For e­commerce success, you need to meet user expectations with fast, reliable performance across web and mobile platforms

The opportunities in today’s e­commerce marketplace are huge—prompted by forces ranging from the exploding growth of online commerce itself to the rise of mobile computing.

These same opportunities, however, also present new challenges that can ultimately impact the success of your e­commerce and other online initiatives. To stay competitive, the web experience that your online platform delivers must meet or exceed customer expectations. It must be fast, engaging and responsive. As a result, the mobile and web architectures that support it are now business ­critical.

To meet evolving e­commerce and online demands, you need to meet pivotal challenges in the design and development of your web applications and infrastructures.

The online channel sees unprecedented growth

E­commerce firms across the globe are experiencing a shift in their revenue sources to a model that is increasingly dependent on the online channel. Brick ­and­ mortar businesses are now embracing e­commerce and working to maximise the opportunities the online channel can bring. And the result is impressive. Online retail spending in the US grew to 14 percent of the retail total in 2013, while overall consumer retail spending in the US only grew by half as much. This significant rise in online purchases presents a huge opportunity for the full range of e­commerce businesses. What is more, the mobile platform extends this fast ­growing online opportunity still further. The use of mobile devices for e­commerce has now extended across industries and continues to climb rapidly.

For instance, in the UK, mobile computing is already accounting for one third of online sales – one study found that 32 percent of all online purchases in the UK between November 2013 and January 2014 were made using mobile devices. In addition, global e­commerce sales via mobile devices in 2018 are expected to reach USD638 billion – roughly the same level as the world’s entire e­commerce market in 2013. The adoption of mobile computing, however, isn’t only about retail. Recognising the power of the mobile platform to impact the bottom line, financial services companies are also making the transition to mobile services. A recent study reported that 32 percent of US adults, or 35 percent of cell phone owners, bank using their mobile phones. The increasing adoption of mobile devices presents new sales and growth opportunities for a range of e­commerce firms. But it also presents new obstacles to maximizing the returns from this rapidly growing channel.

Customers expect fast, high­ quality web experiences

As online channels—and specifically the mobile platform—grow, customer expectations for a superior online experience grow right along with them. If an organisation does not provide customers and potential customers with the optimal experience they prefer, users can usually find a competitor who does—raising the competitive stakes. The issue boils down to speed, which has become critical to the success of e­commerce and other online operations.

It’s reported that a one ­second delay in web page load time can mean 11 percent fewer page views, a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7 percent loss in conversions. Many firms find, in fact, that their customers not only expect better responsiveness of their web and mobile applications but that they also demand richer content. Yet with its sophisticated graphics, sound, images, videos and applications logic, rich content can add up to large payloads and more complex rendering – all of which can slow online responsiveness.

Further reading:

Solutions that look at; High Performance, Scalability, Availability, Intelligence and Security