Optimizing your Online Transaction Process with Website Monitoring

| March 14, 2014 | 1 Comment

It is commonly known and proven by several studies (Amazon) that a slow website with large visitor volumes with a delay of as much as 100 milliseconds can lead to a decrease of 1% in turnover. In these studies they only investigated the influence of plain loading times. Despite the fact that there are a lot more factors that influence conversion rates and turnover.

Problems in the Online Transaction Process

All webmasters and website owners do their utmost best to have a fast loading website. With a fast loading website, our visitors stay on our website and won’t abandon in the early phases. However, it is shown by a study of Tealeaf and Harris Interactive that on a yearly basis a stunning amount of 44 billion dollars are lost because of problems in the online transaction processes of websites.

Online Transaction Process and Website MonitoringA sum up of their findings:

  • 32% of your visitors will abandon your shopping cart and website when one of the steps in your online transaction process is having problems
  • 1 out of 5 visitors will abandon your shopping cart if the different steps on your website are loading to slow
  • A delay of 2 seconds in the first step (in a process of 5 steps) results in a decrease of 60% of conversions
  • A delay of 2 seconds in the third step (in a process of 5 steps) results in a drop of 55% of conversions
  • A complaint of a single visitor will create an ‘echo chamber effect’ on Social Media.

Based on these findings it is clear that an unoptimized online transaction process could lead to a serious loss of conversions and hence turnover. But where do you look for possible problems, and even more important root causes?

Problems and Causes:

Third Parties

A lot of websites make use of services from third parties for several purposes. For instance Credit Card authorization and address validation are often implemented scripts from third parties. This means that in the online transaction process on your own website your are completely dependent on the performance of external services.

Hence, be sure to only use reliable third party services and be sure to check their Service Level Agreements before you start working with them. Even more important be sure to make use of a Website Monitoring service with Transaction monitoring functionalities. With these services you can monitor all the different steps on uptime, loading times which allows you to continuously monitor the performance of the process.

The Online Transaction Process and Website MonitoringInternal Search Engines, Log-in and Forms

Many websites use internal search engines to offer their visitors the opportunity to find what they are looking for. However, more often than not, these search engines aren’t properly working or not working at all. Secondly, on a lot of websites it is required to log-in before you can make an online transaction. If your Log-in functionalities for any reason isn’t working you have a serious problem. The same goes for simple registration forms.

In a normal situation you won’t notice any problems with these forms or log-in functionalities yourself since you aren’t a customer. Mostly, you will notice problems because of complaints from potential customers on Social Media or through your support center (when the damage is already done). You can prevent all these problems by pro-actively monitoring all the consecutive steps of your online transaction process.

Usage of HTTPS/SSL

Other problems can occur with the usage of HTTPS pages. Of course, the check-out process of your online shop should be safe, but sometimes for this safety you pay a serious price. The encryption and decryption of these pages take a lot of time (more time than HTTP pages). To increase the loading time of these pages you should make sure the pages are cashed by the browser.

Online Transaction Process and Website MonitoringExpired SSL Certificate

Another serious risk of using HTTPS pages is the possibility of expiration of your SSL certificates. Where the HTTPS pages are intended to create safety, a screen as displayed in the image will only create problems. You can prevent this by using SSL certificate expiration monitoring.

Concluding

We now know that a malfunctioning online transaction process could lead to an abandonment rate of 32% and that with a delay of 2 seconds your conversion can drop with 60%. To prevent this the first thing you should do is start monitoring the online transaction process, and start optimizing the performance of all the individual steps. Test all the options with A/B testing and only use the highly necessary steps in the process. Whenever problems do occur, you can immediately take action because you will be alerted by your monitoring service.

Good luck!


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