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Heather Oliver is a Technical Writer for Constellix and DNS Made Easy, subsidiaries of Tiggee LLC. She’s fascinated by technology and loves adding a little spark to complex topics. Want to connect? Find her on LinkedIn.
There is no denying that a large part of the global economy is centered around eCommerce. Online shopping has become a staple in the lives of consumers and businesses across the globe. But with this shift in digital behavior has also come drastically increased competition in the online marketplace.
Is your eCommerce website optimized to its full potential?
If you aren’t utilizing the domain name system (DNS) to the max, your site is probably not as optimized as you think. In this blog, I’ll be covering eCommerce and how DNS fits into the picture.
The popularity of online shopping has been steadily rising over the years but catapulted to new heights during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in 2018, global sales were just shy of $3 trillion but surpassed 4 trillion in 2020. According to eMarketer, online buying behaviors will only continue to grow and it’s predicted sales will exceed $6 trillion by 2024.
But what about B2B eCommerce?
The simple truth is that eCommerce has become a vital part of our lives—for both consumers and businesses. In fact, B2B digital sales account for 13% of e-commerce in the United States alone, and to the tune of $6.7 trillion. Globally, we’re talking $12.2 trillion.
Here is a list of the top 10 eCommerce websites according to ecommerce guide.
When comparing the world, you’ll see some familiar US names in this list along with domains from India and Asia (ClueCommerce).
Considering that online shopping is center-stage these days, it’s imperative that your eCommerce site is as competitive as possible. What you may not realize is that DNS can help with this.
It’s no secret that a fast-loading website is critical in today’s online market. After all, even a one-second delay in page load times can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions. Website speed is even a factor for SEO. But the stakes are higher for e-retailers. According to Pingdom, anything longer than a three-second wait causes visitors to flee from a website faster than they would from a burning building.
And guess what?
79% of the customers leaving your site are less likely to return in the future because a slow website is considered a bad experience. And where do all these lost customers go? To your competition of course.
So, what does this have to do with DNS? More than you think.
A lot of emphasis is put on website optimization when it comes to images and design, but all too often, DNS isn’t neglected or overlooked entirely.
All website traffic starts with a DNS Lookup. This means your optimization should start there. But DNS happens in milliseconds, right? Why would I need to worry about that? Easy. Because every millisecond of DNS resolution adds to the time a web page loads. The slower your DNS performs, the more this will affect your website.
To give you an idea of just how big discrepancies can be between providers, you need only take a look at the data. First, I did a little “digging” to determine the provider each of the top 10 US and World eCommerce sites was using. Then, in the example below, I compared those providers in PerfOps but added Constellix to the mix.
Let’s take a look at the United States first:
What you are seeing in this graph is provider speeds in the United States within the last 30 days.
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to DNS. Here, we can see that Constellix is 17.6% faster than NS1 and 148.5% faster than Akamai.
Now let’s compare the same providers by “world.”
As you can see, speeds and rankings fluctuate as this data is based on each provider’s overall performance (averaged) of their servers globally.
This data gives you a better idea of how your DNS could be impacting your page load times, as well as how the providers stack up against each other.
Tip: The tool used in the above example is PerfOps, which is the leading data resource for DNS and Cloud providers. With PerfOps, you can find unbiased information on provider performances, which can help you choose the best provider for your organization as well as troubleshoot network issues.
As important as speed is, there are other considerations to keep in mind. That brings me to the “big bad wolf” that strikes fear in the hearts of all domain owners: the DNS outage.
Unfortunately, outages are a threat to any business with an online presence, but eCommerce sites stand to lose the most. I’ll use Apple and Amazon as examples of just how costly an outage can get. In the last quarter of 2020, both companies reported record-breaking revenues that averaged $950,000 per minute. Just an hour of downtime for a website generating this amount of income would cost more than $57,000,000.
Yeah, you read that right.
In fact, the average cost of an outage for all businesses comes in at around $5,600 per minute or $300,000 an hour. Either way, that’s a high price tag!
But it gets worse.
Those numbers can’t accurately convey the amount of revenue eCommerce sites could lose due to the negative hit to brand reputation, the IT costs of mitigation, or the loss of employee productivity if internal systems were affected by the outage.
Think it can’t happen to you?
Think again. Outages are rather commonplace. Just take a look at the following list of major providers and their outage histories.
Tip: For a more accurate picture of what the cost of an outage would be for your business, visit our Outage Calculator.
