Search, Website Slowdowns Can Cost Brands $20 Million Annually, Study Says

Website performance and IT issues cost brands roughly $20 million annually — about $1.5 million due to slowdowns and $18.5 million due to general site issues — for those analyzed in the study despite the resources they have for improvements.  The data estimates an increase of more than 13% in their annual revenue by resolving the problems that are missed today.

Website issues affect every online store, but with the holiday season approaching, marketers need to identify the issues and quickly make adjustments. Data released this week estimates that slowdowns in a Fashion website, for example, for one year can cause the same loss in revenue that would occur if the online store completely shut down for three straight days, according to an ebook published by Shoppimon. The company's technology runs through each page on a website to identify the hiccups and slowdowns that can optimize the content and location. It runs tests and fixes mistakes by changing the code when needed. In addition to websites, it also can run through a company's IT system and in-store point-of-sale system.



Data from Shoppimon suggests that a Fashion brand selling $150,000 in clothes annually can see conversion rates of 7% per second for reduced website speeds. Based on the annual income, it should profit about $288, according to data updated by Aberdeen in 2015, originally published in 2008. But for every minute during a mild to moderate slowdown, the amount drops to $224. And during severe slowdowns that figure drops to $118, according to Shoppimon.

Shoppimon Cofounder and CEO Roy Rosinnes said marketers need to keep informed on what pages slow. "The technology goes through the site like a shopper to see where campaigns fail," he said. 

For this ebook, the study looked at three markets: Consumer Electronics Breakdown, Fashion, and Home & Garden, analyzing slowdowns, server down times, missing pages, and more. It also analyzed broken search, add to card, checkout processes, and third-party integrations at about 2,000 sites. 

Broken search for Consumer Electronics sites occurs, on average, about 5.1% of the time; Fashion, 4%; and Home & Garden, 6.6%.

The ebook also points to data from the Baynard Institute that analyzes the reasons for cart abandonment, which found that 22% of shoppers who have tried to make an online purchase during the last three months experienced website errors or a crash, leading them to leave the site.

The Shoppimon data focuses on the first response, interactive, and full load times associated with three key workflows. It analyzes the home page to identify visitors, then analyzes how visitors searched for products within a store, viewed search results and selected products from the results, and how the system loaded the proper product page. For the checkout process, the technology analyzed how the product page is viewed, how the product was added to the cart, and the checkout process.

Consumer Electronics stood out from the other two marketers. While the industry averaged in the middle range for the full load times of both the home page and search workflows, it came in last for all other speed parameters. In fact, it averaged 17% slower than both Fashion and Home & Garden across the board.

Home & Garden did average higher cart values that include the sale of fewer products. The Fashion industry, and particularly high street fashion, averages well on higher-volume sales at lower prices.

Consumer Electronics has not caught on that website speed can help bring consumers into stores. Nor has this industry caught on to the fact that consumers want a tactile experience. In fact, experience remains a major event that separates Home & Garden, and Fashion, from Consumer Electronics.

Full load times in seconds on average for a Consumer Electronics home page came in at 4.51, compared with Fashion at 5.18 and Home & Garden at 4.45.

Searching for products dipped in performance across all three verticals when compared with home page speeds.

Full load times in seconds on average for a search on a Consumer Electronics web page came in at 3.59, compared with Fashion at 3.48, and Home & Garden at 3.42. Home & Garden is the only category that demonstrated less than 2 second load time at 1.96 for searches.

Full load times in seconds on average for checking out on a Consumer Electronics site came in at 3.47, compared with Fashion at 2.94, and Home & Garden at 2.94. First response times are much faster for Fashion and Home & Garden at 1.67 seconds and 1.84 seconds, respectively.

The data reveals that across thousands of ecommerce stores, the average online site faces between one and two slowdowns each week. Between Consumer Electronics, Home & Garden and Fashion, during the 30 days data collected for this report, Fashion appeared to suffer from the lowest average number of slowdowns, 4.1 during one month compared with Fashion at 4.4, and Home & Garden at 4.5.

Shoppimon also broke down the data based on severity of the average number of website slowdowns for one reason or another. Fashion led with 2.0 per store, followed by Consumer Electronics at 1.9, and Home & Garden at 1.8.

The average duration of severe slowdowns for the Consumer Electronics industry was 179 minutes, compared with Fashion at 191 minutes, and Home & Garden at 185 minutes.  

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