Happy New Year! I mean that literally…it is a happy new year for web performance geeks like you and me.
Did you ever read The Hobbit? There was a clever exchange between Gandalf and Bilbo where the meaning of “Good Morning” was discussed. Are you wishing me to have a good morning or are you saying it’s a good morning whether I want it or not?
Well, 2012 is going to be a great year for the web performance and load testing industry. I wish that you have a happy new year, AND it will be a happy web performance new year whether you want it or not.
Load Testing for Holiday Season was Awesome
LoadStorm begins 2012 with an upbeat outlook because the last few months of 2011 showed over a 400% increase in load testing volume.
The actual number of load tests being executed by our customers were maybe only double the number in 2010, but the scale of tests was much bigger. It is also interesting to note that many more online retailers were running tests of 25,000+ concurrent users. We had many calls with traditional brick and mortar companies that were putting significant investment into their web store capabilities – including speed and scalability.
Anecdotally, we can share with you that it was a good investment because some of those customers told us that their online sales had risen as much as tenfold (10x) over the previous year! That’s great news for all of us web performance engineers.
Not only does it seem clear to us that web stores are getting high priority for e-commerce, but it is also clear that web performance has gotten much more attention from the C-suite. Several of our customers mentioned their load testing projects were being driven from executives worried about site crashing under heavy traffic. That’s outstanding! Finally, the stories of Web site performance failures is getting the attention it deserves. I guess it was tough to ignore all the headlines blasting companies like Target when their site crashed in 2011.
Operations and marketing leaders are starting to understand the correlation between web performance tuning and profitability. Web sites are not just online brochures, nor are they just a secondary revenue channel. The message that is coming through loud and clear is that faster sites make more money.
In more than one project-related conference call with companies running load tests of 50,000-100,000 concurrent users, there was a VP of Marketing being very active in driving her/his team regarding the results he/she was expecting. It was refreshing (somewhat shocking) to hear a 60 year old traditional advertising agency veteran telling everyone on the call that “sub-second response time is imperative to success!” I loved it. The web coders…not so much because they had lots of optimization ahead of them.
Online Sales Heading North
The trends are exciting. The attention and high priority placed on web performance is logical because the stakes are so high. More money is flowing every year from buyers to web stores.
People were spending well this holiday season and Cyber Monday 2011 experienced double-digit growth over 2010. Some key activity metrics from IBM’s Benchmark December holiday report :
- Department stores online sales were up 18 percent over December 2010.
- Total online sales were up 7.5 percent over 2010.
- Mobile device buyer traffic jumped from 5.6% of all sessions to 14.6 %. That’s 160% higher than last year.
- Sales from mobile devices doubled, reaching 11% versus 5.5% in December 2010.
- Christmas Day 2011 online shopping grew by 16.4% over 2010 – people kept on shopping.
Conclusion – Web Performance is Hot
Money is the lifeblood of business. ROI drives business decisions. Better Web performance results in higher sales.
Web performance engineers rejoice! We are now more important than ever to the CEO. Job security, promotions, raises, and lots of other goodness will follow swiftly!