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Here's Your Website on Speed: Why Speed Index Matters for Retail

When you're monitoring web performance, it's easy get confused with the deluge of metrics. Learn why page speed index means more conversions.

· Performance Zone

See Gartner’s latest research on the application performance monitoring landscape and how APM suites are becoming more and more critical to the business, brought to you in partnership with AppDynamics.

With the prominence of Internet shopping, one of the most important factors for online retailers is web performance. If you’ve ever run tech support, you’ll know that one of the most frustrating and enlightening pieces of user feedback is: “it’s slow.” Perceived performance allows insight into the customer experience. There’s often a problem with performance monitoring of too much data, leading to franken-monitoring. It’s a situation that fosters a false sense of security. Less data, but more actionable metrics are actually significantly more useful, especially for online retailers.

While web performance is always essential, holiday shopping, such as Black Friday, Christmas, or back-to-school sales present an extra challenge. While there’s a myriad of analytics APMs are able to present, Internet retailers traditionally concentrate on speed index. A lower response time traditionally leads to better sales, which comes as no surprise. We’ve all been there before: if the whole page doesn’t load promptly, you’re back to browsing Reddit.

A lot of factors impact response time, especially due to the prevalence of microservices. Certain plugins can cause a huge delay in response time, a few milliseconds (ms) make a huge different. In this way, online retailers must focus on one of the most integral metrics as online gamers. From browsing a smattering of data from AppDynamics on the top online retailers, there was wide range of response times. Generally, it was anywhere from 6-17 ms. Best Buy’s response time remained pretty constant, and Target’s stayed on target.  

Speed index provides meaningful perspective for companies, giving them analytics they can actually interpret and act upon. AppDynamics has 26 cloud-based agents around the world which make requests to target sites. Crucial information such as server time and performance metrics are gathered, giving businesses greater insight. With mobile retail and speed index, there’s a direct proportion between load-time and conversion rates.

Response time isn’t only important to Internet retailers, though it can definitely impact those businesses the most. It’s also highly valued by news sites, and video sites. One of the best examples of response time is Netflix, where microservices actually can improve response time. Some aspects of the Netflix UI don’t load if it’s taking too long, a nice touch to improve real-time performance. However, microservices like Doubleclick and Blue Kai can significantly impact speed index. No matter what industry, speed index is essential to know in order to continue delivering exceptional results.

The Performance Zone is brought to you in partnership with AppDynamics.  See Gartner’s latest research on the application performance monitoring landscape and how APM suites are becoming more and more critical to the business.

performance,web performance,speed index

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