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A recent study revealed that poor performance costs online retailers $76.3 billion in lost sales annually. That’s a huge price to pay for a subpar online experience that can easily be optimized.

One sure-fire way to prevent such misfortunes is through performance monitoring where the team gets to gauge, manage, and streamline the health of their digital storefront.

Owing to the effective solutions it offers, performance monitoring is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for improving shopper experience and boosting e-commerce revenue. In this post, we dive deep into performance monitoring and how it can spot outages before they occur and save time and effort for your e-commerce team.

What Is Performance Monitoring?

Performance monitoring involves tracking and analyzing the execution time and efficiency of a website to identify bottlenecks, optimize critical e-commerce paths, and enhance the overall UX of the website.

Performance monitoring involves the following components –

Web Stress Test

This assesses how the website performs when there’s a sudden spike in traffic during a flash sale or the holiday season. The insights derived help the team understand resource requirements during this period.

API Monitoring

API monitoring involves testing load, function, regression, and performance to assess the static and dynamic resources. It offers useful information that developers and DevOps teams can leverage to improve the shopping experience.

Uptime Monitoring

As mentioned earlier, uptime monitoring checks the availability of the website and the response time to avoid outages (downtime), especially when the traffic spikes. Uptime monitoring spots the issue and alerts early so that the right person on the development team is notified.

Synthetic Monitoring

Through this, the e-commerce team can check the functionality of pages by simulating shopper actions, such as visiting the website, registering, browsing through products, and making purchases. They replicate user actions to identify errors early.

Thus, through synthetic monitoring, your team can paint a comprehensive picture of your user base by testing from diverse browsers, viewports, and network speeds.

Real User Monitoring

Real user monitoring offers insights into website performance by analyzing user behavior and interactions, identifying issues, and collecting data like page views, time spent on a page, and load time.

The Need for E-commerce Performance Monitoring

Continuous and proactive performance monitoring plays a significant role in maintaining and building a robust e-commerce website. With accurate performance monitoring tools, you can deep-dive into the root cause of issues impacting shopper experience and your revenue.

A well-performing website ensures:

– Increased website conversions and sales

– Enhanced visitor retention

– Lower bounce rates

– Improved performance in the search engine page results

Here’s why your e-commerce company should consider performance monitoring.

To perform real-time system checks: Performance monitoring allows e-commerce teams to know system status, regardless of where their web servers reside in the world.

To gain end-to-end visibility: It offers visibility into system performance for on-premise and cloud-based servers. Lack of this visibility can lead to integration issues. Performance monitoring allows teams to look across a complex landscape of infrastructure, applications, and user interfaces and pinpoint the root cause of performance issues.

To reduce the operational costs: Regular monitoring and improving website performance e-commerce companies can head off many crises that otherwise require hours to resolve. This reduces the operating costs, often passed along to the customer as higher pricing.

To reduce shopping cart abandonment: Poor website performance makes it so difficult to complete a purchase, that shoppers simply walk away. Performance monitoring can get rid of the technical issues that ruin shopper experience and cause churn.

To improve CX and brand loyalty: Poor website performance leads to user frustration, seriously impacting your e-commerce revenue. Performance monitoring helps offset this risk and optimizes site functionality.

How is Performance Monitoring Different from Observability

Both performance monitoring and observability may seem similar as both offer substantial insight into end-to-end performance and security for applications.

However, the key difference lies in the depth of insights they offer. Performance monitoring offers a high-level way of tracking system health. On the other hand, observability dives deep into the technical details developers need for root cause analysis.

Performance monitoring takes observability a step further by offering the ‘why’ behind the issue. E-commerce developers and teams can leverage monitoring and observability to track health and performance which helps in ensuring issues are addressed quickly.

Performance Monitoring and Google’s Core Web Vitals: What’s the Connection?

Google’s Core Web Vitals is a subset of Web Vitals that plays a central role in ranking how well web pages deliver quality user experience. The performance metrics used in Core Web Vitals are key performance indicators like connection speed, content loading speed, page speed, interactivity, bottlenecks, and visual stability.

Core Web Vitals represent a distinct facet of the user experience and reflect the real-world experience of critical user-centric outcomes. The metrics evolve based on Google updates that consider granular details influencing website performance.

At present, Web Vitals focuses on three aspects of the UX: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

Google's Core Web Vitals

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – measures the time it takes large images to render after a user tries to load a page.

First Input Delay (FID) – measures the time between a user’s first interaction with a website and when a browser can respond to that interaction.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – is a measure of the page’s visual stability. With performance monitoring, e-commerce companies can proactively and reactively test how well their web elements are meeting Core Web Vitals standards.

Uptime monitoring, for instance, tracks the uptime ratio – availability of the website, including response time that is evaluated from different locations. This is critical to prevent potential revenue loss due to downtime. Thus, tracking and fixing the uptime ratio will directly impact shopper experience and satisfaction.

Performance Monitoring Best Practices

Set Clear Objectives

For most tech disciplines, the best way to leverage performance monitoring is by setting the goal.

  • What are you planning to accomplish through performance monitoring?
  • What opportunities do you want to explore with your web properties?
  • What performance challenges are you facing?
  • How are these issues impacting customer experience?
  • What kind of budget are you planning for this?


The responses to these questions will help you determine what you are looking to achieve through performance monitoring.

Besides, factor these elements into your performance monitoring strategy.

End-User Experience

Who are your users? What are their expectations? Identify the top three frustrations faced by your users recently. Work according to the user journey stages. For instance, login, browsing, content consumption, and more.
Set specific goals for each stage to ensure a seamless experience.

Industry Benchmarks

Incorporate industry standards in your performance monitoring objectives to identify gaps and set realistic expectations.

Organizational capacity

Consider factors like available budget, human resources, technological infrastructure, and overall operational capabilities. This allows you to focus on your existing strengths without straining resources excessively.

Prioritize Front-End Metrics

E-commerce businesses often find it tough to understand what’s causing frustration to their shoppers. Though server-side metrics offer critical insights, they share half the story. Therefore, to get the complete picture, you need to track frontend metrics that let you experience the situation from the shopper’s point of view.

For instance, when launching an e-commerce application, a drop in the Apdex score (Application Performance Index) may point to issues in performance. However, only an end-user experience strategy will share the sluggish load time issues from a new feature deployed.

  • Synthetic transactions create realistic scenarios that can monitor user paths, session lengths, and interactions.
  • Real user metrics capture page load times, rendering performance, transaction success rates, and error rates.
  • Correlate your backend infrastructure metrics with front-end performance to get a holistic picture of the situation. Thus, you will build a feedback loop between back-end and front-end development teams.

Invest in Automation for Early Error Resolution

Performance monitoring allows e-commerce teams to understand what’s going on and why—that is, to proactively prevent an error that can quickly impact revenue.

Though proactive monitoring points you in the right direction, the error resolution can take up a lot of your time and effort if done manually.

AI-driven automation cuts to the chase by easing your team off manual work, providing precise answers, and boosting productivity.

Here’s a five-step process to follow to get the most out of automation.

  • Choose a repetitive and high-volume task like anomaly detection or log analysis that needs to be automated. These tasks need to have clear patterns and minimal decision-making variability.
  • Gain deep insights into affected areas, obtain better context, and prevent issues from escalating through proactive performance monitoring.
  • Efficiently navigate incident resolution by automating remediation actions. Implement intelligent workflows that can automatically trigger actions, such as auto-scaling, service restarts, or configuration adjustments.
  • Simultaneously, establish a streamlined response system, directing issues to teams equipped with the specific expertise required for error resolution.
  • Encourage your tech and non-technical stakeholders to make sure the automation efforts align with the experience they expect.

Noibu: Your E-commerce Error Resolution Co-pilot

Noibu is an end-to-end error monitoring and resolution platform that enables you to automate your e-commerce error detection process and provides you with all the details you need to efficiently address bugs that impact the customer experience on your site and cause revenue loss.

So, if you’re looking to eliminate performance-impacting bugs on your site to optimize for conversions, reduce cart abandonment, and streamline the checkout experience, Noibu can do it all for you, improving your team’s error resolution efficiency so they can spend their bandwidth on more strategic tasks. Sign up for a free checkout audit of your website to experience how Noibu detects critical errors on your site that could be impacting conversions.

Choose a Suitable Performance Monitoring Solution

To figure out which performance monitoring tool is best for your site, consider the following:

  • Legacy products often struggle to keep up with the complexity of modern web architectures.
  • Solutions that seamlessly integrate the latest real-time, intelligent alerting capabilities.
  • Solutions that are designed or updated to help organizations meet or exceed Google Core Web Vitals standards.
  • Platforms that offer multiple types of web performance monitoring approaches, like synthetic monitoring and RUM.

Most e-commerce teams want to blend these capabilities; hence, they are better off choosing a platform offering most of the above-mentioned features.

Summing Up

With the high standards shoppers have set for e-commerce, businesses cannot afford to take their website performance lightly. Website architecture, user expectations, and online behavior are evolving continuously. So, even the smallest technical error or performance issue can significantly impact customer experience, decrease conversions, and cause a dent in your revenue.

Proactive e-commerce error detection and resolution is a critical part of optimizing your website performance. Noibu detects all site errors and offers the technical details your team needs to resolve them efficiently. Experience Noibu in action by signing up for a demo today.

Data should inform decisions, not drive them. Having a firm grasp of data science is clearly a huge plus when you’re working out how to grow an e-commerce operation, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. Can you put yourselves in the shoes of each different stakeholder, can you keep the aims, objectives, and needs of the business and customer in mind when making big decisions?

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox, Kailin Noivo welcomes the Director of Digital Experience at Fox Racing, Owen Spencer for a conversation that spans his career from retail to web development, to his current position. They cover his views on leadership and data, as well as his perspective on the future of the industry.

Owen Spencer on The E-commerce Toolbox

A Data-Driven or a Data-Informed Approach?

Owen has many of experience managing teams across different departments, leading them through the challenges of the ever-changing digital environment that e-commerce operates on. As a leader and someone who’s worked with a lot of different leaders, he has built up a strong idea of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Over his time in the industry – just as in most other industries – the role of data has been growing in importance. These days, companies have access to more of it than ever, and with the help of AI, are able to gather incredible amounts of information relevant to marketing campaigns, sales and e-commerce.

What you choose to do with the data you gather, and how much you let it dictate your decision-making is still down to you, however. On the show, Owen discusses having seen companies veer towards a data-driven approach that essentially eliminates the human aspect, where decisions are made strictly based on data insights.

For Owen, this overlooks the fact that the end-user is a real person themselves, and it takes some human experience, intuition, and knowledge to be able to keep that end-user in mind and make decisions that benefit them.

Comparison with Competitors: Why it Might Not Always Be a Good Idea

Owen takes a balanced view on making comparisons between your own company and rival e-commerce stores. He makes the point that it would be almost negligent not to take note of what your competitors are doing and industry trends. But beyond that, comparing yourselves to other companies can have a damaging effect on your decision-making.

Naturally, if you’re looking at what you consider to be the gold standard e-commerce store, and you see them implement some new feature, you may be tempted to have your developers start coming up with the same thing. But if you’re doing this, it means you’ve started making assumptions, which is never a good starting point to be making potentially costly decisions.

Besides the fact that the context of your company and brand is a different beast from your rivals, you don’t know anything about why they brought in that new feature. It could be based on information they have that is completely irrelevant to your business.

But even if your e-commerce company and brand are completely analogous to theirs, you’ve got no way of knowing if they even benefitted from that change. You might spend time and money bringing that onto your platform only to find out that they dumped the idea after a couple of weeks when it turned out to be a dud.

Owen’s overall angle is that, if you focus too much of your attention on comparisons and keeping up with the opposition, then you’re dooming yourself to never be a leader in the space.

Owen Spencer on comparison with competitors

The Personalized Future of E-Commerce

The long-term future of e-commerce is unpredictable just as the short-term is – this is the nature of an ever-changing industry that is constantly being shaped by new technological breakthroughs. This doesn’t mean that experts can’t make their own assessments of what the general direction of travel will look like – after all, if you do you have an internal sense of where your industry is going, and you can be well prepared to cope with the fluctuations within that.

For Owen, it’s a case of the e-commerce space moving towards a more personalized user experience, much in the same way that email marketing has shifted the same way. AI and various chatbots have made the prospect of totally personalizing the digital shopping experience more possible than ever, and Owen believes it won’t be long until an almost concierge-like experience will be the norm.

He makes the point that until now, e-commerce stores have attempted to replicate the in-store shopping experience digitally, with all the hundreds of product categories there in front of them. You arrive on the site and it’s your role to navigate through the filters before eventually arriving at the product type you want, where you can browse and make your selection. Owen’s boldest take is that in the future, there will be no navigation, but instead, you will interact with this ‘concierge’ who will discover what it is you’re looking for and bring the options to you. Instead of a medium-sized shirt, you could order the shirt that’s made precisely for you.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Dive into this latest fascinating episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Kailin Noivo and his guest, Owen Spencer, to discover more of Owen’s thoughts on the future of e-commerce, and explore his views on how best to lead your e-commerce platform to success.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/4bIgdCA

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4c1y8nq

Traditional, quantitative data like the number of clicks, scrolls, bounce rate, and the number of pages viewed offer limited insights into what shoppers experience when interacting with a website. Though this data feels sufficient, it doesn’t offer an in-depth understanding of how these data points impact shopper experience.

To create exceptional experiences and convert those clicks into revenue, you need a tool that can unearth what’s not obvious.

You need session replays that offer insights into how customers are interacting with your website – what elements they are struggling with and how they are navigating through to the checkout stage. This post will share how session replay tools can help you better study customer behavior and improve their shopping experience.

What Is Session Replay?

