For Ecommerce, Time is Money

Can you afford to have a slow site? Slow page loads and other factors that negatively impact conversion.

Let’s do the Numbers

We looked at every kind of data from every reliable source – from Forbes to Comscore. The numbers may vary slightly, but they pretty much tell the same story. And while speed is critical, other factors come into play as well.

1. Average shopping cart abandonment rate is 65%:

  1. a. 5% – 10% abandon due to crashing websites
  2. b. 11% – 25% because the website is too slow
  3. c. 14% – 19% as a result of no Guest checkout option
  4. d. 11% – 27% due to an overly complex checkout process
  5. e. 44% – 55% because of High Shipping Costs

If you think a 65% abandonment rate sounds bad, it’s about to get worse. Because everything becomes more extreme in the weeks surrounding Cyber Monday.

    • In 2011, the shopping cart abandonment rate hit at an all-time daily high of 89% on November 23.
    • Experts predict we’ll see 90% this year, culminating on November 21, 2012 – the day before Thanksgiving.

2. 71% of organic traffic to ecommerce sites comes from Google.

So if you’re not optimized for high page ranking, you’re not maximizing the single biggest opportunity for driving traffic to your site. Aside from the usual Search Engine Optimization concerns, Google also uses page speed as a factor in its search ranking. Anecdotally, some companies report they’ve made their pages faster and grown organic traffic as much as 40%.

Alarm clock and money3. Every Second Counts! Slower page response time results in an increase in shopping cart abandonment.

  1. a. 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
  2. b. 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  3. c. 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again
  4. d. 52% of online shoppers state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
  5. e. A 1 second delay – or 3 seconds of waiting – decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.
  6. f. 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.

4. A one-second delay in page response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. So if your ecommerce site sells $50K per day, a one-second page delay could potentially cost you $1.25 Million in lost sales every year. Ouch.

5. The majority of mobile internet users expect a web browsing and shopping experience on their phone that’s comparable to what they get on their desktop or laptop. Some even expect it to be faster.

6. Conversion optimization problems in the checkout process are many. Some you may not have the ability to easily fix, if you’re committed to a Shopping Cart application that doesn’t offer robust functionality.

  1. a. Insecure checkout
  2. b. Displaying website navigation during the checkout process
  3. c. Losing customer input when a submission causes an error
  4. d. Layout page design that conflicts with eye flow
  5. e. Multiple calls to action with the same design and in close proximity
  6. f. Not displaying the visitors process in the checkout process
  7. g. Displaying discount code box late in the checkout

7. The options online shoppers want to see at checkout

  1. a. 73% Free Shipping Options
  2. b. 60% Estimated or Guaranteed Delivery date
  3. c. 56% Variety of Payment Options
  4. d. 50% Log-in to Save Purchasing Preferences
  5. e. 47% Order History
  6. f. 38% Expedited Shipping Options
  7. g. 32% Suggestions for other items

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Don’t let this holiday ecommerce season catch you with your website down. Take some basic steps toward ensuring your site is in Ship Shape to meet the demands of the season.

First, and foremost, take a good hard look at your page load time, both in your catalog and in your shopping cart. Contact your hosting provider and ask to run a load test to understand what your site is capable of – and where it may break. There are a ton of optimization efforts you can undertake, but if your hosting service isn’t adequate for the demands you’re placing on it, you need to scale up. Consider a Cloud-hosting solution that will allow you to scale up and down to meet seasonal demands. If you’re hosted with Applied Innovations, you’re in luck – we’re happy to work with you to ensure your site is up to snuff.

Second, revisit everything that impacts conversion rates: return and exchange policies, shipping options, customer relationship management tactics like following up on abandoned carts. Improve the visibility of security icons and certifications, and make your Privacy and Trust policies easily accessible. Make sure you are fully utilizing the features and functionality of your Shopping Cart application by activating product suggestion modules, Order History and Purchasing Preferences.

Other resources you may find interesting:

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