Black Friday indicates the start of the Christmas shopping season, as a result of US citizens getting four days off over the Thanksgiving holiday period. As you’ll be well aware, the discounting frenzy has made its way across the pond, with retailers in the UK slashing prices in an attempt to drive sales early in the Christmas season.
This frenzy continues in the digital world. eConsultancy discovered that, on average, Black Friday sees website traffic climb 220% compared to a normal Friday, and 155% on Cyber Monday (again compared to a normal Monday).
Which lead to us asking the question: How many retailers lose customers as a result of poor website performance?
With traffic potentially doubling, the first problem retailers often encounter is their website running slowly.
Put simply, servers act in the same way an in-store till point does. If you only have 2 tills open and there are 400 customers wanting to buy products, they’re going to face a pretty long wait!
If the deals from a retailers are particularly good, it’s likely that a lot of traffic will visit the website over a short period of time, putting pressure on your server to send data to all those extra customers, which will likely result in a slow load time.
In fact, research carried out by Visualsoft discovered that 54% of e-retailers websites took over 9 seconds to load, and a further 12% took over 15 seconds. Google estimates that these websites will lose at least 29% of traffic because of slow page speed - which means they’re potentially losing the same number of transactions!
One of the fundamental ways to combat this runs all the way back to the original build of the website. Quality coding, that is minimised and compressed where possible provides the foundation for building a fast website.
Secondly, one of the biggest issues in page speed is image downloads, particularly if images haven’t been optimised for the web. By optimising images to display at their actual on-screen size, in comparison to uploading an image that could print out on an A3 sheet of paper, file size will dramatically reduce.
Using a CDN (content distribution network) is an extra tick in the box in terms of page speed. A CDN loads your images separately to your web page, reducing any bottlenecks in performance and speeding up load time.
Of course, there are multiple elements that result in effective eCommerce websites and marketing strategies, however website build is the foundation to long-lasting digital performance.
Contact the experts
If you need technical advice or a second opinion on website design/development, get in touch with our MD, Steve. We’re pretty sure he’s seen it all when it comes to websites, but feel free to put him to the test - send Steve an email.