JavaScript Errors and Their Impact on eCommerce Websites

JavaScript errors

In a Deloitte study, 70% of online consumers openly admit that sluggish websites impact their purchase decisions. Not just this, in the US, latency is the #1 reason why a shopper would abandon a website.

Poor UX costs eCommerce companies a loss of 5 purchases a year per customer, with 8% of customers abandoning over 10 purchases.
Sub-par shopping experiences have a colossal impact on revenue. Today’s shopper has limited patience and expects a more tailored, in-context experience.
impact of customer experience on shopper satisfaction

Thus, delivering visually appealing, content-rich shopping experiences and ensuring a fast-loading eCommerce website is key to attracting customers, fostering long-term loyalty, and increasing revenue.

JavaScript allows developers to create immersive experiences, offering shoppers a user-friendly buying experience. However, uncaught JavaScript errors can be a massive threat to eCommerce website performance and overall top-line revenue as persistent bugs cause shoppers to drop off and abandon their carts.

For instance, JavaScript fetch errors due to network or server issues can interfere with the loading of crucial data, such as product listings or user cart information on an eCommerce website. This can lead to broken functionality, such as incomplete product pages or the inability to add items to the cart.

When users encounter such errors, their screen may display error messages prompting them to refresh the page or try again, thus negatively impacting their overall experience and causing frustration.

Similarly, a common JavaScript error in eCommerce websites using Magento, namely “Cannot read properties of undefined (reading ‘remove’),” a type of JS runtime error can arise due to changes in storage initialization between Magento versions 2.3.6 and 2.4.

It can adversely affect vital UI components and eCommerce website functionalities, such as adding items to the cart or logging in. When such an error occurs, the user might encounter an error message asking to try again later. The runtime error can thus lead to customer dissatisfaction, thus slowing down conversion rates.

In short, JavaScript errors on eCommerce websites disrupt the normal functioning of web pages, leading to slow load times and poor user experiences. Poor JavaScript error handling may result in a loss of trust in the business and decreased revenue.

Despite taking proactive measures like implementing try block and throw statements, performing code reviews, testing, and debugging, eradicating a JavaScript error remains a key challenge. The complexity of web applications introduces uncertainties, where even a minor oversight while handling an event object or executing a code snippet can lead to such errors.

Thus, the presence of errors is inevitable in an eCommerce JavaScript project developer’s life. A surefire way to take control is to have complete visibility of such common JavaScript errors with eCommerce monitoring tools.

The Need for Complete Visibility into JavaScript Errors for eCommerce

If there’s a server issue, the whole eCommerce JavaScript project development team turns upside down, and everyone’s rushing to fix the issue. However, errors in JavaScript tend to linger around for months before they get fixed. This is largely due to a lack of visibility into such errors in the codebase.

Server errors, syntax errors, and 404 pages can be easily spotted. However, they present only a fraction of the bugs impacting eCommerce site performance. These errors in JavaScript, unfortunately, do not invoke a server alert and therefore aren’t brought to anyone’s attention until it’s too late. What’s more, only about 10% of shoppers call in to report an error they encounter on a website, leading to a majority of them just lurking around to cause friction in the customer experience.

The absence of such visibility makes it challenging for the developers to address underlying issues. This results in persistent performance issues that eat into user session lengths, conversion rates, and revenue.

Getting to the bottom of JavaScript errors on eCommerce websites is critical for developers as they get deeper diagnostic details about the issue. This allows them to plan quick and proactive resolution tactics, thereby reducing its impact on revenue.

Improved JavaScript error visibility offers developers insights on exactly which page the error occurred, if there is a specific location, or if a specific operating system is impacted. Thus, the narrowed-down error environment helps them prioritize which issue to fix first.

Now that we’ve understood why getting complete error visibility is important, let’s see how not having this visibility will impact performance.

The Impact of Poor JavaScript Error Visibility

Critical JavaScript code errors on eCommerce websites left undetected or unaddressed due to poor visibility, can snowball into severe issues. Poor visibility can hamper your development team’s ability to pinpoint, prioritize, and address issues effectively.

Without clear insights, your team may encounter challenges in identifying critical JavaScript errors that require immediate attention, leading to delays in the resolution process. This can negatively impact your website performance, ultimately affecting customer experience and revenue in the long term.

Here’s how:

Compounding Negative Impact on the JavaScript Codebase

A typo in the variable name or failure to define its value before executing the JavaScript code can give rise to reference errors. For instance, if eCommerce developers mistakenly type toUperCase() instead of toUpperCase(), it will lead to a JavaScript reference error.

Similarly, JavaScript error [object Object] (frequently encountered on Magento) arises when developers mistakenly treat an object as a string, often occurring during operations like concatenation with a string, usage in string-expecting contexts, or within the anonymous function.

Oversight in handling object data properly within the codebase leads to this error, resulting in unexpected behavior in JavaScript execution.

The crux of the above examples is poor visibility into these errors in JavaScript can compromise the codebase quality and reliability over time. This has a negative compounding effect on overall site performance.

Poor Error Resolution Efficiency

Limited visibility into errors can negatively impact your development team’s efficiency in resolving them. Without clear insights, they may address errors as they arise.

For instance, if the eCommerce site manager encounters and notifies a runtime error, the development team would review the relevant JavaScript code and identify the incorrect argument to handle errors. Similarly, if the team discovers a syntax error during random testing because of an invalid variable declaration, developers would analyze the JavaScript code to locate and resolve the syntax error.

Often, if customers encounter and pinpoint an error message on the eCommerce site highlighting a reference error when attempting to access an undefined variable, the developers would focus on identifying the variable causing the issue and ensure to define it appropriately.

