How to Reduce the Impact of Downtime in Ecommerce

How to Reduce the Impact of Downtime in Ecommerce

Ecommerce downtime is a main concern for e-commerce companies. After all, the downtime of an online store is similar to the closure of a physical store.

And just as shoppers visit other stores when one is closed, online users will quickly move to a different eCommerce website if theirs is down. The result? You lose business and risk damaging your reputation and online presence in the long run.

It doesn’t help that eCommerce downtime happens more often than you might think. The Uptime Institute’s 2022 Data Center Resiliency Survey backs this up and shows that 80 percent of data center managers and operators experienced some downtime between 2020 and 2022.

Even more worrying, one in five businesses experienced severe outages that resulted in significant damage. How “significant” are we talking about? Well, more than 60 percent of downtimes resulted in at least $100,000 in total losses between 2020 and 2022.

The higher the profits, the higher the cost of downtime. But if you’re not sure how much it costs your business, read on. We’ll explore how to calculate the true cost of ecommerce downtime and the best ways to reduce its impact on your business.

But first, let’s dig into what causes it.

What Causes Ecommerce Downtime?

Some of the common reasons behind eCommerce downtime include:

human error

Downtime or e-commerce interruptions may be due to human error. For example:

Technical errors during updates or maintenance tasks. An employee could accidentally delete critical files, misconfigure server settings, or introduce bugs into the code base. Security breaches due to weak passwords, misconfigured security settings, and failure to install security updates. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to steal customer data, inject malware into the website, or hijack user sessions. Human error is responsible for 88 percent of data breaches.Programming errors that result in a lack of resources to handle technical problems in the e-commerce platform.

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software glitches

Errors and downtime are more likely to occur when your online store is integrated with external apps and software. Sometimes integrations don’t go as planned and your ecommerce store may have compatibility issues with external software.

The integration of external software can also raise security risks. If an application or software has vulnerabilities, it could compromise the security of your eCommerce site, leading to business downtime.

cyber attacks

Cyber ​​attacks by hackers and sometimes disgruntled employees are another major reason for e-commerce downtime. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in online business systems and gain access to sensitive information or cause infrastructure damage.

a study of 200 UK eCommerce Leaders found that 82 percent of companies witnessed an increase in security threats between 2020 and 2022.

Other study on the potential effects of cyberattacks found that sensitive data exposure was the top concern for 65% of people in 2022. Downtime was the second biggest concern, with 57.6% of respondents concerned about it.

planned downtime

Scheduled maintenance and upgrades are considered planned downtime because they are intentional and are typically scheduled off-peak to minimize their impact on customers.

Planned downtime is crucial to maintaining the stability, security, and up-to-date features of your online store. However, even during planned downtime, the eCommerce platform may become temporarily unavailable or experience reduced functionality, resulting in lost revenue.

In essence, downtime carries a cost regardless of the cause. But how do you calculate it?

Downtime Calculation Formula

You can calculate the cost of downtime by multiplying the number of minutes the downtime lasted by the cost per minute.

Downtime cost = minutes of downtime X cost per minute.

Let’s say an online retailer earns an average of $25,000 per day. That means they can earn $1,041.67 per hour or $17.36 per minute.

Now, suppose there is a downtime of 30 minutes.

So the cost of downtime = 30 (minutes of downtime) X $17.36 (cost per minute). That means the retailer’s downtime cost for 30 minutes is $520.83.

If you need help calculating the cost of downtime to your business, you can use the downtime calculator Created by Rewind.

How Downtime Negatively Affects Ecommerce Businesses

Some of the ways that downtime affects eCommerce businesses are more obvious than others. But ultimately, they all have an effect on your bottom line.

Here’s a quick summary.

less profit

The same 200 UK eCommerce Leaders The aforementioned survey showed that companies with more than £10m in revenue lost more than 10 per cent of their revenue due to downtime between 2020 and 2022.

But are not the only ones. Take these two very costly eCommerce downtimes of late:

lost amazons $34 million on June 8, 2021, when the internet went down for just over an hour. Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp were lost $79 million in advertising revenue due to a seven-hour outage on October 4, 2021.

Loss of potential customers.

Online shoppers can switch stores in seconds, so you lose business for every second your eCommerce store faces downtime. Websites that load in a second have a 5 times higher conversion rate than those that take five seconds.

damage to reputation

Slow or frequently down websites also hurt your company’s reputation. According PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022More than 50 percent of respondents said they would likely change their brand loyalty if their online shopping experience with a brand wasn’t as easy or enjoyable as when shopping in physical stores.

Since social media is so popular, disgruntled shoppers can easily share their bad customer experience stories with others online, damaging the reputation of your eCommerce business.

Reduced productivity and additional costs

Your computer can’t work if your website is down. Also, it can take a few days to get your eCommerce site back up, which means you’ll probably have to pay employees more for the time they spend fixing it.

Decrease in search engine rankings

Ecommerce downtime can negatively affect your SEO ranking in search engines because they give higher rankings to active websites. While it can be recovered, it’s a hiccup that comes at a cost to fix.

How to Minimize the Impact of Downtime on Ecommerce Businesses

While downtime is sometimes necessary and you can’t always prevent external causes, you can minimize the impact of downtime on your business. Here are some proven ways:

Perform regular website testing

To prevent your website from going down, you can test your website for potential issues. Some ways to constantly test your website include:

Load Test. It helps to simulate high levels of traffic on your website to see how it performs under heavy loads. Uptime monitoring. It helps to check the availability of your website at regular intervals. If there’s a problem, you’ll receive an alert so you can take action. Vulnerability scanners. They help scan your computer systems and networks for security weaknesses, which helps identify vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit, such as outdated software or misconfigured settings.

Schedule timely software updates and data backups

To keep your website running smoothly, keep your software and plugins up to date and install security patches. Doing so helps prevent cyber attacks and software failures that cause downtime. Consider using a security plugin to help detect and address potential vulnerabilities.

Also, regularly save copies of your website data and have a plan in case something goes wrong. It will help you get your website up and running faster if you ever face downtime.

Have a clear communication policy

Having a transparent customer communication plan could do wonders for your brand image. That could include notifying customers before or after downtime occurs, providing regular updates, and compensating them if necessary.

You can also take internal preventative measures to reduce downtime resulting from human error.

Opt for a reliable hosting provider

When looking for trustworthy and secure web hostingLook for companies that guarantee high uptime and have excellent performance records. Choosing a reliable hosting provider like Nexcess would go a long way in minimizing downtime.

Final Thoughts: How to Reduce the Impact of Downtime in Ecommerce

Downtime is a reality for eCommerce businesses, but how you manage it can make all the difference in your success as an online business owner.

The costs of e-commerce downtime are not limited to losing business. Your reputation, ranking, and customer relationships are on the line here. You can significantly minimize downtime issues by following the steps mentioned above.

Choosing a reliable hosting provider can be crucial in reducing downtime risks. Necessary business hosting you can ensure impressive performance for your ecommerce store. Try it today.

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