How Outages (Such as Facebook) Could Impact eCommerce Sites During the Cyber 5
On October 4, 2021, the Facebook network of social media apps experienced a 6-hour outage that adversely affected many eCommerce sites which deploy Facebook and Instagram as 3rd party technologies. The outage caused these sites to experience page load delays which negatively impacted KPIs and likely contributed to an increase in site bounces and a decrease in conversion rates. These are big problems for eCommerce sites any time they occur, but with the Cyber 5 and holiday shopping season just weeks away, brands should be taking notice.
Will 3rd party technologies bring your brand holiday joy or a holiday hangover?
3rd parties improve the shopper experience when they’re working well, but when they fail, they can cause your site big problems. The October 4th outage wasn’t the first time Facebook has gone down and it likely won’t be the last. Facebook experienced a similar problem in 2019 for a 24-hour time period proving that even tech giants have to deal with technical glitches. And Facebook isn’t the only 3rd party technology that has experienced outages in the past. In 2018, IBM Coremetrics went down from Thanksgiving Day until Cyber Monday, giving many major brands a collective headache of site performance issues that cost them over $100 million in revenue as well as damage to their reputations. The 2018 Cyber 5 saw additional 3rd party fails too. Customer review and tag manager technologies dealt with glitches that added to the mayhem.
So how do eCommerce brands protect their bottom lines from problems with 3rd parties over which they have no direct control? Getting rid of them isn’t an option, but brands can’t afford six hours (or more) of slow site speed either. The 3rd parties deployed on your site might just be the ghosts of your Cyber 5 future, but it isn’t too late to ensure a happy holiday ending.
Optimization to the rescue
The YOTTAA eCommerce acceleration platform can help mitigate the adverse effects of 3rd party technology problems. As mentioned above, the IBM Core Metrics outage in 2018 dealt hundreds of eCommerce sites either significantly delayed page load times or the dreaded white screen throughout the Cyber 5. But YOTTAA customers didn’t have to deal with lost revenue or take a hit to their reputations because the YOTTAA platform detects and corrects anomalies caused by failing 3rd party technology. While sites that weren’t optimized suffered a 50% drop in traffic, optimized sites never felt the impact of the IBM Core Metrics outage.
YOTTAA technology optimizes all page loads, but a small percentage of traffic is left unoptimized to ensure we can always understand the unoptimized status and to continually improve site speed. The screen shots below illustrate how sites deploying YOTTAA performed before and during the October 4, 2021 Facebook outage:
Normal Site Performance:
Site Performance During Facebook Outage:
As you can see, the unoptimized page load times skyrocketed to nearly 9 seconds on desktop and close to 12 seconds on mobile. This has significant impact because we know from recent benchmarking data from the Site Speed Standard that when pages take more than 6 second to load the bounce rate approaches 62%. Moreover, when pages load in less than 4 seconds, brands capture 59% of their conversions.
The image below is from an eCommerce site running an A/B YOTTAA trial when the Facebook outage occurred. The spike starting on the 4th day is during the outage. YOTTAA kept the optimized part of the site stable while the unoptimized data spiked.
YOTTAA focuses on keeping Onload steady and preventing third parties from causing Page Delay Violations.
Optimization software will protect your eCommerce site and your bottom line from 3rd party anomalies this Cyber 5 and beyond.