Session replay is a technology that creates anonymized recordings of the actions taken by shoppers interacting with your website or application. These recordings help e-commerce teams assess buyer behavior by watching their mouse movements.

By watching these video-like recordings, you can identify –

  • What the shopper is trying to achieve?
  • How are they navigating the site?
  • When, where, and why are users getting frustrated?
  • What’s causing them to abandon the purchase journey? 

Such insights help analyze specific user actions and site responses, equipping the team to make substantive improvements in user experience.

Simply put – session replay is a powerful qualitative research tool that offers immediate clues about the shopper’s thoughts and experiences when they use your website. The insights let them quickly reproduce and debug stability and performance issues before they impact your brand image and revenue.

How Session Replays Work

Session replays captures and stores user interaction data using the DOM (Document Object Model) technology which is the backend foundation of your store. The assets (design elements) in the DOM are the background elements you see in the theatre – curtains, lights, and props, whereas, the events are the actors (users) saying their lines, performing the act, and telling you the ‘story.’

The DOM is an interface that translates the web document elements into objects that programs can work on.

  • It is the physical structure (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) governing how your website is constructed, looks, and behaves.
  • It represents all the elements of the web page – images, text, buttons, and links – as a collection of nodes or objects.
  • DOM governs what your users see on the browser and the underlying HTML code to create a tree-like structure of the HTML elements.

For instance –

The element <head> could offshoot to <title>, <style>, and <link>

The element <body> can branch to <img> and <link> assets

What Session Replays Do

Session replay notes each change made to the DOM as an event. This could be the user clicking on a link, entering information, or retrieving data from your website.

Next, it strings these events into a representation of the user’s session. It renders the events into visual playbacks of the session. During the playback, the data is rendered such that the analyst can quickly spot and fix issues or bugs causing shopper frustration.

The data could be in the form of timestamps, the element of the page being interacted with, and the specific actions performed by the user.

What Do Session Replays Log?

Depending on the tool you use, session replays can capture a variety of events. Since websites are quite complex in the way they are built, not all session replay tools can record everything.

Here’s what session replays can record –

  • Assets like HTML, CSS, images, and the basic web page and app elements
  • CSS animations
  • Vector graphics and animations
  • Hover cursors and effects
  • Embedded <iframe>
  • Script-modified input values
  • Form submissions
  • Window resizes
  • AJAX URL navigation
  • HTML5 <audio> and <video> playback
  • Multi-touch events (on mobiles)
  • Web components
  • And more

Significance of Session Replays - Why Watch Them?

Session replays add a qualitative lens to your analytics, allowing your team to assess how, when, and where users encounter friction. Thus, you can quickly spot where your shoppers hesitate, get stuck, or abandon the store during their purchase journey.

Here’s why you should invest your time watching these user sessions unfold.

See how buyers navigate your store

  • Can they find the products they need easily?
  • Are they following the buyer path you predicted or planned?
  • Which elements are causing friction, causing users to hesitate, or making them drop off?

See how buyers interact with the elements of your page

  • Do they scroll to the bottom of the page?
  • Are the buttons placed in optimal positions on the page?
  • Are shoppers engaging with or ignoring product recommendations?

See where buyers are getting stuck

  • Are there any confusing static elements of your landing pages?
  • Are there broken links, buttons, or CTAs your team isn’t aware of?
  • Are shoppers rage-clicking at a certain spot before they abandon the page?

By providing you with answers to these questions, session replays:

  • Improve your understanding of user pain points. Understanding user experience drives empathy, leading to quick resolution of the issue.
  • Offer clear evidence of the function issue. They help you take prompt action while reducing the back-and-forth between customers and the support teams.
  • Add context to your analytics. Tools like Google Analytics lack details on what the buyer is doing or experiencing. Replays add context to why you are experiencing high bounce rates or cart abandonment.

The result?

  • Spot issues and bugs on the go. The faster you spot issues, the faster you can resolve them. Session replays ensure faster mean time to resolution (MTTR) and debugging.
  • Determine the source of errors. Session replays drill down to the source of the errors impacting e-commerce revenue. Your team can promptly trace errors back to features or code and address the root cause.
  • Identify patterns. Is it a one-off issue or a pattern? Session replays can show you the difference.
  • Optimize conversion rates and boost revenue. Are buyers losing interest? Are they struggling to spot the page elements? Is the CTA ineffective? Session replays make it possible to observe and resolve the optimization issues.

Who Can Benefit from Session Replay Tools

Everyone in your team responsible for optimizing conversion funnels and customer experience as well as addressing disruptions in the user journeys can benefit from session replays.

E-ommerce Developers

Session replay allows the development team to identify the root cause of an issue or bug that impacts UX and revenue.

With session replay, bug reproduction is as simple as finding sessions containing errors. When integrated with customer support tools, user bug reports can be connected to session recordings, thus eliminating the need to reproduce the bug through trial and error. This saves a lot of developer time spent decoding user-reported bugs.

Tech Support Teams

Support teams no longer need to rely on the asynchronous communication with customers and the little details they provide to troubleshoot. Session replays offer the relevant details, allowing them to understand exactly what happened and spend less time asking questions. A few tools allow support teams to skip forward or backward in the playback. This makes it easy to rewatch key events to spot an issue.

Product Managers

Product managers can watch session replays to –

  • See exactly where users lost interest in the page or what frustrates them
  • Spot elements that drove them away (intrusive pop-ups or complex menus)
  • Visualize the user journey
  • Enhance features that drive conversions
  • Identify potential improvement opportunities
  • Inform their strategic roadmap

UX Designers

Session replays help UX/UI designers and researchers identify usability issues, user struggles, and patterns in user behavior. The insights derived can be used to refine the user interface, simplify user workflows, and improve the overall user experience. It can also inform the construction of A/B tests for the placement of important elements on the page.

E-commerce Marketers

Marketers can optimize their strategies and campaigns using the insights derived from session replays. Thus, they can design attractive experiences and improve conversion rates and ROI across the funnel.

How Noibu Leverages Session Replays to Empower E-commerce Teams to Improve Their Error Resolution Efficiency

Noibu leverages session replays to help developers quickly pinpoint the root cause of website errors and correlate customer complaints to actual user sessions, so your team doesn’t spend time investigating every error to understand where and how it occurred.

The Sessions Highlight tab offers a curated list of short segments from recorded sessions, each highlighting the critical moments of the error you are reviewing. These replays allow you to find evidence of the issues impacting CX and revenue.

how Noibu leverages session replays

You can filter sessions by conditions. Each row lists the session’s date, symptoms, friction factor, browser, operating system, and last funnel step.

The Playback tab is where you can get a unique insight into the customer experience through session videos. You can identify the step, field, button, or process that triggers the error and examine your user logs and source code to uncover the cause of the error.

The Playback tab has two parts –

Session Player – Here, you can watch a customer session and see how errors impacted their journey through mouse movements on screen.

Session Timeline – It captures every event in the session video with timestamps for major actions. You will also find critical details about the session recording, including the friction factor, operating system, browser, and browser version.

Noibu’s unified platform seamlessly integrates Session Replay data with other error information so you can easily debug high-priority issues using the additional context. The error detection and resolution platform helps you make the most of session replays, thereby streamlining the error monitoring workflow – addressing errors pointed out in customer complaints with agility.

Summing Up

Session replay is a comprehensive framework that lets e-commerce teams combine quantitative and qualitative data for a 360º understanding of buyer behavior. The insights derived are instrumental in optimizing the buyer funnel, improving shopping experiences, and boosting conversion rates. It helps to identify areas of concern and offers a sure-fire way to address the root cause of issues ruining your revenue.

To prevent revenue loss due to e-commerce errors, leverage Noibu’s error monitoring platform that detects and helps you efficiently address high-priority website bugs by making the most of session replays to provide a sneak peek into the customer journey. That way, you have all the context you need to debug revenue-impacting errors without replying on customers to share the issues they faced on your site.

As e-commerce continues to evolve, so too does the role of product manager. With this in mind, how do product managers keep ahead of industry developments, build trust in their brand, and ensure seamless cross-functional collaboration?

In the latest episode of The E-commerce Toolbox, Kailin Noivo welcomes former Head of Product at Wayfair, Emily Levada who’s recently started a new role as a Sr. Director, Consumer Product at Babylist for a discussion on her experience as a Product Manager in e-commerce.

Emily shares insights into the trust equation, and its role both within organizations and in brand-customer relationships, how to handle rapid scaling, and the tensions product managers have to resolve.

What is the Trust Equation and Why is it Important for E-commerce Product Managers?

Building trust with customers has become more important than ever for e-commerce businesses. It is the foundation upon which successful products are built, and it plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining customers.

When customers trust an e-commerce platform, they are more likely to make a purchase and become loyal users. This is where the ‘trust equation’ comes in.

The Trust Equation comes from a book called The Trusted Advisor by David Masters, Charles Green, and David Masters. It is a framework that helps people understand what trust is made up of, splitting it into four components that are easily applicable to e-commerce:

Credibility: In short, does the business know what they’re talking about?

Reliability: Does the business do what they say they will do? Emily cites the ‘say/do ratio’ as an important part of reliability.

Discretion: Emily boils this idea down to whether customers can trust a business with their emotions or secrets, whether that’s data, personal information, or buying habits.

Self-orientation: Does the business have the customers’ best interest at heart?

The reason the trust equation is particularly useful to e-commerce businesses is that it’s easy to get feedback based on credibility, reliability, discretion, and self-orientation.

Customers vote with their feet, and businesses lacking in any part of the trust equation will soon suffer. Emily says that what that feedback cycle helps businesses to do is understand what behaviors are adding to or subtracting from trust in the organization.

Emily recommends teaching the trust equation to employees and giving feedback to them based on the trust equation. What this does is encouraging them to implement behaviors and actions that increase trust in the organization, and discouraging them from taking actions and engaging in behaviors that decrease trust in the organization. The trust equation is simple. It makes building trust into something that can be accomplished in the normal course of business.

Emily Levada on The Trust Equation

Cross-Functional Collaboration In Remote and Hybrid Work Environments

One of the roles of a product manager is to make the experience as seamless as possible for vendors and those in your organization. In a sense, the work of a good product manager should be invisible!

For instance, as Emily says:

“Your customer isn’t buying your checkout experience.”

The customer is buying a product that you’re selling, and your ability to help them understand that product, select a product, feel confident in that purchase—especially if it’s a high-value purchase—is of vital importance. Emily uses the example of standardized crib sizes.

The reason this is important at Emily’s company, Wayfair, is due to their high average order values, returns are very hard for large goods. By ensuring a seamless ordering process, Wayfair is able to save money, as well as build trust with customers.

Emily Levada on cross functional collaboration

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Emily Levada and Kailin Noivo to learn more about how the roles of project managers are changing, and the ways they can keep ahead of developments.

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Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3x4H78B

Lego is quite popular among kids and adults alike because of the immense freedom it offers to creators. The composable parts offer unlimited scope for creativity.

Imagine applying these composable principles to digital commerce. The effects can be truly game-changing. 

The modern online shopper expects personalized and consistent experiences, regardless of where they shop. However, when adding a new technology to their commerce solution, achieving speed to market while reducing the complexities is a challenge.

A recent survey report revealed the top challenges faced by e-commerce leaders today. Composable commerce allows e-commerce companies to create differentiated digital experiences, improve customer satisfaction, make incremental changes (minus a complete overhaul), and improve speed to market.

reasons to leverage composable commerce

What is Composable Commerce?

Composable commerce is a component-based e-commerce solution design approach that gives retailers flexibility and freedom to build outstanding shopping experiences.

It includes the headless approach where the back end is broken down into packaged business capabilities (PBCs) that can be ‘composed’ together. The back-end capabilities are accessed by the front end, using APIs.

Each PBC is an application feature and an aggregated set of microservices. For instance, the cart and checkout PBC has microservices like cart microservice and ordering microservice.

Similarly, the promotions PBC will have the promotions microservice.

The composable commerce architecture seamlessly combines the three core traits shared below to maximize flexibility, enabling e-commerce brands to create innovative customer experiences across all channels.

Cloud-native: All the functionalities are natively integrated with major cloud services like AWS or Google Cloud, thereby reducing the maintenance cost, achieving scalability, and reducing time to value.

Component-based: It combines independent and interchangeable components (PBCs) or building blocks that can be added, dropped, or replaced. For instance, the product search, shopping cart, and checkout work together through API. Since these components are independent, you can effortlessly plug or unplug them as per your needs.

Tech-agnostic: The business isn’t bound to a proprietary technology. You can select, code, integrate, and manage applications without the need for new languages, specific technology, or certifications. Thus, you can expand your technology stack by upskilling your current talent pool.

Difference between Traditional, Headless, and Composable Commerce

Traditional Commerce

Traditional commerce (monolithic) is a conventional architectural approach where the front end (presentation layer), the back end (business logic), and the database are combined.

The traditional commerce platforms are built on a single code base; hence, you cannot isolate any change or deployment to a certain part of the application. As a result, changes need to be deployed to the entire application. Moreover, since the entire application is hosted on the same infrastructure and server, scaling up or down has to be applied to the entire application. This makes monolithic commerce rigid.

Thus, most e-commerce firms have moved to headless and composable commerce architectures, which use an adaptable and modular approach.

Headless Commerce

Just like a headless content management system allows stores to update pages across multiple platforms, headless commerce simplifies information exchanges between systems (front end and back end) and different channels.

Headless commerce involves decoupling the front-end presentation layer from the back-end platform. Since these are separate, they are managed and updated independently, allowing greater flexibility and delivering improved shopping experiences.

Thus, if a retailer needs to connect their store to a PIM ( Product Information Management) or rethink their online journey, they can do it without impacting the entire system.

If you want to learn more about headless commerce, read our detailed post on the subject.

