We’d like to tell you that you can now rest easy: everything you’ve built will run just fine no matter how much traffic you get. Wouldn’t that feel nice? But the latest trend reports suggest that e-commerce growth shows no sign of slowing — and your consistent load testing and performance testing can help your site be ready.
In Comscore’s latest report, the company reports ongoing “positive trends.” That seemed to us like an understatement. In 2015, for example, only 15 days in the year topped one billion dollars (USD) in daily ecommerce spend. In 2016, 30 days topped one billion dollars (USD). 2017 is expected to exceed that.
What’s more, e-commerce spending is consistently topping $100B (one hundred billion USD) every single quarter. Calendar Q3 2017 (July, August and September) brought $102.3B in e-commerce spending, and Q4 will likely top that. Historically, the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend (starting the 4th Thursday in November) through mid-December represents the year’s peak e-commerce spending.
In that time period, “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after that Thanksgiving weekend, also represents a peak day. Spending on that day has more than doubled from 2013 to 2016.
In fact, Comscore reports, in the third quarter of 2017, 1 of every 6 discretionary dollars was spent in digital commerce, and that is expected to grow. Of course, at some point there will be a natural peak (we can’t buy, say, gasoline or petrol for our autos, or have our teeth cleaned by a virtual dentist).
It’s also interesting to note that these Comscore stats reflect largely consumer spending. If you have a B2C (business to consumer) venture, you can apply these numbers directly. If you’re a B2B (business to business) venture, however, you may see slightly different trends. However, in our experience, B2B spending maps to consumer spending reasonably well. For example, July and August can be slower spending months in both B2B and B2C segments due to summer vacations. Yet Q4, the fourth quarter, can show strong B2B spending as well as B2C spending as enterprises scurry to use their year-end budgets.
Why all the stats? First, it’s fascinating to put numbers behind what we’ve all seen over the last several years, both as consumers and as those building the systems enabling all that e-commerce. Second, it reinforces the need for continuous, consistent testing.
Your load testing and performance testing can’t be seasonal. E-commerce spending continues to grow from one quarter to the next, not just year over year. That growth means you have to continue to optimize your site’s speed and performance. As you continue to add features to your site, too, you can’t afford to ignore or postpone load testing.
Since e-commerce grows every quarter, continue your emphasis on performance, measured by consistent load testing. Got a team or manager who hasn’t fully bought into the need for that testing? Share a few of the stats in this article.