The Need for Speed – The Effect of Dynamic Site Acceleration on Web Performance
Posted on December 13, 2013 by Admin
It's no secret that Online Retail is on a strong incline, with growth in sales marginally stronger in September, and totaling $14.3 billion in the year to September 2013 (NAB Online Retail Sales Index). Frost & Sullivan have also announced that the online shopping market in Australia will account for seven percent of all retail sales by the end of 2013.
Frost & Sullivan's report, 'Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping Market 2013′ outlines how additional channels such as mobile and social e-commerce are growing rapidly. The modern-day consumer demands an omni-channel shopping experience from retailers, which involves a multitude of enhanced online features including data analysis, search, dynamic content, real-time customer preferences and optimisation across all devices.
“The modern consumer expects to reach a commerce site from any device, and at any time. They expect the experience to be rich and engaging, with imagery and social content like reviews, but they expect it all to be fast, simple and easy to navigate,” said Lelah Manz, Chief Stategist for Commerce, Akamai.
Not only must Online Retailers have a fully integrated user experience but it would appear that generally, customers care more about speed than a website's features. An often cited Akamai study states that 57 percent of online shoppers will wait three seconds or less before abandoning a site; and of those, 80 percent of these will not return (Consumer Response to Travel Site Performance, 2010).
If your organisation is struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology demands of Online Retail, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors. A study from Google revealed that 61 percent of mobile shoppers would move on to another site immediately if they could not find what they were looking for 'right away' on a website. (What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today, 2012).
The modern-day consumer also faces a lot more distractions whilst shopping. A slow loading web page will mostly likely lead to switching between tabs, looking for a quick price comparison whilst they wait, checking their Facebook – all of which increase the likelihood of abandoning the page that they were originally waiting to load.
Melbourne IT and Akamai often analyse web platforms that are not architected with scalable performance in mind. E-commerce sites are trying to keep up with the competition by loading more visually attractive graphics and complex applications on to their web pages. This requires a specialised, intelligent performance optimisation solution in order to meet the ever-increasing demands of connected end-users.
Are you using the best analytics to understand the performance of your site? Do you understand the consequences of a predicted load on your web platform and are you prepared for it? The correlation between web performance and conversion should be at the top of your priority list when preparing for Christmas sales.
Site acceleration is key. Acceleration techniques for dynamic content such as a shopping cart transaction, can be turned on in a number of days – with little to no site changes or investment in resource. Acceleration shows instant results and can improve performance from 20 to 400 percent, depending on the proximity of the end user and the content on the site.
Melbourne IT and Akamai have been monitoring the web performance of some of Australia's most popular websites over the past year via our Synthetic Benchmarking Tool. We've conducted a report to show the effect of a content delivery network (CDN) on web performance. The below graph shows a quick overview of how powerful site acceleration can be.