The Importance of “Fit and Finish” on Your E-Commerce Site

In the automotive manufacturing industry, “fit and finish” describes the way the various parts of a vehicle fit together to form the final product. A car with “fit and finish” has no visible gaps where parts were merged and no variation in paint color—it is, essentially, seamless.

The concept is relevant in e-commerce as well, especially as it relates to a company’s ability to deliver its consumers a flawless experience at every stage of the purchasing process. For instance, let’s say that a consumer makes his or her way to your site and begins to browse various pages, experiencing no delays or other performance issues. After 15 minutes, that shopper is ready to check out and buy several items.

Unbeknownst to that consumer, however, your social media manager posted a promotional tweet five minutes ago announcing a 20-percent-off, one-day-only online sale, causing a spike in traffic on your site. If your site is limited by a legacy MySQL-powered database that can’t scale past a specific point, that surge may slow the checkout process to a crawl for that consumer or perhaps even cause a crash.

That buyer already committed significant time to browsing your site and is therefore unlikely to begin the entire process over again after it stalled at the final stage. In other words, a sale that may have been just seconds from completion is now lost forever. This problem is clearly quite prevalent in e-commerce, as Business Insider reports that a staggering $4 trillion worth of merchandise was lost due to shopping cart abandonment in 2014. What’s more, that figure doesn’t include revenue lost due to poor site performance during the research or browsing stages of the online buying journey.

Conversely, future-proofing your e-commerce site with a leading scale-out cloud database allows you to flex up capacity to handle promotional spikes on demand, ensuring that the shopper who was about to make a purchase can finalize the transaction. Additionally, because your site was optimized and that consumer enjoyed a seamless experience, he or she is more likely to return and become a repeat customer.

So, does your site have that flawless feel of fit and finish? Or are MySQL limitations creating cracks in your paint job?

Learn more about how to ensure that your e-commerce site can handle unexpected traffic spikes.