When we talk about load testing, it’s easy to focus on consumer e-commerce. It’s convenient for examples, and we can all think of straightforward ways load testing might benefit during peak seasons like Black Friday. But you, as a developer, are doing yourself and your company a disservice if you’re focusing entirely on your consumer customer experience. Don’t overlook your B2B (business-to-business) performance as well.
If you’re not optimizing for B2B performance, you’re missing out. In real terms, you could be missing out on company revenue. Back in 2015, Forrester predicted that in the United States, B2B e-commerce would be double that of B2C (business-to-consumer) e-commerce.
That’s a lot of e-commerce.
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you’ve undoubtedly come across archaic and unfriendly B2B systems interfaces. For an average office worker, that might have been something as simple as a 1998-era interface for finding and ordering industrial parts.
For developers, it’s even worse. (Isn’t that always the way?). We’ve had to deal with archaic and unwieldy APIs. Or we’ve had to run terminal emulators and screen scrapers.
Yet the world has moved past these unfriendly business interfaces. Ordering just about anything, from books to groceries, or even WiFi routers and LCD TVs, can be done with a few taps on a mobile phone. Products can be found, scanned and paid for in-store with those same mobile phones.
Consumer e-commerce purchases regularly arrive within a couple of days, and in some extreme examples, within minutes.
Yet the B2B world lags behind.
In that lag - in that gap between B2C and B2B ecommerce - lies your opportunity as a developer. Most businesses are addressing their archaic user interfaces (UI), and have UX (user experience) professionals on the job. Yet, and we mean this kindly, all the chrome and polish a user interface can hold doesn’t mean a thing if the site’s performance is substandard.
See, our expectations have evolved dramatically not only for the look and interface usability of a site, but also for the performance of that site.
Fast mobile networks and mobile app performance optimization make us expect instant gratification. As our thousands of consumer e-commerce customers attest, performance optimization for sites, too, results in real revenue increases, and is thus easy to make a business priority.
We see the next big opportunity for you as a developer as this: optimizing the performance of your B2B ecommerce sites (or APIs or apps) as well.
As the B2B ecommerce market continues to grow, the business case for optimized B2B performance becomes even more evident. Start now: use your load testing skills to accelerate your B2B site performance. You’ll see real results for your business and your career.
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