Maximizing eCommerce ROI: APIs Are Critical to Your Business
November 12, 2015

Priyanka Tiwari
SmartBear Software

Share this

This is part 4 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

Start with Part 3: Maximizing eCommerce ROI in the Age of the Customer

The concluding post of this series will talk about the significance of APIs and the importance of measuring what you want to manage.

You are as strong as your weakest link.

We talked a lot about the outside in perspective on the performance: the external factors that can hamper your applications' perceived performance, but what about the most critical components of your web and mobile apps? I'm talking about APIs. Internal, external or 3rd party; APIs are most critical to your business.

The APIs you consume bring data and services to your applications, drive traffic and accelerate internal projects. Since one API can affect many applications or application components, API failures often are the most critical failures. Granted that the providers of APIs will work on monitoring and improving the performance of the APIs, but as a consumer, it's your responsibility too. Why? Because to your end users, it all looks the same. They won't know if it's your code or some 3rd party's. If a 3rd party API ill-performs or breaks down, your entire application will get bad rating and/or the users will abandon it.

On the other side of the API economy are API providers. The APIs you provide bring you revenue, increase footprint and open a path to innovation. Google maps, Amazon advertisement, Flickr, Twitter etc. APIs get more than 10s of billions of calls every day; they are significant revenue generators for these companies. Expedia quoted that 90% of its revenue comes from API business. In 2013, Salesforce generated 50% of its $3B revenue via APIs. A majority of the critical components of eCommerce applications are powered by APIs. Allow me to reuse the eCommerce ecosystem image we saw in the first post of this blog series.

Let's say you are the provider of payment processing API or add-to-cart API. It is your responsibility to ensure that your API is available 24x7, performing per your consumer's requirements and is returning right data at the right places. A poor performing API slows down the adoption, results in poor rating and reduced brand equity, finally hitting the bottom line. You can be an API consumer, a provider, or most likely both. If you are dealing with APIs, you have to monitor them proactively.

Tip: Consumer of APIs, a provider or most likely both, you should monitor your APIs proactively to check if they are available, performing well and returning correct data at correct places.

You can't manage what you can't measure

Did I save the best tip for the last? Maybe I did. It's as simple as this; you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Up-down monitoring is good, but it's certainly not enough. Poor performance of the website or application is as critical as unavailability. Don't just monitor the landing pages, but proactively identify and monitor performance of all critical conversion paths. Focus on the user experience metrics search as time to first paint and above the fold. And most importantly, monitor critical user transactions such as sign ups, checkouts, forms etc.

The first step in the performance optimization process is understanding and analyzing the performance. When writing functional scripts, make sure you capture the actual user transactions to get as close to the end user as possible. Using web transaction recorders seems like the best choice to ensure that all dynamic components of the applications are measured and monitored.

eCommerce is the extension of your business, your brand and your reputation. Having an available, functional and high performing eCommerce presence is extremely vital to maintain and grow customer loyalty and brand equity.

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

Share this

The Latest

March 26, 2020

While remote work policies have been gaining steam for the better part of the past decade across the enterprise space — driven in large part by more agile and scalable, cloud-delivered business solutions — recent events have pushed adoption into overdrive ...

March 25, 2020

Time-critical, unplanned work caused by IT disruptions continues to plague enterprises around the world, leading to lost revenue, significant employee morale problems and missed opportunities to innovate, according to the State of Unplanned Work Report 2020, conducted by Dimensional Research for PagerDuty ...

March 24, 2020

In today's iterative world, development teams care a lot more about how apps are running. There's a demand for fixing actionable items. Developers want to know exactly what's broken, what to fix right now, and what can wait. They want to know, "Do we build or fix?" This trade-off between building new features versus fixing bugs is one of the key factors behind the adoption of Application Stability management tools ...

March 23, 2020

With the rise of mobile apps and iterative development releases, Application Stability has answered the widespread need to monitor applications in a new way, shifting the focus from servers and networks to the customer experience. The emergence of Application Stability has caused some consternation for diehard APM fans. However, these two solutions embody very distinct monitoring focuses, which leads me to believe there's room for both tools, as well as different teams for both ...

March 19, 2020

The 2019 State of E-Commerce Infrastructure Report, from Webscale, analyzes findings from a comprehensive survey of more than 450 ecommerce professionals regarding how their online stores performed during the 2019 holiday season. Some key insights from the report include ...

March 18, 2020

Robinhood is a unicorn startup that has been disrupting the way by which many millennials have been investing and managing their money for the past few years. For Robinhood, the burden of proof was to show that they can provide an infrastructure that is as scalable, reliable and secure as that of major banks who have been developing their trading infrastructure for the last quarter-century. That promise fell flat last week, when the market volatility brought about a set of edge cases that brought Robinhood's trading app to its knees ...

March 17, 2020

Application backend monitoring is the key to acquiring visibility across the enterprise's application stack, from the application layer and underlying infrastructure to third-party API services, web servers and databases, be they on-premises, in a public or private cloud, or in a hybrid model. By tracking and reporting performance in real time, IT teams can ensure applications perform at peak efficiency — and guarantee a seamless customer experience. How can IT operations teams improve application backend monitoring? By embracing artificial intelligence for operations — AIOps ...

March 16, 2020

In 2020, DevOps teams will face heightened expectations for higher speed and frequency of code delivery, which means their IT environments will become even more modular, ephemeral and dynamic — and significantly more complicated to monitor. As a result, AIOps will further cement its position as the most effective technology that DevOps teams can use to see and control what's going on with their applications and their underlying infrastructure, so that they can prevent outages. Here I outline five key trends to watch related to how AIOps will impact DevOps in 2020 and beyond ...

March 12, 2020

With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), CIOs should focus on three short-term actions to increase their organizations' resilience against disruptions and prepare for rebound and growth, according to Gartner ...

March 11, 2020

Whether you consider the first generation of APM or the updates that followed for SOA and microservices, the most basic premise of the tools remains the same — PROVIDE VISIBILITY ...