It‘s often said that what matters in e-commerce is the offer and the customer service.1 That’s true, but if you come across the following technological issues – forget about business. Here are the most frequent problems our clients turn to us with:
1. My e-shop is running slow.
The speed of your e-shop directly affects its conversion. Google uses the information on how fast a website is when positioning it. Evidently, the speed is critical. Aren’t you fed up with fighting with your IT about how slow the store is? Waiting just a few seconds longer for the site to upload is rarely a problem for them. You, however, know it perfectly well that this means missing business.
Shops usually run slow as the people, who have implemented them, didn’t take scalability into account. Flexible e-commerce platforms, like Magento, require great expertise in performance, so that e-shop can handle the growing number of visits, transactions, and products. At times, it’s simply enough to tune properly the caching mechanisms and the server services parameters. Unfortunately, it’s often more time-consuming.
We systematically carry out performance audits and base on them to prepare guidelines for the client to follow, or we implement the changes ourselves. Usually, accelerating your e-shop means higher conversion.
2. My e-shop sometimes stops running. I don’t know when.
Your e-shop’s breakdown may put off the customer who experiences it. They may take time before coming back. When I was running my own e-shop, I remember how stressed I was when it stopped operating. Sometimes, I had to look for the reason in the middle of the night, contacting everybody involved (hosting, programmers, external suppliers). Of course, everybody would blame the others then and, at times, it would take hours before we could find out what really happened and who should fix it.
If you cooperate with a freelancer or a very small company, you probably don’t have the access to a monitoring system or, better still, a 24/7 emergency response team. As a rule, an IT company should be the first to learn about a breakdown1 – being notified by an automatic failure detection system. They take action to identify and control the error as soon as possible (in the case of Divante it’s max. 1h). The client receives a report on the incident – usually it’s only then when they realise there has been a problem. If it’s your responsibility to detect breakdowns in your e-shop’s operation and to find the guilty ones, it’s time to change the company you cooperate with.
In Divante, even if you use a modified shopping software, you can buy service assurance with defined emergency response times.
3. Changes in a mechanism X cause breakdowns in Y.
There’s nothing worse than identifying errors in your own e-store. Sometimes, for no reason, the mechanism which hasn’t been modified stops operating. You get in touch with your programmers only to find out, after a few stressful hours, that a modification in a mechanism X has accidentally affected the mechanism Y. The repair takes another couple of hours, and you keep thinking how much business you’re losing just now.
Some less experienced companies very often launch new functionalities without prior, thorough tests. These aren’t the responsibility of the programmers, nor the clients. In bigger companies the responsibility lies with testers, who should perform tests before allowing the changes to be implemented in the production process.
Divante, apart from separate testing department, also uses automated testers, which cyclically autonomously test the functioning of critical paths. In addition, according to best practices, every change is implemented using a code version control mechanism. It can be withdrawn from a production server in case of any adverse effects.
Solving the above problems usually results in two gains: Your customers buy more willingly, while you regain the time to think about expanding your business.