For an e-commerce professional, an influx of customers is a great problem to have. A greater volume of customers purchasing from your store is the classic sign of success, after all. But along with the growth of any business, new challenges inevitably arise. One particularly crippling effect of website growth is increased server strain.

Consider the case of retail giant Target, whose website crashed twice in a span of just six weeks last holiday season. In one occurrence, the website went offline for approximately two and a half hours during a clothing line launch, earning the frustration of the Twittersphere  and Los Angeles Times writer Susan Denley alike. Analyst Don Olds wrote of the incident: “You’d think that Target would have anticipated the huge load arising from this introduction and planned for it.”

Let’s look at the net effects of this particular website crash in more detail using Rigor’s Uptime Percentage Calculator (located on the Rigor homepage).

  • 2.5 hours downtime corresponds to an 89.6% uptime
  • Target.com nets $4 million per day
  • Using the calculator, we find that Target lost a total of $464 thousand in just 150 minutes of downtime

E-commerce website crashes are the retail equivalent of locking the store doors in the middle of the business day, and even the biggest companies are not immune to them. If Target’s online store were offline for even 15 minutes per day,  it would lose $71.6 million dollars per year. Remember too that these calculations do not include the permanent loss of future sales due to one instance of customer frustration.

The best defense against your servers buckling under load is to prudently anticipate activity surges and test accordingly. With Rigor Load Testing Services, you can specify any user count to simulate any prescribed actions on your website. A Rigor Dedicated Test Engineer will create customized website scripts, coordinate a complete load testing suite, and perform detailed analysis on your site’s performance. Learn how your site can work under pressure before the pressure comes- don’t repeat Target’s mistake!

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