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Overstock.com Shares Best Practices for Balancing User Experience with Site Speed
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Overstock.com Shares Best Practices for Balancing User Experience with Site Speed

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Online retailers are faced with a difficult challenge today – the balance between a rich customer experience and the speed of their websites. While a rich experience drives more traffic, conversions ...

Online retailers are faced with a difficult challenge today – the balance between a rich customer experience and the speed of their websites. While a rich experience drives more traffic, conversions and revenue, it can also cause an increase in page load time, which has the opposite effect – increased abandonment rate and lower conversions.

This challenge is further complicated by today’s modern applications that are dynamically assembled at the edge of the Internet or carrier network, in the user’s browser or mobile application. Web 2.0 code frameworks, mobile native and streaming applications, third-party and cloud services, smartphones, tablets, browsers, operating systems, ISPs, can increase complexity and page weights that can decrease site performance and compromise the end user experience.

Our featured speaker, Carter Lee, vice president of technology administration, Overstock.com, shared Overstock.com’s best practices for balancing user experience with site speed.

Overstock.com’s Lee and Compuware's CTO, Steve Tack, discussed how Overstock.com:

• Tames the challenges of modern Web 2.0 application delivery
• Measures and optimizes performance at the edge of the Internet
• Delivers robust content to customers without impacting the performance of web pages
• Balances shopping experience (to drive revenue) with site speed

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  • Challenges of Modern Web, Mobile & Cloud AppsOverstock.com Top 5 Best Practices:Balance user experience with site speedTest performance vs business goals before going liveMaster complexity at the edge of the internetOptimize user experience by deviceFocus on key user experience metricsQ&A
  • Applications have become:mobile and distributedreliant on third partiescloud-basedincreasingly complex and fragile
  • Last updated or created: April ‘11Key themes:major change #3: the Cloud has arrivedTalk trackIf it wasn’t complicated enough to have the data center and the web be more complex, now we also have the cloud as part of the equation.More and more companies are moving some or all of their applications to a private or public cloud. And that certainly changes the way you do APM – the cloud is opaque, so you can’t monitor its inner workings, and the cloud is shared, so you need to be careful that someone else’s app is not making yours slow.THIS is today’s app delivery chain. Far more complex than just a few years ago.
  • If dissatisfied with website performance 40.3% of smartphone users are unlikely to visit the site again26.8% of smartphone users are less likely to purchase from that company – across all channels
  • Browser/device releases are acceleratingHTML5 & client-side tech is evolvingSmartphones & tablets are changing customer/employee engagement modelsTALKING POINTSClient side evolution in graphic aboveNetwork evolution – IPv6vsIPv4
  • Visibility through smart monitoring and alertingDynamic optimization3rd party accountability and hold third-parties accountable, automate the removal of offending parties (e.g. ads, tracking pixels)3rd party relationships and SLAs
  • Tablet users represent a coveted audienceAverage order value (AOV) for tablets is significantly higher than other ecommerce channelsAccording to leading retailers tablet users spend 50 percent more than PC usershave higher average order values (AOV)have higher conversion rates

Overstock.com Shares Best Practices for Balancing User Experience with Site Speed Overstock.com Shares Best Practices for Balancing User Experience with Site Speed Presentation Transcript

