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E-commerce Businesses And Their Dependence On Performance Tests


The dot-com bubble saw the rise of hundreds of small companies looking to make a fortune. Owners gloated about the small fortune they had amassed, while customers basked in the cheap prices. The once powerful, thriving online business such as AmCy, Boo, and Broadband Sports were diminished to mere graveyards. Years later, the small businesses that got their start online once again grew into large successes and into thriving companies.

Not only were small-time companies looking to get into the e-commerce business, but large business like Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart got in on the action as well. These companies setup servers and hired web designers to create clean, professional web pages to attract customers. However, with all the cool HTML features and shoppers venturing to these websites, engineers had their hands full ensuring that servers stayed operational.

E-commerce and Performance Tests

Large companies like your Wal-Marts, Targets and Best Buys launch e-mail campaigns, magazine ads and television commercials that say, “visit us on our web.” When a company launches an ad campaign, the influx in customers is massive, and in order to ensure the servers do not crash, performance testers fortify the servers using different tests. In order to fortify a server, an engineer will use a website load testing tool to make the proper adjustments to deal with the flood of customers as a result of a new ad campaign. No e-commerce website wants to launch an ad campaign and then have its servers crash. The result would cost a company thousands of dollars and hurt its image.

The Holidays

During the holidays—Black Friday and Christmas—are when e-commerce websites require the most assistance from performance testers. Holidays draw huge traffic surges from both big and small websites, and businesses use creative tactics to attract customers, from discounts by liking their Facebook page to discount vouchers for buying an online product. The holiday rush creates a surge of new orders and thousands of customers visiting a website at a given moment, so engineers must be ready to handle the surge by ensuring the pages load smoothly and payment gateways function as intended.

No company wants a customer to visit during the holiday rush, select “overnight shipping” and the order details not go through the system because of a mishap on the servers. Engineers comb through the payment gate windows, ensure links work properly and create hypothetical scenarios for how fast a page will load when an “x” number of customers visit using website load testing software to eliminate errors.

The dot-com bubble may have destroyed several e-commerce websites, but online businesses continue to show signs of growth. The more e-commerce businesses appear, the more dependent they become on performance engineers to handle the increases in traffic.

SOASTA provides high quality website load testing tools as well as testing tools for mobile applications. Performance Tests For Websites are correlated and analyzed in real-time to quickly find and fix problems.

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