The First Step in the Digital Experience Path: Performance

Frankly, you cannot have good customer experience without a highly performant site. Every successful digital experience is facilitated by the performance of the web or mobile application they are using. No one has the patience to complete a transaction or a desired behavior on a site that does not load or has a slow browsing speed. In fact, people won’t even be able to find your site if it does not perform well because Google now considers speed as a ranking factor for both desktop and mobile searches.

The point is that the standard has been set by the fastest sites and customers are willing to abandon any page that does not meet these expectations. Indeed, 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they're less likely to purchase from the same site again. If low performance means users exiting your site, then speed equals conversions, revenue, and loyalty.

GoogleSpeedBenchmarksSource: Google/SOASTA Research, 2017

The good news is that performance can be measured and indeed improved upon with the proper tracking in place. Our recent guide, Delivering Extraordinary Digital Experiences, goes into greater detail about how to improve performance to engage and retain customers, but below are also a few high-level suggestions:

1. Measurement

Since there are many metrics you can track, you should ensure you are choosing those that are most relevant to your users. From page load to time to first meaningful paint, there are several common indicators for performance measurement. It is equally important however to ensure you are able to capture these metrics for every single user session and journey to understand the greater impact on your online experience.  

2. Prioritization

With all of this data in hand, how do you know where to start? A good barometer for prioritization is understanding where performance is having the greatest financial impact. Slow pages during a critical flow, like registration or checkout for example, will likely have larger consequences in relation to conversion and the bottom line than less important areas like slow account management pages.

3. Alignment

Digital performance is a cross-functional responsibility and can be affected, both negatively and positively, by any team. Alignment amongst marketing, IT, product, and operations can help prevent those moments of “we just wanted to deploy one more pixel!” and site performance is accidentally impacted. One way to enforce team syncing is via performance improvement dashboards and reports. By reviewing the same metrics that are tracked against the shared goal, all functions are united in their understanding and accountability.

High-performing sites are not just beneficial but rather crucial in order to meet the expectations of modern consumers. With all the effort placed on building your site, updating products, and launching campaigns to drive traffic, why waste it by ignoring the potential to optimize performance? When it comes to digital business, every second counts.

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