With the end of the year comes the inevitable flood of predictions for next year’s technology evolutions and what e-commerce companies need to get ready for. And while it’s definitely fascinating to read what the industry thinks of upcoming security threats and malware, one area that gets easily overlooked is what’s going to happen to a company’s back-end. The technological guts of e-commerce websites will see some changes in 2016, and those changes should come from surprising places.

Slow is the New Down

One of the biggest problems for organizations’ websites is an increased lack of patience from visitors when it comes to website performance. Website applications can go down, and companies won’t realize it because their old and unsophisticated monitoring tools typically report only if a website has crashed completely. When it comes to user satisfaction, however, a slow and unresponsive website is just as difficult to deal with as a downed website. Ultimately, this drives customers away in frustration, as was evident during this year’s Cyber Monday shopping. This is especially true for ecommerce companies, as their dynamic websites require that every user see something different. In these businesses, website/IT managers need to be looking at services that not only predict traffic surges and scale appropriately, but also can repair themselves automatically in the event of a failure to avoid customers experiencing lengthy response times.

SSL Encryption Becomes Ubiquitous

SEO has evolved from a buzzword to a business strategy, and everyone is looking for a boost in page ranking over their competitors. But one of the lesser known strategies for boosting page ranking is “forcing” SSL encryption. Last year, Google announced that it had started determining if a website secures the entire user session by HTTPS – and, if it did, Google would raise the site owner’s page ranking. This news has gone under the radar until recently, but Symantec just published a white paper outlining how this process works. As Google is pretty much ubiquitous with searching, we’ll see a lot more companies adopting SSL encryption in 2016. While this technology has been out there for a while, its new marketing potential will prove to be much more of an impetus than will its security benefits.

Website Downtime Only Gets More Common

There is a downside to embracing viral marketing and online promotions: they can be too much of a good thing and can cause online traffic overload. Platforms such as Twitter and YouTube have global audiences. But when a company captures the interest of millions of people, its website can be deluged by millions of visitors in a very short span of time.  When a company’s website gets overwhelmed, its poor performance means that visitors get upset, causing them to defect to a competitor. Research has revealed that nearly 80% of shoppers are unlikely to come back to your site if they deem your website performance to be too slow and more than half claim that quick page loading is a major factor in their brand loyalty. Just as upsetting, and potentially catastrophic, is when this results in lost revenue, as downtime can cost a company up to thousands of dollars per minute. So, in 2016, expect to see an increased number of viral promotions and massive visitor influx, which will give unprepared companies a nasty surprise.

How to Prepare

What’s the best way to address these changes? More important than any particular solution is the need for organizations to be mindful of what users expect when visiting their websites. If an organization has cloud deployments or other back-end changes on the horizon, be sure that those changes can scale to meet future needs as well as present needs. Think also about how your IT team will manage this growing infrastructure as you expand into new territories, new countries and build a cloud infrastructure to match. In the end, improving an organizations’ infrastructure is about thinking how to meet the needs of users and customers, and how to ensure that if you do strike gold, with the right promotion, at the right time, that your website isn’t going down, while your sales are going up.

Source: http://risnews.edgl.com/

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