In short, this will result in a reactive rather than proactive error resolution approach. Furthermore, this lack of visibility into JavaScript code errors on eCommerce websites means the developers must spend considerable time searching through thousands of user sessions or logs to reproduce and resolve errors.

The process is time-consuming as developers need to investigate to find out:

  • Where the error occurs
  • What circumstances caused the error to occur
  • What happens when the error occurs (user and developer perspective)
  • How to handle errors and apply the fixes

It isn’t surprising that developers spend 25% or more of their sprint time on error handling and resolution.

Sub-Optimal eCommerce Site Performance

Limited error visibility may lead to a drop in the overall performance of your eCommerce platform. The underlying errors can accumulate and create friction for customers interacting with your platform.

For instance, the runtime error, JavaScript AJAX call error, which mainly occurs when an AJAX request is initiated but canceled due to a browser event, such as a page reload or redirection, happening simultaneously or from cross-domain issues, can hinder users from searching for products or performing checkout on eCommerce websites.

This runtime error, thus, impacts vital UI components responsible for search functionality and checkout processes.

Similarly, if the eCommerce website gets impacted by the “Illegal Invocation” JavaScript error during transaction data handling or interacting with payment gateway APIs, it can disrupt payment processing. This JavaScript error occurs due to inappropriate context or event object passed during a function call, violating the expected behavior of the function. Users’ screens might display an error message or notification indicating issues with payment processing.

Such errors in JavaScript can leave a lasting negative impression on users, which may lead to cart abandonment and revenue loss. So, developers must take proactive measures to handle errors in JavaScript like these and maintain optimal eCommerce website performance.

Low Developer Productivity

Unresolved issues tend to frustrate teams, especially when they lack insights that can help in fixing them. Poor visibility into JavaScript errors on eCommerce websites can overwhelm the development team.

Rollbar conducted a study on 950 developers and found that:

  • 32% of developers spend up to 10 hours/week to fix bugs
  • 16% spend up to 15 hours/week for it
  • 6% spend up to 20 hours/week

This reflects that because of limited visibility into eCommerce JavaScript errors, development teams are unable to gain valuable insights into the root causes of issues.

This leads them to end up in a loop of debugging and spending crucial development hours on mundane error reproduction tasks that could otherwise be invested in strategic projects, such as building new website features, optimizing performance, or working on innovative solutions to enhance the eCommerce experience that contributes to revenue.

What’s worse? All this negatively impacts their morale, increasing the risk of attrition. It takes months and thousands of dollars to recruit and onboard eCommerce developers. Thus, a lack of proper visibility into your site errors or a well-functioning error-resolution workflow can end up wasting your IT team’s team and resource hours

Gain Complete Visibility into JS Errors and Reduce Error Resolution Time by 70%

Edgar, Dunn & Company reports that 94% of eCommerce websites have five or more live uncaught errors impacting customers’ experience.

There’s a fair chance your eCommerce website falls into this category. Now, imagine the impact it’s having on business revenue if you don’t proactively handle errors. Thus, identifying JS errors that influence conversion rates is central to eCommerce developers.

What you need is a platform that ensures your front end is healthy from a site stability and error-tracking standpoint and correlates errors with revenue impact.

That’s where our robust eCommerce monitoring platform – Noibu, can help!

Noibu proactively monitors your eCommerce website for JS and other errors, helping you save hours that would otherwise be spent on investigation and resolution. Here’s how:

Understanding the nature of JS errors is critical; yet, investigating the type of JS error may take a developer hours, let alone fixing them.

Noibu can help your development team with:  

#1: Real-Time Error Detection: Noibu automatically monitors your eCommerce website and promptly flags all errors in real-time, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. In addition to common errors like syntax errors and runtime errors, it identifies GraphQL, HTTP, and Image errors that can disrupt your customers’ journey. 

#2: Prioritization Based on Revenue-Impact: Noibu alerts you when the error occurs and prioritizes all issues based on the impact they have on your revenue. This way, you can confidently pick and choose which errors to address first to minimize the negative impact on your sales and conversions.

#3: Technical Details to Provide Quick Resolution: Noibu simplifies error handling in JavaScript by providing all the technical details required by your eCommerce developers to quickly resolve errors without having to spend endless hours replicating them or finding corresponding user sessions.

This includes information from the JavaScript error object, such as error messages, stack traces, browser information, network requests, and other relevant data necessary to resolve site errors in record time. Precisely, it enables development teams to cut resolution time by 70%. This greatly improves your development team’s efficiency by streamlining your error-resolution workflows.

The Way Forward

JavaScript errors can negatively impact eCommerce website functionality and performance over time. Limited error visibility can lead to a compounding effect, hampering the development team’s ability to identify and address them in real time.

This results in a reactive approach, consuming valuable resources and time.
So, understanding when the error occurred is vital. Real-time error detection and prioritization based on impact can help address these challenges.

High visibility into JavaScript errors leads to swift error resolution, improving the user experience and conversion rates.

Neglecting to implement the right tool for JavaScript error handling and monitoring can prove a grave mistake on JavaScript eCommerce sites.

Count on Noibu to get enhanced visibility and in-depth insights into errors in JavaScript.

Sign up for a free checkout audit of your website, or book a demo of the Noibu platform.

Adopting a data-driven approach to error handling and monitoring has helped some of the biggest online retailers like Joe Browns and Ruroc redefine their error monitoring and resolution workflows.

Here’s what Fiona Brown, the Head of eCommerce at Joe Browns, has to say:  

Fiona Brown on how NOibu has helped their development team

Read more on how Joe Browns achieved an ROI of 48.35x with Noibu

Daniel Goodwin, the Frontend Web Developer at Ruroc, shares that Noibu helped them improve the overall error handling and monitoring process for his team. They achieved a 42.89x ROI by resolving errors with Noibu. 

Daniel Goodwin on how Noibu has helped their development team

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