Composable Commerce

Composable commerce takes this to the next level by allowing e-commerce companies to build a website based on high-performance and recognized technology components that integrate easily with each other. It is built on the concept of flexibility and composability.

It enables teams to create and optimize experiences through MACH (microservices, APIs, cloud, and headless) and JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, and Markup) architectures.

For instance, you can leverage the MACH architecture for the back end and JAMstack for the front end to build a flexible solution that meets current and future e-commerce needs.

More on this, later in the article.

How Composable Commerce Benefits Your E-Commerce Website

Composable commerce can transform large e-commerce processes and overall performance. No wonder, 72% of US retailers have already adopted it.

Trust in composable commerce

Let’s look at the reason for this popularity –

Increased agility

Composable solutions offer a flexible environment to help large e-commerce businesses like yours to pivot, switch gears, and deliver exceptional experiences without heavily relying on IT. So, you can change a component, without impacting the platform. With modular iterations, you can add, remove, or switch functionalities, innovate faster, and improve shopper experiences on the fly. You can release new features up to 8X faster than monolith systems.

Unlimited flexibility

You can manage every aspect of e-commerce operations by assembling composable commerce stacks. The customized stacks aid in refining and polishing the front-end experiences and improve how the business operates from the back end.

Infinite scalability

The agile nature of composable commerce allows large e-commerce businesses to manage multiple brands, explore new markets and channels, and try new business models.

You can quickly scale the experiences that resonate with customers. This autoscaling helps you respond to new influxes of traffic and customers in real time. This is especially relevant for those Black Friday moments when the demand is high.

Quicker time to market

With composable commerce, you can update their features on the go. The straightforward integrations allow large e-commerce companies to stay on top of trends and ever-changing customer demands.

Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)

While initial costs associated with composable might be higher, it is actually less expensive than a monolithic architecture which is often subject to vendor lock-ins – meaning, the business is bound by a contract for a fixed period. Switching vendors is pricey and complex. Plus, with composable commerce, you identify and choose solutions that fit your business requirements.

How Is Composable Commerce Related to M.A.C.H and JAMstack?

Moving towards the MACH and JAMstack architecture allows you to benefit from the composable commerce approach.

Let’s see how these are connected.

MACH Architecture

The MACH architecture

Microservices: This enables the composability of PBCs that can be deployed independently.

API-first: All the functionality is accessed through APIs; hence, you can tie two or more services or applications together.

Cloud-native: As shared earlier, cloud-native capabilities ensure scalability and flexibility across the application.

Headless: The decoupling ensures continuous improvement of the user interface.

An easy way to understand this is that MACH enables composability on the backend while JAMstack achieves this at the front end.

JAMstack Architecture

JAMstack architecture

Like MACH, the JAMstack development approach circles around composability through –

  • JavaScript
  • APIs
  • Markup

Here, the UI is decoupled from the back-end services, and the pre-rendered statics website is served through the CDN in markup. This works on the client side, unlike monolithic architecture where the back end is busy handling user requests.

Thus, the resources consumed to serve a webpage are less. Applying MACH and JAMstack together enables fast-loading static web pages served by an array of lean and replaceable PCBs.

When Not to Combine MACH and JAMstack

  • Your composable commerce solution features dynamic pages (static pages only since you are using JAMstack)
  • You have non-technical user experiences via intuitive UI (in JAMstack they will have to interact with markup)
  • Most composable commerce solutions are to be accessed by mobile devices. In such a case, pushing everything to the client side can drain device resources.

Key Considerations When Leveraging Composable

Be prepared to manage complexities

Composable e-commerce includes integrating various microservices, third-party components, and APIs that can make the process complex. This is especially true when managing multiple vendors.

Hence, to navigate the diverse ecosystem of components you must have the needed technical expertise and resources. Your e-commerce team should be well-equipped with e-commerce tools, cloud-native technologies, DevOps, and API management.

You would need a strong in-house development capability and the ability to house the solution architecture that includes –

  • A dedicated solution architect
  • A hands-on CTO
  • A senior lead developer who can code and own the solution architecture

Having a dedicated team allows you to be more agile.

Flexibility can be a double-edged sword

Though composability allows online retailers to create separate microservices for all new functions and on different infrastructures, it can lead to technical debt being carried by the entire stack. Hence, it is important to standardize the approach with a bias to standard language, framework, and infrastructure and deviate only where needed.

Take a holistic approach

Moving to composable architecture will inevitably lead to significant changes across the company. Yet, most e-commerce companies consider only the technical side of enabling composable commerce.

What they miss is the significant non-technical component that they must navigate. To realize the full potential of this transformation, retailers must think holistically. They must opt for a suitable partner who can holistically address potential challenges from multiple dimensions.

Implementing Composable Commerce for Your Business

Let’s dive into the practical aspects of composable commerce.

Understand your business needs

Begin by evaluating whether or not your business needs composable commerce. Start by assessing your business requirements.

  • Is your e-commerce business looking to enhance its business model and process flexibility?
  • Are you looking to take your customer experiences to the next level and drive scalability?
  • Do you want to future-proof your operations?

Next, assess your tech maturity.

  • Do you aim to gain complete control of your deployments?
  • Is your team prepared to implement and maintain several solutions?
  • Do you have the team with the technical skills required to execute a project?

Evaluating your priorities and tech maturity will guide you through the decision.

Prepare your team for the transformation

Start with the cornerstone – MACH architecture. Brief your team about the digital transformation and aim for close collaboration with your development team and the IT department.

Next, map your development tools and API documentation. Prepare for customization of the tech stack and add best-of-breed components for your e-commerce.

Introduce composable commerce in phases

Moving to composable commerce comes with risks. To mitigate the risks and ensure a seamless transition, take it step by step. Identify your priorities. For instance, if optimizing your order processing and fulfillment comes first, start by implementing an Order Management System (OMS). Roll out changes in stages and test capabilities while gathering feedback at each stage. Refine the software components based on new technologies and customer feedback.

Evaluate your composable commerce solution providers

If you search the term on Google, you will get a long list of composable commerce platforms, each claiming to be the best. Look beyond marketing buzzwords. Research the technological capabilities, scalability, and flexibility of each commerce platform. Here’s a quick checklist to consider –

 

composable commerce checklist

Summing Up

We appreciate the creative freedom a stack of Legos offers – the power to rip and replace the course brick by brick. Applying these design principles to e-commerce can help your business innovate and integrate new technology quickly and easily.

However, going the composable way doesn’t come without challenges. Ultimately, the decision should be based on several considerations, such as your company’s tech expertise and maturity, the project complexity, scalability requirements, and agility needs. It is critical to evaluate the benefits and trade-offs before going ahead.

Regardless of the architecture you choose, Noibu can be your e-commerce co-pilot in ensuring your customer journeys are frictionless. The e-commerce error detection and resolution platform detects 100% of errors and allows you to prioritize them based on business impact. Thus, you can resolve the issues ruining your revenue instantly.

For more interesting insights that can transform your e-commerce business, visit Noibu’s blog. We share practical industry insights and are your ally in e-commerce error detection and resolution.

Every retailer inevitably faces the decision of whether to use a monolithic commerce platform or opt for a composable approach, but with pros and cons to both, it can be hard to determine which is right for you.

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Steve Holsinger, Chief Salesforce Architect at full-service digital agency DEPT. Together, they explore the differences between composable and headless commerce and discuss the reasons someone might opt to use a composable approach, drawing on examples from DEPT’s customer base.

What is Composable Commerce?

A monolithic platform has it all. There’s a promotion engine, catalog management, and customer management all built into the platform, alongside the experience layer.

Composable commerce offers a more flexible option, allowing you access to all these parts of the monolithic platform without forcing you to stick to them all. Instead, you can look at the ecosystem and find the right fit for your business. For example, maybe the built-in promotion engine doesn’t quite fit the bill.

By taking a composable approach, you can instead find an external engine that you can integrate into your system. Instead of starting from a big foundation, you identify the key players required in your ecosystem and build around them, with the expectation that as tech evolves and your business grows, you can replace components with the best in the market.

E-commerce Expert Steve Holsinger on The E-commerce Toolbox

Headless commerce, on the other hand, is one particular way of composing your experience. Within this, you have a clear separation between the experience layer and the systems that drive it. This means you may have a monolithic platform underneath, with composable aspects added on top.

Why Choose Composable?

From witnessing some of DEPT’s customers choosing to opt for a composable model, Steve is clear that you need to have a business-based reason for doing so.

The KPIs he has seen drive that decision are often speed and performance. The idea behind this is that if you can improve speed and performance, then you can achieve a higher conversion rate.

For some of DEPT’s customers, Steve has witnessed a one second decrease in page load time yielding a 25% increase in conversion. Another factor to consider is whether your business goals can be appropriately addressed by a monolithic platform.

For example, if you were offering a bespoke service, you may find that your existing platform has too many constraints to allow you to achieve the experience you want to give each of your customers.

How Should You Maintain Your Platform?

No matter whether you are using a monolithic or composable platform, at some point you will face the decision of whether you build and maintain it yourself, or whether you should outsource it to systems integrators (SIs) and specialists.

Steve advises that, unless you have a strong software engineering business unit that has a rigorous process, then you should engage with an external SI. Building and maintaining your platform is a very intensive process, involving many moving parts, and if it’s not built in the right way, it won’t deliver the right results.

E-commerce Expert Steve Holsinger on maintaining a composable platform

Once the platform is built, you then face issues surrounding the maintenance of it. Often, if the person who built it is not maintaining it, you will face a knowledge gap that will cause downstream impacts. Of course, with strong product team members, this will be less likely, but ultimately you need strong communications of important documentation.

If an SI works with you to build the experience, part of their service should be to produce the appropriate documentation to allow your team to support it. Steve recommends steering clear of any companies that don’t offer that as standard.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Steve Holsinger and Kailin Noivo to learn more about composable and headless commerce.

Apple: https://bit.ly/4dSkFAo

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The fashion world is changing, so how can brands stay competitive when faced with the influx of promotion-heavy competition?

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Phil Clark, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and Media at Canada Goose. Together, they explore how the luxury fashion brand maintains competitive advantage in the current fashion market, measure the right KPIs, personalize experiences, and leverage social commerce and influencer marketing.

Maintaining a Competitive Edge

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the fashion industry has been overwhelmed by an influx of fast fashion brands offering promotions almost every day on almost every product. Not only has this trend reduced the impact of events like Black Friday, it has made it increasingly more difficult for luxury brands like Canada Goose to stand out from the crowd.

They rarely, if ever, offer promotions, and so they cannot rely on competitive pricing to gain traction in the market. Instead, they focus their efforts on three main strategies: dynamic targeting, relevant messaging, and digital placements that allow for storytelling.

These strategies allow them to engage with customers where they are at, putting the brand front and center.
However, as the market is constantly changing, they have to keep testing their strategies and products to ensure they are getting the best ROI possible. This is the only way they can maintain their competitive advantage.

The key to testing is to measure the right KPIs. Phil explains, “It doesn’t feel like the sexy stuff, but it is the most important thing to ensure that we’re measuring the right KPIs and we’re using the right sources and the right models.”

Their main approach is to use an MMM (media/marketing mixed model) to understand the value of their offline media and brand building. They then do incremental testing on these insights to validate the MMM and understand what KPIs make a difference on a regular basis. Following that, they adjust their media mix to ensure it is maximizing their revenue.

The Power of Personalization

Every e-commerce brand is striving for one thing: personalized experiences for every customer. To Phil, the key to this is effectively leveraging first-party data.

Phil Clark on the power of personalization

At Canada Goose, they use first-party data to segment their customers into groups based on purchase behavior, interests, timelines, and life cycle. Through doing so they can personalize the experience at every touch point, communicating the products that are relevant to each customer in both online and offline experiences. They use some AI for this, but maintain a human approach to fully understand their consumers.

Social Commerce and Influencer Marketing

In recent years, social commerce and influencer marketing have increased in popularity, with platforms like Instagram and TikTok now offering direct commerce options.

Although Canada Goose now has a greater retail footprint than e-commerce, it used to be the opposite, and they still maintain the same approach: creating a frictionless journey, whether that be on their website or on social media, and they will continue to take this approach when working with influencers.

Consumer attitudes towards influencers are changing, and so they are only working with those that can connect with customers in an authentic way. This way they will avoid losing their brand integrity but will still benefit from the advantages of partnering with influencers.

“The younger, more tech savvy consumer is really becoming aware of a glossed over facade of some influences and ensuring that we’re curating and working with really authentic influencers to maximize that connection with our consumers is very important.”

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Phil Clark and Kailin Noivo to learn more about staying competitive in the fast fashion market.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/44HHZwk

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3yfxR1E

If statistics are anything to go by, e-commerce is projected to surpass $8 trillion by 2027 and get cluttered. Online retailers recognize that to differentiate in such a scenario, they need to build and maintain a scalable and robust online store.

The platform on which the site is built acts as the foundation of a brand’s online presence. And in order to scale and meet growing consumer demand, you need a platform that is also scalable, flexible, and robust.

This is where the big decision of e-commece replatforming comes in.

Replatforming is considered central to improving scalability, flexibility, and functionality. 46% of online retailers see replatforming as a priority as per Digital Commerce 360’s 2023 Leading Vendors Report.

Yet, e-commerce replatforming is easier said than done. The process is tricky and often attracts unpleasant surprises.

This post highlights the risks of considering e-commerce replatforming and when and why you should make the switch.

But first, let’s quickly go over the basics.

What Is E-commerce Replatforming?

It’s the process of moving an online store from one platform to another. It involves transferring customer information, product data, and order histories, redesigning the site layout, reconfiguring services, and training staff to use the new system.

Although a complex and time-consuming process, this option is necessary for e-retailers to decrease maintenance costs, deliver superior e-commerce customer experience, and enhance sales opportunities. 

