Speed matters – because time is money
In the recent years, many companies have been trying their outmost to make everything personalised and filled with all sorts of opportunities. However, many companies are forgetting one key element in the quest for the holy grail (hyper personalisation). The thing that is often overlooked and really underestimated is your webpage speed. Actually, speed is the first impression that you give your customers and unfortunately, too many companies are not leaving a very good first impression. For years it has been a known secret that speed matters – because time is money and every second matters.
The impact of speed
Over the years, there have been several studies that calculated significant increases in business results by just improving 1 single second. If you are a normal commerce site, then improving 1 second will have a significant impact on your conversion rate, your traffic and your marketing cost on Google. These three factors combined mean really big business.
Just to highlight a couple of interesting cases – please note that these numbers below are everything else equal (or Ceteris paribus, as we learned in business school):
- 1 second improvement of the webpage speed increased with 7% the conversion rate for Zalando
- 1 second slower site increased with 10% the bounce rate for BBC
- 1 second faster site improves your Google scores with x points, meaning that you need to pay less for your current google ranking and improve your SEO rank simultaneously
So, speed has a really high impact on your finances, but there are also really positive side effects such as better customer loyalty and frequency due to less friction, meaning that if you are not continuously focusing on your webpage speed, then it is about time…
Why is your webpage slow?
Often, there are many things that drive your webpage performance down, but there are, however, a few that everyone struggles with.
1. Daily work
One of the biggest issues for your website performance is the actual daily work. In a high velocity world, we tend to add and add, without taking things away. The more you add without optimizing or taking something away, the more you will decrease the site’s performance. I love the quote from the French philosopher Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Please apply this to everything from adding new filters to adding more data scripts to new features – greed combined with a busy day job is your worst enemy to high performance.
2. Slow database
The second major root cause for slow webpage performance is often crucial slow databases serving the front end. In a world where every company is hunting hyper personalization, digesting, and serving the right data with speed at the edge is often neglected. We have investigated this problem over the last couple of years, and it was one of the reasons why we start Enterspeed.com. For many years, we and our partners have been working towards optimal speed, but have been hindered by slow databases. Therefore, at Enterspeed, we want to serve everyone with blazing fast data at the edge of their business. In reality, the slower the data base where you put the inquiries when loading your webpage, the fewer customers will actually visit and buy from you.
3. Codebase and architecture
We know from the many years in the industry that many of you are struggling with old legacy systems or customized monoliths that are extremely difficult to scale, particularly because all data streams through the monolith all the way to the front-end/customer. This is bad for performance and security (high risk of hacking). Hence, there is a need to think differently about your architecture, where you serve blazing fast data at the front from many different sources – and then have a new front-end. In this way, you can continue with some of your old systems (no need for upgrade or change) and still enjoy high-performance webpages and have the safe modern architecture. There is a lot of performance to gain with a modern architecture and serving the front end with blazing fast data.
Another key factor in high-performance sites is hosting setup, but most company jumping towards cloud solutions has proven to solve this issue. However, just shifting the codebase to the cloud, will not bring you High Performance – it will only make it easier to add CPU+RAM, but please note that this can be an extremely expensive way to scale. True scalability requires the underlying architecture/software support it. When you go cloud, please revise the speed killers above (1-3), because if these are not in place, it will continue to be a struggle to increase your sales without really deep pockets for marketing to buy expensive traffic as you will have to compensate for the bad site performance.
As mentioned, there are many other things that will decrease performance, however, they really vary from case to case, which is why at Enterspeed, we would like to give you both some pre-consulting on your webpage for free and some in-depth consulting on your webpage for improving your webpage performance significantly, hence also improving your business.
The options to increase speed
Besides taking care of the many obstacles, of which the four main ones are described above, there are some ways to get a faster webpage. One way is the well-known Content Delivery Network (CDN), which is a good option if you want to scale flat (HTML) webpages around the world. In a simple way, you are copying your site on too many servers around the world. However, if you want your personalization, recommendations, search, and filters to work fast, then you need to rethink your approach.
That is why at Enterspeed, we would like to offer a second option. We want to deliver Blazing fast edge data, meaning that we will accelerate your data sources and make the data available at the edge with a good interaction with your front-end. This means fixing performance issues below the surface, while you make your setup safer and faster. Here we sent all your data, everything from CRM data to ERP data to Product data, through a data accelerator and serve data with an excellent API gateway – ready to serve you at the front end. This will enable you to have a modern infrastructure, a safe setup and all the conditions for a fast front end with a different need for CDNs in front and no queue systems in front.