For e-commerce and online retail, revenue and web performance are inextricably linked. Delays, latency and downtime reduce conversions: Google estimates that every second of extra page load time over two seconds reduces conversions by 7%. It’s why many major brands rely on Varnish software to power their online grocery, clothing and cosmetics stores.
The dominance of e-commerce in the world of retail surged over the past two decades to the point that online shopping is a regular part of daily life, often surpassing real-life retail experiences in convenience, cost and even immediacy: you can find exactly what you want online (no guarantees at your local shop) and have it shipped to you, and in some cases, have it in hand the same or next day. All from the comfort of home, office or wherever you happen to be. I think we’re all pretty used to this.
Mobile web performance is key to meeting the accelerating proliferation of mobile as one of, if not the, most used devices in users’ hands. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that by 2020, smartphone traffic will even surpass PC traffic. While this inevitability unfold, another uncomfortable inevitability is the growing pains that go hand in hand with proliferation. Users expect instantaneous results - waiting time will drive users away: Google research concluded that “when your site or app is clumsy or slow, 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app (...). In fact, of those who switch, 70% do so because of lagging load times.”
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I started writing this post a year ago when 2016 dawned. You know how it is: when a new year begins, we tend to take stock, analyze, reflect and sometimes go back to basics. But we often drop the ball and don't finish everything we start. (What else are New Year's resolutions for?)