As we head into the holiday season, retailers have begun preparing their organization and technology for the surge in online and offline traffic. New hires, new technologies and new procedures are being implemented to ensure a smooth, successful selling period. Success won't only be measured by revenue, though that is the primary figure, but also by traffic, conversion rates, average order value, and numerous data points around customer loyalty (how many repeat visitors, buyers, how much (more) did they buy, etc.)
But one metric that doesn't get the same level of scrutiny but should is the performance of a retailer's web properties. We've seen examples of the direct impact of web performance improvements to the KPIs above, from studies such as that done by Wal-Mart.
Yet, despite this, there is little mention of web performance by retailers (marketing, eCommerce and other related business-focused groups in particular) when determining a successful web campaign or experience.
At its heart, site performance is tied to customer experience. As evident from the Wal-Mart data, a customer's ability to access content quickly, simply and reliably is a strong indicator of their likelihood in completing a purchase. The quicker content is delivered, the easier it is for a customer to research, decide and buy.
In fact, from our own Performance Matters study - 9 Key Consumer Insights - we found that ~50 percent of consumers expect a page to load in LESS THAN TWO SECONDS! And if their expectations aren't met, 50 percent will leave your site and one in five won't return.
With all that's riding on the performance of your web and mobile sites, can you afford not to make performance a KPI?
What do you think?