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The need for speed in eCommerce – Top tips for your business

As eCommerce has boomed over the last few months, I looked at what the future holds for this part of the digital ecosystem.

If you are anything like me one of my biggest interruptions during my time spent working from home has been the doorbell going, followed by my dog barking, when yet another online purchase arrives at my door!

As consumers increase their time at home during the pandemic, in the UK we have seen a rapid expansion of eCommerce and subsequent acceleration in the pace at which businesses are looking to transform their online and offline activities. At MediaCom Edinburgh we have seen this first hand as a new client to the agency, Harviestoun Brewery, launched their own e-commerce platform in April this year and have recently started advertising online.

User experience is at the heart of driving eCommerce and consumers are impatient online! As more clients look towards eCommerce solutions, I wanted to talk about the importance of why speed is vital in this arena. As 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.

Mobile dominates shopping online,  and whilst traditional bricks and mortar stores look to expand into this area, mobile should be at the forefront of this journey. 25% of UK adults who purchase physical goods prefer using a smartphone showing the influences mobile has on both online sales and purchase decisions in-store. The rise of customer expectations and increasing use of smartphones with the most competitive brands providing the best mobile experiences.

For me speed is vital, I regularly leave items in a basket if the site is not fast enough and I do almost all of it from my mobile. But don’t just take my word for it, in a new study commissioned by Google and conducted by Deloitte they investigated the need for speed across a range of sectors and mobile sites. The results showed that as little as 0.1 second change in mobile speed can have a positive effect on business results and influence every step of the user journey.  Most importantly a 0.1 second change in load time increased conversion rates by 8% for retail sites and by 10% for travel sites on average.

It is not just about driving conversion rates, the study also showed that the average order value increased by 9.2% on retail sites with faster load times. However, in travel sites, a simpler mobile experience can make it easier for users to make choices when given multiple options. And in high-value purchases, consumers are sometimes reticent to complete transactions online and prefer to make an appointment and buy-in-store.

MediaCom has highlighted e-commerce as one of the biggest growth areas for the year ahead estimating that e-commerce-related advertising will expand by 45% this year and another 66% next year on the way toward £2.2 billion in advertising revenue for media owners by 2024. Innovations in technology will help hybrid business models featuring purchases online with click and collect in-store become significantly more common going forward.

Top tips for eCommerce

  • Think like a customer, consider every single part of their journey.  We are all more time pressured and our mobiles are with us 24/7, we all get distracted easily so we need to make it simple and fast.
  • Consider payment options and integrations, digital wallets are on the rise
  • Look at your competitors and market leaders to improve your service.
  • Don’t be complacent, you must keep going as more and more companies develop their offerings it is a race to the top!
  • Explore your options with direct to customer and social commerce and of course online retail platforms like Amazon.

Read more think articles here.

Article Sources and additional supporting information:

GroupM – This year next year

Google – Think with Google mobile page speed

Google – Test your site

Deloitte – Milliseconds make millions

MediaCom – eCommerce Lockdown & Beyond, Insights and Trends

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