Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Stackify Blog, Derek Weeks

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Agile Computing

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Improve Your UX and You’re Bound to See eCommerce Success | @DevOpsSummit #DevOp #WebPerfs

Don't miss out on the continuously growing percentage of consumer online spending

Improve Your UX and You're Bound to See eCommerce Success
By Scott Davis

Commerce has become both digital and global: Online sales are expected to exceed $1.6 trillion dollars by 2020. As a customer preferred way of doing business, ecommerce offers increased selection, value, and convenience. Online shopping also offers merchants increased access to customer data and opportunities to capitalize on that information.

If your business isn’t keeping pace with best practices in ecommerce UX—not to mention leveraging mobile to capture even more opportunities—you’ll miss out on the continuously growing percentage of consumer online spending. In 2016, for instance, shoppers made 51 percent of their purchases online (compared to 48 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014). Regardless of the path of innovation you choose in the ecommerce space, your online presence should be optimized for user experience. This article explores the top features and UX best practices that are at the heart of a compelling ecommerce experience. While it complicates the evolution of the buyer’s journey, multichannel commerce offers new opportunities for conversions as well. Whether your shoppers flock to phones or desktops when they view your site, the key features emphasized here apply to all platforms. Let’s start with some of the important moments in a shopper’s journey, and then take a deep-dive into optimal UX in each.

There are four critical areas where your ecommerce presence should demonstrate great UX: navigation, product pages, checkout, and optimization. Each of these areas has corresponding UX best practices, which we explore in-depth.

Navigation

Invest in an intuitive IA
Don’t organize your products based solely on how you think about them. Your users have their own intuitive ways of thinking about and grouping your products, and it’s possible, using research methodologies such as card sorting, to cater to that. Card sorting is an exercise in a lab setting that helps develop your site taxonomy by collecting patterns in the way customers sort your products. Research participants are typically given representative sets of items, and asked to group and name them intuitively into their own categories. Across multiple users, patterns emerge that help guide the creation of intuitive navigation categories and product groupings.

Have a content governance strategy
A search bar is crucial. And if you’re going to offer a product search, you should have a strong approach to content governance. This is fundamental for two reasons: You need to make your ecommerce platform fully accessible using search and filtering, and as your goods and services evolve they need to be accessible just as consistently as the products indexed before them. Strong content governance equates to quality metadata on a per-product basis. You will have addressed the following questions in developing your strategy: What search terms should be associated with my product(s)? What filtering facets do I make available to my customers during the browsing process? In the absence of specific user input, how should content in search results and elsewhere be ranked, sorted, and organized by default?

Avoid dead-end search results
Nothing is more disheartening to shoppers than entering a search term and pulling up a “0 results” page. If your site has the capability to perform a fuzzy search (thanks to good tagging and content governance), provide these products on the results list in place of a dead end. Consider implementing an autocomplete feature within your site search. This way, shoppers are exposed to new combinations of search terms, which may yield more results than they think of on their own.

Use breadcrumbs
This easily overlooked navigational element helps shoppers locate themselves on your site and in time, get a feel for how your products are organized. As best practice, breadcrumbs are expected to appear on category-level and detail pages shortly after header and navigation content. Usually breadcrumbs appear as an unobtrusive line of text, which maps to the customer’s location and depth in a site.

Product Pages

Offer high-quality, informative imagery
Customers are evaluating the smallest of details when comparing your product to competitors. Make the decision clear for them with images sized to highlight details such as stitching, seams, colors, and functionality. Many shoppers enjoy 360-degree views and even videos of products in action. Sweeten the deal by including carousels and large hero banners on category and homepages, which rotate through quality images of featured products.

Help customers browse efficiently with quick views
When shoppers view your goods—whether in a category page or on search result page—they’ve likely invested a fair amount of effort navigating to that specific page. This is where quick view comes in handy. A properly implemented quick view allows shoppers to evaluate the most salient points of a product without being led away from the list of products they created. A good quick-view feature will provide shadow-box preview, creating a temporary content container above the page body. This will showcase a summary of key details and larger product views. Well-implemented quick views have a prominent entry point, for instance hover states above item thumbnails displaying “Preview.” Without quick views, users are often resentful and hesitant to peruse large numbers of product detail pages individually. This is because they generally won’t have confidence in their ability to return to the original product list. Additionally, page-loading delays can add up to a significant speed bump in the shopping journey.

Leverage user-generated content
The smaller your brand name relative to your competitors, the more shoppers will be skeptical of the quality of your products and services. Customers on most ecommerce sites take each other’s reviews to heart and write their own. There is no excuse for not allowing this capability. If you don’t permit user content, you’re not helping your shoppers become comfortable with your products, and they will leave your storefront and convert to a competitor providing this functionality.

