The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

The Dawn of a New Shopping Season

As Thanksgiving Eve, Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, the momentum is palpable as eager shoppers gear up to take advantage of all those well-advertised holidays sales. For many retailers, as much as 60% of their annual revenues are dependent on the next six weeks. No mistakes are permissible; inventories have to be stocked, clerks must be ready to assist everyone and anyone, and most importantly, the technology supporting sales operations must work.

In fact, technology is at the core of a successful holiday shopping season as a growing number of consumers go online, stressing applications, infrastructure and networks. The most dedicated shoppers began shopping online in earnest before Thanksgiving — to the tune of $9.7 billion according to a report released last week by comScore.

Faulty technology can cause retailers to lose millions of seasonal dollars. If a retailer’s web site fails, shoppers pursue alternatives. And today there are more retail options then ever before, those options being only two clicks away. So, retail friends, if your site is not easy to use and the buying experience is not simple and fast, it’s likely that you’re losing sales.

Many retailers spent this year making over their web sites and are using some of the coolest technologies to highlight their holiday season product offerings. As hip as these features are, they could, in fact, crash a site or deliver a not-so-positive user experience. This year, at least six of the top ten retailers have prepared their web properties for the online shopping season.

These savvy consumer brands spent months testing these new technologies and apps. They tested and re-tested new functionality on every consumer-facing application hundreds of times. They also began to embrace cloud testing techniques to simulate millions of customers buying leading brands via iPads, iPhones and Android. And they did this all to ensure that their user experience is easy and fast.

It’s has been a long summer for most retail development and test teams. Showtime is here! Good luck to the retail community; we wish you a prosperous holiday season. And, to all you consumers: enjoy the new sites and the high performance that they will deliver.


Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.