Retail tech. Quality performance article. Spike quality engineers.

Quality Performance is critical when all customers will tolerate is immediacy

Retail tech. Quality performance article. Spike quality engineers.

Quality Performance is critical when all customers will tolerate is immediacy

Performance and Page Speed remain critical for UK Retailers in 2023. Of course, we know you know that already!

One of the factors in choosing to transform some or all of your retail tech is the recognition that in today’s digital world consumers have more choices than ever before. Identifying any cracks in your tech estate is a given, when lost sales, frustrated customers and damage to customer lifetime values are at stake.

“ Achieving outstanding performance means not only delivering top-notch speed but to drive for a flawless digital experience for customers across the entire journey to purchase, and beyond. Performance is all about end-to-end excellence not just a faster experience.. ”
Michael Forshaw – Head of Performance | Spike

Some key facts to remember as you think about designing your retail tech transformation:

Retail tech. SEO rankings. Retailers need fast experiences.

With the pace of change, UK retailers face immense pressure to optimise their online presence. Performance is a key part of the Quality Vision we recommend retailers begin with (read our Quality Vision article here).

Let’s look deeper and explore why performance and page speed are critical to the success of UK retailers in 2023.

We will delve into:

  • The implications of slow-loading websites,
  • The importance of user experience
  • The impact on conversion rates
  • What to do about it …now and post live
Retail tech. A speedy experience. Performance. 53% of customers will leave if it doesn't load in 3 seconds.

The implications of slow-loading websites

Speed – The Detrimental Effects of Slow-loading Websites

In an era where consumers expect instant gratification, slow-loading websites can have detrimental effects on your bottom line.

Research consistently demonstrates that users have limited patience for delays, with studies indicating that 53% of visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Even a minor delay can result in lost opportunities and potential customers flocking to your competitors’ sites.

Furthermore, search engines have incorporated website speed as a ranking factor, favouring faster-loading sites in search results.

This means that slow-performing websites may struggle to achieve optimal visibility, diminishing organic traffic and hindering the retailer’s overall online presence.

The importance of user experience

Enhancing User Experience for Increased Engagement

User experience (UX) has emerged as a critical factor in driving customer engagement and retention. A seamless and efficient browsing experience is paramount to keep visitors engaged and encourage them to explore further.

Studies reveal that 88% of online shoppers are less likely to return to a website after a negative experience. In contrast, positive experiences result in higher customer satisfaction, increased brand loyalty, and higher conversion rates.

Page speed plays a vital role in shaping user experience.

Retail tech. Brand reputations. Performance - slow sites lose customers. 1 second delay means 7% in conversion decrease.

The impact on conversion rates

Avoiding negative effects on conversion rates

The ultimate goal is to convert website visitors into paying customers, either directly or through an in-store interaction. The correlation between performance, page speed, and conversion rates is well-documented. Various studies indicate that a one-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.

This statistic becomes even more crucial when applied to the context of e-commerce, where every missed opportunity can translate into significant revenue loss.

Additionally, a slow-loading website can negatively impact average order value (AOV).

Research suggests that delays in page loading can lead to a decline in AOV, as frustrated users may abandon their carts or rush through the purchasing process without exploring additional products or upsell opportunities.

Speed and performance. Retail tech. Customer frustration-free experiences. Go live with confidence. Performance. 68% of customers will leave a site if its not up to scratch.

How to solve performance…

How do Spike approach performance excellence with our retail customers?

As you can see above there’s a lot to think about! And this is on top of all the other elements needed to get your new tech live and driving value.

We have a highly focused approach which brings the best customer experience for your retail transformation. We’ve recognised that few retailers have a perfectly blank sheet of paper to work with. So, our position is to get moving, map out and prioritise the tasks, build responsibly and keep future enhancement in mind.

These are the right questions to ask yourself to direct your performance programme most efficiently:

Retail tech check list - quality focus. Go live with confidence. Performance. Quality questions to ask.

The 4 critical areas we will help you with:

Focused Approach | Performance Framework | Platform Performance | Customer Experience

Retail tech - quality focus. Digital Performance. The 4 stages - assess and benchmark.

Focused Approach

To start, establish clear expectations for your first day and initial trading period. Determine the necessary performance level and anticipate any short-term boosts you may need to manage.

Additionally, it is important to define non-functional requirements early on to avoid delays in testing and make it a crucial element of your architectural design.

Retail tech - quality focus. Peak periods. Anticipate sales boosts. Business scenarios for quality retail technology

Performance framework

We have developed an initial model for the go-live and year-one expectations based on the requirements.

Our primary focus is on identifying common user and business scenarios, critical areas such as search, basket, and orders, as well as areas with huge data like promotions and other areas of high traffic.

With this approach, we confidently determine the necessary simulations, environments, and tools required to achieve success.

Retail tech - quality focus. Identify Critical areas. Business scenarios for quality retail technology

Platform Performance

Once we establish a model, we concentrate on targeting individual components or system elements as they are created and test them in chains upon delivery.

To test key components that are not yet fully formed, we often use stubs and mocks. However, our aim is to eliminate these as soon as possible and prioritise building fully formed end-to-end journeys.

It is crucial to test new elements, but we prioritise measuring the end-to-end load and its impact on any old or legacy technology. Having the fastest front end alone is insufficient; we must ensure that our order management and fulfilment systems can handle the load.

Having the fastest front end isn’t much help if your order management or fulfilment can’t cope.

Customer Experience

As mentioned earlier, page speed will delight your customers when they see their new experience and alongside our load measurement, we’ll measure all the critical measures like Google Web Vitals and Lighthouse scores to ensure the front-end experience matches.

Lighthouse Score. Operational Readiness. 5 score evaluation.

Our Last Word

In summary, optimising performance now and in the long term allows you to stay ahead of the curve, meet evolving customer expectations, and drive sustainable growth in the dynamic retail landscape. And don’t stop – keep going – as we say ‘post live – optimise’!

Top 7 Elements you need to protect and enhance through continual optimisation:

  1. Cost efficiency
  2. Enhancing the customer experience
  3. Increasing productivity
  4. Enabling scalability & adaptability
  5. Ensuring data accuracy and insights
  6. Reducing cost & ongoing complexity
  7. Gaining a competitive advantage.

But we will cover more on this soon when we share with you our article on Performance Optimisation.