So you think your business uptime is 99.5%? Think again…

As an e-commerce shop owner, one of the worst things you could hear would be that your site is down. Maximal “uptime” is key. Equally as bad, though, is when your “business uptime” is compromised. Business uptime is considered time when not only is your e-commerce shop up, but also that every part of the shop is up and running so customers can browse and check out with ease. Missing images. Broken links. Cart issues. All of these (and more) affect your business uptime. Any time a customer has a problem adding items to their cart and checking out, you can be sure that they will move on to the next online shop to complete their purchase...and that is bad news. So…just how common are Magento site errors? More common than you think. Of Read more »

What’s a Virtual Shopper, and Why You Need One, NOW

In the brick and mortar world, the concept of mystery shoppers, or secret shoppers, has been around for decades. There are people whose job it is to go into a store, restaurant, bank, or other establishment, and shop there. Depending on the goals of the secret shopper program, these anonymous shoppers may: Search for items of a certain size Ask certain questions Measure how long it takes for a salesperson to approach and say “how can we help you today” Check if the waiter tries to upsell you dessert or wine Try out the bathroom to see how clean and well stocked it is and so on The possibilities for mystery shopping assignments are endless, since every aspect of an on-premise store impacts the business. The atmosphere, service Read more »

The one second that costs your business $2.5 million

There’s a saying in the online world that “content is king,” but when you’re an e-commerce shop owner, it’s speed. Speed is king. It’s the seemingly unattainable goal. According to a recent poll by Load Impact, most of us dream of a two-second load speed. Is that what’s actually happening though? Not by any means. It’s more like…eight seconds. You read that right. The average page load speed on an e-commerce site is eight seconds. Now let’s take a look at Shoppimon data from more than 1.6 million visits to online stores built on Magento in the past few months. At Shoppimon we take “page load time” a step further, and measure full scenarios, that is, how long it takes for a visitor to accomplish their goal (e.g. add Read more »

eBay crashed. Microsoft is unavailable! … What about you?

Is your store up and running? Now? How do you know? This is Magento uptime revisited. Even the big boys sometimes fall… actually, eBay crashed on me a couple of weeks back with a nasty, not-for-the-faint-of-heart screen showing the guts of their code. This week, when I tried to access my Microsoft account (yes, I have one), I got a “service not available” message from the Redmond gang. As someone who works for a company that specializes in finding site issues in online stores, I can’t say the fact that such issues happen actually surprises me. At Shoppimon, we see these issues in Magento shops all the time, some happening constantly – others, only every now and then – causing a store to lose customers Read more »

When Rare isn’t so Rare: Magento Store Error Detection

Magento store owners (and anyone else with an e-commerce site) have a lot on their plates. Making sure their sites are up and running is one of the big ones, but unfortunately, it’s also one of the most overlooked. Ok ok…maybe it’s not that they’re overlooking the maintenance. It’s more likely that they don’t have the bandwidth to tackle it. It IS, after all, a 24/7 operation to monitor scenarios like homepage visit, search for product, add to cart, account log-in and checkout. But each broken element leads to loss of sales. So maybe there are very common errors in the store. When you come to expect certain errors, they’re easier to prevent or repair. But what about the ones you don’t expect? The ones that sneak in and you Read more »

Shoppimon website health reports for free? Yes, please!

We heard your requests and we’ve obliged! Shoppimon is pleased to announce that our website health reporting service is now available to Magento store owners for FREE…for real. If you haven’t checked out our Live Report system, there’s no better time than the present. The Live Report system checks for errors on your homepage, search function, “Add to Cart” feature and checkout system…all in real-time. You’ll get a general overview and a “grade” so you know where your shop stands at any given moment. For more detailed information we invite you to sign up for full access (still free, you just have to register with your email address so we can send you updates). We keep it simple though; no scripting, no changes to Magento Read more »

YouTube outage is a wakeup call for Magento store owners

If your Magento store is like most other eCcommerce websites, chances are you’re relying on dozens of third-party services - from payment gateways to content personalization widgets. A “service oriented architecture”, as some call it, enables us to quickly build feature-rich websites without spending a fortune on custom development. But this wonderful fabric of services also holds risk - when one of the components that make up your website breaks, you’re in trouble. The recent YouTube outage serves as a reminder of this danger. Shoppimon, as a specialized monitor for Magento stores, was quick to report that something is very wrong (see a few screen shots we captured right after the incident took place). Needless to say, not being Read more »

eCommerce problems are more common than thought (we have a new infographic to prove it)

Most online store owners we talk to think their websites run just fine. Most of them are dead wrong. Turns out problems are common – from malfunctioning shopping carts to really slow performance. How common? To help answer this question, we decided to share statistics that Shoppimon gathers through simulating shopping on many Magento-based stores. Check out this new infographic.

Stats on problems with Magento-based stores

How Shoppimon came about

Over the past several years we have been working for a software company where we generated millions of dollars through an online store. The site was initially based on Digital River and we then migrated to Magento. At times sales went up and at time they went down, and we kept asking ourselves “why”. If you run an online store, you probably know this scenario – you walk into the office, log in and note that you had unusually low sales the previous day. Why? Was this a seasonal pattern? Random slowness? Or, maybe a technical problem that drove shoppers away? Our IT team used all kinds of monitoring tools (some of them quite expensive), yet we usually found that our Magento store was slow or the shopping cart was failing when Read more »