When Should You Consider Replatforming?

Replatforming essentially involves taking advantage of new technologies that can help your business grow and boost customer experience.

But how do you know when to take the plunge? After all, it is a big decision that involves several risks.

Look out for these key signs to determine if your e-commerce store needs replatforming.

e-commerce replatforming

When considering replatforming, assess its strategic business and technological merits thoroughly. Here are a few points to consider –

Scalability

Evaluate whether replatforming will enhance scalability to handle increasing traffic and transactions without performance losses.

Integration capabilities

If your current e-commerce platform limits growth or integration with necessary tools, it may be time to switch. With the new platform, you should be able to integrate more advanced features for custom merchandising, promotions, and recommendations and attract greater sales opportunities.

Features

The platform you choose should offer superior security features and compliance capabilities, particularly if your industry faces strict regulatory changes or if you plan to operate in countries like the UK and EU where adhering to data regulations is important.

CX improvements

Consider the customer experience improvements and new features the new platform can deliver, such as personalized interactions (e.g., localization), efficient mobile optimization, and faster page load speeds.

Potential ROI

Before deciding, quantify the potential ROI and develop a clear implementation roadmap. Ask yourself, “Does my online store need to switch platforms?” “Are my customers and sales suffering because my store is unable to deliver a favorable shopping experience?”

Take a step back and think whether undertaking this months-long activity is worth the effort. Moving away from legacy systems into an API-first e-commerce architecture to improve customer experience is a wise decision.

However, when considering the switch it is essential to consider the what, why, and when of the decision. Jorge Ramirez, the Global Head of e-commerce and Digital Marketing at Joma Sport shares interesting insights on how you should make this decision.

Check out what the e-commerce expert has to share about e-commerce replatforming in our detailed post –

Jorge Ramirez’s take on e-commerce replatforming

Listen to the full podcast episode where Jorge talks in depth about replatforming here –

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/49Mu1ek

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/43hH0Cz

E-commerce Replatforming: Risks to Be Aware Of

The mere idea of replatforming ecommerce sends shivers down the spine because of the risks involved. But when done right, e-commerce replatforming is rewarding. All you need is proper planning and thoughtful execution to avoid the risks mentioned below.

Budget overruns

The longer you take to finish the replatforming task, the more financial investments it involves.

Delays during e-commerce replatforming can be caused by many factors, including project scope creep, poor vendor performance, insufficient testing coverage, unexpected data loss, and integration complexity—all of which could overrun the initial budget you estimated.

To avoid this scenario:

  • Create a schedule for replatforming and include a buffer period to deal with unexpected problems. Set aside a percentage of the original budget to resolve issues causing delays.
  • Measure the actual progress against projected progress. Are you able to deliver every milestone deadline? If not, what’s causing the problem, and what are you doing to correct the deviation?
  • Let your stakeholders know of even the most minute changes in your progress. Recording the process closely and noting new requirements and problems will make it easier to justify additional expenses.

Technical issues related to HTTPS implementation

One of the major reasons for e-commerce replatforming is ensuring security. Plus, HTTPS signals to Google ensure that your online store is secure, so it automatically gets considered for higher rankings.

However, an HTTP to an HTTPS migration can go wrong.

Modern browsers alert users if they’re about to access a non-secure HTTP page, which can stop them from proceeding. Without proper redirects, the SEO value of the old HTTP pages may also not transfer to the HTTPS pages.

Here’s how to prevent such technical issues:

  • Run an internal link audit to ensure your canonical tags, hreflang, and other internal links (content, headers, footers, and navigational elements) point to HTTPS instead of HTTP.
  • Submit your new HTTPS sitemap to Google so that it can crawl and index your new URLs more quickly.
  • Use 301 redirects to ensure older URLs are mapped to their new counterparts.

Poor integration with third-party tools

During replatforming, you may transfer existing system integrations with third-party apps, CRM systems, supply management software, and accounting tools to your new online store.

This step, if not supervised, can cause inconsistencies in customer data, inventory levels, and financial records.

In fact, 84% of companies claim integration challenges slow down digital transformation progress.

There are also cost implications, such as having to budget for setting up a new API if your new e-commerce platform doesn’t allow smooth integration for continually using the existing tools.

If you are wondering how to prepare for migrating your e-commerce, we have a few quick tips for you –

  • Ensure the platform offers robust and well-documented APIs facilitating easy integration with other systems.
  • Consider using an integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solution, which can act as middleware to connect disparate systems without extensive custom coding.
  • Leverage pre-built connectors if available, as they can reduce the complexity and time required for integration to a great extent.

Loss of data due to migration

Data migration is a critical part of the e-commerce replatforming process. If you aren’t careful, vital data, such as customer and vendor information, transaction histories, and product details, could get lost.

Moreover, data might not match if the formats aren’t aligned, leading to duplications or inconsistent records. Data sets can become corrupted due to compatibility issues between old and new e-commerce platforms.

For a quick resolution regarding data migration:

  • Cleanse the data to remove inaccuracies, duplicates, and incomplete records.
  • Set up rules and checks to ensure data integrity throughout the e-commerce migration process.
  • Clearly define how each data type is mapped from the old platform to the new one.

Disruptions to website functionality

Transferring online operations to a new e-commerce platform leads to three major disruptive issues that impact website functionality.

Traffic loss

Surfing the web remains the most popular way for customers to discover new products. Since e-commerce replatforming involves altering URL structures and links, a negative impact on SEO rankings and the issue of inadequate redirects from old pages to new ones are inevitable.

Here’s how you can control traffic loss when moving from your current e-commerce platform:

  • Remove duplicated content and implement canonical tags to maintain SEO value.
  • Keep track of 404 errors and fix URL tags wherever necessary.

Lost sales opportunities

Replatforming is a time-consuming process, which means your online store could suffer from broken links, checkout issues, and slow site speed and performance, leading to abandoned carts and lost sales.

To avoid these problems, keep using the older website until your new one is ready or re-platform during low-load periods or off-season.

Design changes

Not everyone likes change. Moving to the right e-commerce platform often involves designing your website, which can disorient returning customers or cause usability.

To minimize the impact of such changes:

  • Create a user interface that enhances customer journeys rather than aesthetic changes.
  • Compare elements of the new design against the old to measure the impact on conversions; make changes based on these insights.

Scalability concerns

The objective of switching to a new e-commerce platform is to deliver a high-level customer experience.

The purpose, however, gets defeated if you choose the wrong platform, which doesn’t align with the technical demands of your business and stifles innovation and responsiveness. Non-scalable platforms also increase higher operational costs.

Here’s how you can avoid this problem:

  • Ensure the platform architecture supports performance optimization techniques such as caching, content delivery networks (CDN), and database optimization.
  • Enable dynamic scaling based on real-time demands, such as auto-scaling server resources.
  • Consider options like database sharding or clustering to distribute server loads as data grows.

Negative impact on user experience

E-commerce replatforming often involves a steep learning curve. The backend environment may be more complex and configured differently than you’re accustomed to.

Plus, immediately after migration, the workload for administrative tasks may increase. This can be due to the need to fix bugs and errors arising from the transfer, which could be as simple as visual glitches in the checkout process, user login, or site navigation.

Even if the new platform offers enhanced features, changing layout, navigation, or functionality can disrupt the shopping experience for returning customers familiar with the old site’s interface.

So, how do you minimize the impact on user experience?

  • Conduct thorough training sessions for all team members involved in backend operations. Focus on the specific functionalities of the new platform.
  • Create mechanisms to receive and incorporate feedback from users (both internal and external). This can help you leverage data-driven customer experience insights to make strategic decisions for your online store.
  • Before going live, conduct extensive testing of the new platform. Include functional, performance, and user acceptance testing to detect and fix bugs.

Moving to a new e-commerce platform is quite complex. is quite complex. Hence, you need a strategic approach right from assessing your current website to opting for the right e-commerce platform, and testing and QA are all critical components of the process.

Regardless of how carefully you plan the process, completely avoiding website errors, bugs, and technical glitches is tough. These hit unexpectedly, causing businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue.

For most e-commerce teams, knowing where to start and which issues to prioritize can be challenging.

Noibu’s robust e-commerce error monitoring platform detects and flags website errors in real time and calculates their impact on revenue, allowing you to prioritize the most critical errors. The platform offers in-depth technical details your developers need to quickly resolve high-priority errors without having to replicate them or spend hours investigating.

Noibu platform

You can simply sort through the detected issues on the Noibu console and determine which needs immediate attention and which can be put off or dismissed altogether, as the tool also contextualizes revenue and user impact.

Sign up for a demo today to experience how Noibu helps eliminate revenue-impacting bugs on your online store, regardless of the platform it is built on.

Eliminate Risk While Replatforming Your E-commerce Website

Being realistic during the e-commerce replatforming can help you avoid several website mistakes usually made in the process.

You can engage stakeholders early and seek expert advice to align the move with your long-term business objectives, ensuring it drives real value and supports sustained growth.

Of course, you’ll have Noibu to rely on during this process. The tool helps you prioritize errors based on revenue impact and delivers reproduction details so you can get cracking on fixing the issues detected, without getting overwhelmed. If you’re moving out of your existing e-commerce platform and want to uncover errors that may impact revenue get started with a free checkout audit now!

In today’s workplace, your biggest asset isn’t money, it’s mindset! Leaders who can coach & develop their teams to be mentally strong will thrive as the world changes.

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by April Sabral, CEO at April Sabral Leadership and Founder at Retailu. Together, they explore the evolving leadership landscape in retail, emphasizing the importance of mindset training and development for retail leaders, and their role towards embracing technological advancements. She also highlights strategies for fostering engagement, retaining talent, and avoiding common hiring mistakes in the rapidly evolving retail industry.

The Importance of Mindset

Mindset is a competitive advantage. April speaks to the importance of the need for leaders to cultivate a positive mindset and be able to solve problems positively. A negative mindset can be demotivating for teams, hence, Self-awareness is key. Leaders should be aware of their negativity and be willing to work on changing it.

April Sabral on the importance of mindset

Ever feel stuck in a negative thought loop? April suggests a simple but powerful tool for leaders: journaling. Writing down your negative thoughts can help you release them and see things from a brighter perspective. By reframing those thoughts in a more positive light, you can boost your overall mood and become a more effective leader.

Leadership Strategies for the New E-commerce Landscape

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, where technological advancements and market disruptions are the norm, maintaining a positive leadership culture is essential for success.

April Sabral, with her extensive background in retail, coaching, and leadership, brings a wealth of experience to the table. From her early days working in a retail store to leading 250 stores at David’s Tea, April has seen the industry evolve firsthand. However, it was her experience at David’s Tea that sparked the idea for Retailu, an online learning platform designed to empower field leaders with essential soft skills.

According to April, “…there’s a real desire and need to switch back into that people-first model.”

Reflecting on the changes in retail leadership over the past decade, April highlights a shift in priorities. While technology once took precedence, the focus is now returning to people’s development. With junior leaders rising to the forefront post-COVID, there’s a growing need for essential leadership skills like decision-making, team management, and resilience in the face of ambiguity.

Hence, it is now important more than ever to invest in training and development to set employees up for success and address knowledge gaps. And importantly, focusing on coaching and development is key to help employees adapt to change and maintain a positive mindset.

Employee Engagement as a Retention Strategy

When it comes to talent retention, April highlights two key factors: positive relationships with leadership and clear career pathways.

Engagement is key. Employees who feel connected to their work and their colleagues are more likely to stay. Hence, leaders should make an effort to provide clear career paths and opportunities for growth. Employees want to feel like they are progressing in their careers.

Navigating the challenges of remote work, hybrid teams, and increased expectations requires innovative approaches to leadership. April emphasizes the importance of fostering creativity, maintaining clear expectations, and facilitating meaningful connections among team members. Strategies like virtual brainstorming sessions and social gatherings help bridge the gap and keep teams engaged in a remote environment.

“So we had ways to make sure that we were keeping people engaged, keeping people positive, recognised, keeping people accountable and following up. So I think that’s a big one. And also like managing time like everybody is starved for time.”

Key Mistakes That E-commerce Leaders Should Avoid

April emphasizes two key pitfalls that leaders in the industry should steer clear of to foster success in their teams.

1. Assuming Competence Without Clarity

A prevalent mistake April observes is the tendency for leaders to assume that their team members inherently understand their roles and responsibilities. This assumption often leads to ambiguity and unmet expectations that hinder team performance and growth. Hence, clear communication, and investing in proper training ensures everyone is on the same page and sets them up for success.

2. Relying Solely on Monetary Incentives

April cautions against the misconception that throwing money at employees is a sustainable solution for motivation and retention. While financial incentives may yield short-term results, they rarely address underlying issues or foster long-term engagement. Instead, April suggests that leaders focus on creating a supportive and growth-oriented work environment. They can do this by offering opportunities for skill development, career advancement, and meaningful recognition, to cultivate a culture where employees feel valued, motivated, and invested in the organization’s success.

“So I don’t think throwing money at people motivates people to stay and continue to grow. It does for a short period of time, but it never solves the problem. So I think that’s a problem.”

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with April Sabral and Kailin Noivo to learn more about Leadership Strategies for the New E-commerce Landscape:

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Undetected or unaddressed website errors can drastically undercut your revenue within a matter of days or even hours. Such errors interfere with the shopping experience, causing frustration and forcing customers to abandon their purchases. They also erode customer trust and confidence in the company. This ultimately results in significant revenue loss.

Hence, maintaining an error and bug-free website is a matter of survival for e-commerce companies.

In the absence of adequate visibility, a persistent bug can lurk undetected for months or years, thereby eating into your session lengths, customer experience, and revenue. Hence, error resolution is a critical aspect of the e-commerce workflow.

