The complexity of managing multiple data sources, via a multitude of touchpoints, on an international scale needs data filtered through a common point of truth to be manageable and coherent and ensure a good user experience wherever your customers are in the world. According to the Google Connected Kingdom study produced by the Boston Consulting Group in 2010 the UK exports £2.80 for every £1 imported via eCommerce. Offline exports are 90p for every £1 spent on imports. So it comes as no surprise that more and more retailers are looking oversees for new sources of growth with particular investment in fast growing economies like Brazil. Asia and Eastern Europe.
In Europe Brussels wants to legislate to promote cross border commerce so even if your organisation is not looking to sell to new markets there will be plenty of competition for your existing market share from new overseas entrants.
Europe is now the world’s largest market for ecommerce but emerging markets are catching up. The Chinese ecommerce leader Taobao has a larger turnover than amazon; the first site for private sales in Russia has raised $59million which is an amount rarely heard of for a retail start up. This said, though, with the exception of virtual goods true international retailers are still relatively rare but this is changing as organisations look to internationalise.
Apart from understanding all the local markets, languages, regulatory issues, logistical constraints etc it is important to have consistent performance and user experience data across all sites to ensure all teams responsible for eCommerce in the various territories can be sure all comparisons are valid and that they are speaking a common language of data.
Localisation of design is importance for international trade as consumers are more likely to trust a site that displays local understanding, not to mention technical, infrastructure and demographic considerations such as literacy or credit card ownership. For this reason it is important that monitoring can behave as a real user and “do what the user does” on all the different front ends as well as testing the technical performance of behind the scenes.
As shopping experiences differ around the world multichannel offerings will need to reflect customer needs if they are to be successful internationally. The journeys your customers take between different touchpoints, the order they use them in and what they use them for can change significantly. In South Korea, for example, payment through mobile phones is widely used, in Germany payment on delivery is common and in Nordic countries customers expect to be able “click and collect” or order through in-store Kiosks.
One of the most expensive things for eCommerce retailers operating in overseas markets is returns which in sectors such as fashion can reach as high as 40%. For this reason it is vitally important that returns are minimised as far as possible by using monitoring to ensure that returns are not made for reasons such as incorrect items being added to the basket, pricing and inventory issues or problems with 3rd party suppliers of goods, delivery services or content.
Being able to easily share data from a “single point of truth” with many 3rd party suppliers can make KPIs and SLA management a lot easier and more transparent. It also makes analysis, diagnosis and fixing of errors much more efficient. This can be especially important when different support teams are located all around the world.
Being able to monitor from local internet providers and to track CDN issues and trace routes is increasingly important in being able to diagnose network problems, slow downs and packet loss and understand the cause of errors and whether or not they can be resolved this side of the firewall.
Load testing results can also be very different country to country depending on local infrastructure and user behaviour patterns and buying cycles leading to different kinds of peaks and different kinds of bottlenecks. Results that you get from load testing on a dev environment in one country may give a very false impression of what will happen in different areas of the world.
SV Monitoring Suite
All products in the Monitoring Suite have been designed with different user needs in mind, but all are delivered through the intuitive Customer Portal, and enjoy the one-on-one managed service support, that our clients value so highly.
To help support all teams, and provide a “single point of truth”, all products in the SV Monitor Suite are designed to ensure that everyone can understand and be proficient in using the wide ranging metrics to deliver ongoing improvements.