Time to Show Mom Some Love – Was the User Experience Warm and Fuzzy?

Thousands of miles might separate us from Mom, and often we forget to pick up the phone and dial her number. But yet, whenever the month of May sets in and Mother’s Day approaches, we remember that special someone who brought us into this life, or who is mother to our children. Maybe we pick out some flowers or perhaps a gift to send to her to show our love and appreciation.

Did the websites you used show you the same love in return?

Slow shopping experiences can be really frustrating; infuriating in fact if unable to complete a purchase. Providing a great user experience to customers should be number one on your priority list especially if you are part of the online retail industry.

Fortunately, we have only positive data to report. For the past three weeks, we have been monitoring the performance and availability of eight relevant e-retailers by measuring the user experience. We thought we would investigate if high demand for flowers and gifts that usually surges around Mother’s day, has any impact on website performance.

Below are the results for an online interaction that visits the home page, searches for product, and views the product detail.

Response time for websites around Mother's Day

Mother's day website availability

Amazingly there has been very little variance in Web performance or site availability. The results show Etsy outperformed all other sites, with a response time less than 10 seconds, followed by Hallmark with a response time around 12 seconds. Overall, all the websites were available with no trouble. Remember, these response times are for a three-step interaction and not just the home page.

Website performance has a direct relationship with the user experience and business results. There is tons of data that supports this including the oft-quoted Shopzilla example where they improved average page load time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds and experienced a 7-12% increase in conversions and a 25% increase in page views. Another example is the Obama campaigns fundraising website that delivered a 14% increase in donation conversions after achieving a 60% improvement in performance.

What sort of user experience is your online presence delivering? How is your web performance and consistency? There are a number of strategies to help optimize the user experience. If your site is not able to deliver the content during peak moments, then you are decreasing your conversion rates, increasing bounce, lowering pages viewed and time on site.

Here are a few good recommendations to follow:

Benchmarking

  • Quantify what is really going on with your site relative to the direct competition. Look beyond the home page. Pay attention to all of the interactions that lead up to conversion.

Load Testing

  • Prepare your website for demanding amounts of traffic by performing load testing to test and verify the scalability and response profile of your website before peak demand hits.

Third-Party Content Management

  • Remember that you have little control over third-party content; if they have issues your customers and business may suffer. Stick to best practices and load third-party content asynchronously.

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