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Covid-19: Retail Businesses Should Take Steps To Offer The Ideal Online User Experience

Ensuring that your business service not only has maximum uptime but also delivers a good user experience can help a great deal in mitigating the impact of these tough times

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While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has removed much of the traffic from the roads, it has led to an unusual increase in traffic on the internet. Online services are reporting a spike in the number of visitors and requests, making it tough to maintain seamless service delivery.

If you run an online store, streaming or gaming site, or any other small to medium-sized online business, you've probably already seen a surge in users and perhaps some glitches in performance, too. This surge is only expected to rise further. For instance, a survey by Capgemini Research Institute suggests that the demand for online shopping in India is set to increase from 46% to 64% in the coming months.

While service providers and experts say the internet can hold up for now, organizations need to implement measures to prevent network congestion and interruptions in service during this period of crisis. Delivering the ideal user experience while handling heavy traffic is crucial to your business during these times.

Ensuring application response time is low:

Near real-time insights tell you how fast your application is responding to a click or a swipe. Given the number of user interactions with your site, those insights are essential, especially if you run an online store. Understanding the end-user experience of your business application can help diagnose critical problems before they impact application performance. Beyond identifying transactions with slow responses, it is important to identify the exact causes of these poor response times. For example, say the response time of a particular webpage is poor and users abandon it before it loads. The underlying cause for this could be anything from network latency to the size of elements in the webpage (CSS, images, scripts, etc.) to chat, pop-ups, and other third-party code.

Prioritizing critical user interactions:

Some interactions are more important than others, e.g., a form used to collect user details or the checkout page processing payment operations. Consequently, user path flows through the web application involved in such interactions should be closely monitored for performance problems at all times. Synthetic monitoring tools available in the market can accurately pinpoint problematic transactions and help extrapolate the root cause of issues.

Historical performance analysis to plan capacity for the future:

While generating revenue is usually the primary objective of any business, in times like these, keeping the business alive and functioning for its users is more important. To that end, historical performance analysis is essential. Insights such as average availability and response time of your application from different geographies, average downtime, average load times, and outage reports can help you understand how your application is coping with requests and whether it requires any upgrades. For example, it's possible that your web application requires additional capacity in the database or your application server needs an upgrade in order to process and deliver requests. Informed decisions like these can only be made with insights that help plan for the future based on understanding of growth and utilization trends.

Monitoring the content of your website:

While website content monitoring or website defacement monitoring is not something that relates exclusively to the remote working scenario, it is definitely something that is essential to delivering the right user experience. This monitoring concerns the diagnosis and correction of any unauthorized changes made to the appearance of webpages on your website. Websites are usually defaced by hackers who break into a web server and replace the content or script in the hosted website with their own, using techniques such as phishing, code injection, and cross-site scripting. Insertion of potentially hazardous content, images, malicious code, or even deletion of content can inflict severe damage to your business reputation and user experience. Detecting such changes in time and rectifying them before end users notice theme is an important aspect of delivering an ideal digital experience.

The pandemic has forced people to stay indoors and affected businesses globally in many ways. While most businesses are impacted severely and are implementing measures to contain the loss of revenue, other online businesses are seeing a surge in users because of increased traffic on the internet. In any case, ensuring that your business service not only has maximum uptime but also delivers a good user experience can help a great deal in mitigating the impact of these tough times

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Anugraha Benjamin

Product Consultant at ManageEngine

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