Slow Web Performance Impacts Your Business
It’s not unusual for eCommerce website development teams to work in a heads-down approach – fix the website, update the website, don’t break the website. IT developers discuss website scalability and availability, but seldom does the conversation focus on web page performance and how it impacts revenue.
There could be a disconnect between the IT development team and other business units. For example, your company's marketing team might want to add high-quality images or more 3rd party tags to the site. This will slow down the website and frustrate the development team, but in order to make a viable business case against these additions, you need to know how performance changes affect revenue.
The above chart presents data collected from a major eCommerce retailer’s website during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period from 2015. This graph shows the amount of money that could have been made during that time period if the site was 0.5, 2, and 4 seconds faster. If their home page was 0.5 seconds faster during that time period, they would have seen an additional $1.9M in online revenue. Most IT developers are focused on site reliability and uptime as a whole, rather than individual page performance. This chart shows the impact of even a 0.5 second speed improvement on a single page and the potential revenue opportunity.
The Web Developer's Point-of-View
From a marketing or sales standpoint, page speed is the amount of time for a web page to appear in the browser (whether on a PC, laptop, tablet or phone) and is interactive to the viewer. From a web developer’s standpoint, the meaning of page speed is exactly the same—except web pages comprise hundreds of different pieces. Web pages contain text and images; they process script files, call databases, and load stylesheets; they use third-party tags and CDNs. The ordering of these objects and the amount of time it takes to make the page interactive to the viewer happens in measurable stages
Blue Triangle's Object Level Detail displays the ordering of page objects measured against page load timings. The colored vertical lines on this graph correspond to the Average On Load, Average DOM Content Loaded and Average Time to DOM Interactive events. The blue horizontal bars show the amount of time taken to load each page object and the order they are loaded. No bar shown for an object (the red highlighted object shown below) could represent a code error, missing file or network bottleneck — costing valuable page load time. The load order of objects is also critical and could mean the difference between a page with broken graphics or no response to a viewer's button clicks.
Why Your IT Team Should Invest in Website Performance
IT managers, development and systems operations teams need to understand how slow web page performance drastically impacts business revenue.
The above chart shows the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period for our retailer’s eCommerce site. The conversion rate (a percentage of visitors who complete an action; for example, purchasing an item) is shown with the number of website visitors (traffic volume in sessions) and compared to page speed. Both customer traffic and conversion rates plummet as page load time increases.
This downward spiral directly impacts your business. The longer customers are made to wait, especially during the critical journey to a purchase, the faster they abandon the path. The result: lost revenue. It’s important to note that not all web pages on your eCommerce site require improvement. How many times has management handed down a directive to, "Speed up the website, we’re losing customers"? In one of our previous web blog posts, How Fast is Fast Enough?, we discuss wasting time and money optimizing the wrong pages.
Some web pages are crucial to sales and conversions. Other pages, such as "Contact Us" or the "Company Directory", might not need attention to performance improvements. Blue Triangle’s aim is to show your business which web pages you should optimize as well as how, based on revenue. Once those critical journey pages are identified, IT teams can continuously utilize Blue Triangle’s tools throughout the development cycle to zero in on each page’s performance details, discover bottlenecks, test changes and immediately review the results of those changes.
Be The Hero: Your Dev Team's Efforts Affect Revenue
Blue Triangle's tools can specifically help marketing and IT development find site pages that drive revenue to your website. Our tools analyze your website’s top pages, showing current page speed, optimal page speed and revenue opportunities. These tools provide a clear roadmap for prioritization of web page improvements and reducing wasted effort addressing issues that provide little return on investment.
Your IT web development and support teams should not be left guessing or making the wrong decisions where it concerns website optimization. Encourage them to consult with Blue Triangle and discover how much page speed impacts your online business.