Holiday seasons are an ideal time for stores because it’s the time they get the most foot-falls and it’s a great time to cash in on sales. It is also an ideal time for shoppers to cash in on great deals and discounts. After all, who doesn’t love to shop for items when there’s a steep sale? For those shoppers who avoid the holiday rush of going to a store may just end up visiting the online store. To give those shoppers the convenience, it’s essential to have a website which offers an awesome user experience – from the time the buyer enters the site till the time the sale is complete.

  

If the user experience is bad, it’s going to cost you the sale, and the customer may never come back. It’s a huge risk, especially during the holidays. We recently spoke about application downtime, similarly, if your website is unavailable, it’s going to cost your business… in plenty. It’s vital to monitor website availability, performance, and responsiveness. When customers are accessing your site from multiple locations, the more reason it is for you to ensure there’s continuous uptime.

 

Having a website performance monitoring tool will help you find the root cause of a slow Web transaction or if the website itself is down.

  1. Monitor page load speeds. Monitoring critical Web page elements such as images, JavaScript, CSS, third party content, etc. and look whether these elements are impacting the page load speeds. If one of the page elements fail to load, then it spoils the whole user experience, and affects the page load time.
  2. Set appropriate baseline metrics. You can set baseline values once you record the Web transaction. Based on the performance of the transaction, you can keep adjusting your baseline values. For example, once you’ve set a baseline value of 80% as warning and 90% as critical, you should keep revisiting from time to time and modify based on the website performance.
  3. Monitor page element behavior. If you've found what the issue is, drill-deeper to see the root cause. For example, if your site is not loading the way you want because of a style sheet, you should go deeper to look at different components, their load times, whether another issue is preventing the style sheet from loading etc.
  4. User experience monitoring. Just because you've identified and fixed the website issue doesn't mean that all is well. You have to test your fixes continuously from an end user’s perspective. Since your user base is going to access your website from multiple locations, you need to measure the site performance accordingly and compare them with your baseline values.
  5. Get notified when there’s a problem. You can proactively receive alerts in real-time if your website is not loading, or if a Web transaction has failed, or if the website performance is trending very poorly.

       

Be Proactive this Holiday Season

  

Rely on Web performance monitoring tools that will keep an eye on your websites along with other front-end applications. Proactively monitor your webpages, receive alerts if your website is having periodic issues, and fix problems before your business performance is affected.

  

Happy holidays everybody!