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The Challenge Facing Online Retailers

Today City A.M. reports that year-on-year online sales were up by 6.6% in April 2016, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG monthly sales monitor. While this could be seen as positive, when annual UK GDP growth is only 2.1%, it compares badly against the previous April’s growth of 15.4% for online sales. This report comes only a week after the news that high street stores are undergoing a steep fall in business, so the slowing of online sales cannot be attributed to consumers moving their spend to the traditional channel.

Online Shoppng

How will online retailers compete to meet this challenge?

  • More sales promotions, with the corresponding drop in unit profitability?
  • Or will they broaden their range, with the additional investment this requires?
  • Or will they work to improve the performance and usability of their websites?

Any of these options has a corresponding impact on their online platforms, which sadly tend to get forgotten by the marketing department. Sales promotions that the IT department are unaware of, and therefore not ready for, can cause websites to slow or fail, thereby annoying many potential consumers in one fell swoop; one prominent online retailer did this recently, causing complaints on social media.

For any successful sales promotion on an online sales website the IT department should be aware as they need to make preparations for the peak; this is even more important if they wish to add new functionality.

Effective IT performance assurance and capacity planning is core to meeting the customer demands for any online retailer. At this challenging time for retailers they need to ensure they engage the IT department.

If you would like to learn more about our Prepare for Peak and Performance testing solutions, please click below, to see our latest Ebook.

Guide to ensuring website performance during trading peaks