How to learn Hybris technology
2 Sep 2019
Let’s set the scene: you’re just getting up and running with Hybris and your IT team needs to work out how to deliver a seamless shopping experience with no downtime or latency. You know that if you can’t, the bottom line will be directly impacted – no pressure there, then! We’ve got some performance tuning tips at the ready to help you plan a roadmap, so here are 10 ways to optimise Hybris for ecommerce…
Number one on our list has to be improving page load time. Why? A slow load time equals a poor UX and means your bounce rate will be high. If you don’t want people to exit your site before they’ve shopped, sort your page load time out as a priority. Remember that Google looks at page load time too, (less than one second is the recommended loading time), and a slow load time is a negative ranking factor. Fast load time makes for better SEO and higher revenue – win-win.
Here, the phrase ‘better late than never’ should be replaced by ‘better now than later’ – any delays will lose you more conversions and, subsequently, revenue. Making sure that you’re continuously monitoring so that you can catch site performance issues as quickly as possible is essential to keep the fallout to a minimum. Take an agile approach to achieve a fast Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR).
One of the advantages of Hybris is that you can grow and scale, but maintaining platform health can be complicated. There’s some advice on what constitutes a standard production set-up from Bit Byte here, with a note that there can be ‘seriously optimised applications’ when >50 page impressions/second/core are achieved.
How confident are you that your site can handle the unavoidable intensity of traffic at key shopping times, from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to seasonal sales? Obviously, this can’t be left to chance, and there are plenty of tools out there that can help with load testing your Hybris ecommerce platform well in advance. Load Impact has some great general pointers on load testing here. For more on surviving heavy traffic, read our blog post What happens to Hybris at peak periods?
How are you doing compared to your competitors and peers? Take a look at industry statistics and consider revenue volume correlations – the Wolfgang Ecommerce Report 2019 is a good place to start to grasp some top-line statistics quickly. For instance, regardless of Google’s two-second guide, the average page load time currently is a whopping 6.8 seconds. Number of sessions per user has become the key critical factor for purchase, with most companies averaging 1.5 over 12 months, according to data. How can you improve your UX to make that number creep up?
Hybris gives you a great foundation for SEO, so don’t overlook SEO content and technical optimisation and other SEO improvements. Page load time, already mentioned, is just one factor to consider. For instance, ecommerce sites commonly have an issue with index bloat, which occurs whenever Google indexes pages that it shouldn’t because of pagination issues. The result can be problems for search engines caused by duplicate content and confusion regarding what to crawl, leading them to serve up non-relevant content. Google may also crawl your site less often as a result.
Hybris has lots of features and can be used out of the box – but it often works best when features are customised to match your real-life business requirements, so be ready to switch things up. Yes, many components are easily customisable (and more so than with a SaaS solution), but you need to have the right knowledge to get them working as you want – which leads us on to…
Hybris is a powerful platform, but to get the most out of it, you’ll need to invest in both quality implementation and ongoing maintenance. Look for developers with a sound knowledge of Java and Spring when you’re recruiting, invest in training and make sure that you provide your tech team with well-spec’d machines. No matter how well prepared you are, you’ll still need 24/7 tech support in place during peak periods, so ensure that you plan this in well ahead of time.
A high percentage of users will use your search bar to navigate. These users are showing a clear intent of the products they are intending to buy and so you should ensure that the search results are as relevant as possible. Put relevant filters and sorting options in place to speed up the search process. Design-wise, you should use a simple, instantly recognisable search icon and make sure that it’s as easy as possible to spot the search box by locating it in the same place on each page for a good UX.
Be honest about whether your IT team has the expertise and resource to undertake the continuous monitoring, planning, patching and updates needed to get the most out of Hybris. If it doesn’t, partnering with external experts may be what you need to put you on the right track. Take your time choosing the right implementation support partner – they should be able to help you with increasing speed and getting the most out of product features by design.