Testing the performance of your eCommerce site before going live

By Christophe Dujarric, on Apr 05, 2016

After waiting just 3 seconds for a site to load, 40% of users abandon a website, according to Akamai. Your customer is gone, probably forever. If your web applications are not fast enough, you will lose both customers and revenue.

This is true for any web application where adoption and revenue generation are tightly coupled. And it is even more crucial in the eCommerce business where you don’t want your customers abandoning their cart or quitting a product page because of poor performance as they will likely go somewhere else to make their purchase.

Performance can have a significant impact on the bottom line as experienced by some of the biggest names in the industry:

  • Shopzilla improved their revenues by 5% to 12% after an extensive 16 month website refactoring which enabled them to drop their page load times from 6 to 9 seconds down to 1.2 seconds
  • The Aberdeen Group released a study in 2008 and updated their stats in 2015 showing that application performance issues can impact overall corporate revenues by up to 9%. The organizations they surveyed had annual revenues averaging $1.3 billion representing an average loss of $117 million per year resulting from performance related issues.
  • Strangeloop (bought by Radware in 2013) showed that a 2-second delay in load time during checkout could result in abandonment rates reaching up to 87%.

There are countless other examples of how neglecting performance can lead to critical business failures, especially during Black Friday/Cyber Monday periods (ask Best Buy, or Target).

The key is not how much is spent on optimizing performance, but where and when. Rooting out the evil and optimizing performance from the first line of code paves the way to success and minimizes the cost of software bugs.

How do you ensure that the performance of your applications is good enough before going to production? Are you using a load-testing tool? Are you benchmarking your code? How do you find bottlenecks that slow your code down? And when you find a problem, how can you be sure that your change actually fixed the problem?

Performance management is not something you do once, just before you release your code. In order to be effective, performance management must be included in your day-to-day workflow via deep integrations into your development stack. That is exactly what Blackfire enables you to do. And our customers can tell you best:

  • Balance Internet Technical Director Mal Williams:

    We have adopted the Blackfire.io’s Enterprise Edition in our Continuous Integration workflow. From benchmarks to regression tests and profile graphs, Blackfire has helped our developers to quickly identify performance bottlenecks and then validate sustainable solutions. The bottom line is that it enables us to build quicker more robust sites for our clients, giving them a greater speed to market with their competitive and innovative ideas.

  • Oro Inc. CTO Dima Soroka:

    Performance profiling and optimization was always challenging for teams that are working on complex web applications, but not anymore. With Blackfire.io our company has all the right tools to profile any part of the application, integrate performance testing in the CI process and easily compare results over time. Thanks to Blackfire team for the great product that is easy to setup and use.

Ready to learn more about how to manage the performance of your eCommerce apps? Read Fabien’s 24 Days of Blackfire.

Happy performance testing,

Christophe Dujarric

Christophe is the Product guy at Blackfire/SensioLabs. He has been working in several start-up companies, helping them to make and sell products out of technologies. He’s involved in every step of the product’s lifecycle, from strategy to design and sales, and loves to coach on product management methods.