As access to information, entertainment, and communications edges closer to instantaneous, consumer expectations and demands for fast and seamless customer experiences grow as well. This is especially true for e-commerce sites that cater to online customers who put a premium on convenience.
Many of the databases that support today’s e-commerce sites are built on MySQL. These sites typically function quite effectively until workload hits a critical mass, at which point disaster may strike. You can imagine a rapidly growing retail site that has experienced 50 percent growth over a year period leading up to Cyber Monday. We’ve spoken to hundreds of e-commerce merchants that fit that description! And each time, their site’s database would usually have the capacity to handle a gradual increase in customers over the course of 12 months… But when they hit a sudden surge, for instance a flash sale, their site(s) slowed down to unusable levels, if not literally crashed.
“But I don’t do flash sales!” you may think. Well, if your provider develops an inventory problem, or one of your products suddenly blows-up on social media, you might just find yourself in a ‘flash sale’ situation… and crossing your fingers that your e-commerce site can handle the peak.
Or how about the infamous ‘Cyber Monday’? On the biggest online shopping day of the year a large percentage of your growing customer base will visit your site all at once, and all of a sudden the database is overwhelmed, leading to slower page loads and perhaps even site downtime.
Either of these outcomes can be catastrophic. Speed and performance are particularly important for e-commerce businesses; consider, for instance, that 64 percent of consumers who experience poor performance will abandon a site. Downtime is even more damaging than poor performance, as research shows that SMBs stand to lose $12,500 per hour that a site is down.