Kami Nixon

Don’t Let Your Shoppers Drop – Implementing Online Applications for today’s always-on, connected world

By Kami NixonMay 12, 2014

A woman clicks around her computer screen, ATM card at the ready. Is she shopping for clothing? vegetables? a mortgage?

A Padlocked Storefront

If she is about to buy products or services that your company offers, you need to understand that this computer screen may be the only way that she will experience you. This means you must optimize those onscreen interactions and you must let customers like her know that they are unique. And above all, you must be able to handle however much traffic comes your way without fail.

The online application has become the employee on the sales floor and a website experiencing downtime is the same as a padlocked storefront during business hours. Your potential customers scratch their heads and turn away wondering what’s going on, often never to return, while you lose money every minute. 

From Shoes to Car Loans

Whether people are buying shoes or a car loan, they expect nimble ecommerce-like service whether you are a bank or a baker. This means your application must provide

  • 1. Fast and tailored product searches
  • 2. Individualized recommendations
  • 3. Customized web pages
  • 4. The right information at the right time
  • 5. With NO downtime for any reason (whether scale surprises or natural disasters)

Today’s online transactional applications can enable a tremendous number of differentiators for your business: personalization, compliance insight, and even fraud detection. But they can only accomplish these goals if they are up and running and meeting fluctuating demand.

‘Don’t Lose Your Place in Line’

A now-infamous case in point: When ObamaCare launched the HealthCare.gov site, the application couldn’t scale to meet demand and users couldn’t login. They were forced to wait in a queue so they wouldn’t, as the site said, “lose your place in line.” 

This is the message as it appeared on October 3, 2013:

There are many other examples of application downtime, for lots of other types of businesses. And the failures often become quite public, as customers won’t tolerate even short delays much less full-blown outages. It used to be that you would plan to recover from a database going down. Today you need to create a database environment where an entire region can be lost due to a storm or something, without your online applications ever missing a beat. In short, don’t recover from disasters, because you can’t afford that anymore. You must avoid them altogether.

Mission Possible

In the ObamaCare case, news outlets like CNNMoney deemed “impossible” the mission to “launch a major online program with limited resources.”

Not so.

State-of-the-art solutions exist so nearly any type of business can provide exactly the kind of excellent, ecommerce-like experience demanded of successful companies today. Solutions that feature performance, scale, embedded search and analytics, and operational simplicity.

It’s down to the enterprising IT professionals and exacting line-of-business managers to seek out the database infrastructures they need to carry them into the future, a future where the online experience all but replaces the in-store one, where a “Page Cannot Load” message is exactly the same as a “Closed. Come back soon” sign in the storefront window.

Learn more about the right database technology for today’s always-on, connected world in this white paper.

If you’ll be near Dallas on July 17, come hear how the database choice of retail giant Neiman Marcus transformed their business applications.

Above all — Don’t Let Your Shoppers Drop.



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