eCommerce report
Q4 2013

£8.5 billion down the drain:
the real cost of slow websites to UK retail
Contents
1. Introduction
2. Why is site speed important?
3. Our research
4. Our analysis
5. The results
6. What can you do...
Slow websites will cost UK online
retailers £8.5 billion* in 2013
– Summit, specialist in online retailing, conducted an
i...
Why is site speed important?
A one second delay in page response
can result in:

Slow page loading can cause:
‒ 75% of onl...
Our research
We tested four pages (home, search, category and product) on each of the 230 UK
retail websites using our pro...
Our analysis
Results were categorised using a
traffic light system:

We looked at the average results
for:
Different page ...
The results

Average site speed across all retailers was 4.71 seconds during peak, 4.10
seconds off-peak, and 4.5 seconds ...
The results
The average site speeds for each page type were all over the 3-second
benchmark, but the product page was part...
The results
More detailed results can be found in the full report, including:
‒

Average site speed per sector

‒

Average...
Why do pages load slowly?
Site speed can be impacted by:
Front-end design/build
‒
‒
‒
‒
‒
‒

Multimedia such as Flash or v...
What can you do?
– Make site speed a priority amongst your other
projects.

– Use our free eCommerce Performance Checker
t...
Summit is the UK’s specialist in online retailing. For 13 years we’ve worked
for some of Europe’s most successful retailer...
Resources
Aberdeen Research Group:
http://www.aberdeen.com/aberdeenlibrary/5136/RA-performance-web-application.aspx

Brand...
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£8.5 billion down the drain: the real cost of slow websites to UK retail

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Summit, specialist in online retailing, has conducted an in-depth study into the impact of website speed on some of the biggest retailers.
Our key findings paint a stark picture of lost opportunities.
Our research among 230 UK retailers shows that over 92% are falling behind the industry’s 3-second page load benchmark, while some are running as high as eight seconds or more.
And, for the first time, we show that even the best run retail eCommerce websites are currently throwing away a major source of revenue because their pages aren't loading fast enough to keep the customer connected.
Even more importantly, with 30% of site traffic coming from mobile devices - where internet connections are slower - a fast responsive website is now a necessity to ensure these customers remain engaged and shopping. Summit helps retailers make more money and we help them do it in a variety of ways. We've embarked on this study because we believe that site speed has for too long been designated as a technical issue but the reality is it has a major impact on revenue as well as brand reputation. Speed is therefore a customer service and marketing issue and a topic for the boardroom.

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£8.5 billion down the drain: the real cost of slow websites to UK retail

  1. 1. eCommerce report Q4 2013 £8.5 billion down the drain: the real cost of slow websites to UK retail
  2. 2. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Why is site speed important? 3. Our research 4. Our analysis 5. The results 6. What can you do? 7. About Summit 2
  3. 3. Slow websites will cost UK online retailers £8.5 billion* in 2013 – Summit, specialist in online retailing, conducted an in-depth study into the impact of website speed. 230 UK retailers were tested. 92% failed. – Summit believe that site speed has for too long been designated as a technical issue but the reality is it has a major impact on revenue as well as brand reputation. – With 30% or more of traffic coming from mobile devices it’s never been more important to ensure your ecommerce site is fast. Download the full report * See final slide http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 3
  4. 4. Why is site speed important? A one second delay in page response can result in: Slow page loading can cause: ‒ 75% of online consumers to leave and visit a competitor’s site Of these: ‒ 88% are less likely to return to the site Of these: ‒ 33% will tell others about their unsatisfactory experience (The Gomez Report) http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 4
  5. 5. Our research We tested four pages (home, search, category and product) on each of the 230 UK retail websites using our proprietary site speed testing tool eCommerce Performance Checker. The tests were run during peak and off-peak times, on three different days in one week. Top 230 UK retail websites Top 230 UK retail websites Home|Search|Category|Product Home|Search|Category|Product Saturday Saturday Saturday Peak Peak Off peak Off peak Off peak Monday Monday Monday Peak Peak http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ Off Peak Off Peak Off Tuesday Tuesday Peak Peak Off peak Off peak
  6. 6. Our analysis Results were categorised using a traffic light system: We looked at the average results for: Different page types • • • • Home Search Category Product Different times of day • • • Off-peak Peak Saturday, Monday and Tuesday Different industry sectors http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 6
  7. 7. The results Average site speed across all retailers was 4.71 seconds during peak, 4.10 seconds off-peak, and 4.5 seconds overall. http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 7
  8. 8. The results The average site speeds for each page type were all over the 3-second benchmark, but the product page was particularly slow to load. Average load times: Home: 4.11 Search: 4.80 Category: 4.25 Product: 5.20 http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 8
  9. 9. The results More detailed results can be found in the full report, including: ‒ Average site speed per sector ‒ Average results for peak and off-peak ‒ Average speed per page per sector ‒ The winners – the 8% of retailers who were faster than the benchmark http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 9
  10. 10. Why do pages load slowly? Site speed can be impacted by: Front-end design/build ‒ ‒ ‒ ‒ ‒ ‒ Multimedia such as Flash or video Images that are not optimised i.e. reduced in size for the web Dynamic scripts that are server-intensive Web pages that aren’t compressed Bulky code – this can occur when different developers have worked on a site or various new features have been added over time 3rd party scripts and APIs Hosting ‒ ‒ A shopper’s proximity to your hosting infrastructure can impact on response times Shared web servers where another eCommerce website’s traffic can impact server capacity http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 10
  11. 11. What can you do? – Make site speed a priority amongst your other projects. – Use our free eCommerce Performance Checker tool to check the current speed of your site. – Involve designers, UX, marketing and front-end developers in order to find the right balance between brand, design, user experience and performance. – Visit the Summit website to download the full report and see our blog for tips and tricks to speed up your site. http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 11
  12. 12. Summit is the UK’s specialist in online retailing. For 13 years we’ve worked for some of Europe’s most successful retailers and brands helping them use the internet to attract more customers and make more money. Last year we delivered over £300 million of sales online for our clients. summit.co.uk If you would like to know more about how Summit can help you make more money online call Paul Green on 0203 428 5304 or email paul.green@summitmedia.com For media enquiries please contact Renee Joyce on 0203 428 5309 or email renee.joyce@summitmedia.com http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ twitter.com/summitmedia linkedin.com/company/summit-media youtube.com/user/summituk 12
  13. 13. Resources Aberdeen Research Group: http://www.aberdeen.com/aberdeenlibrary/5136/RA-performance-web-application.aspx Brand Perfect: http://brandperfect.org/online-retail-research-report-november-2012.pdf IMRG/Capgemini Retail Index: http://www.imrg.org/index.php?catalog=302 The Gomez report: http://www.gomez.com/pdfs/wp_why_web_performance_matters.pdf Google: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-searchranking.html Strangeloop Networks: http://www.strangeloopnetworks.com/assets/PDF/downloads/SO-Datasheet.pdf * Average site speed was 4.5 seconds, total industry revenues are assumed at £87bn (IMRG Jan 2013), AOV £77 and conversion rate at 4.5% (IMRG / Capgemini Retail Index Aug 2013). 1 second over the 3-second benchmark leads to a 7% loss of conversion (Aberdeen Research Group). The additional 1.5 seconds leads to a 9.83% impact on conversions, meaning the potential conversion rate if site speeds are 3 seconds would be 4.94%. Assuming orders of 1,240,886,084 in 2013 the potential revenue would be £95.5bn against the projected £87bn http://www.summit.co.uk/slow-ecommerce-website-speed-costs-sales/ 13
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