Let’s look at the top issues that lead to frustration and cause shoppers to bounce away without purchasing.

Broken Images

Broken image error messages ruin the user experience and prevent shoppers from making a purchase decision.

From the shopper’s perspective, broken images come across as untrustworthy and unprofessional, thus spiking up the store’s bounce rate.

Further, they lead to serious ranking drops in the SERP as they interfere with the site’s crawling and indexation, thereby hindering your organic visibility.

Here are the possible reasons for broken images:

Wrong format

For instance, an image was uploaded with a .png extension but is identified as a .jpg in the code.

Wrong path to file extension

If the code contains misprints or a wrong location path, the browser will not follow the path to load the image.

Modified file name

A small misprint in the name will cause errors.

The file was removed from the server

Site relocation often causes the removal or replacement of image files.

SSL certificate issue

Check if links to the image belong to the new SSL certificate.

Server not responding

This can prevent the image from loading on the website.

CMS renewal

This often modifies the path and changes the name of the image folder.

Broken images significantly slow down the page loading speed, causing a loss of traffic and revenue. Hence, it’s critical to address the broken image issue promptly.

Broken Links and 404 Errors

Nothing wrecks a seamless shopping experience like hitting a dead end. Broken links undo all the efforts put in by the sales and marketing teams to achieve a conversion.

Broken links show up as –

  • 404 Page Not Found (page doesn’t exist on the server)
  • 404 Bad Request (the server couldn’t understand the URL)
  • Timeout (the HTTP request failed and timed out)
  • Reset (the connection between the web page and its host has failed)

Though 404 errors don’t hurt SEO, they lead to shopper frustration and disappointment, disrupting UX and driving potential customers away. Hence, you’d want to fix broken links as soon as possible.

Here’s why broken links occur:

Typos

Spell errors are one of the most common causes of broken links. At times, one stray character is enough to break a link. 

 

Deleted pages

If a page is removed from the index the links pointing to it are broken.

Change in the domain name

If a store is rebranded or merged, there’s a possibility that the developer may not have updated all the internal links to reflect the new domain name. This may cause the link to break and give error messages.

Tinkering with URLs

If webmasters change the URL without updating it, the link breaks.

A recent study by Ahrefs revealed that 66.5% of links to 2,062,173 sites in the last 9 years are broken, leading to link rot. Broken links are roadblocks to the conversion process. Hence, spotting and fixing them promptly is essential.

Fetch Errors

Fetch errors occur when the JavaScript code calls the fetch method to make an HTTP request to a remote URL and the method fails. Usually, developers dismiss these errors as unfixable.

However, these errors need detailed investigation.

Fetch requests are used for various purposes on e-commerce websites. For instance, they are used in analytics, customer loyalty programs, live chats, error reporting, reviews, social media integrations, and more.

The impact of JavaScript fetch errors depends on the purpose of fetch; however, since these errors are seen in code related to making network requests, they interfere with the network connection. This translates into poor website performance and user experience.

Fetch error messages occur because of –

User network issues

The user’s internet connection is the most common culprit.

Fetch unexpectedly canceled

The fetch call was initiated but the connection was unexpectedly closed before a response was received. This could happen because of the browser’s default timeout, an automatic page refresh/redirect, or a user navigating away from a page in a way that cancels the fetch result.

Fetch target issues

This is primarily because the server is unavailable, a DNS Lookup failure, or the server’s security policy isn’t allowing the server to accept the request.

Payment Gateway Errors

Keeping the payment technology up to date is central to maintaining customer satisfaction, revenue flow, and efficient e-commerce operations. Yet, payment gateway outages are pretty common in e-commerce, leading to disruptions.

The delays, errors, and processing failures caused by payment gateway bugs ruin the checkout experience. It is seen that whenever a checkout error or billing error occurred customers lost trust and abandoned their purchase.

These gateways often rely on complex software and hardware systems that encounter technical issues like bugs. Spotting such payment gateway bugs through session playback recordings is critical as it helps you understand the first-hand challenge faced by the shopper and its revenue impact.

Since payment gateway errors are third-party errors, they are beyond your control. Therefore, you need an e-commerce error detection platform that can spot such errors and point to the priority areas that need fixing before they ruin user experience and revenue.

Leveraging Noibu helps detect all site errors while fetching your team the actionable solutions they need to prioritize and solve them. With Noibu you can never be in the dark when it comes to third-party app-related issues.

payment gateway failure

Shopping Cart Issues

Bugs often cause error scenarios in the shopping cart, disrupting the checkout process. This friction causes shoppers to lose trust in the brand and abandon their purchase.

A report on Retail Dive shared that 58% of those people have abandoned purchases because of website bugs and poor UI.

More often than not, these are silent bugs or silent errors and do not notify the developers or the quality analyst. Such undetected e-commerce errors result in huge revenue losses, especially with loyal shoppers.

Hence, it’s important to automated error-monitoring system running that listens to the silence of having failed payments and alerts the team with error messages. That way you can spot these errors before they hurt your business, measure their impact on revenue, and resolve them.

Buttons not Working

Oftentimes shoppers face the issue when the buttons on an online store do not respond or show on the page. Such glitches especially hurt when the customer is trying to make a purchase. This is a lost sales opportunity, negatively affecting revenue.

Moreover, such flawed interactive features leave a poor impression on shoppers. Worse – it leads them to think the website is hacked.

Buttons on e-commerce websites help in easy navigation and enhance user experience. Hence, it’s important to spot flaws that get in the way of the smooth functioning of interactive features.

button not working customer complaint

Missing Redirects

Missing redirects are a common e-commerce error, especially for stores that have undergone replatforming.

Redirects are critical for maintaining customer continuity. In the case of an e-commerce platform migration, redirects remove the possibility of past shoppers not finding the store after it has been moved to a new location.

Further, they offer browsers and search engines with the information on a URL and where to find the page. So, imagine what happens if your e-commerce site has missing redirects.

Missing redirects negatively impact customer experience, the store’s organic search presence, and conversions. To avoid such errors, an e-commerce team should work with an SEO agency to map out all web pages and devise an error resolution strategy.

Slow Loading Images

Slow website speed is the top reason why shoppers abandon their purchases.

Several factors impact the site speed. However, slow-loading images are by far the most common reason for a slow website. If the image file isn’t compressed, there’s a risk of slow image loading, thereby impacting the customer experience, conversion rates, customer retention, and SEO ranking.

E-commerce websites often carry high-resolution images of diverse products and product catalogs. Add to this clunky code and script errors, server issues, or caching/CDN hiccups and you have an e-commerce store with high abandonment rates.

As a part of the error resolution process, this issue should be addressed before a website launch or site migration. Make sure you compress the images, tidy up the code, and tune up your server to ensure the website is up and running.

reasons why shoppers abandon purchases

Noibu: Your Proactive Partner in E-Commerce Error Resolution

We saw all the common errors encountered by e-commerce websites. For large e-commerce enterprises that receive millions of site visitors each month, staying on top of these errors can be a monumental task. Usually, these errors only catch attention when customers report them, which is mostly not more than 10% of the times.

Such random error reporting workflows do not promise 100% detection or resolution. In fact, 90% of website errors are never reported by customers.

Hence, you need a robust, proactive, and automated platform that

– monitors your e-commerce websites and flags errors in real-time

– removes the guesswork by offering detailed web session information for each error in a timely manner

– prioritizes errors that have the highest impact on conversions and the business top line

The Noibu platform does all of the above.

The e-commerce error resolution and health monitoring platform proactively detects all HTML and JavaScript errors on your site and flags them in real-time. It alerts the team of every bug causing friction in customer experiences and impacting cart abandonment.

Besides, it provides the technical details needed by the development team, helping them with efficient error resolution without having to spend hours replicating them. The platform equips the team with all information from the exact user session to the exact line of code, thus boosting the team’s efficiency in resolving errors.

Noibu monitors users as they navigate your store. Whenever they face a technical issue, it is flagged to your team along with the corresponding session details and technical information. This allows you to address the error right away, or prioritize based on the impact the error has on the top line and customer experience.

Similarly, Noibu ensures a flawless and uninterrupted checkout flow. It scrutinizes the website continually and identifies and alerts on issues that disrupt the checkout process.

Noibu session search

Create an Error Resolution Strategy For Your Online Store and Stay Ahead of The Curve

The e-commerce industry is more competitive than it’s ever been. You will not want to lose customers and revenue over errors and bugs lurking around your website and ruining the customer experience.

Hence, the transactional journey you offer to shoppers should be seamless and meet the high expectations of modern customers. Planning and executing a proactive error resolution strategy can be tricky. But with Noibu as your e-commerce monitoring co-pilot, you can minimize the impact of these errors and recover potentially lost revenue.

Book a demo with us to see Noibu in action or get a free checkout audit to detect and resolve JS, HTTP, GQL, and image errors and uncover what’s really happening under the hood of your site.

Every e-commerce brand wants to offer its customers personalized experiences.

But can it go too far?

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Christopher Cowger, Senior Vice President of Global E-commerce & Online Experience at Dell. Together, they explore what makes a strong, well-rounded e-commerce team, how generative AI is taking e-commerce into a new paradigm, and how to balance personalization with building customer trust and a brand identity.

Building a Strong E-commerce Team

Christopher focuses his leadership approach on assembling a strong team.

To him, the key to a successful team is a high level of intellect and a wide diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and opinions. This is what will keep the team driving innovation forward and keep the brand working on unique ideas.

With so many differing opinions, the early stages of innovation can get quite heated, and the team has to work longer to filter the variety of views into one strategy. But it’s worth the extra time as the end product ends up as something completely fresh.

“I think that time we sometimes lose in just vetting through the diversity of backgrounds and opinions that everyone has ultimately ended up being well worth it because it usually ends up putting us in a position where the direction is something truly unique.”

A New Paradigm for E-commerce

Historically, Dell struggled with the typical chatbot type of experience that traditional AI capabilities allowed for. While they weren’t necessarily bad, they never yielded the right experience for their customers.

Thus, when generative AI became widely available, they thought they could use it to uplevel these experiences and improve their customer interactions. They were correct in this, but it was quickly clear that the capabilities of generative AI were far more widely applicable than they thought.

With its ability to personalize experiences and streamline operations, the team at Dell envisions the entirety of the e-commerce industry changing to a more flexible, dynamic, and personalized canvas over the coming years. While it’s not imminent, Dell is factoring this into their strategy, preparing for whatever the next paradigm may be.

Christopher Cowger on the shift in e-commerce due to generative AI

Connecting Front End and Back End Operations

For several years, Dell has been developing an intelligent, optimized front end and back end independently of one another. While both were good, they didn’t communicate directly, instead relying on humans and ‘offline processes’.

Now, the brand is leveraging generative AI capabilities to seamlessly connect the two. This will allow the e-commerce engine to become a forecasting engine for the operations teams 95% of the time, with human intelligence leveraged where necessary.

Approaching Hyper-Personalization

AI has made it possible to create bespoke experiences at scale, and it’s an incredibly tempting prospect.

But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Of course, there are positives to bespoke experiences, like more margin capture and demand velocity, but there are also potentially severe consequences.

By catering too much to each individual customer, you can put your brand identity at risk, and even your customer’s trust. Is catering to everyone really worth losing your brand?

It’s important to be judicious and find the balance between personalization and establish identity and trust.

 “We really need to think about where to be judicious and where experiences that could be different need to be the same to establish our identity and establish trust.”


Listen to the Full Episode Below!


Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Christopher Cowger and Kailin Noivo to learn more about the effects of generative AI on e-commerce at Dell and within the wider industry.
 

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In the past decade, the e-commerce landscape has witnessed a plethora of trends – from mobile shopping and social media integrations to hyper-personalization and the introduction of AI-powered virtual try-ons.

Statista reports that e-commerce will make up 24.5% of all B2B and B2C retail shopping worldwide by 2027.

To keep up with technological advancements and deliver seamless e-commerce experiences, online retailers must use an adaptive and intuitive platform that enables greater flexibility with separate changes to front-end and back-end systems.

They need an architecture that centralizes content and delivers it across channels via API, thereby ensuring faster delivery than traditional e-commerce platforms.

They need an e-commerce architecture that allows for more flexibility in creating the front end, giving developers the freedom to use any programming language or technology stack and deliver exceptional customer experience.

Enter Headless Commerce

A headless commerce solution involves an architecture where the front-end or presentation layer is decoupled from the back-end commerce functionality, with both parts communicating via API plugins.

The user interface that customers see and interact with, whether they’re accessing an e-commerce website, shopping app, or digital kiosk, operates independently from its back end, including the tools and systems that run in the background to store and manage the data that powers the front end.

Components of a headless commerce architecture

An e-commerce business can use back-end databases, with information from sources like CRM platforms, to handle features like product information, the marketing logic behind promotions, and checkout, among others.

In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about headless, including its pros and cons, top headless commerce platforms, and mistakes to avoid while implementing the technology.

Shift from Traditional E-Commerce to Agile Headless Commerce

Traditional (monolithic) e-commerce refers to the conventional method of conducting online business, in which a single platform handles both the front-end (customer-facing) and back-end (business operations) aspects of an online store.

In this model, any changes or updates made to the front end often call for modifications to the back end. This is expensive and time-consuming, especially when you want to adjust to trends and consumer preferences on different platforms quickly.

No wonder the headless commerce platform market is estimated to reach a valuation of $3,811 million by 2030. Moreover, 63% of retail companies plan to implement headless by 2024, with 22% already using it, enhancing the e-commerce customer experience.

Here’s some more convincing data for headless commerce from the Gitnux Market Data Report 2024.

With e-commerce adoption soaring, headless commerce platforms are helping brands like Amazon and Walmart stay competitive. The headless architecture separates the back-end nuts and bolts from how customers interact with shopping platforms.

