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Performance

Website Speed, Revenue and Employee Productivity

 

There are days every year that it seems almost everyone is performing the same activity online. Whether it’s Cyber Monday or the days before Mother’s day, some websites get a disproportionate amount of their yearly traffic in the span of a few days. I thought Mother?s day would make for a great benchmark to measure website speed. My theory was that we would see a decrease in the website performance as the crush of visitors would strain the servers, applications, and networks of the most popular floral eCommerce websites.Flowers

Flowers for Mother’s Day

Mother?s day is the second biggest day each year for flowers according to AboutFlowers. (The December holidays bring higher florist sales). With Mother?s day being on a Sunday ? I suspect that most of us order flowers while at the office or on a break from work during the days before Mother?s day.

Website Speed Is Important

With website speed being well known as a key factor in driving both Web-based revenue and loyalty I thought this would make the perfect benchmark. Faster websites drive increases in sales, pages viewed and lower bounce rates. There is much research and study that prove these truths ? including some interesting stats from Shopzilla. They succeeded in reducing the loading time from 7 down to 2 seconds for their website and saw their conversion rate increase by 7-12%. With their volume, I am sure that is a lot of revenue. With floral websites ? a slower website may mean a competitor will win the sale or the more expensive flower options may be viewed. Time is money ? and in this case it works both ways. For me, time spent waiting for a slow website is lost productivity at work and for the ecommerce website ? a slow website will result in lower sales.

The Benchmark

For this benchmark survey I looked at the following websites: Proflowers, 1800Flowers, Teleflora, and FTD. The first aspect of this benchmark I would like to call out is that these websites, are all slow and below average compared to all websites. Look at the chart below where you can see the Yottaa score for each website from 4/27 ? 5/9, 2011.

Yottaa Web Performance Benchmark Yottaa ScoreThe chart here shows the Yottaa Score.  The Yottaa Score is our exclusive value we give for an overall web performance assessment. We realized that one timing metric alone is not sufficient to judge web page performance. We developed the Yottaa Score for this purpose. To learn more about the Yottaa score visit the Yottaa Insight web performance monitoring page.

Worse still, a slow website can leave a bad impression. Like the study above from Shopzilla, there are several studies show that consumes are less likely to recommend or return to a slow website or ecommerce store. Look at the chart below where you can see the ?Time to interact? for each website from 4/27 ? 5/9, 2011.
Yottaa Website Speed Benchmark Time To Interact“Time to interact” measures how long it takes for the page to become responsive to user input. I don?t know about you, but there is not a more frustrating experience than looking at a webpage and not being able to perform the call to action because the page has not completely loaded quickly. Experiences like those leave a lasting impression and don?t promote loyalty.

In Summary:

These four ecommerce websites remained consistent in their website performance through their second busiest period in the year. They all however are below average, with each of them taking longer than five seconds to load in a web browser and be available to navigate as a user. With the competition in this category fierce, there clearly is an opportunity for one of these websites to improve their performance and take a greater percentage of sales. I look forward to checking back in on this Yottaa Insight benchmark next year to see if any of these websites have increased their website speed.

How about you, do you get frustrated when a website loads slowly? How often do you leave a website because it is so slow to load?


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Flower Image From Michael Roper on
Flickr

 

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