An ePublication from Ecommerce Partners

Site Speed and Your Bottom Line

By | December 30, 2009 4:08 pm

Increase sales over 12% with faster loading pages

Google has recently announced that they may start using site speed in ranking a website. How quick does your site load? Is it under a minute, a minute, too late! Users are becoming impatient with slow loading sites. If your site is slow, you are actively giving away your customers to your competition. Recent studies have shown that delays as short as half a second impact business metrics.

Slow loading websites
From: Performance Related Changes and their User Impact
Eric Schurman (Bing) and Jake Brutlag (Google)

Performance issues can arise at the worst times and usually do. Their impact could be devastating to your bottom line, especially in this frugal market. Cyber Monday was a good day for Amazon because they were able to keep their site performing optimally during peak hours. On the other side of the coin, Kohls was losing sales (probably to Amazon) because their potential customers were experiencing difficulties loading and navigating on the site.

Thankfully, there are ways to make sure your site is running at optimal speed. A redesign of your website into a lean mean Ecommerce machine can effectively decrease your bounce rate and produce higher site revenue, not to mention better customer retention. For example, Shopzilla achieved major increases in their bottom line through a performance redesign.

Phil Dixon, from Shopzilla, had the most takeaway statistics about the impact of performance on the bottom line. A year-long performance redesign resulted in a 5 second speed up (from ~7 seconds to ~2 seconds). This resulted in a 25% increase in page views, a 7-12% increase in revenue, and a 50% reduction in hardware. This last point shows the win-win of performance improvements, increasing revenue while driving down operating costs.

What can you do to make your site run faster?

  • First, review your design. A redesign can offer the same information and convey the same promotions in a more intuitive and optimal way. Simplicity, speed and quality are design decisions. Do you really need to have images for all the menu buttons? Maybe, a background image with text layered over the top would achieve the same effect. You would also receive a nice boost in your find-ability.
  • Second, perform a code optimization. A code optimization makes sense if you have had an online business for at least a year. Over that time, you have added many new features that added a whole lot of new code into your site. Every new line adds another process that makes the site load just a little slower. Think of it like getting an oil change every 10,000 miles. If you maintain your car it will drive/respond like the first day you got it. An optimization of your site will make sure that your code is up to date and responsive.

A fresh look at your website’s code and design will often reveal better ways of presenting the same look and feel with a better user experience by way of faster loading pages. You will save more money with lower overhead from hardware costs and you will make more money from all of the customers who decide to purchase from your fast-loading website. Build your online business strategically, using performance optimization techniques and a well thought information architecture.

Feel free to contact us to discuss ways to grow your online sales through site optimization and other techniques.

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About Ecommerce Partners:

Founded in 1998, ECommerce Partners is a full-service, ecommerce and interactive agency headquartered in New York City. Best known for our unique process methodology, we combine Internet expertise, creative talent, and business know-how to help clients across a variety of industries achieve rapid, measurable online marketing results.

True to our motto, "We build businesses, not just websites," we provide large and mid-sized companies with a full range of Internet marketing, website design and ecommerce solutions geared to maximize online revenues.



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