Clarify pricing and discounts
It is imperative that pricing for each product is not only displayed prominently and clearly, but also broken down in relation to discounts or applicable sales. Based on a survey of American shoppers, 71 percent had abandoned a retailer at some point because of pricing concerns; they further reported finding better deals online. Your only differentiator, in the eyes of many potential customers, may be a seasonal sale or the discounts available by combining certain goods. For every item in grid, list, and detail views, the best ecommerce storefronts clearly delineate applicable discounts.

Provide a prominent path to assistance
Customers prefer immediate resolution to their questions and issues. Providing a live chat feature as well as clearly visible contact information throughout your site can go a long way in turning shoppers into buyers. Most shoppers are accustomed to finding help and support information in two areas: in the top right part of the navigation, adjacent to login functionality, and in the site footer.

Checkout

Always provide a guest checkout option
When customers embark on the checkout process, speed bumps such as mandatory account creation can be costly to your business. Guest checkouts empower customers to quickly place an order if they value the product more than membership. If you insist on guiding shoppers toward site membership, do so after an order has been placed with an invitation to create an account.

Map out the checkout
Customers appreciate seeing their progression across checkout phases. Provide graphical feedback of the movement between forms for shipping information, billing information, and order completion. Be sure to indicate which step the user is currently on. This helps customers gauge how quickly they can move through the process. In addition, providing this feedback bolsters confidence that changes can easily be made if a shopper decides to revisit one of the checkout stages.

Prioritize security awareness
With information breeches increasingly common, shoppers are more security conscious. They look toward the presence of specific iconography on your site—locks, checkmarks, and the like—to determine if their transaction will be secure. It’s better still if the graphics correspond to recognized brands in security, such as Verisign and McAfee. You need to make sure that these cues appear during the checkout process, where the need for trust is greatest.

Optimization

Optimize for quick load times
Internet access speeds vary significantly based on your customer’s browsing platform and available bandwidth. Because there’s a good chance your shoppers are on a mobile device, it’s more important than ever to ensure your content loads before your customer calls it quits. Depending on the type of storefront you run, don’t forget to assess the extent to which API calls and scripts affect and compound overall load times.

Design with high scannability in mind
You want to do everything possible to facilitate the shopping process. To do this, you can’t ignore the scannability and prominence of important information on your site. Generous use of white space, minimal use of large text blocks, and easily distinguishable hyperlink styles are all examples of ways to improve your site’s scannability. When customers are able to process the information on your site more swiftly, it’s more likely they’ll complete a purchase and bring repeat business.

Conclusion
Providing a frictionless shopping experience should be the goal of your ecommerce presence. As improved UX takes center stage in your organization, your customers will have more memorable and positive experiences as your business grows. By prioritizing an intuitive navigation, rich and intelligible product details, and a no-nonsense checkout process, you can greatly increase the odds that your shoppers will become buyers.

The post Improve Your UX and You’re Bound to See eCommerce Success appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jyoti Bansal

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to the new world.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing best practices around collaboration, monitoring, configuration and analytics that will help you boost experience and optimize utilization of your modern IT Infrastructures.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project managers in house, specializing in the world-class mobile and web development.
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infrastructure through automation. Ayehu solutions have been deployed by major enterprises worldwide, and currently, support thousands of IT processes across the globe. The company has offices in New York, California, and Israel.
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud native applications.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Get certified, manage the full lifecycle of your cloud-based resources, and build your knowledge based using Cloud Academy’s expert-created content, comprehensive Learning Paths, and innovative Hands-on Labs.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing, CA Technologies. "It's this results-driven combination of technology and business that makes me so passionate about DevOps and its future in the industry. I am truly honored to take on this co-chair role, and look forward to working with the DevOps Summit team at Cloud Expo and attendees to advance DevOps."
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online business and let Enzu manage their IT hosting infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discussed the patterns and anti-patterns of DevOps, and what it means to ‘do the right thing’ in a DevOps way, but in the real world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the application economy. With CA software at the center of their IT strategy, organizations can leverage the technology that changes the way we live - from the data center to the mobile device. CA's software and solutions help customers thrive in the new application economy by delivering the means to deploy, monitor and secure their applications and infrastructure.
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cloud marketplaces and DevOps are changing the economics of hosting and delivering software.
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. End users now struggle to navigate multiple environments with varying degrees of performance. Companies are unclear on the security of their data and network access. And IT squads are overwhelmed trying to monitor and manage it all.
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to change their culture and cultures are very hard to change. To paraphrase Peter Drucker, "culture eats Agile for breakfast." Successful approaches are opportunistic and leverage the power of self-organization to achieve lasting change.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers with heavy investments in serverless computing, when most of the industry has its eyes on Docker and containers.
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might slip up with the wrong focus, how to manage change and risk in all three areas, what is possible and what is not, where to start, and especially how new structures, processes, and technologies can help drive a new DevOps culture.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the demands of Digital Transformation – including accelerating application delivery, closing feedback loops, enabling multi-channel delivery, empowering collaborative decisions, improving user experience, and ultimately meeting (and exceeding) business goals.