Web performance tuning = 10 % profit increase

Date: 26th March 2010
Author: Deri Jones

OK, I exaggerated, 9% is the actual number.

Sure, we all know our sites could be a tad faster, but its maybe a shock to realise that the evidence all points to the fact that getting your money making User Journeys a little faster, will help your company bottom line so much.

For starters: Looking at one of the major business analysts report , the Aberdeen group – they found 9% was the profit gain from a little hard work in the load testing and performance tuning space across the 158 companies they talked to.

Then there’s the folks like Shopzilla’s Phil Dixon – who made public these findings:

  • redesign resulted in a 5 second speed up
  • speed improvement allowed a 25% increase in page views
  • revenue up by 7-12%
  • 50% less hardware was feasible, because of the code changes

This isn’t really news to us all – as Aberdeen pointed out: less than half (42%) of organizations were satisfied with the performance of their business-critical applications.

Many of those unhappy companies probably have some measure of performance in place.

(If you’re interested, this week there’s a LinkedIn poll on Networking monitoring tools).

If their performance measurement is to use a supplier with only a simple non-dynamic approach to hit a few URLs to load test the site, confidence in knowing exactly what slow downs impact real users is obviously going to be weak.

But web load testing of dynamic journeys generates extra profit margin – that’s good.

It also saves a bunch of everyone’s time.

We have London clients, where the whole team are working flat out – and now that they have hard facts of User Journey performance on the table, they save a whole bunch of time that would have been spent in the past working out what to do, based on incomplete data.

The evidence per User Journey load test makes decisions for them! As we measured the site, confidence in the facts of what and why was hurting their visitors increased.

It gives the C-Level decision makers the evidence that it’s a sound business choice to spend money on improving Journeys 1 and 2 but not on Journey 3 and 4 which are OK.

So there are no vague requests to make the whole website faster- but focused ones that the tech and business teams can agree together, looking at the Journey performance graphs round the table, and pass to the purse-string holders as a combined budget request.

And if the business case doesn’t satisfy you – how about some psychology?

“The bottom line is that people in flow are having fun, and truly enjoying themselves. Interactive speed is a significant factor in all models of user satisfaction. Make your pages load quickly and minimize the variability of delay. Be especially careful to avoid sluggish response after your pages have loaded.”

wrote: Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, (professor at Claremont Graduate University and former chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago) – in his book ‘Website Optimization’.

So however you look at it, UK companies across the board should be looking at the ROI of bringing their web performance activity up to date.