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eCommerce Website Performance: Foundations for success

February 22, 2021 10:37 AM
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Website performance

As the eCommerce industry grows, so does the level of competition. As traditional brands continue to extend their business online and new eCommerce brands established daily. Brands constantly compete, providing ever more appealing offers and product selections to get ahead of the competition with varying degrees of success.

How then can your eCommerce business differentiate from your competitors to gain an advantage? At W2Solution we are big advocates of a user-centered approach to eCommerce. Of course, there are a variety of factors that influence user experience, one important cornerstone is website performance. Ensuring that your website is performing perfectly will benefit your business as a whole and is a great place to affect positive change.

Our goal is to arm you with the information required to ensure that your website is healthy and doesn’t limit the growth of your business.

Website stability

Website stability is your websites ability to handle high volumes of traffic and stay live around the clock. As seen in the graph, a year in eCommerce experiences a large range in website traffic, with peaks up to 300% on certain days and during the holiday season. Understanding how your website copes with these peaks allows you to make adjustments and approach the peak periods with confidence in your website.                              

 

We recommend taking the time to understand how your website responds to high volumes of traffic and orders. This means you can make rational adjustments and updates to align with your brand's growth when necessary.

To properly access the capabilities of your website, you should routinely run checks on the following metrics:

  • Website visitor capacity – what is the maximum quantity of visitors your site can handle at any given time  
  • Uptime – monitor and be aware of any downtime your website has around the clock and throughout the year
  • Website load tolerance – how many visitors does it take to slow your website down. This is linked to visitor capacity, however,the consequence is less binary
  • Geographic performance – a websites speed and availability from different locations. This is especially important if you area global brand.

Gain confidence in your website's capabilities with our Website Performance Tracker Template

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Website Speed

Over the last few years, website speeds have increased. This is primarily due to user demand and technological advances. Website speed has a direct impact on your user's experience, research shows that customers will wait no more than 3 seconds for a web page to load before abandoning a site. With a 0.1-second increase or decrease changing conversion rates by 8.4% and 7.1% respectively.

It’s clear then that slow websites lose orders to fast websites and poor website performance will reflect negatively on your brand.Additionally, you will find that unhappy customers will go looking for the same products or services elsewhere, potentially with competitors. How then can you improve your chances of success?

SEO

Gaining customers can be tough, especially if your website doesn’t appear on search engines. With 44% of online shopping starting with a search engine eCommerce brands cannot afford to ignore SEO.

With Google stating that website speed is a ranking factor, optimising for performance has become a common part of an SEO expert’s strategy. Google has also suggested that user experience is a factor for search ranking. This furthers the case for improving site speed as slow websites have been found to negatively impact the user experience. Put simply users are less likely to stay on a website that loads slowly.

If SEO is so important, why is it common for eCommerce brands not invest in it? The reality is that it takes time for a company to start benefiting from SEO. Business owners don’t like to wait 6 months to see a return on their investment, especially when they are gaining immediate ROI from marketing campaigns. We suggest that you enjoy the SEO benefits that the performance improvements bring, then thinking seriously about committing a portion of your marketing budget to SEO.

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