  • Carter Lee - Vice President of Technology, Overstock.comSteve Tack –APM CTO, CompuwareTwitter: smtack
  • Agenda • Trends and application delivery challenges • 5 Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed 2. Test performance vs. business goals before going live 3. Master complexity at the edge of the Internet 4. Optimize user experience by device 5. Focus on key user-experience metrics2
  • Trends Driving a New Best Practice Approach Complexity Explosion Business Demands Increasing More features! Faster delivery! Faster performance! User Expectations Continue to Rise Do More With Less Workload Staff and budget3
  • Performance Challenge #1 The Application Delivery Chain The Application Delivery Chain Data Center Cloud: Private and Public Users Web Mobile App logic Database Network ISPs Mobile carriers Browsers Mainframe Virtualization SOA CDNs Third party services Devices AJAX JavaScript Mobile apps CustomersApplication EmployeesInfrastructure 4
  • Performance Challenge #2 The Application Performance Lifecycle • Business demands are increasing • Applications are changing rapidly • Too many dev/test iterations • Too long to deliver and repair Business Development Test Production5
  • The Answer: Adopt a User Point of View Across the Lifecycle Application Point of View that Starts with the End User Data Center Cloud: Private and Public Users Web Mobile App logic Database Network ISPs Mobile carriers Browsers Mainframe Virtualization SOA CDNs Third party services Devices AJAX JavaScript Mobile apps CustomersApplication Application EmployeesInfrastructure 6
  • Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed
  • Balance User Experience with Site Speedmany opportunities… but, who makes the call? …social networking …recommendations …reviews …smartphones, tablets …targeted ads …frequent releases8
  • Balance User Experience with Site Speedmany opportunities… but, who makes the call? …social networking …recommendations and reviews …smartphones, tablets …targeted ads …frequent releases9
  • Website Performance Impacts Business Results10
  • Marketing and IT Alignment Needed Major US retailer trumpets thelaunch of new mobile site to meet rising customer expectations New site doesn’t follow mobile performance best practices resulting in 2X response time 11
  • Marketing and IT Alignment • Establish common goals and metrics across stakeholders • Balance richness, revenue and speed • Too much of a good thing is too much – over-use can reverse results12
  • Collaboration IT and Marketing alignment Technology focused departments Blended goals and metrics13
  • Establish common goals and metricsacross stakeholders Fully realized potential End-Users Business Technology Owners Owners14
  • Balance richness, revenue andspeed15
  • Too much of a good thing… Over-use of successful solutions Bloated page weights Increased load times Incremental value ? Reversal of original results16
  • Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed 2. Test performance vs. business goals before going live
  • Test Performance vs. Business Goals Before Going Live Development Test Production Integration Loadtesting/Staging Production Challenges: • More change faster due to increased release cycles • Architectures getting more complex – problems harder to isolate and resolve • More blind-spots caused by modern apps – Web 2.0, virtualization, cloud… • Speed and interactivity now matter – the user perspective is primary, no longer secondary 18
  • Does Our Site/App Perform As Expected During Peak Traffic Conditions?19
  • Can Your Apps Handle an 1,800 Percent Spike in Traffic?20
  • Performance Testing • Test and optimize performance early and often • Understand conversion objectives and ensure performance matches before launch/go live • Create ultra-lightweight pages for one time promotions/events21
  • Pre-deployment Set sales & Test the Analyze and performance impact tweak objectives22
  • Lightweight pages for one-time events Not business as usual Window of opportunity23
  • Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed 2. Test performance vs. business goals before going live 3. Master complexity at the edge of the Internet
  • Master Complexity at the Edge of the Internet Browsers Code Devices Native Applications Local ISPs and Carriers Third Party Services25
  • Pace of Change is Increasing 26Source: modified version of evolutionofweb.appspot.com
  • The Browser/App Has Become the Integration PlatformAverage umber of hosts accessed by the browser across the GomezUS Sports Mobile Website Performance Benchmark 12
  • 3rd Party Services Can Cause Significant Web & AppPerformance Issues Facebook issues contributed to load time spikes for a number of top US mobile websites
  • Complexity at the Edge • Gain visibility into user access choices with smart monitoring and alerting • Resolve issues when (before) they surface with dynamic optimization • Hold third-party providers accountable in real-time and with SLAs29
  • Dynamic route optimization Multiple carriers Packet / TCP Optimization30
  • Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed 2. Test performance vs. business goals before going live 3. Master complexity at the edge of the Internet 4. Optimize user experience by device
