Few people pause to reflect on the fact that most commercial websites generally do not really live up to their own true potential.
From a marketing point of view, if we simply stop and think about it, websites basically have only two core purposes alone. First and foremost, they really need to be able to represent the brand that is displayed on the web store and secondly, they should also work speedily and flawlessly.
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In other words, a website should be a veritable showcase of the brand’s digital marketing efforts and at the same time it should act to ensure that the erstwhile potential customers actually visit the site should and stay long enough, to become a paying customer or ‘convert’.
As a general rule, the web design industry itself considers a beautiful website that is aesthetically appealing a prerequisite for success, but this is not the only contributing factor.
Unfortunately, not enough attention is paid to other vitally important aspects of any e-commerce related site. That is the inner workings of the site. Few digital marketers concern themselves with what lies under the ‘hood’ or the internal mechanism of a successful website. This is a grave mistake since a site does not open within a few seconds at the very most, browsers will quickly lose interest and thereby find something a tad faster for his tastes. Furthermore, if certain aspects of your website are not optimized then it will be very difficult for your website to rank high on search engine rankings.
o The extreme importance of creating an absolutely reliable and fast website
As a matter of fact, all of the aesthetics and color schemes of the site are secondary to the core operation of your website. Basically, your team will have to focus not only on the design of your website but also it’s overall functionality. There should be a bare minimum of lag time (downtime as it is known in the industry) as far as the site is concerned or your viewers will immediately choose another site.
Many e-commerce websites out there, generally try to opt for a relentless pursuit of content over speed. Now, content is really very important for both holding and also securing the overall interest of the target market. Nonetheless, it is not the sole criterion, as such. As a matter of fact, it is only one of the many important factors that will ensure that a potential customer comes to the site and is successfully guided through the purchase cycle.
Take Sophie&Trey as an example, they have found the perfect balance between an aesthetically pleasing and efficient website. They are in the online fashion boutique and ranking high in search engine rankings and high conversions is an absolute necessity for such online platforms.
o The ever-present need for speed
However, this certainly does not mean that the overall speed of your website is in any way, less important than many other criteria. On the contrary, the faster the website will open and displays its’ many wares, the higher the probability of an eventual conversion.
Moreover, the more popular search engines are now also looking at the functionality of any particular website as a further means of improving its rankings in the search engine’s listings. So if your website meets all of Google’s search and crawling algorithms your site will eventually end up in the ‘holy grail’ of virtually all organic searches in that specific product category.
Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, if you search for anything online, will you trust a website in the second or third page of search engine rankings or the first three? This is the real secret of a high conversion website. The ‘top twenty’ sites displayed by Google, Bing or any other commonly used search engine, whenever a potential customer types in a relevant query. Rest assured there are many tools which can help you evaluate your website’s efficiency and improve on various aspects.
This will certainly not happen if the site is too slow for instance and it will not easily show up in the top rankings of the search engine, per se. This means that various other faster sites that belong to your competitors will subsequently end up with a distinct and duel fold advantage over your e-commerce site. Not only will ‘their’ sites end up being displayed in the top ten searches, but also their markedly faster speeds will effectively mean that the potential customer will not have to wait for very long for the site to load on his device. Therefore, he just might end up buying, even before, he avails any opportunity to browse the other sites or change his purchase decision.
o Latency can really hurt just about any e-commerce business
As a rule of thumb, the slower any website is, the lesser the corresponding chance of the potential customer to be interested enough to try and stay on the site. If the prospect were to actually leave in search of ‘greener pastures’ this is a big loss for your business and by extension, your competitors’’ long term gain.
Why long term? Well, because once a person becomes a loyal customer, then the odds are that they will certainly not want to go through all the extensive hassle of looking for various other sellers and sites that stock the product he or she is interested in. Once the customer believes that they are in good hands they will subsequently continue to shop from the same site.
Or at least till the site crashes or becomes too slow. In the long run, this will go on to mean that the competitor will easily be able to sell his products without paying big bucks on adverts that might be needed to lure the prospect from other sites. This is a very big loss indeed from the revenue point of view and it all stems from a lack of speed and efficiency of the e-commerce website, in question.
In today’s increasingly competitive environment where high-speed 4G devices rule, just about any time lag of even a few short seconds can easily mean the difference between clinching a sale, or losing the same. This is indeed precisely why it is absolutely imperative for anyone in the e-commerce business to be to be able to increase the overall speed of a site as much as possible so that they easily remain well ahead of all of their competition.