Google Shopping Cyber Monday Prep Part 1: Website Optimization

In the world of e-commerce, there are a lot of moving parts.

While it may be difficult to categorize which ones are more important than others, it’s critical to understand the importance of your website and how it relates to consumer behavior.

Your website is the face of your e-commerce business. If it works well, consumers will feel more comfortable buying from you.

On the other hand, a negative experience with your website can be a major deterrent to having online shoppers buy from your store. According to the following Kissmetrics blog post, 79% of dissatisfied customers will not revisit poorly performing websites, and 44% of dissatisfied customers will share their experience with friends, family and acquaintances.

So not only will someone not come back to your site, they will encourage others to not visit your site based on something as seemingly inconsequential as page load time.

Poor Site Performance and Its Impact

Simply stated, the slower your website the greater the likelihood of losing out on future sales.

A recent infographic published by Sean Work at Kissmetrics revealed that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

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When put into perspective, a large company like Amazon could see a loss of $1.6 billion in annual revenue with as small as a 1-second delay on page load times.

Obviously not all retailers would be facing losses this enormous, however that lost revenue could mean the difference between a profitable holiday season and a potentially disastrous one.

In many cases these struggles can continue following the holiday season due to the high likelihood of someone never returning and also sharing their negative experience.

The Need For Speed

On the other end of the spectrum lie websites that perform well.

You see, as bad as a slow website can be, the complete opposite is true for websites that have above average load times.

According to Kissmetrics, 88% of users choose online retailers delivering a quick, easy-to-navigate website experience, and as page load times get lower page abandonment percentages also lower.

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 Not only does page abandonment decline, but overall conversion rate dramatically increases.

As shown in the figure below, pages with a 1-2 second load time have nearly a 4% conversion rate while pages that take 5-10 seconds to load have a 1.5% conversion rate.

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Clearly, there is a direct correlation to be made between website performance and sales.

A good example of this can be found in Walmart. A conducted case study provided by Web Performance Today found that with each second of improved page load time, their conversion rate increased by 2%.

By performing simple optimizations, such as minifying their CSS and compressing their photos, they were able to drive online sales upward in a very short amount of time.

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Find Out How You Stack Up

There are several resources available that can help you identify if your website is performing slowly and what the reasons are.

Google Page Speed Insights

Google has its own tool that helps users find problems on their website from Analytics.

If you find the Behavior tab on the side navigation bar, click into Site Speed and open the Speed Suggestions you’ll be able to see exactly which pages are performing the worst and some suggestions to improve them.

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This is a simple and easy to find tool that can help you to improve your website based on what Google is registering.

GT Metrix

This tool goes a little more in depth with the scan of your website.

Not only will is provide you with a full analysis of your webpages’ performance, it gets very specific with recommendations.

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 As seen in the above figure, you can isolate exactly what the problem areas are and work on fixing them.

Both tools are excellent, and free (yay) so there’s nothing holding you back from using them to help you in your website optimization journey.

Final Thoughts

The importance of website performance cannot be stressed enough as you begin to ramp up your efforts for the holiday season, specifically Cyber Monday.

Utilizing one of the aforementioned tools to diagnose potential issues on your site can mean the difference between having a phenomenal season and having an underwhelming one.

Take the time to comb through your site and adjust what needs to be adjusted sooner rather than later so that everything runs smoothly. You’ll be happy you did.