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2020 3rd Party Preview
3rd Parties

2020 3rd Party Index: Your eCommerce Tech Selection Guide

In 2018, YOTTAA launched the first eCommerce 3rd Party Technology Index as a guide to help brands understand how these technologies impact site performance, which 3rd parties were being used most across the industry, and to act as a tech investment guide to help brands find the right 3rd parties for their sites.

The report scored and ranked 3rd parties based on their performance impact — a measurement YOTTAA analyzes for over 1,000 3rd parties across 1,500 eCommerce sites — resulting in a single-source-of-truth for brands. Across the industry, many retailers were amazed to learn that detailed data on the performance of the 3rd parties on their sites existed, as they had never seen a similar report.

Flash forward to 2020, a year like never before, and the 3rd anniversary of the 3rd Party Technology Index. The report has grown immensely, still scoring 3rd parties based on performance impact, while also analyzing year-over-year results, industry trends, security risks, and more 3rd party data than ever before.

Welcome to the 2020 3rd Party Index! Check out the full report

Year-Over-Year Updates

Because we have been publishing this report since 2018, we are able to analyze the results year-over-year to see what’s changed, improved, and trending across the industry. Here’s what the updates cover in this year’s index:

Most improved and declined

It takes hard work and effort for 3rd parties to improve by one level, i.e. from red to yellow or yellow to green. Typically this is done with an internal vendor roadmap focused on improving the performance impact their technology is having on their customers’ sites. Unfortunately, not all year-over-year results indicated an improvement in performance levels.

See the full list of 3rd party performance improvements and declinations in this section of the index.

Top usage updates

Each year, the index highlights a list of the top 20 most widely used 3rd parties across our customer base. The changes each year reflect what is happening in the industry. For example, this year, Twitter dropped off the Top 20 list and Instagram joined. Because of the current state of the world, people are spending more time on social media to stay connected and socialize (and shop!) than ever before. Instagram has stayed relevant and built a world of shopping to turn brands’ Instagram accounts into shoppable storefronts.

See the full list of top 20 most widely-used 3rd parties, which technologies have grown and dropped in usage, and what that means for the industry. 

New 3rd Party Data

The YOTTAA platform, which optimizes the performance of eCommerce sites, is constantly improving and optimizing more and more sites, and collecting new and varied levels of data, much of which we are flagshipping in this report. New 3rd party data includes:

Average Performance Impact

The Average Performance Impact represents the typical amount of time the 3rd party runs before reaching Doc Complete, or the average performance impact on Doc Complete, which has historically been a good measurement for site performance. Doc Complete times are the most impactful on conversion rate; the faster the Doc Complete time, the higher the conversion rate. The index explores the 3rd parties with the highest Average Performance Impact.

Time Finished Running

When a 3rd party is finished running, it’s measured by what’s called Last Byte. This is when the 3rd party typically stops loading. By understanding when an individual 3rd party has finished running, you can identify optimization opportunities to help shave off total page load time.

This is where the ability to change the loading order of 3rd parties becomes critical. By having a systematic way to proactively decide when individual 3rd parties load on specific pages, you can make sure the right technologies fire at the right time.

Percent of an Individual Site the 3rd Party is Running on

This number indicates the percentage a 3rd party is running across a single site. For example, a Payment Processing 3rd party should be a very low percentage, as it only belongs on the checkout page. An Analytics technology should have a high percentage, as it runs on many pages including product pages, homepage, or category pages.

The reason why this stat is important is because if you have a 3rd party running across many pages of your site that should just be on a few pages, then that 3rd party is actually adding unnecessary page load times. This can hurt shopper experience and conversion.

Which 3rd Party Categories are OK/Not OK to be on Checkout

New 3rd party checkout data is included in this report, indicating which 3rd party categories and individual 3rd parties are reasonable to be on checkout.

This data is so important because not only can unnecessary 3rd parties on checkout cause performance issues, but they can also put shopper data at risk! (See: Claire’s data breach)

In this year’s index, YOTTAA found that 60% of 3rd parties analyzed should NOT be on checkout, confirming the urgency behind this matter.

See if any of these 3rd parties are on your checkout that shouldn’t be.

Learn Which 3rd Parties are Right for your Site

While 3rd parties are necessary in today’s new economy, it is critical that brands know whether these technologies will help or hinder their online experience by understanding exactly where they are running on their sites, when they are experiencing issues, and how they are impacting site performance.

Read the full 3rd Party Index to learn the impacts of your 3rd parties.

Want more? Get a detailed look into how 3rd parties are affecting your site’s performance with Free Site Performance Snapshot report!