“Time is money” is not just a phrase when it comes to performance, every second can precisely be converted into revenue. So what kind of financial impact would it potentially have on any application, website or services?
What is Performance?
In software engineering, performance testing is in general, a testing practice performed to determine how a system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a particular workload. It can also serve to investigate, measure, validate or verify other quality attributes of the system, such as scalability, reliability and resource usage.
Website performance, strengthened by the user experience, is affected by a wide range of causes from page layout, to interface design, calls to action, and on page content. Site and page load speed is highly important element and if not considered and improved accordingly would impact heavily on search engine optimisation, commitment, brand advocacy, and conversion levels.
Slow site speed also affects Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google has recently announced its site speed update algorithm. From July 2018, site speed will also be a ranking factor for mobile searches. This means that now to have relevant content and a fast loading website are required in order to be ranked higher. Google, understandably, considers the slow loading website as a detriment to user experience, thus reducing the ranking. Slow site speed has a direct impact on how Google positions and compares to competitors. Other search engines such as Bing have also announced that they will be taking speed into their consideration in terms of ordering search results. If pages loads faster, Google will notice that more people are spending time on which website, thus driving more traffic to that website, leading to increase in conversion rates.
Internet speed and hardware has improved dramatically over last decade. Nonetheless, with more expectations from the website and beginning of complex web technologies, web pages size are continually increasing, are also been heavier (the average page is around 3MB) as a result, websites have slowed down overall, resulting in a worse user experience.
Every second of delay time transforms into possible dollars lost. Mostly online pages don’t operate on the same scale, but understand the undesirable influence that every second of lag or downtime can potentially have on sales. To get a better realization of the different natures of impact that every second of delay can have on sites, below are some of the stats that are worth reviewing:
- It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about a website that determines whether they like the site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.
- First impressions are design-related and a study found that 94% of negative website feedback was design related.
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
- 85% of adults think that a company’s website when viewed on a mobile device should be as good as or better than its desktop website.
- 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.
- 70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage.
- 47% of users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an average website.
- 46% of consumers based their decisions on the credibility of websites on their visual appeal and aesthetics.
- 39% of e-retailers claimed they lost money last year due to performance or stability problems
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive or take too long to load.
- 24% of online shoppers abandoned shopping carts because a website crashed
- Cutting just 3 seconds off load time generates a revenue increase of 7-12%
- Increased page load time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds and increased revenue by 12% and page views by 25%
- Users spend an average of 5 To 6 seconds looking at a website’s main image or written content.
- It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. (InternetLiveStats, 2018). Consider that Google once experienced a 20% drop in traffic because of an extra 0.5 second in load time. Along the same lines, Amazon once ran A/B tests in which they delayed pages in increments of 100 milliseconds. It is found that even small delays resulted in “substantial and costly” decreases in revenue. These are most renowned and reputable sites and if users are not keen to wait, then maybe won’t wait for any other websites for an extra second to load. Eventually, users want to have a satisfying experience when they visit a website, a fast loading site on any device and any connection indicates quality.
Fractions of a second increase in load time results in increased bounce rate and decreased revenues (100ms increase in latency = 1% reduction in sales according to Amazon). Google’s experiments in this area showed that user traffic took months to recover after they deliberately slowed page load times for certain users.
Every 1 second delay in load time results in 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. According to Strangeloop, 57% of consumers will leave the website after waiting 3 seconds for the page to load; it has a direct impact on the conversion rate, revenue and brand image.
If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day and slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.5 million in lost sales each year.
Below are some more methods that can lead to a better website performance
- Optimize CSS delivery
- Optimization Conversion Rate
- Optimization Search Engine
- Prioritize above-the-fold content (lazy loading)
- Choose the right hosting option as per needs
- Run a compression audit
- Enable compression
- Enable browser caching
- Minimize time to first byte
- Reduce server response time
- Reduce image sizes
- Reduce the number of plugins in the website
- Reduce redirects
- Reduce external scripts
- Upgrade Hardware
- Database tuning
Overall it is important to have continuous monitoring of the page to ensure optimum performance.
All the above statistics prove that time is a critical factor for an optimum performance of a website. Slow loading sites can lead to fewer/loss of customers, conversions, and an overall bad influence on sales. Websites are expected to load faster without a millisecond of a delay.
Eventually, a quicker site translates to a much better user experience resulting in better search results and more page views.
Time is money! A simple reduction in load time and reduction in response time can create a substantial change in revenue.
Viren Bhanushali is has more than 18 years of experience in Software Testing, with 10 years’ experience on Performance Testing and Engineering on different domains like ERP, Education, Supply Chain, Insurance, Healthcare and Logistic. Currently working as Performance Test Architect in Capgemini