Since the back-end and front-end components are decoupled, it is easier for e-commerce companies to enable shoppers to complete transactions through mediums like mobile apps, Instagram, or interactive kiosks.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Headless Commerce

So, what are the benefits of headless commerce? Are there any downsides? Here’s a comparison – headless commerce vs traditional commerce.

Benefits of Headless Commerce

Improved time-to-value

Building an online store’s back end comprises 85% of the software development process. In headless commerce, separating front-end and back-end functionalities reduces the complexity of deploying changes and accelerates development.

As a result, you can implement updates and integrate new technologies faster without overhauling your entire system.

Minimized cost of ownership

Typically, monolithic e-commerce software vendors release new versions a few times a year, pushing you to constantly review and rewrite parts of the custom code to ensure your online store works fine.

Headless commerce allows you to choose and customize your tech stack according to your business requirements without extensive downtime or redevelopment. This reduces both direct costs, like purchasing new licenses, and indirect costs, such as developer time.

Improved scalability and performance

With headless commerce, you can optimize your back-end system for high-volume transactions by incorporating robust data handling and business logic. Also, resources can be scaled up or down as needed without compromising store performance.

Similarly, for the front end, independent use of modern, lightweight frameworks that improve load times and user interactions helps maintain favorable web vitals.

Extensive integration and customization

This decoupled architecture allows you to easily integrate third-party tools and plugins, such as payment gateways, SEO and shipping APIs, CRM systems, and Web Application Firewalls (WAFs), with your online store.

You can also personalize the front-end experience based on your specific branding, design, and user interface requirements without changing the back-end systems.

Drawbacks of Headless Commerce

Higher initial setup costs

While headless commerce can reduce costs over time, the initial setup burns a hole in the pocket. Developing a custom front end separate from the back end and integrating third-party services requires massive investment in development resources and expertise. This isn’t a feasible option for small online stores with limited budgets.

Dependency on technical expertise

Managing a headless online store requires a higher technical skill set than traditional e-commerce platforms. You must have access to experienced developers who can handle the complexities of a decoupled architecture.

Potential for increased security risks

With multiple systems and APIs interacting, there can be an increased risk of security vulnerabilities. Each integration and data exchange introduces potential entry points for security breaches, requiring reliance on fool-proof security protocols and constant vigilance.

Top Headless Commerce Platforms

If you are planning to shift from traditional web platforms to headless technology, you need to be aware of the most popular platforms that could benefit you.

Shopify Plus

Shopify’s GraphQL API makes it compatible with headless commerce through Shopify Plus, which offers enterprise-level features for large-scale online stores and accommodates businesses handling fewer orders. Shopify Plus offers an unparalleled level of customization that allows you to make changes at the codebase level.

This involves writing lines of code that modify your site theme’s appearance without hampering your back-end systems.

You can personalize your checkout experience by incorporating progressive offers and coupons based on the items in the shopping cart, customer presets, and cart totals. The Shopify Plus APIs let you integrate with third-party ERP, CRM, PIM, or WMS systems.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce’s open API headless architecture and its ever-growing base of apps for email, SEO, payment, shipping, and inventory management enables you to innovate and adapt your online store flexibly.

You can decouple the back-end engine from the front-end interface to run several stores across different channels, all from a centralized location. BigCommerce offers many front-end framework solutions, such as Next.js, Gatsby.js, and Nuxt.js.

Get fully customizable themes with built-in HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Personalize every aspect of the checkout experience with a server-to-server checkout API and SDK.

Adobe Commerce

Adobe Cloud Headless Commerce

Previously known as Magento, this flexible and scalable e-commerce platform allows you to avail omnichannel solutions that combine digital and brick-and-mortar shopping. Adobe Commerce uses AI to deliver custom site search, browsing, and product recommendations.

It comes with a unified developer platform and an integration starter kit. Adobe Commerce’s analytics equip you to leverage data-driven customer experience insights for strategic decision-making.

Customer lifetime value, number of orders per month, churn rate, cart abandonment rate, and purchase frequency are some of the e-commerce KPIs and metrics you should track for your online store. Adobe Commerce enables custom integrations through the REST and SOAP web API frameworks.

What to Be Aware of During a Headless Implementation

Understanding and addressing the following challenges is crucial for successfully deploying and maintaining a headless commerce system:

  • Decoupling requires massive changes in how data is handled, services are integrated, and the user interface is developed. Building a lot of functionality from scratch or incorporating multiple external services can increase development costs.
  • Don’t choose a tech stack based on current trends, as that can result in performance issues, higher maintenance costs, and limitations in functionality. Make a decision based on your specific business needs, scalability, and compatibility with other systems.
  • In a headless environment, common SEO strategies such as server-side rendering may not be inherently available, and you may need to manually populate metadata, make dynamic content accessible to Google crawlers, and structure URLs.
  • If APIs are poorly designed, they can limit what the front end can do. For instance, if the API doesn’t provide detailed product information or cannot handle complicated transactions smoothly, the user experience on your online store will suffer.
  • Lack of continuous testing during an e-commerce replatforming risks introducing a host of problems—for example, bugs that lead to transaction failures, incorrect pricing displays, or security vulnerabilities. These issues cause interruptions in sales, damage customer trust, and hurt your revenue.

That’s where Noibu comes in.

Designed specifically for e-commerce teams, the Noibu platform is built to detect and help resolve 100% of technical errors that cause friction on your e-commerce site.

When replatforming, you can set up a staging domain to deploy Noibu’s script and test your e-commerce website before launching. You’ll be able to monitor errors on both the staging and live domains. This will ensure that any anticipated errors on your new site are addressed before they cause friction in the customer journey.

The e-commerce error detection and resolution software captures all JS, HTTP, GQL, and image errors, and pinpoints funnel step issues. It collects and shares data visualizations about your site’s health. That way, you’ll know exactly where and how to resolve issues.

Noibu error resolution

Headless Commerce: Who Should Consider It?

Every e-commerce store has unique needs and goals, meaning that not all technologies suit every store.

So, for whom are headless commerce solutions best suited?

They’re ideal for businesses that are:

  • Are content-led and mobile-first retailers
  • Want to offer a superior omnichannel user experience
  • Feel their current e-commerce platform is too restrictive or rigid
  • Have multiple sales channels (online, mobile, social media, in-store)
  • Operate globally and must be able to adjust to diverse regulatory environments and cultural differences in presentation and functionality

Fuel Your E-Commerce Transformation with Headless

Sixty percent of e-commerce businesses consider improving their digital experience critical to minimizing customer acquisition costs. And what’s better than harnessing the power of headless architecture to achieve this goal?

Blended with commerce and engineered for a superior user experience, this technology empowers your e-commerce store to be more agile and adaptive.

This architecture is perfect for improving your UX, capitalizing on omnichannel opportunities, and making personalization the center of the shopping experience.

Moreover, with Noibu as your co-pilot in transforming your e-commerce website experience, you can rest assured of a seamless transition. Sign up for a demo of the Noibu platform today to explore how it detects and helps resolve revenue-impacting errors on e-commerce websites.

Choosing the right platform is crucial for all e-commerce businesses, but at times you will have to migrate to a new one.

Is it possible to do so without experiencing data loss and other friction points?

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Adrien Levinger, CEO of FAV Solution. Together, they explore the importance of choosing the right CMS for your e-commerce business, how you can prepare for the discrepancies that come with a big migration, and what expectations you should have about that process.

Choosing the Right CMS

When you are looking to push ahead with your digital transformation process, you will likely face one key decision: choosing the right CMS for you.

Adrien’s advice for this decision is to first design clearly your requirements.

In the past, ease of use was one of the most important considerations in this decision, but that has largely dropped out of the running due to CMSs now having similar usability scores.

Now, the factors digital leaders should be concerned with include the levels of customization, how well it integrates with your existing processes, how big the support community is, and what the total cost of ownership is. It’s also incredibly important to consider scalability, as that is where Adrien has seen previous issues crop up.

Managing Data Loss During Migration

When undergoing a digital migration, data loss is always a big concern. To Adrien, some data loss and discrepancies are inevitable, so it’s important to prepare as best you can.

He advises getting lots of eyes on the site at launch and proactively seeking out the problems. This will help you to avoid the dip in traffic that comes with those discrepancies.

The other key is to not attempt too many changes at once. Adrien recommends keeping the front end of the site the same, which will help to flatten the curve of change and minimize the negative impact of any problems you face.

It’s also very helpful to work iteratively, so that you can easily identify what exactly is causing a problem, should any arise.

Design Versus Usability

With most CMSs being user-friendly today, aesthetics are now one of the most important considerations for establishing an edge over your competition.

Your visual design is the first impression that your audience will have, and so you want to make it a lasting positive impact so that they remember you and keep coming back.

Adrien also stresses that there is no reason to believe that aesthetics and functionality are mutually exclusive, so still keep ease of use in mind. In fact, something that both looks nice and is easy to use will naturally increase sales.

Adrien Levinger

Commerce or Content: Which is the Priority?

Optimizing for commerce and content are two distinct approaches, and this is important to recognize when measuring the success of your approach.

If you are optimizing for content, then you are likely concerned with growing an audience and keeping them engaged with your brand. Thus, your KPIs should be centered around open rates, likes, shares, user feedback, and other similar metrics.

If, however, you are optimizing for commerce, and thus looking at improving your bottom line, then it would be more practical to observe conversion rates. Adrien does warn against becoming overly enthralled with your conversion rate, however, advising to look at more nuanced metrics like average order value and lifetime value.

Whatever approach you choose, it is important to stay consistent and understand exactly what success looks like in that domain.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Adrien Levinger and Kailin Noivo to learn more about mitigating the negative effects of migration.

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Website bugs that interrupt the online shopping experience end up frustrating customers and drive them into the waiting arms of competitors. Just one nasty bug can cause a massive drop in sales. Bugs can have a massive negative impact on your business’ top line.

Large e-commerce websites could have hundreds of errors. In fact, completely eliminating website errors is nearly impossible. What you can do is create an effective bug management framework where you address errors efficiently based on scope and impact.

This post shares everything you need to know about the bug-tracking process and devise an efficient e-commerce bug management system.

The Problem with Ad Hoc Bug Tracking

Modern e-commerce websites are designed with multiple layers of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hence, it is safe to assume that the code will see bugs at all these levels. These bugs need to be identified, filed, monitored, and debugged. This is an iterative process as each code version needs to be tested and debugged. Bugs need to be tracked throughout the entire lifecycle.

Hence, free-style bug tracking can bring chaos for everyone from the development team to the shopper. You need the right bug-tracking tools and strategies. The tool should focus on the “users impacted” portion of an error but also monitor all errors, at all times, throughout your site and share their impact on revenue.

On average, we’ve seen 100 to 150 errors for every thousand lines of code on e-commerce sites. Even if 1% of these bugs are menacing the consequences are huge.

Hence, bug management for large e-commerce sites needs to be premeditated.

How Bugs Lead to Revenue Loss (Frequent Offenders)

Bugs eat up developer time that could otherwise be spent on improving the functionality of your online store. Thus, you end up losing money on all those developer hours that are lost in endless cycles of bug investigation and reproduction. There is also the added opportunity cost of lost time that could otherwise be spent on feature releases.

Instead, most e-commerce teams spend time investigating why their checkout is throwing an error or why order confirmations aren’t working or simply trying to find the root cause of an error reported by customer service without any other helpful information. This ultimately eats into their revenue. Online retailers lose thousands, if not millions because of website errors and bugs.

This hurts, especially during the holiday season.

  • UX bugs can damage a company’s bottom line, causing it to lose more than $60M in holiday sales. Thus, just one nasty bug causes a massive drop in sales.
  • The impact of digital frustration is huge on customer loyalty. More than half of the shoppers are unlikely to return to a store where they’ve experienced a poor digital experience.

One of our clients, Famous Smoke Shop was suffering over $2 million of annualized revenue loss due to hundreds of revenue-impacting bugs. Within 18 months of working with Noibu they were able to improve their error monitoring efficiency, reduce time to resolution, and resolve these errors.

Read the complete Famous Smoke Shop case study here.

E-commerce Bug Management Best Practices

Now that we’ve understood how bugs impact e-commerce customer experiences and revenue, let’s look at a few best practices for fixing bugs effectively.

Streamline the Bug Report Management Process

Agile recommends pairing developers to monitor and report bugs promptly. But it is also critical to streamline the bug reporting process and include it as a part of your sprints. Adding bug reporting to routine sprints helps teams evaluate and assess the size and complexity of each bug and prioritize it amidst other tasks. That way, bug resolution doesn’t end up falling through the cracks or being an after thought.

Jira is a feature-rich project management solution that offers scrum boards that support the Agile methodology. These boards allow teams to track bugs across their lifecycle.

jira scrum board

And with the perfect integration, you can effortlessly forward bugs to these boards.

Noibu’s integration with Jira allows you to automatically send detailed bug reports to scrum boards. This eliminates the need for manual bug reporting and ensures that new bugs are added to corresponding sprints which you can assign to a developer on your team.

By integrating Noibu with Jira, all errors detected by the platform can be automatically added to the board along with all relevant technical details that the developer needs to resolve the error. By automating the process of bug reporting you can closely monitor bugs throughout each sprint. This keeps every member of your team informed and focused on resolving bugs as and when they occur.

Have a Standard Template to Report Bugs

Make bug tracking an integral part of your user experience strategy. This is critical as layout bugs and flawed interactive features are often introduced during smaller ongoing site updates or A/B test versions.

If continual testing and reporting aren’t a part of your ongoing strategy, these bugs find their way to ruin experiences, causing shoppers to abandon your store.

