The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

How Website Speed Impacts Customer Checkout

Research has shown time and time again that website speed is directly connected to the overall user experience. It’s not rocket science: If a user is made to wait too long for pages to load, they will likely take their business elsewhere.

This has become a point of contention in the retail and e-commerce industries, where speed can mean the difference between an enjoyable customer experience that breeds loyalty or an interaction that drives consumers to competitors. SOASTA recently participated in the eTail West conference, where Buddy Brewer, SOASTA’s Vice President of Business Development, shed some light on just how impactful website speed can be on the checkout process.

“Speed can mean the difference between an enjoyable customer experience that breeds loyalty, or an interaction that drives consumers to competitors.”

Does speed really matter?
At one point or another, many retailers may have asked themselves just how much page load times and overall website speed matters. SOASTA, an expert provider of performance testing solutions, has found that speed plays a considerable role, not only in user experience, but the amount shoppers spend.

“What we found from looking at lots and lots of data … and we see it over and over again that there is this relationship between how long people wait and how much they spend, and even whether they checkout at all,” Brewer noted at the conference. “People are often shocked by the correlation between speed and checkout.”

SOASTA, which has worked with all of today’s top 20 retailers, provides specialized solutions that can assist companies in pinpointing the areas of their websites that are slowing down load times. With this information, developers and engineers can work to adjust the pages to ensure faster speeds. Brewer noted that when companies don’t pay enough attention to their website load times, they could be leaving a considerable amount of money on the table.

“[We’ve found] that by speeding up by even just as much as one second, we have customers that have found $54 million in additional revenue,” Brewer said.

That’s quite a bit of cash to be losing out on due to a slow-loading web page. But just how exactly does SOASTA make a difference?

“Many businesses overlook the connection between website speed and overall conversions.”

What sets SOASTA apart?
Brewer noted that there are several common practices today’s retailers use to boost conversion rates, including A/B testing, adjusting item prices, offering discounts and promotions, as well as sourcing traffic from a variety of different locations. However, many businesses overlook the connection between website speed and overall conversions.

“We focus on how retailers can manipulate the speed of their web pages so that it affects conversion rates,” Brewer explained. “What makes us unique for retailers is that we give them a new and actionable way to also impact conversion rate optimization by manipulating the speed of their web pages. When people wait less, we find they checkout and spend more.”

SOASTA’s unique solutions, including those specifically geared toward the e-commerce sector, ensure that businesses test all the important areas of their website – both before and after platform launch. This data provides a roadmap for improvement, laying out the particular pages and features that need enhancement.

Through SOASTA’s Real User Monitoring solution mPulse, companies are able to see in real time how performance affects user behavior. The technology is able to measure and analyze all pertinent performance data from each user, and connects these metrics with the business’s critical metrics. This system offers actionable intelligence that organizations can use to ensure they are not only meeting their own goals, but are addressing customers’ needs as well.

“I think everybody understands that faster is better,” Brewer said. “But the real question, and the one that we help people get precise about, is how much faster and how much better.”

To find out more, contact SOASTA today.

SOASTA Marketing

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SOASTA Marketing

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