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Customer experience is measured by seconds. Is your e-Commerce infrastructure ready for the test?

With rampant growth of e-Commerce in countries such as China, India, Japanand South Korea, the Asia-Pacific region is set to become the leading region for e-Commerce globally. By 2018, this region is expected to generate sales of US$1,892 billion regionally and US$3,015 globally. Countries such as Malaysia and Philippinesare witnessing the strongest growth while China and Korea will command the highest sales through e-Commerce as found in a recent Frost & Sullivan study. However, this rapidly evolving landscape is beset with its own set of challenges, the major one being IT infrastructure. Research by Frost & Sullivan shows that the slow loading time of Web pages is one of the main reasons why customers move from one e-Commerce company to another. Even a delay of a single second creates customer dissatisfaction and pushes the customer to choose another e-Commerce player to meet their needs. To maintain high Web performance at all times, e-Commerce players should invest in efficient and reliable infrastructure. Top e-Commerce companies globally use various technologies and solutions to provide a fast and reliable shopping experience for their customers, irrespective of the device used. One of the most successful solutions in the market today is Content Delivery Network or CDN. A CDN solution improves user experience with efficient network resource utilisation ensuring faster Web page loading time with every customer click from anywhere in the world. Through the implementation of CDN, e-Commerce merchants are able to boost their Web performance tremendously. For instance, one second of speed boost will increase sales by 3% per customer. “e-Commerce is a fast growing industry in Asia Pacific with merchants across the world looking to expand in the region. With the growing spending power of middle class consumers, more and more consumers are willing to make online purchases due to an increase in technology adoption. At Qoo10, we sell merchandise across fashion, beauty, healthcare, baby care, household, digital and mobile, food, and entertainment categories. Our customers order products not just from APAC but also from other global markets. We believe that CDN is an essential technology for our business to provide customers across the world with a superior online shopping experience,” shared Mr HyunWook Cho, Country Manager, Qoo10 Indonesia. “Online consumer loyalty is much lower than that of traditional brick-and-mortar consumers. In the digital world, consumers have little patience for poor e-Commerce and will abandon e-Commerce sites and un-bought shopping carts for better e-Commerce destinations with more optimal user experience. Today, online consumers are demanding superior UI/UX and at speeds that keep them engaged,” noted Mr Jerry Chung, Country Manager/Head of Sales for SEA & Pacific, CDNetworks Singapore. In the White Paper, e-Commerce Retailers – The Next Billion $ Opportunity – Are We Ready?, topics discussed include core issues and challenges faced by e-Commerce customers and how they can identify the appropriate CDN solution to provide seamless customer experience that is cost-effective, fast, reliable and efficient. Through platforms or devices such as desktops, mobile phones or tablets, customers are able to engage in an ‘always-open online shopping experience’ from anywhere and at anytime. Hence, to stay relevant and retain their competitive edge, it is essential that e-Commerce retailers consider both flexibility and reliability when developing their platforms. In addition to changing consumer preferences, the usage of Smartphones and Tablets remains pivotal for the growth of the e-Commerce industry. The impact of such devices should not be overlooked. It is estimated that up to 30% of e-Commerce sales globally is attributed to mobile and smartphone devices alone. There are already more than 1 million online retailers in ASEAN, with the top 20% of e-Commerce retailers providing 63% of the total revenue. Increased competition within the e-Commerce provider space is expected as the industry grows. The key drivers for e-Commerce growth include the expanding middle class population, changing consumption and purchasing patterns. In addition, one other emerging area will be mobile payments, which will account for more than 10% of total payment transactions in Asia-Pacific by 2020 with emerging countries showing higher growth. “With factors such as growing Internet penetration, faster Internet services, home/commercial Wi-Fi networks, availability of hotspots and mobile 4G, customers will value convenience and the ability to make faster purchase over the discounts and deals offered by e-Commerce players,” noted Ajay Sunder, Vice President, ICT, Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific. The rapidly evolving business landscape has also proved conducive for cross-border e-Commerce especially in the Asia Pacific region, which is one of the key drivers for regional growth. However, cross-border complexities have also become one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. In a recent study, 47% of consumers surveyed mentioned that they expected the Web site to load within 2 seconds and 40% stated that they would leave if it did not load within 3 seconds. Another study inferred that close to 60% of ASEAN consumers would look for an alternative place to purchase a product if the Web site failed to load on time. This translates to tremendous loss in revenues for e-Commerce retailers. The most suitable choice to address the issue of latency with regard to Web performance at low operational costs is the use of global CDN. CDN provides an unparalleled end-user experience by accelerating the Web performance, which includes dynamic content. This White Paper identifies the key issues in the industry that can be addressed by enlisting a CDN provider. It also provides guidance on the criteria that should be considered in the selection of a CDN provider. The complimentary White Paper can be downloaded here. 2016

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