The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Perform at your peak: Holiday tips from SOASTA

Holiday spending continually increasing

Holiday preparations are more important this year than ever before, as studies show that consumers will increase the amount they spend on holiday gifts this season. According to Accenture Research, shoppers will spend an average of $718 on presents this year. Furthermore, a quarter of all consumers plan to spend more this year than they did last holiday season.

This means there is much at stake for retailers this season, especially as more consumers turn to online channels to make their purchases. We found that 40 percent of shoppers bought most of their holiday gifts online last year, and analysts are forecasting a 16 percent uptick in the e-commerce space this season.

A pressing issue: Slow websites

One of the biggest challenges an online retailer has to deal with is a slow-performing website. In the e-commerce industry, competition is fierce, and chances are that if your website does not load fast enough – customers will simply find another vendor to purchase their gifts from.

Currently, 40 percent of customers won’t wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load. However, the average page load time for the top 100 retailers was 10 seconds.

What’s more is that slow pages aren’t just driving away customers. These measurements are impacting how clients find your brand and if they make a purchase at all. 71 percent of organic traffic comes from Google searches, which now factor in page load times. In this way, your website might not even appear in search results if it loads too slowly.

Moreover, even if customers find your website, they might not make a purchase if it does not perform up to their standards. About 20 percent of all shopping cart abandonment comes as a result from website performance problems. This is quite a significant figure when you consider the amount of lost transactions and revenue here.

How can retailers perform at their peak this season?

So how can merchants ensure a positive experience for their customers? We have a few tips and best practices to recommend, including:

  1. Scaled website performance tests to reveal how the website actually functions
  2. Real user monitoring to provide a look into actual user experiences
  3. Year-round website optimization to ensure that the platform isn’t just ready for holiday shoppers, but all users

Even a single second of delay can mean a huge difference for a vendor’s overall business. By leveraging SOASTA’s industry leading performance testing and Real User Monitoring solutions, retailers can gain valuable insights and better prepare their resources for the holiday rush and beyond.


Amy Vosters

About the Author

Amy Vosters

Amy is the Marketing Manager at SOASTA, where she specializes in content marketing, growth-hacking, wordsmithing, and go to market strategies. She is fascinated with the correlation between web performance, neuroscience, and how this translates into success for modern digital businesses.

Follow @AmyatSOASTA