outside their traditional network infrastructure. 61% of survey respondents say they require tools to anticipate, detect, and fix Internet performance problems quickly, indicating a need for better management of Internet performance.

While monitoring the entire Internet stack isn't easy, with thousands of blind spots dispersed geographically that could become disruptions or affect experience, doing nothing isn't an option. This is precisely why adoption of Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM), which provides those capabilities e-commerce retailers say is missing, is growing.

The survey findings make a strong case for IPM, quantifying the consequences of not closely monitoring all aspects of a customer's experience and addressing issues before they happen. With so much at stake, from slow site loading to abandoned shopping carts, there must be zero tolerance for disruption. And this starts with proactive monitoring that anticipates problems instead of reporting on them retrospectively.

As I've written before, the Internet is your new network, and if you're an e-commerce retailer — or any company for that matter, Internet resiliency is critical to the quality and consistency of your digital experience. Our survey shows that e-commerce retailers acknowledge the importance of proactively monitoring the Internet stack, and this industry pivot is certainly a hopeful sign.

You can review the entire findings of the survey HERE. You can also learn more about the benefits of IPM by watching the Increase Revenue through Internet Resilience Webinar.

Howard Beader is VP of Product Marketing at Catchpoint
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