Create a standard template to report:

  • The type of the bug – Crash bug, logic bug, or user interface bug
  • When does it occur? Assess its likelihood of occurrence
  • Where? Determine the environment in which it occurs
  • What are the expected outcomes of the bug resolution process? It is important to document the expected results once the bug is resolved

Limit the Number of Channels for Bug Reporting

The success of your bug management efforts rests on how effectively your QA testers, developers, and managers communicate. In such a case, if you have multiple channels for relaying bug information, critical bug data can go unnoticed.

To track these bugs through the lifecycle you may need multiple tools. But it’s important to settle on the tools that your team will use.

For instance, if you are relying on Noibu for bug and error monitoring, Jira for bug prioritization and assigning tasks, and Slack for communication, then stick with these tools. Don’t get, emails into this tech mix. Worse, avoid sticky notes or water cooler chats as a means of bug reporting.

Limit the number of channels you use for reporting bugs. Also, make integration a priority when selecting an e-commerce error monitoring platform, thus making the bug reporting process efficient.

Build a Bug Prioritization Framework

Limit the number of channels you use for reporting bugs. Also, make integration a priority when selecting an e-commerce error monitoring platform, thus making the bug reporting process efficient.

The stakeholders carefully plan questions to efficiently run through the list of bugs and sort them based on severity.

For instance, bugs impacting shopper login or payment gateway can be a priority as they have a direct impact on usability. On the other hand, a duplicate notification bug can wait.

In enterprise-level e-commerce firms, bugs are likely to be detected more often and that too with varying levels of severity. Hence, it can be tough to manually assess and prioritize bugs. This can lead to issues piling up, thereby overwhelming your team.

That’s why it’s important to automate the bug management process. That brings us to the final yet important best practice in bug management.

Invest in a Robust E-commerce Bug Monitoring and Resolution Tool

Managing a large e-commerce website is tough as several factors contribute to errors and bugs. Thus, manually monitoring all permutations of errors like cart/checkout issues, third-party caused errors, performance glitches, etc. can be challenging, time-consuming, and ineffective.

Hence, the best way to detect all bugs is to automate the process using a comprehensive bug management platform that detects 100% of e-commerce bugs, prioritizes them based on business impact, and resolves critical errors.

With Noibu, you can effortlessly plan and efficiently manage bug tracking and resolution. The e-commerce monitoring platform identifies and prioritizes bugs, allowing your team to fix critical bugs first and prevent any revenue loss due to customer frustration.

Noibu detects website errors in real-time and prioritizes them based on the impact they have on your business revenue so you can address most pressing issues immediately. You are also provided with the technical details required by developers to resolve the errors, without the need to investigate or replicate issues. Noibu also provides the corresponding session details so you can easily find the root cause of the error and resolve it quickly.

Noibu dashboard

A bug management software makes it easy to build a streamlined workflow for error monitoring and reporting. It also helps with traceability during bug life cycle management. Commit to investing in e-commerce error monitoring and resolution platforms like Noibu to detect critical errors hurting sales and conversions in your checkout.

Noibu session search

Summing Up

A foolproof bug management strategy is designed to scrutinize every aspect of the e-commerce website, spot and resolve bugs, and minimize their impact on revenue. This ensures robust store functionality and user-friendliness, from the home page to the checkout process.

By investing in a suitable bug management software you can safeguard your operations, enhance user experience, and position yourself competitively in the bustling online marketplace.

An e-commerce error monitoring platform like Noibu simplifies bug tracking workflows quite significantly. It automates the process of detecting and resolving errors, so your team can focus on more strategic projects like launching new features.

So get started today to uncover what’s brewing under the hood of your e-commerce site. Experience Noibu’s advance error monitoring and resolution capabilities by signing up for a demo.

COVID-19 shifted retail online, and the e-commerce space has become far more competitive because of it.
How do brands maintain profitability in the new era of the industry?

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Pahul Ahluwalia, Director of E-commerce at Apricot Clothing. Together, they explore the evolution of e-commerce, highlighting how COVID-19 and AI have fast-tracked its evolution and shifted strategies towards being mobile-first, as well as how to drive conversion and balance profitability with competitive pricing.

The Pace of E-commerce Evolution

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed retail online, which caused a lot of brands to fast-track their five-year e-commerce strategy, fitting it into just one year.

Pahul predicts a similar pattern will come in the near future, due to the rise of AI. This is especially likely considering how many use cases of AI we are already seeing today, from optimizing searches to writing product descriptions. However, Pahul advises against complacency, explaining that AI could be destructive, as well as constructive. Thus, we need to remain aware of the challenges and implications that come with introducing AI capabilities.

Pahul Ahluwalia on the pace of e-commerce evolution

The Key to a Healthy Conversion Rate

Pahul sees the key to driving conversion rates as reducing the number of clicks. Why?

She says, “Reduce the number of clicks, reduce the time in the decision making.”

The longer a customer has to think about their purchasing decision, the less likely they are to go through with their purchase.

So, Pahul recommends ensuring that every element of your website is set up in a way that drives customers towards the checkout. This includes measures such as add-to-cart buttons wherever a product is listed, product descriptions that are visible on the landing page so the customer doesn’t have to click away, and relevant, personalized recommendations for every user.

By adding measures like these, Pahul explains that your customers’ purchasing decisions will be straightforward, leading to an increase in conversion rates.

Shifting to Mobile-First

Over the past five years, the percentage of total traffic attributable to mobile devices has steadily increased across the e-commerce industry. This has led many brands, including Apricot Clothing, to shift their strategy to mobile-first.

“Whether you’re designing a home page or you’re designing a listings page or checkout, whatever it is that you are looking to redesign, mobile-first, and I think that’s the thumb rule that applies to most retailers today.”

On mobile devices, space is limited, and Pahul explains that this leads to two buckets of customers. The first is those who are overwhelmed with choice, and the second is those who actively want to be shown a lot of choice. She explains that, in order to cater to both groups, it is important to optimize your search and filter functions.

The group overwhelmed with choice needs to be able to refine their search down to only the items they are interested in, as well as have the opportunity to view just one product per line. The group looking for a choice, however, would like to see as much as possible, with the option to view five products per line so they can quickly scroll through and browse.

By allowing options that encompass all customers’ preferences, you will likely see conversions increase. Of course, not all brands will want their customers to have that much choice. A luxury jewelry brand, for example, rarely expects customers to buy more than one or two items at a time, so they would want to limit viewing options so as not to suggest to customers that they are expected to buy multiple items in one session.

Pahul explains that it is down to individual brands to explore the limits they want to impose on their search and filter functionality, deriving them from their customer base as well as their brand goals.

Balancing Profitability and Competitive Pricing

With e-commerce on the rise, there is a stronger need for competitive pricing, but many brands are concerned about how to maintain profitability whilst remaining competitive.

For Apricot, the answer is simple: they believe the first price is the right price, and so rarely offer sales and promotions. Pahul explains that this prevents their customers from being conditioned into only shopping with them during a sale, which would limit profits. They maintain competitiveness by ensuring that the price of every item is in line with the quality of the piece and competitors.

Pahul further explains that most shoppers are now aware of the strategies that e-commerce brands often use to drive conversion, such as abandoned cart promotions, which has led customers to become more confident about delaying purchases. They know that if they wait, they will likely get a discount. Thus, brands need to be careful with implementing price elasticity models to make sure they will work for their goals before implementing them.

Pahul Ahluwalia on balancing profitability and competitive pricing

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Pahul Ahluwalia and Kailin Noivo to learn more about driving conversion and increasing profitability.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/4aUTDpC
👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3xCu9Ps

 

Introduction

No matter how flawless your codebase is and regardless of how much bandwidth your team spends on debugging, it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid errors from creeping in and negatively affecting your site’s customer experience, especially third-party ones.

However, if you troubleshoot efficiently, you can always minimize the negative impact of these errors on your customer experience and potential revenue.

In this blog post, let’s look at script errors, why they are caused, and how you can troubleshoot them.

What are Script Errors?

A script error occurs when an error on a third-party plugin, file, or add-on triggers an error on your domain. Modern browsers block local scripts from accessing information from external domains, so while Noibu detects and reports script errors, the NoibuJS script cannot retrieve specific information about the errors.

The NoibuJS script wraps your frontend code to extract as much data as possible when errors occur. Script errors pass by this wrapping, but we do our best to separate distinct script errors to offer the most error coverage possible. You can identify a script error in the Noibu platform by its error signature, which always begins with script error.

The root cause of a script error is cross-origin request blocking. To expand the range of error data Noibu collects, you can change the way you fetch certain scripts from their respective servers to avoid cross-origin checking. Consider the methods listed below:

Method 1: Add the cross-origin Attribute to the Script Tag in your HTML

Imagine you have a third-party script enabled in your HTML code, written as follows:

<script src=”http://not-your-domain.com/app.js”></script>

To instruct the server to fetch the script URL anonymously, add crossorigin=”anonymous” to the script tag. This enables Noibu to access more error data without impacting the script’s functionality.

The adjusted script looks like this:

<script src=”http://not-your-domain.com/app.js” crossorigin=”anonymous”></script>

Method 2: Add cross-origin headers

The implementation steps for adding cross-origin headers vary depending on your backend architecture, and the solution is only possible if you have access to the server.

The solution is to configure your backend so that when the script is requested from the client side, the following header is sent back:

Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *

Noibu: Your Trusted Partner to Detect all Third-Party Errors on Your Site

Since you have little to no control over errors caused by third-parties, the best you can do is have an automated error monitoring and resolution workflow in place that flags any third-party errors that occur on your site in real time and provides you with all necessary technical details required to fix them.

Noibu – a robust error and health monitoring platform is designed to help technical teams streamline their error resolution workflows by flagging all bugs (both first and third party) in real time and providing the details you need to resolve them efficiently without having to further investigate or replicate.

Noibu error resolution

For errors that cannot be addressed at your end, the platform shares all information that you can provide to the concerned team so they can resolve the issue quickly without wasting any time. Overall, this not only helps optimize how you approach and address revenue-impacting e-commerce errors, but also reduces your overall error resolution time by up to 70%.

Change is the only constant, and e-commerce is not an exception. With all the challenges lying ahead, the industry also comes with plenty of opportunities to thrive in the digital world.

However, winning requires more than identifying and understanding market trends; it demands an in-depth knowledge of logistics, customer engagement, and sustainable growth strategies. This is where insights from industry experts become priceless.

One such expert is Nabil Malouli, SVP of Global E-commerce and Returns at DHL, who joined host Kailin Noivo on the latest episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives to dive into the critical role of supply-chain excellence in mid-market success, how profitability and streamlining returns are crucial for sustainable growth in E-commerce, and how D2C brands can scale success through customer satisfaction and efficient operations.

The Foundation of E-commerce Success

Drawing from his experiences across China, Brazil, the US, and France, Nabil points out the importance of adaptability and cultural intelligence. He suggests using the strengths of diverse cultures to improve problem-solving and leadership strategies rather than limiting them to stereotypes.

Equally important is being receptive to learning from different customs and implementing the best practices to promote innovation and growth within teams. The mindset of adaptability and cultural sensitivity is the bedrock of creating a dynamic team capable of innovating and problem-solving at the highest levels.

Nabil Malouli on the foundation of e-commerce success

The Unshakeable Pillars of Profitability

Growing revenue in e-commerce can be achieved through multiple strategies. However, profitability relies on an efficient supply chain. Without that, your strategy becomes ineffective.

“To make that process profitable and a well-executed supply chain is an absolute imperative. There’s no other way around. You cannot grow and scale a business efficiently and e-commerce business if you don’t have a well-tight supply chain.”

Of course, businesses that use models requiring little supply chain interaction, such as drop shipping, encounter few entry barriers. Nevertheless, they face considerable competition risk.

Noting the achievements of major players like Amazon and Walmart, Nabil Malouli highlights that investing in supply chain management grants a competitive advantage, especially when your business grows. Moreover, for companies reaching or exceeding 100 million in gross merchandise value, focusing on logistics is vital.

Do You Know What Your True IP Really Is?

Manufacturing is the be-all and end-all of product-based business success. Right? In a way, this was probably true some 10-20 years ago. However, as Nabil suggests, “I don’t think that manufacturing is the ultimate IP.”

Think of Apple. The company doesn’t manufacture its own products. Despite that, it has achieved remarkable success by focusing on product quality, brand strength, and an exceptional supply chain experience.

The reason is simple. We live in a world where consumers demand both high-quality products and seamless buying experiences. From last-mile delivery to trouble-free returns, the logistics behind how products reach consumers can significantly impact brand loyalty.

How D2C Giants Are Turning the Tide for Financial Success

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, a good amount of D2C brands have shifted their focus from relentless growth to prioritizing profitability. This shift comes as these companies face a downturn in their overall revenue.

It might sound obvious, but Nabil reminds us once again that focusing on profit is not a passing phase but a key aspect of your business strategy. Moreover, he points out the importance of improving digital return processes and operational efficiency to boost customer loyalty, sustainability, and, ultimately, financial performance.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Nabil Malouli and Kailin Noivo to learn more about the role of supply-chain excellence in mid-market success.

👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/43W0oW4

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/43T9JxA

Imagine the impact of Amazon’s systems going down for even a minute.

As much as $220,318.80, according to the latest estimates.

Downtime is a nightmare for eCommerce giants like Apple and Amazon who have lost tens of millions of dollars in revenue. To minimize downtime and improve system reliability and experiences, Google introduced Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) in 2003.

It addressed the challenges of managing large-scale, distributed systems on the cloud. It also aimed at meeting the need for rapid software development cycles with a systematic, engineering-driven approach to operations. Today, SRE is central for developers, DevOps, and IT operations teams striving to balance rapid innovation with system reliability across industries.

