Incredible digital user experiences sit at the heart of a successful retail brand. Subpar shopping experiences won’t be tolerated by today’s digitally savvy consumers: 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned, and whilst the reasons for abandonment are wide and varied, many relate back to poor user experience.
Brands can’t afford to ignore any factors that drive their customers to the competition. They need to be able to truly dig into the performance of their applications and digital services and, critically, pinpoint how to address potential issues before the customer even experiences an interruption. To do this, retailers must embrace application monitoring solutions that give visibility and insight across cloud, hybrid and on-premise infrastructure.
Understand How the Customer Thinks
We see customers looking for increasingly intuitive and personalized digital experiences, and they have zero tolerance when these expectations aren’t met. In the recent Cisco AppDynamics App Attention Index report, we discovered that more than half of consumers give brands one shot to impress. This means if the consumer had a single bad experience, the majority would move on and look elsewhere.
Technology teams in retail organizations recognize they play a key role in ensuring consumers have great digital experiences. Over the last few years, digital experiences for customers and employees have proven to be mission-critical. As a result, organizations in all sectors are being defined by their ability to deliver world-class digital experiences.
According to the App Attention Index, 84% of technologists say the need to maintain the performance of applications is now more important than ever. And customer demands for incredible digital experiences are only going to increase in the coming years. Retail tech teams need to act quickly to stay on top of this shift.
Achieve End-to-End Visibility
With evolving technologies relying on a tremendous amount of data generated every single second, organizations must adopt a more proactive and strategic approach to innovation that will enable them to reap the benefits of scaling applications at speed and delivering game-changing, innovative experiences for customers.
Our research further highlighted technologists’ urgent need to gain better visibility into availability and performance. Today, 66% of technologists say they feel overwhelmed by data complexity, and they’re highly aware that this problem will only get worse unless things change quickly.
A key solution is having unified visibility into their entire IT environment, including cloud, hybrid and on-premise. Additionally, technologists need to be able to link IT availability and performance data to real-time business metrics to identify and prioritize those issues that could profoundly damage digital experiences for customers.
In fact, 85% of technologists now regard end-to-end visibility across an entire IT stack as core to sustainable transformation and innovation in their organization. To achieve this, full-stack observability can provide the necessary unified, real-time visibility into availability and performance across the IT stack. This includes compute, storage, network and public internet, across both customer-facing applications through to backend infrastructure.
From Visibility to Insight and Action
Most technologists simply do not have the right tools and insight at their disposal to cope with such heightened IT complexity and spiraling volumes of data, particularly when it comes to monitoring performance across the IT estate.
Implementing an observability solution allows for increased infrastructure visibility and enables technologists to identify and resolve IT performance issues more quickly. This allows them to focus attention on the most critical issues and gain a high level of insight into IT performance. When connected to real-time business data, this insight is game-changing in maintaining faultless digital experiences for customers and employees.
But it’s also worth considering the benefits that this level of visibility and real-time insight can bring to retail technologists themselves. Rather than spending significant amounts of time trying to identify the root cause of performance issues, retail technologists can immediately see the origin of issues. As they are free to make smarter, more informed decisions, retail technologists can focus on the things that really matter, which is meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
When visibility and insight are then connected to business outcomes, retail technologists are able to become a more strategic function within the organization.
Better Technology for Better Shopping Experiences
As ecommerce expectations continue to climb, and consumers’ patience disappears, retail technologists can no longer afford to settle for the status quo.
Visibility across the application infrastructure is key for retailers to embrace the next era of innovation and shift to a future-looking approach. This can be achieved through linking IT performance to business decision-making and will be a top priority for technologists in the months ahead.
By pinpointing the most pressing IT issues, identifying what matters most and prioritizing actions, technologists in retail can drive game-changing innovation and deliver incredible digital experiences.
Joe Byrne is VP of Technology Strategy and Executive CTO at AppDynamics, a part of Cisco. His primary focus is on working with customers and prospects on APM strategy and helping with digital transformations. He also works closely with sales, marketing, product and engineering on product strategy. Prior to AppDynamics, Byrne held technology leadership roles at Albertsons, EllieMae and Johnson and Johnson.