Meet the Team: Using Technology to Bridge the Gap

2020 has been a strange year for all of us. Professionally speaking, I’ve been furloughed, then made redundant (both online), virtually interviewed with various companies, attended conferences using Hopin. Finally, I was hired into a fantastic new role at one of this year’s Yorkshire and Humberside Tech 50 companies

Personally speaking, I haven’t seen any of my family or friends in person or had a hug from them since March and I’m really missing them all. I’m hopeful that I’ll get to see them this Christmas, but I’m equally not sure I will, and for that reason, I’m relying on Amazon, Etsy, and Not On The High Street more than ever before and I’m not alone. 

When we can’t be together in person, we use technology to bridge the gap — Zoom book clubs, fitness classes, and cocktail parties have become the norm, and the generational tech gap has lessened as we seek to stay in contact with the people we love most. 

Charities such as Age UK have made great efforts to connect isolated older people with new friends over the phone. A number of high street banks are offering online shopping classes and security guidance as more people access their banking services online. My mum has even learned how to use Zoom — that’s something I never saw coming! 

We’re also spending far more time shopping online, whether it’s for baking or cleaning supplies, loungewear, or gaming systems… and then there was the phase where we all seemed to be baking banana bread, but I digress.

All of this has been reflected in our spending. It was forecasted that two-thirds of the UK’s Black Friday shopping was done online this year. That’s a whopping £5.76 billion, making cyber security and great user journey experiences more important than ever. The same will likely go for Christmas as consumers avoid – or are unable to visit – the high street. This makes what we do at RapidSpike even more vital this year.

I should note that I’m not a developer. “Web performance” and “uptime” are not the most glamorous words in my world, but they really matter right now. As a shopper, if a retail website crashes or lags whilst I’m trying to place an order, I’m wary of coming back. If my details are stolen, well – you’ll never see me again. I’m not alone in this. Two thirds of UK consumers say that slow loading times are the primary reason they’d abandon an online purchase. 47% percent of shoppers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less. We’re not a patient bunch.

As e-commerce becomes the default shopping method, the importance of digital experiences continues to grow exponentially. For this reason, and many others I’m really grateful to be part of a team which is helping brands migrate to this new reality. This is work that matters to me and underpins so much of our lives. RapidSpike’s alerts allow our customers to take full control of their websites, make sure that nothing expires without notice, and respond to problems almost immediately. Our synthetic user journeys follow the paths your customers take to find any weak spots and Real User Monitoring provides data from your customers, showing you exactly how they use your website. 

It’s this data that allows businesses to improve their user experiences and continue to win new clientele. We also monitor for Magecart attacks that have affected the likes of British Airways, Fab Fit Fun, and Wisepay, helping our customers keep peoples’ banking and personal details safe. I’m proud of what we do because it underpins so many of the services we rely on, and as we approach the Christmas shopping rush I’m even more grateful to have joined RapidSpike.

I want every person out there to be able to shop online safely. To not be worrying about money in limbo, or video calls unexpectedly dropping. If all we get to do this year is have dinner and laugh together, watch our loved ones open gifts on camera or argue over board games and fall asleep watching a film without a cyber care in the world, we’ve actually done alright.

Now, that’s as much Christmas positivity as you’ll get out of me, I’ve got another video meeting to get to.