Have you ever seen a cool product advertised somewhere, decided you wanted to buy it and headed off you your local brick-and-mortar store, wallet in pocket or purse, only to be faced with a terrible shopping experience that put you off completely.
Perhaps the store is organized so messily it is impossible to find what you want. Maybe the sales staff are so hard to find that you’re more likely to see a tumbleweed rolling through the aisles than get your questions answered. Or maybe you do find someone to help you, but they’re chatting away on their phone.
Experiences like this are one reason so many consumers have turned their back on physical stores and choose to shop online. But, there is an online analogue turning customers off just as quickly as bad service in stores. Poorly performing websites are, if anything, more frustrating. Slow loading pages and unresponsive shopping carts result in a huge number of lost sales. And, unlike with brick-and-mortar stores, because customers haven’t made the time investment of traveling to a retail location, they lose nothing by bailing and looking for a better performing alternative.
According to a recent survey from Load Impact, 68% of respondents had experienced performance degradation and stability problems in the last year, 46% of whom blamed their issues on a lack of resources. 27% said they lacked information about their site’s capacity. And, 16% blamed poor performance on hiccups with cloud service providers.
53% of eCommerce stores reported they lost money because of performance and stability issues. Even worse, the average load time of eCommerce stores across the 5,240 tested was 7.5 seconds, which is much higher than for sites where performance is less important for making conversions. 96% of those asked said 4 seconds was the maximum tolerated load time for an eCommerce site, with the vast majority wanting load times of under 2 seconds.
What’s going wrong here? Online retailers are well aware that latency is inversely proportional to conversion rates. Most of them blame a lack of resources for poor performance, but a lack of resources is an indication that retailers are both failing to plan for scaling and don’t have the redundant resources needed to ensure adequate performance across load spikes and hardware failures.
That’s unfortunate, because the technology exists to make scaling out server infrastructure fairly straightforward. Server clustering is an efficient and low-cost method for deploying redundant infrastructure that helps sites ride out high load times, maintaining stability and performance. It’s also an excellent way to plan for scaling out. As traffic increases, performance can be maintained by adding extra nodes to soak up the load.
It is in the best interests of eCommerce retailers to provide optimal performance and stability to their customers. That need presents an opportunity for web hosting companies. Those hosting companies that adopt high-quality server clustering solutions will have a significant advantage compared to their competitors who are stuck with legacy hosting management solutions.