In this post, we’ll explore site reliability engineering, its benefits for developers and DevOps teams, its focus areas, and the four SRE signals that need to be monitored.

What is Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)?

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is the practice of using software tools to automate various IT operations tasks.

This includes product system management, configuration management, security compliance and auditing, resource optimization, and even emergency response that would otherwise be performed manually by system administrators.

The principle behind site reliability engineering is that using software code to automate the oversight and management of large software systems is more sustainable and scalable than relying on manual intervention, especially when those systems extend or migrate to the cloud.

Benefits of SRE for Developers and DevOps Teams

Though the impact and focus may slightly differ, SRE offers a suite of benefits to both groups:

Developers

  • SRE’s encouragement for developers to integrate patterns like circuit breakers, fallbacks, and retries directly translates into building more resilient applications to failures from the outset.
  • By adopting SRE’s focus on defining Service-Level Objectives (SLOs) and Service-Level Indicators (SLIs), developers gain a framework for measuring application performance and become more accountable for their code in production.
  • The emphasis on techniques such as performance monitoring and user feedback loops enables developers to continuously fine-tune app responsiveness and user experience.

DevOps Teams

  • SRE’s structured approach to incident management. This is mainly through blameless postmortems, empowering DevOps teams to dissect and learn from incidents without any blame games. It enhances system reliability and fosters team cohesion over time.
  • Site reliability engineering requires rigorous capacity planning and stress testing. It equips DevOps teams with the foresight to anticipate and prepare for scalability challenges. This prevents over-provisioning and optimizing infrastructure costs.
  • SRE provides DevOps teams with a systematic framework for balancing introducing new features while maintaining system stability. This allows for more informed decision-making regarding when and how to innovate safely.

Five Areas of Site Reliability Engineering

Let’s take a look at five facts related to site reliability engineering:

It isn’t just for Google

Although Google pioneered SRE, the discipline is not exclusive to them or limited to large tech companies. In fact, the approach has been widely adopted by businesses of all sizes, especially large enterprises in eCommerce.

SREs are employed by modern developers to ensure their software is reliable for customers. As they get on with SRE, they will need comprehensive error detection, crash reporting, and resolution tools, APM platforms, and real user monitoring. These will allow them to identify and resolve issues, improving the overall quality of their software solutions.

It automates manual tasks

Cloud-native development has created an increasingly distributed environment. This complicates administration, operations, and management, putting much pressure on developers and DevOps teams.

SRE significantly reduces duplication or redundancy of effort by automating routine tasks, such as capacity planning, account setup, disaster recovery, and access and infrastructure provisioning.

This arrangement enables building applications as microservices and deploying them in containers, which boosts operational efficiency and reduces the risk of failure.

For instance, if an online media streaming service provider wants to handle sudden spikes in site traffic during high-profile event broadcasts, SRE methodologies can automate incident response and system scaling processes to avoid downtime.

It builds tools to support operations

SRE recognizes the limitations of focusing on system uptime in today’s complex, distributed, and highly dynamic cloud environments. Therefore, it advocates for building custom tools that range from monitoring and alerting systems to deployment and incident management tools.

For instance, a cloud services provider could build tools for real-time monitoring and predictive analysis of their infrastructure, enabling it to proactively address potential system bottlenecks and reduce downtime.

It drives the shift-left mindset

The “shift-left” mindset refers to incorporating testing, continuous integration, and continuous delivery in the early stages of the software development lifecycle. It’s a high-level concept that can be implemented in many ways.

For instance, developers may start running performance tests on new code right after they write it, even if it hasn’t yet been integrated into the main codebase. In other cases, they may compile some parts of the codebase to run tests against it before the application goes into production.

It bridges the gap between developers and DevOps

Unlike traditional DevOps, which focuses on the culture, practices, and automation necessary to enable seamless software delivery and infrastructure management, SRE brings a more refined set of practices.

For example, site reliability engineering uses SLOs and SLIs to define and measure reliability quantitatively. This ensures that both teams prioritize the aspects of the services that matter most to the end users.

Secondly, error budgets strike the right balance between speed and stability in software engineering. For example, some development and operations teams may want to release new or updated software into production continually. But, if the DevOps team is not on board with this, SRE sets an error budget determined by the software’s level of risk tolerance. If the number of errors is low, developers can release the new changes.

However, if the errors exceed the permitted budget, the release is put on hold, and the existing problems are solved first. This helps minimize or eliminate much of the friction between both teams.

The Signals Site Reliability Engineers Should Monitor

Four signals help consistently track service health across all apps and infrastructure:

Latency

Latency is the total time it takes for a user to send a request and receive a response.

For example, if an eCommerce web service communicates with a database service on the backend to verify a user, the time taken to execute the database is measured as part of the latency calculation.

High latency can indicate overloaded servers, network issues, or inefficient code. It enables site reliability engineers to detect incidents faster, ensure that applications meet their performance objectives, and provide a good user experience.

Traffic

Traffic measures the volume of requests and responses moving through a network. Depending on the business, the definition of traffic can significantly vary.

For instance, the total number of people coming to an eCommerce site or the number of app requests happening at a given time.

Sudden spikes or drops in traffic can signal potential issues or changes in user behavior. Understanding traffic patterns can help site reliability engineers scale resources accordingly and predict future capacity needs.

Errors

Errors simply refer to the rate of unsuccessful requests. This means site reliability engineers gain insights into the health of the overall software and also the issues occurring at specific service endpoints.

From infrastructure misconfigurations and outages to broken dependencies and flaws in the app code, errors come in many forms. For example, a sudden spike in the error rate might represent a service failure, database, or network outage. High error rates can significantly affect user satisfaction and need immediate attention.

Noibu can help eCommerce site reliability engineers and developers with the automatic detection, prioritization, and resolution of errors. It is an e-commerce health and performance monitoring platform that detects revenue-impacting website errors and flags them in real-time so they can be efficiently resolved without the need for any further investigation or replication.

It even helps developers correlate customer complaints to user sessions and efficiently identify the root cause of errors to reduce error resolution times by up to 70% so your team can instead focus on strategic tasks such as feature releases.

Saturation

Saturation refers to how “full” a service or resource is, measuring the utilization level. System components like hardware disks, memory, and networks often reach a saturation point. This usually happens when the demand surpasses a service’s capacity in the form of memory, CPU, IOPS, or DBS queries.

It’s an important signal a site reliability engineer should monitor because it can predict potential bottlenecks or capacity issues before they result in performance degradation.

The Way Forward: SRE Triggering a Cultural Shift in Development and DevOps

SRE pushes businesses beyond just making things work. It helps them build strong and stable systems, regardless of what’s thrown at them.

Whether it’s a sudden spike in eCommerce user traffic, an unexpected service outage, or the need to roll out features at lightning speed – SRE can help.

By merging software engineering rigor with operational excellence, SRE compels DevOps and the development team to ensure that system design, maintenance, and reliability are never compromised.

Large eCommerce businesses need an automated mechanism for error detection and resolution. Hence, they need a platform that goes beyond SRE that detects, analyzes, and puts a dollar value on website errors and bugs. This can help them resolve issues before they hurt the revenue.

If you want to know how Noibu can help, get in touch with our team or sign up for a demo of the platform today.

E-commerce developers work with complex distributed systems where tracing user interactions and events from the front end to the back end is necessary.

For large e-commerce businesses, the software architecture paradigm is forever evolving –

  • They have come a long way from monoliths (or applications architected traditionally)
  • APMs and other observability tools have worked well for these monolithic applications but haven’t been useful with the rise of cloud-native microservices, containers, and serverless functions.
  • Developer responsibilities have changed after the emergence of DevOps

Modern complex systems use microservices running on Kubernetes clusters and cloud infrastructure. Hence, developers tend to write small pieces of independent code, deployed multiple times a day to production (increased deployment frequency). This makes it challenging for them to track and monitor outages.

During production, if an issue arises, the development team has to quickly identify the source before it impacts the customer. Hence, they monitor logs, metrics, events, and distributed traces in a correlated manner.

That’s observability!

What is Observability?

The term ‘observability’ refers to the ability to assess the inner workings and state of a system by measuring its output. About a decade ago, troubleshooting distributed systems for developers meant just one thing – browsing error logs.

However, this approach doesn’t suffice for enterprise firms like large e-commerce companies. Plus, as the role of DevOps grew significantly, developer roles for programs after delivery evolved.

Yet, developers were monitoring their distributed systems using tedious instrumentation and monitoring tools. In response to this, X (previously Twitter) got the term ‘observability’ in the mainstream. They created an observability team to centralize and standardize the collection of telemetry data (system data like logs, traces, metrics, and events) across their services.

It offers observability data and enables developers and software engineers to go beyond traditional monitoring (using just the logs, metrics, and alerting). Thus, they can understand the “why” (not just the what) behind system behavior.

Observability = Visibility + Understanding

Why is Observability Key to Developers/DevOps?

Deployment frequency has skyrocketed with microservices coming into the picture. The constant changes make it tough to realistically expect development teams to predefine each and every possible failure mode in the given environment, be it the code or the infrastructure that supports it.

Observability data contributes to several aspects of the modern software development process. It gives them the flexibility they need to test their software systems in production, ask questions, and investigate issues.

Let’s see how observability is central to developers and DevOps teams.

Helps in the Early Detection of Issues

Observability offers real-time insights into the system’s behavior of applications and their performance. Developers and DevOps teams can collect, explore, alert, and correlate all telemetry data types, understand user behavior, and deliver a better experience. They can effortlessly spot issues and improve system reliability and availability.

Such insights allow them to address them before they negatively impact users, thereby increasing conversions and retention.

Allows Quick Troubleshooting

Since teams have ready access to events, logs, metrics, and traces, they can effortlessly pinpoint the root cause of the issue and resolve it quickly.

For instance, they get a view into the application performance and drill down to the reasons why an error spiked or why there was an application latency. Thus, observability reduces the mean time to resolution and downtime. This ultimately leads to improved user experience.

Fosters Improved Collaboration

Development teams and DevOps practices revolve around collaboration. Observability offers a common ground for data and insights where teams can work together to assess system performance and behavior.

This shared understanding and transparency fosters a culture of collaboration, cooperation, and joint problem-solving.

Improves New Release and Update Management

Through observability, developers can evaluate the exact impact of updates/ new releases on system performance and stability. They can make informed decisions and ensure smooth deployment by monitoring changes throughout.

Facilitates the Creation of Feedback Loops

Observability facilitates the creation of feedback loops which is one of the core principles of devOps. The process of continuous feedback drives improvements in code quality and system architecture.

Upholds Security Monitoring and Compliance

Observability allows quick detection of security threats, anomalies, and unauthorized activities on the system. This empowers developers to proactively respond to such threats, ensuring compliance with the industry regulations.

Role of Observability Tools

As mentioned earlier, observability is a framework for gathering, processing, analyzing, and visualizing telemetry data at infrastructure and application levels to spot issues.

To make a system visible in this sense, you need access to telemetry data from all system components.
This is possible through open-source and vendor-based observability providers. These monitoring tools often offer both Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and Observability capabilities.

Similarly, APM platforms –

  • Help with backend monitoring and understanding complex digital system
  • Offer a view into the velocity rate of site errors which is useful during a launch

Usually, development teams choose a suitable tool based on their needs and the type of system they are maintaining. However, traditional APM or observability tools do not suffice for large businesses with a whole lot of microservices.

Unfortunately, APM and observability platforms fail to catch regressions, calculate error rates, and identify improperly written lines of code that impact user experiences on websites

Plus, they only point to the velocity rate of site errors during the launch phase.

However, your website or e-commerce store is anything but static. Hence, you also need a platform in your tech stack that detects errors and monitors performance on an ongoing basis and in real-time.
That’s where Noibu comes in! The Noibu platform:

  • Detects all technical errors across all browsers and devices
  • Captures session recordings
  • Offers full stack traces for your developers
  • Assigns a hard dollar value to each bug
  • Auto-prioritizes issues based on potential losses in revenue

Why You Need a Robust Error Monitoring Platform Like Noibu

Noibu’s auto-detection and prioritization software is being used by several leading e-commerce brands to eliminate tech debt, improve UX, boost developer confidence and satisfaction, and accelerate error resolution time.

It is an error and health monitoring platform designed specifically for e-commerce teams so they can be alerted in real time of any site error that occurs. The platform also provides the corresponding user session details and suggestions on how to resolve the error along with the exact line of code that needs fixing to completely eliminate the need for further investigation or replication of bugs. Noibu can run in parallel with APM and observability tools to optimize website health and performance by detecting and helping resolve revenue-impacting errors.

Noibu platform

Why Add Noibu to Your Observability Tool Stack

Noibu empowers developers with answers they seek:

  • It detects JavaScript and HTML website errors in real-time
  • It offers AI-generated explanations of errors
  • It prioritizes errors based on revenue impact
  • It provides actionable insights into how to resolve errors without the need to replicate
  • It correlates errors to customer complaints and user sessions
  • It helps eliminate friction in user experiences by helping resolve site errors 

Check out how Avon’s development team detected a critical checkout outage with Noibu. The issue affected 21% of their shoppers, negatively impacting their bottom line. Using Noibu for real-time monitoring and error detection helped them diagnose the root of the problem.

The result?

  • Significant savings
  • Improved customer experience
  • Increased sales
  • Developer satisfaction

Read more about how Noibu helped Avon improve their checkout experience here.

Summing Up

Observability coupled offers a proactive approach to troubleshooting and optimizing complex system performance. It offers a real-time and interconnected perspective on all observability data.

With proactive error detection and resolution, observability can go beyond traditional monitoring, allowing developers to understand what is wrong and why and put a dollar value to such errors.

Stay tuned as we keep exploring the evolving development landscape. Check out Noibu’s blog which offers practical insights on ways to spot and resolve errors that impact user experience.

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