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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 14, 2016

Expert: What merchants can learn from Prime Day

Amazon's second Prime Day is in the books, and one expert says while the day was a revenue success, it also highlighted some areas for improvement.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are the implications from Prime Day on mobile commerce?

Mike Azevedo, CEO, Clustrix: As shoppers continue to embrace mobile commerce, we're seeing a decrease in already-short attention spans when it comes to dealing with longer load times and other speedbumps during the checkout process. A huge factor in the rise in the popularity of mCommerce is the convenience factor, but this means that a majority of the shoppers using their phones to make purchases are not sitting on a cozy couch in their home, but more likely on the go so they actually have less patience to put up with a slow site on their phone. Additionally, outside factors affect the personality mood and overall experience of the mCommerce shopper as they are likely to be multi-tasking, commuting, or dealing with a poor wi-fi connection while also shopping.

Kristina: #PrimeDayFail became a trending topic on social media - could Amazon have anticipated this? And what could they have done to prevent it?

Mike: Amazon and any other e-tailer planning a big retail event or large online product launch (e.g., Pokemon Go) should do as much pre-testing as possible as far out as possible. These retail giants will find that although it's easy to handle millions of casual site browsers, it's a much different animal trying to maintain website performance should all of these visitors decide to purchase something at the same time. It is very difficult and expensive to seamlessly process millions of concurrent cart transactions using older database technologies without a perceptible hitch from the customers' perspective.

Kristina: Do merchants need to invest in better tech?

Mike: But more than just testing, Amazon could have invested in newer technologies that would have given them the ability to quickly add additional capacity to handle the temporary spike in cart and checkout transactions, and then scale back down when no longer necessary (to avoid wasted capacity and cost). Older technologies require you to do months worth of planning in order to execute at scale when needed. It's likely that Amazon's analysis of activity and social media told them what Prime day was going to be like just days before, but it was too late for them to adjust. Newer database technologies would have allowed them to adjust even as late as the day before Prime day.

Tags: amazon ecommerce, amazon prime day, Clustrix, ecommerce, ecommerce trends

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