Now, more than ever, your business success hinges on your ability to ensure a quality Web experience across both internal and external users. From internal applications supporting employees and partners to external websites driving revenue, your customers are demanding fast access to quality Web content that displays properly on any mobile or Web device of their choosing. The health, availability and optimal performance of your Web applications have never been so critical to your business and the risks have never been higher.
These days, unhappy customers often vent on social media channels before they even call you. And a customer complaining via social media could mean a customer lost to a competitor or future customers driven away, and the consequences are potentially disastrous.
With this in mind, let’s review some recent industry trends that you need to consider as you define your website strategy.
It's a multi-browser, multi-mobile device, multi-language world.
In 2000, there were about 361 million Internet users worldwide, and Internet Explorer (IE) dominated the market.
As of July 2012, there were more than 2.4 billion Internet users globally, and 63% of U.S. companies offer their website content in other languages. While IE continues to dominate in North America, Chrome and Firefox are taking the lead in other regions - see the charts below. In fact, Chrome officially became the world's top Internet browser for the first time in May 2012.
There are now more than 110 million U.S. consumers carrying smartphones, and, according to a recent poll, 42% plan to buy with a mobile shopping application and 48% plan to make fewer trips to stores. For those of you that don't regularly verify that your website properly displays across popular Internet browsers and mobile devices, you probably should start now.
The Internet is more pervasive than ever, social media is a reality, and internally-facing applications are king.
There has been significant growth in the activities users engage in once they are online. In North America alone, Internet data usage is up by 120%, and average monthly data usage across wired connections has more than doubled from 23GB in 2011 to 51GB in 2012. Social Media is booming, creating both revenue opportunities and new risks for your organization. For example:
- 6 in 10 adults say they use email and online search daily
- 42% of small U.S. businesses owners report that 25% of their new customers came through social-media sites
- As of August 2012, 69% of online adults use social networking sites.
In other words, today poor online user experiences will translate into social media negativity and complains, deterring other prospects and jeopardizing your future revenue.
And it’s not just external applications that face this level of exposure. Organizations depend on internal web applications as well to support their business operations, from sales and HR processes to corporate communications and collaboration.
End-users' expectations are high - speed matters and every second counts.
The average online shopper expects your Web pages to load in less than three seconds; after that, up to 40% of shoppers will abandon your site, and 74% of mobile users will bounce after a five-second wait.
Unfortunately, once a visitor leaves, it is hard to bring them back. In fact, 75% of online shoppers who experience a site that has poor performance will no longer buy from that site. And worse yet, 2% of unsatisfied customers will publicly complain via social media, which ultimately impacts your future revenue, brand and reputation
Your website is a source of prospects, leads and revenue and it is your best channel to convey corporate information to a worldwide audience. Make sure you have the knowledge about the consumer’s expectations of your Web performance and your ability to meet it. If you'd like to continue reading about this topic, and learn about benchmarking in AlertSite, please download our free eBook, A Guide to Ensuring a Quality Web Experience.