Gomez research shows that between 25 per cent and 40 per cent of users will abandon a page that does not load in three seconds or less. Many major online retailers, however, continue to see website speed, or latency, of three-to-five seconds from a desktop, and a significant nine seconds for mobile webpages. With the continued migration of shoppers to online and mobile commerce – and every 500-millisecond delay leading to a potential 20 per cent drop in web traffic and potential revenue – companies need to ensure they do not lose customers to poor site performance.The good news is that companies who invest in site optimisation enjoy a 72 per cent reduction in negative customer feedback about site performance and experience. So, what’s the most effective and most feasible way of speeding up a site? One optimisation method deserves particular attention. In order to capture a wider audience, market products, and offer a richer user experience, websites have increased the number of third-party technologies that they deploy on each of their websites and mobile applications. These services provide innovative and necessary functions, and are so varied in their purpose that they are usually added to pages by a combination of marketing, ad operations and web services. However, each tag can add to page latency, which is often an unintended consequence when no single person or department is in charge of deploying tags on a site. Gaining control of sites and apps – and improving performance – can be as simple as continually auditing and streamlining third-party tags. Companies first need to understand which tags are deployed across their environments and how they got there – much of the tracking code a site authorises often ushers in other, unfamiliar tags. Each department deploying tags should be privy to this same information. Then they can reduce the presence of unfamiliar third parties that may be hurting their site and app performance. Top retail sites contain over 100 third-party tags on average, a number that grows each year. While many companies have taken the first steps towards streamlining, such as implementing a content delivery network, these strategies will not be fully effective unless companies are also monitoring all tags across their properties. By doing something as simple as examining the tags deployed across webpages and mobile applications, businesses can create an optimisation strategy that will make for happier holiday shoppers. Amy King is VP of Product Marketing at Evidon.
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