Provider Outages (regional and global)
Cloudflare June 2021, Aug 2020, Jul 2020, Apr 2020, Jul 2019
Constellix NONE (over 8 years of 100% uptime)
Neustar UltraDNS May 2021, Oct 2015, Apr 2014, Jan 2013, Apr 2009
NS1 2021, 2016
Network Solutions Mar 2021, May 2021
Route 53/AWS Nov 2021, Sept 2021, Nov 2020, Oct 2019, May 2019, Apr 2019, Mar 2017
Dyn Mar 2021, Oct 2016
GoDaddy Nov 2020, Mar 2017, Sept 2012,
Azure Oct 2021, Mar 2021 (2), Mar 2019
Google Cloud Jun 2021, Dec 2020, Nov 2020, Aug 2020, Nov 2019
Akamai Jul 2021, Jun 2021
Fastly Jun 2021
Considering the potential costs associated with an outage, no company should accept this.
And here’s the thing.
Most provider and DNS-related outages can be prevented with redundancy. Domains that were affected by the above outages, as well as the many others not listed, all made the same mistake. They only had one DNS provider. A shocking 70% of FTSE 100 companies fall into this category.
Your eCommerce site should have all its bases covered.
This leads me to the next topic: features. Below are some of our most popular DNS solutions that have proved invaluable to our customers.
Along with speed and reliability, you also need to consider DNS features that are best suited for eCommerce websites. Based on customer feedback and thousands of use cases, these are the solutions we recommend the most.
As I pointed out earlier, Constellix has never had an outage since it launched over eight years ago. Even still, we support and recommend redundant DNS providers. Primary/Primary is similar to traditional Secondary DNS in that it offers protection against a single provider outage. The main difference is that your domain will have two dedicated nameservers for resolving queries. With two DNS providers, your domain will receive a performance boost and more accurate query resolutions. Another advantage to having a Primary/Primary configuration is that it often affords companies more advanced customization options via API calls.
Failover is an effective and economical way for eCommerce sites to avoid downtime. Utilizing Constellix’s Sonar health checks, your web traffic is automatically and intelligently rerouted to a backup resource if your primary IP is down or unstable. Constellix takes an additional step in this process and verifies the integrity of your alternative resource(s) before sending traffic to it. This prevents unnecessary downtime in the event one of your backup hosts or IP addresses is unavailable.
Developed to circumvent the restrictions of traditional DNS, ITO is a traffic steering solution that uses location, performance, and reachability as determining factors for delivering DNS content.
Especially beneficial for large eCommerce sites, GTD lets you balance your web traffic by region. This ensures users are served your content from servers closest to their location, which greatly enhances DNS speed and resolution accuracy.
Having multiple content delivery networks (CDNs) is crucial for image- and video-heavy websites like e-retailers. Multi-CDN management allows you to manage all your CDNs in one place and ensures users are served your content fast and efficiently. It also provides protection from unexpected downtime or provider outages. If one CDN service is experiencing issues, Constellix automatically distributes traffic across the healthy CDNs in your configuration.
This solution is a preventative service that works on the DNS level. Using machine-learning AI, RTTAD continually analyzes your domain’s unique traffic and sends instant alerts to IT teams when unusual or suspicious activity is detected. With this information, teams can investigate activity and determine whether it’s legitimate or a threat and take any necessary steps to avoid downtime.
Contellix’s analytics platform is the most advanced and robust DNS reporting system in the industry. This tool provides real-time and historical query data for your domain. The DNS data and logs help IT teams identify misconfigurations, stale/unused DNS records, pinpoint CDNs making excessive requests, and assist in detecting DDoS attacks. This solution can even help track the success of marketing campaigns and most visited pages on the DNS level, which can be especially useful for e-retailers.
You can implement all the right DNS solutions, but if they aren’t configured correctly, it can lead to worse issues than not having them at all. Luckily, there are several online tools that can help you identify misconfigurations, troubleshoot DNS records, latency, and other network issues. These resources will assist in optimizing your domain and help make your job easier.
No matter how you look at it, eCommerce sites need to take DNS seriously. It can help boost query resolution accuracy, speeds, and domain latency, as well as improve overall customer satisfaction. With a DNS host that performs well in regions most relevant to your business, provides superior reliability, and offers advanced solutions for large domains, you can ensure your web traffic is fully optimized, is never in a “jam,” and can always reach your site.
What are you waiting for? Schedule a demo with one of our DNS experts today. Our team will customize your demo according to the unique needs of your eCommerce business and you’ll be able to see what Constellix can do for yourself!
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