How caring about all IT errors, however small, can transform your revenue online

A couple of days ago I decided to do my grocery shopping online for the first time (living in central Paris next to plenty of markets and shops, I never previously felt the need). I selected the same quality brand where I do my regular shopping. They have great stores, clean, spacious. In some cases, palatial. So I was expecting a great online experience.

Everything went well initially until suddenly I noticed a rendering problem that didn’t allow me to select a few products that were essential to the order.

Do the people at this site know about this problem? (I know they don’t have Splunk). Do they care even? A few hours later, still the same problem. Huh. Maybe it’s just impacting me? I have to go elsewhere now. Probably forever. It got me thinking…

I have a friend who has build a successful business around a decision engine. It’s a fantastic technology which “hands-holds” customers into making complex purchases – things like technical goods, multi–component bundles or…hotel rooms. Ultimately this increases conversion uplift and Average Sale Value (ASV). These are two metrics that are important for online marketers and sales teams.

Conversion represents the percentage of people that purchase relative to number of visitors.

An uplift of even 0.1% can have an exponential impact on your business, can be the difference of millions of euros of extra revenue at the end of the year. Or even, survival in a competitive marketplace.

Hence, large online platforms love my friend and his business is sky rocketing. In fact, companies pay millions per year for it.


0.1%? That means an extra one in 1000 people coming to the site complete a transaction. Doesn’t sound like much. To use the hotel analogy, you have 100 thousand people going to your hotel booking site per day, that’s an extra 100 hotel bookings. To keep it very, very simple, if the ASV of a booking is 100 EUR, that’s an extra revenue of 10,000 EUR per day. Over a year, that’s over 3m EUR of extra revenue.

But that’s not all. Your extra revenue means you can spend more money on marketing campaigns (Web, Social, Print etc.).

You may have great campaigns but if you’re not converting to your maximum, you may pay more in marketing than you get back in revenue (or more importantly, profit). There is a tipping point, if you are very good a converting on your site, you can afford to pay more for your marketing than your competitors, which means more visitors and more conversions and ultimately more market share.

Be careful, the world changes very quickly including your competitors, you need to be able to react in real time to adapt the right marketing campaigns. Never drop this ball.

Anyway. One in 1000. Remember I said that?

How many times like me have you had a bad experience on a site and given up. A slow page. A badly designed form. A 404 error. A button that appears off the edge of the window and is unclickable. Denied payment because of a technical problem. Grrrrr…..just at the checkout process!

I’m not even talking about the whooper of the problems. You could easily believe it’s far more than one in 1000 visitors.

These margins are very, very fine. And many businesses are dependent on them.

If it impacts 0.1% of a population, how often do you think IT departments will detect or investigate the problem if it takes hours if not days each time to find it and then to fix it?

And yet marketeers and the business are biting off the hand of my friend and his solution for fractions of extra uplift.



The truth is, few companies know about these small problems. Or if they suspect having them, they have no idea where to start looking. Many prefer to bury their heads in the sand and pretend they don’t exist.

Companies such as John Lewis, Tesco and Dominos are different. Splunk has revolutionized their business. Ask any questions and find an answer. It reduces the time to investigate incidents by typically over 90% – suddenly making it feasible to investigate and fix every-single-problem. They get alerted proactively the instant (or even before) things go wrong. They react in real time to marketing campaigns to adapt their activity ensuring maximum ROI. They better understand my omni-channel behaviour so that they can improve my experience. All with Splunk.

But what I care most as a consumer is they at least acknowledge and bother to investigate my problem (I’ve been on site at two of the mentioned companies and seen it with my very eyes!). Now that makes me feel much better about them knowing they care.

In a series of my next blogs, I’m going to focus on things that can make a noticeable difference on revenue online with Splunk. I’ll start with how to improve your customer’s multi-channel experience by alerting your CMS in real time when customers hit IT problems. Stay tuned!

Guillaume Ayme

Posted by