Site Performance in eCommerce: Industry Benchmarks and How to Achieve Them

Nov 2, 2016 | Digital Marketing, eCommerce, IBM Commerce

Industry findings over the past few years have proven the reciprocal correlation between eCommerce site performance and customer satisfaction.

51% of shoppers claim that slow load time is the number one reason they’ll abandon a purchase.*

44% of shoppers claiming that a slow transaction makes them more anxious about the purchase.*


*ACORDING TO SMART INSIGHTS.

Given those statistics, site performance might be the single most important KPI for retailers when you consider it’s compounding effect on other business metrics. Conversion rate, bounce rate, time on site, pages per session and repeat visitors can all be affected by site performance.

Let’s walk through some of the different areas of site performance, look at industry stats, and discuss how your eCommerce site can achieve these benchmarks.

SITE AVAILABILITY

It’s essential that your eCommerce site perform well at all times, and especially critical during anticipated spikes in traffic such as holiday sales promotions or after widespread media attention.

Site availability is the first potential bottleneck for slowing down your visitors and potential customers. It might seem like eCommerce 101, but if your site isn’t reliable, optimizing components like page load speed and caching become irrelevant. Not to mention, your sales will suffer.

To put this into perspective, we can look back to 2013 when Amazon’s site crashed for nearly 40 minutes. The downtime caused the e-retailer to lose upwards of $4.8 million in sales, according to Internet Retailer.

Page Load Time

According to Akamai, the average online shopper expects web pages to load in two seconds.

And according to ConversionXL, 57% of online shoppers will only wait three seconds before abandoning a retail site. These statistics show that lightning fast page load time continues to be a top concern for online shoppers and thus, a crucial KPI for eCommerce sites.Page load time’s effect on conversion can’t be understated. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, a one second delay in page load time equals a seven-percent loss in conversion. To combat these statistics, focus on quick wins to begin optimizing your page load speed and ultimately, maintain or increase your conversion rate.

Free infographic

To highlight several ways WebSphere Commerce sites can improve their page load speed, we created an infographic that details 11 fast, easy wins.

Front-end optimizations like the ones described in the infographic will have the biggest return on your investment of time, since 80-90% of end-user response time is spent there.

Mobile Optimization

One reason eCommerce sites have had trouble keeping their site availability and page load time up to standards in recent years, is due to the ever-increasing percentage of mobile traffic directed to their sites. 

Optimizing your site for mobile is more important than ever — since 2015, mobile sessions have increased at 10 times the rate of desktop sessions, according to Mobify. As illustrated in this benchmark study from Moz, mobile conversion rates still don’t match up with desktop conversion rates. However, there will be an opportunity for retailers to close the gap in the coming years as millennial shoppers continue to influence the market. For them, a convenient and consistent shopping experience is everything — according to National Retail Federation, two out of three millennial shoppers use smartphones in retail stores and want that digital connectedness to enhance their in-store shopping experience.

In conclusion, the bottom line is that fast, reliable site performance leads to upticks across all KPIs. By improving page load, availability and mobile performance you can expect gains in customer interaction, conversion and ultimately revenue.

Don’t let site performance get you down. Let us show you how we’ve helped national retailers achieve their site performance goals and how we can do the same for you.