  • Web Traffic From Tablets Is Growing Fast Average Order Value “On average, retailers surveyed by Calendar 2011Forrester report that 21 percent of their mobile traffic comes from tablets, withseveral companies anecdotally reporting figures north of 50 percent.”Sucharita Mulpuru, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research 32
  • Users’ Web Performance Expectations Are High – No Matter What Device/Browser/Technology Percentage Of End-Users Which Expect A Website To Load In 3 Seconds Or Less 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 89% 83% 40% 30% 59% 20% 10% Survey date = 2012 Survey date = 2011 Survey date = 2009 0% Tablet Smartphone PCSource: Compuware APM; Forrester Research
  • Embrace A Unified Application PerformanceManagement Approach• Mobile websites and applications often share backend infrastructure and services with existing web apps• Important to leverage established and common best practices, metrics and technologies for both mobile and web channels – Garner operational efficiencies – Identify mobile specific problems, web specific problems or both across the entire application delivery chain - from device to datacenter iPad & Safari iPhone & Safari iPhone App Windows 7 & Chrome
  • Mobile Optimization • Analyze user behavior across device types • Mobile is not equal; plan for the differences between tablet and smartphone35
  • Impact of Tablets vs. the PC • Be prepared, don’t adapt slowly to rapid trends • Tablet-optimized sites (real estate, gestures, etc.) • Adapt metrics and testing scenarios36
  • Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed 2. Test performance vs. business goals before going live 3. Master complexity at the edge of the Internet 4. Optimize user experience by device 5. Focus on key user-experience metrics
  • What Are Our Real End-Users Web And Application Experiences? Understand end-user performance satisfaction across geographies, networks and devices38
  • How Does Our Site And Application Performance Impact The Business? Identify mobile site & app performance issues & their impact on conversions Correlate the impact ofperformance to conversions for mobile apps and sites39
  • How Does Our Mobile Site’s Performance Compare ToThe Competitions’? End-users’ mobile performance expectations are in part shaped by experiences with other sites & apps
  • Focus on Key User Experience Metrics Determine What to MeasureEnd-user perspective: • What they do (key transactions) • Where they do it (geographic locations) • How they do it (browsers and mobile devices)Measure the business impact 41
  • Focus on Key User Experience Metrics Determine What Determine Key to Measure MetricsEnd-user perspective: Business Metrics: • What they do (key transactions) • Conversions • Where they do it (geographic • Abandonment locations) • Competition • How they do it (browsers and • Customer Satisfaction mobile devices) • Revenue per transactionMeasure the business impact • Cost of downtime Technical Metrics: • Speed or Response Time • Perceived Render Time • Availability or Success Rate • Consistency / Variability • Bytes Transferred • Efficiency 42
  • Focus on Key User Experience Metrics Determine What Determine Key to Measure MetricsEnd-user perspective: Business Metrics: • What they do (key transactions) • Conversions • Where they do it (geographic • Abandonment locations) • Competition • How they do it (browsers and • Customer Satisfaction mobile devices) • Revenue per transactionMeasure the business impact • Cost of downtime Technical Metrics: • Speed or Response Time • Perceived Render Time • Availability or Success Rate • Consistency / Variability • Bytes Transferred • Efficiency 43
  • Focus on Key User Experience Metrics Optimize App Determine What Determine Key Performance and to Measure Metrics User ExperienceEnd-user perspective: Business Metrics: • Problem Resolution • What they do (key transactions) • Conversions • Performance Improvement • Where they do it (geographic • Abandonment • Production Readiness locations) • Competition • Performance Reporting • How they do it (browsers and • Customer Satisfaction mobile devices) • Revenue per transactionMeasure the business impact • Cost of downtime Technical Metrics: • Speed or Response Time • Perceived Render Time • Availability or Success Rate • Consistency / Variability • Bytes Transferred • Efficiency 44
  • Best Practices 1. Balance user experience with site speed 2. Test performance vs. business goals before going live 3. Master complexity at the edge of the Internet 4. Optimize user experience by device 5. Focus on key user-experience metrics
  • Questions And Next StepsCompuware Customers EnjoyMeasurable Benefits• Increased revenue 25%• Reduced revenue loss by 92% and $737,251 annually• Reduced home page load time from 11.3 seconds to 3.4 seconds• Saved 50%+ in staff and fees• Reduced downtime 45%• Improved first-hour problem resolution rate to 80%• Improved annual troubleshooting efficiency by 97%, saving $784,000• Reduced SAP license costs by $475,000 per year For more information visit Compuware.com or contact us at +1 781.778.2700
  • THANK YOU