Ever felt frustrated waiting for a webpage to load? You’re not alone. Bad website UI, unresponsive controls, and slow loading times can cost money – literally.
Customer expectations for websites have risen dramatically since the days of dial-up. Research commissioned by Google and compiled by Deloitte has found that a difference of milliseconds can literally mean a sale or a frustrated customer.
Over a 4 week period, mobile site data from retail, travel, luxury and lead generation brands across Europe and the US was analysed. The purpose of the study was to isolate speed as a performance metric and to observe if there was a true correlation to conversion funnel progress, spend, page views and bounce rates.
Results showed that a mere 0.1 second, or 1 millisecond change in load time can influence every step of the user journey, ultimately increasing conversion rates. Conversions grew by 8 percent for retail sites and by 10 percent for travel sites on average.
With a 0.1 second improvement in site speed, retail consumers spent almost 10 percent more, while lead generation and luxury consumers engaged more, with page views increasing by 7 percent and 8 percent respectively.
Need for Speed
These findings show that increasing expectations and use of smartphones are amplifying the need for mobile speed. To stay ahead, brands need to make site speed a priority across the organisation. They should adopt a mobile-first mind-set; introducing the right processes and allocating resources to constantly monitor and optimise their site speed.
So what can brands do next? Here is what the research recommends:
- Understand the speed status: You need to know how your site is currently performing in a stand-alone context and also in comparison to your competitors.
- Be clear on the potential impact of mobile site speed on the bottom line: Being equipped with this data will help you to sell and prove the validity of considering speed as a primary performance metric.
- Adopt a mobile-first strategy: Mobile-first is essentially a design strategy, more appropriate for satisfying today’s consumers than the responsive approach.
- Identify speed as one of the primary performance metrics: It’s essential to build consensus to make speed a priority KPI and performance metric.
- Introduce page speed budget to project teams and clients: Page speed budget or web performance budget is a set of constraints that project teams will use to ensure the mobile site meets performance standards and loads quickly across devices and platforms.
- Use the right tools in the right way: Make sure you are using the right tools for both measurement and reporting. Your analytics package needs to be set up correctly, with a strong focus on conversion point, funnels and appropriate KPIs.
- Create the right culture with the right people: Nurture a performance-centric culture where speed is considered a priority metric by leadership, strategists, developers, designers, content practitioners and project managers.