Gearing Up Your Site for the Holidays? Don't Forget About Speed
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, online retailers are fixated on the performance of their websites. By now everyone knows that a viewer's first impression of a website counts. This is even more true with an e-commerce site. The landing page is where the rubber meets the road.
Speed is one of the most critical success factors for a landing page. If it takes more than two seconds to load, the bounce rate begins to increase. The majority of consumers won’t wait more than six seconds for a landing page to load. They don't care why a website is slow, even with the traffic overload during the holidays. Regardless of the day or time of year, e-commerce websites need to load quickly.
Research shows that slow websites lose money. Amazon reported that a 100 millisecond delay in page load time resulted in a 1 percent drop in revenue. Conversely, online retailers that increase their site speed see a considerable uptick in their conversion rates and revenues. When Shopzilla reduced its load time from seven seconds to two seconds, its conversion rate increased between 7 percent to 12 percent and it saw a 25 percent increase in page requests.
Those are big numbers compounded by the marketing spend numbers. Marketing strategies such as email campaigns embedded with links, search engine marketing platforms like Google AdWords and paid banner ads on specific websites all drive traffic to your landing page — but at a very high cost. The added website development and creative expenses makes landing pages a huge investment. If the landing page isn't fast, all of this time and money spent developing and driving traffic to it will be for naught.
Not only do companies face the immediate revenue loss that can result from a slow landing page, but consumers can form a negative brand perception as a result of a poor performing website. This negative perception can have a long-term impact on a company's bottom line. Imagine you log on to an electronics website to purchase a gift, but are frustrated by the amount of time it takes for the site to load. Not only are you less likely to make a purchase, but you're less likely to come back to that website or share it with your friends.
The best landing pages load in less than three seconds. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure your website is prepared for peak traffic volumes during the holidays:
- How fast are your landing pages?
- How does your web development team monitor and ensure all of your landing pages have the same speed?
- Realistically, how much can you spend to impact speed?
Few e-commerce companies have the capital or time to engage a major content delivery network or hire devoted development people. Despite this, speed is critical. Tools exist today to help online retailers increase web performance without breaking the bank. Automating site speed through cloud routing and web performance optimization technologies can offer companies web performance solutions at attainable price points.