Food and gift basket sales increased 4.7%, but total e-commerce, which includes online and telephone orders, increased less than 1%.
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“Synthetic testing is effective, but it can’t drill down to the actual delivery of applications and content to the end-user,” says Mouline. “Outsourcing partners need to be able to performance test right to the device used to access the site.”
Thorough testing processes are just one piece of the puzzle. Retailers also need to verify the outsourcer’s track record for consistently meeting performance standards set by the client. One way to do this is by talking to the vendor’s clients.
“Any good outsourcing partner will able to show they are experienced not only at managing varying loads, but that they meet the performance standards set by the client, not just industry standards,” says Hokamp. “If a retailer has customers that access their site through a mobile device, the outsourcing provider has to prove they can deliver the content to those customers in the right format.”
Finally, retailers want to make certain their outsourcing partner can provide the type and depth of data the executive suite requires, as well as meeting the needs of the I.T. department. “Performance standards have to be tied to the retailer’s business goals because they go hand in hand,” says Mouline. “Retailers that don’t align those objectives will fall short of delivering a shopping experience that generates conversions and keeps customers coming back.”