What is Synthetic Monitoring?


Scott Grant November 22, 2021

The sudden need for a seamless digital experience, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, has forever changed the way consumers engage with their favorite brands online. Whether it’s shopping, customer service experiences, or a virtual doctor’s appointment, consumers increasingly prefer to engage with brands through multiple digital touchpoints rather than in-person.

And in this transition to more digital engagement, consumers are demanding the best digital experience possible. In fact, many consumers feel that companies have had plenty of time to prioritize and perfect their digital capabilities since making purchases online has rapidly become the norm. 

This shift has left virtually no business untouched, forcing many businesses to ask, “How can I provide a seamless digital experience and stay ahead of my competition?”

The answer: Synthetic monitoring. 

Synthetic monitoring is a method of actively monitoring a website that enables organizations to detect and resolve issues within their platform before a customer experiences the issue firsthand. Below, we explore why every business needs to prioritize digital experiences, how to adopt a synthetic monitoring strategy, and how to provide your customers with a satisfactory digital experience every time. 

Subpar Experiences Mean More Than Ever

Nowadays, if there is friction in any step of the digital journey, whether it’s long load times or glitches in a website, customers won’t wait around for it to improve. In fact, these issues often lead to cart abandonment, upset customers, or even losing customers to competitors. The clear correlation between the customer digital experience and the impact on business performance must be addressed by every organization that strives for success.

But where to start? The most critical step to take when improving customer digital experiences is to gain true visibility into the impact of the digital experience on business outcomes. 

How to Effectively Acknowledge the Need for a Seamless Experience

Do you know what obstacles consistently hinder IT teams from optimizing digital performance? It’s the fact that most tools only tap into a small sample of the huge volume of telemetry data generated as customers navigate unique paths across websites. With common monitoring tools, you might only see about 10% of the data, forcing you to estimate what the other 90% might say. 

Additionally, these websites could be supported by ephemeral cloud-native environments and embedded with third-party content, potentially disrupting important data. Take, for instance, a user who clicks on a third-party ad. This click could incorrectly register in a monitoring tool as direct engagement.

Achieving a full view of every person — and app — involved in the customer buying journey allows organizations to take action to successfully provide a frictionless digital experience. So, how do you get a full view?

Synthetic Monitoring: A Critical Part of the Solution

Synthetic monitoring enables organizations to simulate user activity on a website or app. This approach allows organizations to more effectively detect and resolve issues in the customer digital experience before a customer has the chance to experience the issue firsthand.

Here are the five key capabilities provided by synthetic monitoring:

  • Site Availability and Health: With synthetic monitoring, organizations can proactively identify downtime and slow response that affects customer service.
  • Tag and Content Governance: Synthetic monitoring enables organizations to effectively analyze the dependencies among content that loads on your site to identify issues that affect user experience and could pose potential security threats.
  • Object Level Waterfalls: Synthetic monitoring can help your organization detect hidden page functions that slow page load times. A slow page load time not only frustrates customers but can also penalize your Google SEO results.
  • Slow Loading Resources: With synthetic monitoring, organizations can optimize page content speed to ensure the most important information loads first.
  • Site Errors Analysis: Synthetic monitoring enables effective tracking around the incidence of errors that affect customer service. It also allows for efficiently tracking potential updates to content security policies.

To effectively leverage the capabilities of synthetic monitoring, organizations can utilize a synthetic monitoring tool that enables IT teams to get clear and actionable insights into their customer’s digital journey experience. This, in turn, allows IT teams to make more strategic improvements. 

Synthetic Monitoring and Aternity User Intelligence Journey

From unique paths through a website to the business-critical apps used by employees who support customers, Aternity User Journey Intelligence enables the organization to see it all. 

Aternity User Journey Intelligence pairs modern Synthetic Transaction Monitoring with Real User Monitoring (RUM), enabling organizations to effectively detect anomalous scenarios in real-time. 

For example, with insights from Aternity User Journey Intelligence, a global healthcare/insurance company recognized the opportunity to optimize the landing page design of their online health and wellness program. By doing so, they improved load time by 30% and customer engagement by 32%. They were also able to identify and resolve a page load performance issue that ultimately saved 70 hours on one incident. 

Aternity enables the complete correlation of user journey analytics with business outcomes across cloud-native environments. The combination of modern Synthetic Transaction Monitoring and RUM helps organizations gain powerful insights into the customer journey, enabling businesses and IT teams to more effectively prioritize the improvements that will have the greatest impact on business outcomes.What insights could you gain with a comprehensive view of the customer and employee digital experience? Download our eBook, “The Business Value of Optimizing the Customer Journey” to learn more about the benefits of RUM and synthetic monitoring.