Maximizing eCommerce ROI in the Age of the Customer
November 02, 2015

Priyanka Tiwari
SmartBear Software

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This is part 3 of the multipart blog series explaining trends in eCommerce as a result of underlying trends in technology and how ecommerce providers can maximize ROI with the help of proactive performance monitoring.

Start with Part 1: Maximizing eCommerce ROI with Synthetic Monitoring

Start with Part 2: Maximizing eCommerce ROI - Understanding the Latest Trends

Compete with Yourself First

eCommerce is ever-changing and so are the customers, who are the raison d'être of eCommerce. As you expand your offerings and start catering to different demographics, your competitive landscape becomes more complex. Now you are competition against the companies in your market as well as your historic self. Don't ignore your current and returning customers while running after the new ones. When a single second of page load delay and every instance of poor performance directly hits your bottom line, make baselining the first step of your performance optimization strategy.

Tip: Monitor in pre-production environment to baseline your performance. Compare that against your historic self and your competitor's performance.

Be Prepared for the Age of the Customer

In the Age of the Customer, your customers decide where and how they want to access your eCommerce platform. They select the browsers, the Internet service providers, the wireless networks and the physical devices on which they would access your website or the app. eMarketer did a fantastic report on trends in the world of Mobile eCommerce or m-commerce as they call it. Online shoppers love mobile but 37% hated the inconsistencies in user experience across various devices. Customers demand seamless experience across all the devices and platforms they use to access your eCommerce offering.

Tip: Monitor your eCommerce offering – Websites, web apps, mobile responsive web and native mobile app considering all diverse use cases: various locations, real devices, browsers, Internet providers and wireless networks.

Mobile Rocks but Web Still Matters

We all hear how mobile is taking over the world. It's the "Cloud first, Mobile first" world. In developing countries more people access the Internet from their mobile devices than the desktops. Per the IBM Holiday report, conversion rate and average value per order was higher for desktops than for mobile devices. Small screen devices browse, large screen devices buy!


India's largest eCommerce provider Flipkart announced that they will soon go only-app just like their newly acquired asset Myntra. The adoption and usage of the mobile phone varies across different geographies and industries. Personally, I would be far more comfortable buying a pair of shoes via my smartphone than filing my taxes or buying my health insurance. Mobile matters for some industries, but desktop is still relevant and prominent for others.

Mobile app users may be more forgiving about the load time, but they reportedly leave the app if an action doesn't complete in 300ms. Ensuring performance on diverse mobile devices running on various networks is challenging for the app providers. Customers who want to browse and research on smartphone, add items to cart on a tablet, and checkout on a desktop are not making this easy. That's why we see many companies opting for mobile responsive web. The pros and cons of mobile responsive web vs native app is a discussion for another time. But as m-commerce grows, the need for improving and maintaining mobile experience grows.

Tip: Understand the conversion paths for your eCommerce offering and bulletproof them. Strive for ultimate mobile experience without losing the focus on websites.

In the next post, I will conclude the blog series with understanding the significance of APIs in eCommerce and a final tip to measure and monitor the application performance.

Priyanka Tiwari is Product Marketing Manager, AlertSite, SmartBear Software.

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