How Much Impact Does an Hour of Website Downtime Have on a Business?

So, your business website is offline again and your IT team has sprung into action, trying to pinpoint the issue and fix it as soon as possible. Sure, it’s good that your IT experts are handling the problem responsibly, but do you know how much money your business may have lost during your website’s downtime? Well, if you are a major player in the ecommerce industry, chances are you could have lost millions of dollars by now. And that is not an overstatement.

Like it or not, even an hour of downtime can do a great deal of damage to your online business. Did you know that in 2014, Google experienced downtime which was caused by a virus and all Gmail, Google+ and Google Drive were affected by it? This downtime lasted for an hour, which decreased Google stocks by 2.4 percent.

But that’s not all! Amazon, the e-shopping giant, experienced 2 hours of downtime, presenting site visitors with cryptic HTTP messages. In just 2 hours, Amazon lost an estimated total of $3.48 million. That’s huge!

So, if you wish to estimate the true cost of an hour of website downtime has to your business, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the more important variables you must consider when calculating this cost:

§  Impact on Business Sales

To figure out exactly how much an episode of website downtime costs in terms of sales lost, you’d need to determine what your average profits per minute are during the time period the downtime occurred. You can then multiply that average profit per minute times the number of downtime minutes to determine your total lost sales profits. If the downtime occurs at 2 in the afternoon, for example, it is most likely going to cost your business more sales than if the outage had happened at, say, 2 in the morning, when web traffic is typically much lighter.

§  Damage Done to Your Business Reputation

Downtime (especially if it’s frequent or at a crucial time) can scar your business’s reputation, losing the trust and loyalty of customers in your brand. Just like many businesses, you too have invested good money and a great deal of time in brand building. Your time and money can go to waste if you experience downtime—even if it is for just an hour. When considering the true cost of your site’s downtime, it is important that you keep in mind the resources you’ll need to spend to repair your tainted brand image going forward.

§  Money Wasted in Marketing Campaigns

Another factor to consider when determining the cost is the money you have invested in your marketing efforts, like PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. You need to figure out the amount of money that was spent on marketing while your site was experiencing downtime. This is important to calculate, because let’s face it – you literally didn’t reap any benefits from the invested money, because your site was inaccessible when prospects clicked on the PPC link or advertisement.

Prevention is Always Best!

Calculating the cost you might have incurred due to an hour of website downtime is essential, but there are precautions you can take to avoid unplanned downtime and keep your business up and running ’round the clock (and be a hero!). AlertBot is an intuitive web-based website monitoring service that can alert your team about website errors and slowness within seconds, and also help you keep track of your site performance. All of this is much needed to mitigate downtime issues significantly. Start the AlertBot 14-day free trial today!

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