Research Finds It Pays For E-tailers To Have A Mobile and Website Performance Plan

Press Release

AppDynamics’ Holiday Survey Confirms Correlation Between Performance and Revenue

SAN FRANCISCO – FEBRUARY 12, 2014 – AppDynamics, the application intelligence company, today released results of its inaugural Holiday Web and Mobile Site Performance Review, which found that retailers with site performance plans and tools in place saw better results than those that did not. Retailers that added site performance tools were 14 percent more likely to exceed their Black Friday revenue projections, and those with a troubleshooting process in place were 92 percent more likely to meet or exceed their Black Friday revenue expectations.

Almost 40 percent of the surveyed retailers reported that 16 percent or more of their total web sales came from smartphones and tablets for the holiday kick-off period from Thanksgiving through December 1; 14 percent reported more than 30 percent of sales coming from mobile devices. During the same period, more than 55 percent said that over 20 percent of their traffic came from mobile devices; more than one in five reported that more than 40 percent of their online traffic came from mobile.

In terms of performance for both PC and mobile, more than 55 percent of respondents reported adding site performance and monitoring tools prior to the holiday season, and more than 22 percent added hardware. The impact of having some sort of performance management in place was clear— sites that experienced outages were 15 percent less likely to meet their revenue numbers. And sites with a performance troubleshooting process in place were more likely to resolve an outage in less than an hour.

“This research shows that mobile is continuing its healthy growth,” said Maneesh Joshi, senior director of product marketing and strategy at AppDynamics. “It also shows how important it is to have a performance plan and tools in place, not just for mobile, but for desktop as well. More e-commerce sites are focusing on performance, but there is still a long way to go. The survey shows that some 80 percent of sites did not have an outage during the holiday period. That means that 20 percent did have an issue. When an e-commerce outage can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars every minute, every outage is serious. On the plus side, of the 20 percent of respondents that had outages, a lean majority — 60 percent — resolved it in under 15 minutes. But no e-commerce team wants to be sitting in a war room on Black Friday trying to bring their site  back to life, not even for 15 minutes.”

AppDynamics Founder and CEO Jyoti Bansal added, “There’s a lot of good news in this research — traffic and revenue were up for the holiday from last year, and site performance was generally acceptable. But there are also some notes of caution here. The damage from an outage can go much further than the revenue lost on a minute-by-minute basis. When Best Buy was down, there were a number of other sites shoppers could go to for their electronics. And once they’ve made their purchases somewhere else, they’re not coming back anytime soon.

“It’s critically important to have the tools and a plan in place to prevent an outage in the first place, and if one happens, to get it resolved immediately. It’s somewhat shocking that, given the tremendous stakes, only about half of the e-commerce sites surveyed have a performance plan and tools in place. If I was sitting on the board or management team for one of those retailers, I would be asking a lot of questions.”

Highlights from the holiday performance survey are below; results are for the period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 11/27-12/1/14 (percentages are rounded):

Traffic & Sales

  • 39% reported smartphones and tablets accounted for more than 15% of sales; 14% credited mobile with more than 30% of sales.

  • 70% reported meeting or exceeding their revenue expectations.

  • 55% reported that more than 20% of their online traffic originated from mobile devices; 20% credited mobile for more than 40% of their traffic.

  • 47% said their mobile traffic grew more than 20% vs. holiday season 2013; a total of 69% said their traffic grew 10% or more.

Performance Monitoring

  • 57% added new site performance and monitoring tools prior to the holiday season; 25.91% added staff; 23% added hardware.

  • 48% had a site troubleshooting process in place.

  • Of those with troubleshooting in place, 57% had application performance monitoring tools; 56% alerting/incident management; 45% infrastructure monitoring; 63% network monitoring.

Site Outages & Resolution

  • 20% of respondents experienced at least one outage.

  • 17% had an outage of 16-30 minutes.

  • 22% had an outage of more than 30 minutes.

  • 56% were able to diagnose their outage issue in 1 to 10 minutes; 6% took more than five hours to diagnose their outage.

  • 69% resolved their outage in less than an hour; 24% in 1-5 hours; 6% in 6-24 hours; 1% in 1-3 days.

The 2014 Holiday Web and Mobile Site Performance Review was conducted in conjunction with Internet Retailer magazine. Respondents included 350 senior retail executives, half of whom had e-commerce titles, and almost a quarter of whom had marketing titles; 49 percent characterized themselves as web-only retailers, and 22 percent had at least one bricks-and-mortar location.

For more details about today’s news please read the AppDynamics blog here.

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