Why Monitor Ecommerce Platforms Magento and SAP Hybris?
Monitoring for e-commerce is integral for business success, perhaps more so than any other type of company website. Behind the scenes of an e-commerce website, are the clues to understanding your customer behavior and e-commerce infrastructure dependencies. Without adequate monitoring, you’re in the dark about user experience, end-user behavior, and the internal performance struggles which are entirely preventable. Unlike other platforms which are mainly used internally, e-commerce has a real-time effect on the end user, and therefore, your business bottom line.
Businesses who use Magento or SAP Hybris to power their e-commerce websites have dozens of behind the scenes elements, from servers, databases and applications, to desktop and mobile apps for the end-user. They need full visibility of their e-commerce operations, and to be able to trace transactions end to end throughout the entire application stack, all the way down to the data, at a granular level.
This functionality needs to be able to respond in real-time, solving crises immediately at the same time as defining rules to prevent recurring issues. As time is quite literally money when it comes to e-commerce, speed and accuracy are of the utmost importance.
With all of this behind the scenes process to track, businesses still want the emphasis to be on the personal touch, delighting customers and encouraging loyalty and word of mouth marketing from satisfied visitors to the site.
Seeing your issues for what they are
For e-commerce, SharePath has unique capabilities which work to give the best real-time visibility on the market. The SharePath intuitive dashboard allows you to identify, track and solve performance issues, and hone in on where the source of any delay or potential issues might be. A low-impact solution, it won’t affect the performance of your apps, with no degradation in performance whatsoever.
If processing or response times are suffering, SharePath can break this down to show you exactly what needs to be flagged up to developers or IT. The solution can also compare visitor and server behavior across different countries, to identify potential problems with infrastructure.
Real User Monitoring is also essential, and SharePath optimizes this for e-commerce. Data is tracked and collected on every piece of customer activity and each individual transaction. This means it’s easy to manage customer data proactively rewarding customer loyalty.
This unique view of each customer journey means that you have insight into the issues which are impacting the user in real-time, enabling you to reach out and solve complex issues before they result in churn.
- Quick and simple deployment in hours, with no prior knowledge needed of the internal application, and no application specific configuration.
- Automatic detection and tracking of user requests through the whole application stack
- Ability to isolate problems before they get to the end user, providing unparalleled customer service.
- Visibility of bottlenecks, load issues and scalability problems.
- Granular detail of the entire application, from desktop, through application logic, and even specific SQL statements.
- Real User Monitoring (RUM) which includes historical and real-time trends and metrics.
- Reduction of the time it takes to rollout upgrades and patches
- An analysis of the results of thorough stress testing, to identify and resolve issues across the application stack.
Putting SharePath to the Test: A Case Study
Under stress testing, SharePath identified data which could not be ignored. Customers were experiencing slow response times of up to 51 seconds. It’s clear that this kind of delay was going to result in churn and dissatisfaction. Using SharePath, our clients can look into this issue, monitoring the servers at a granular level, discovering the underlying problems with load balancing and server activity which contribute to the delay.
Usually, we can expect two servers to split the traffic fairly evenly, at around 50/50, or to be balanced according to where the bulk of the load falls. In testing, SharePath could identify that the customer servers were extremely unequal.
While the second server was responsible for essential tasks such as the login process and the home page, it was struggling under the weight, needing far more time to process requests and respond. When the processing time reached a peak, it never returned to pre-peak load, even once the number of requests returned to normal.
In a real-life situation, this would indicate high pressure on checkout which leads to customers getting stuck mid-transaction, potentially causing the entire website to go down or at the very least, running at poor performance levels. During high season, for example in the middle of sales, this is a real concern.
SharePath can then zoom in on these waiting times, highlighting the cause and effect with actionable insights on where the problems initiate. In this case, they uncovered that of the 18 second login time, 11 seconds were spent solving a zip file issue. The customer could then take this data to the developer and ask for a solution.
As both Magento and SAP Hybris allows developers to customize the existing code, SharePath can identify whether the issue is with your own development or further back in the original software.
- Granular visibility
- Quicker problem resolution
- Actionable analysis of the entire application stack
- Less churn leads to higher profit margin
- Satisfied customers become brand ambassadors
The incredible visibility into every step of the e-commerce journey is what puts SharePath for e-commerce head and shoulders above the competition, but there are other fringe benefits which also can’t be ignored.
Real-Time and Proactive Customer Service
By tracking end-user behavior, businesses can identify their premium customers far more easily. This information can help craft unique and valuable experiences which reward them for their behavior. This could be anything from real-time customer service, (think an online personal assistant) to proactive customer support, where issues are identified before the customer feels personally affected, and the business can reach out to solve them.
This level of visibility is also invaluable for reporting and analytics, especially in testing business hypotheses. You might assume that your page load time is directly linked to the amount of churn you experience as a business, or your sales. You could be correct, but with SharePath, you have the data to back it up. Conversely, you might realize that a few seconds either way is not impacting your bottom line, helping you channel budget or attention where it’s more essential. Being able to compare performance before and after each customization is integral to business decision making and success.
Development Savings and Backend Efficiency
Knowing where the errors are, immediately saves time and effort put into working out what the problems are in the first place. We know that Magento and Hybris SAP platforms are usually developed and customized by the in-house teams, and the cycle of development is very quick. SharePath caters to these rapid development cycles, by giving you the visibility you need at every stage.
Not only is SharePath quick and simple to deploy, there is no internal application knowledge needed to get started, and the learning curve is far from steep. From the technical IT staff to the Business strategists, collaboration is seamless, with an intuitive dashboard that speaks for itself.
These benefits extend further than the front-end sales, which is understandably the priority for most companies. When the customer-facing parts of your business are slow, you can almost guarantee the back end is going to be slower still. For employees, this can cause frustration and low morale, and of course- slower back-end processes are also hurting your efficiency and bottom line overall. SharePath identifies problems behind the scenes as well as at front of house, as you can see below.
Benefits for Senior Managers: Improve your bottom line with more satisfied customers and a reduction in development costs, all with low impact on performance.
Benefits for IT: Caters to the rapid development cycle. Instant visibility across the entire application stack, immediate awareness of the source of problems in real-time.
Benefits for Sales: Resolution of lagging transactions, proactive support for customers, answers at their fingertips.