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Mobile e-commerce rise puts strain on retailers

Online retailers need to improve services to keep up with impatient users, says Brocade

Retailers are turning to subscription-based services to meet peak demand, says Bonnassie.
Retailers are turning to subscription-based services to meet peak demand, says Bonnassie.

Mobile e-commerce users are becoming increasingly demanding of retailers, according to new research by Brocade.

A survey of 400 people across Europe and the Middle East found that 70% of consumers who buy online using mobile devices will only wait 20 seconds for a web page to load before moving on to another retailer. 13% of respondents would only wait 5 seconds before trying another site.

Combined with the usual seasonal peak in online retail, which sees 19% of people spending twice as much time as usual on e-commerce sites, Brocade says that retailers and network service providers need to be prepared to cope with the demand.

"Mobile commerce is nothing new, but with the advent of the tablet and continuing sales for smartphones, 2012 will bring a seismic shift in consumer demand to shop anytime, anywhere, with no decline in service quality and download speeds - placing huge pressure on service provider networks to deliver," said Manu Bonnassie, regional director - Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA) at Brocade.

Bonnassie continued: "While consumers are put off by slow connection speeds, our research indicates that growth of online shopping is very much dependent on the ability of retailers to provide quality services.  According to Gartner, there were 17 million tablet computers shipped in 2010, a figure set to hit 326 million in 20152. That alone should be sounding alarm bells for retailers.  With over a third of people claiming to already own a tablet computer, and a further 22% intending to bring one into the home or give one as a gift at Christmas, the trade-off between providing a consistent service throughout the year and being able to handle the extra capacity and bandwidth required during the biggest shopping months of the year, is a huge challenge for retailers."

Many businesses are turning to cloud and subscription based models to enable them to meet peak demands, without wasting network capacity.

Bonnassie added: "With seasonal peaks and troughs in demand, it is a challenge for providers to ensure that they are satisfying high expectations from consumers, but also not wasting capacity in low periods. Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) style networks are set to be key to tackling this issue, as providers only use what they need, when they need it.

"Our ‘The Data Center Is Here' corporate campaign highlights how modern networks need to extend across physical boundaries and enable a common user experience wherever data is accessed, and with the recently launched Brocade Network Subscription service we are now offering of an innovative, subscription-based acquisition option for network infrastructure that allows organizations to align network capacity with fluctuating business demands. Therefore it's important that the retail industry and service providers ensure they don't miss this opportunity to prosper," he added.