Business impact of high performance
Alistair Croll adds more evidence to the business case for high performance web sites in his blog post Proof that speeding up websites improves online business. This was the primary theme of Velocity 2009, and major web destinations shared their business case studies, including Bing, Google, and Shopzilla. Alistair rounds out the stats by answering the question: How big an impact does performance optimization have on the business metrics of a typical media or e-commerce site?
Alistair worked with his friends at Strangeloop Networks to gather the data. Strangeloop makes acceleration appliances that automatically optimize dynamic web apps in real time. They left the appliance off for half of the visitors and turned it on for the other half, and compared the differences. Some highlights from what they found:
- pages per visit grew from 11.04 to 15.64
- time spent on the site went from 23:50 to 30:10
- conversion rate increased 16.07%
- order value increased 5.51%
In addition to these metrics, we have data that shows improving web performance reduces operating costs. In his talk about Shopzilla’s performance improvements (video, slides), Phil Dixon mentions that the number of servers required to run their site dropped in half. Netflix’s outbound traffic dropped almost 50% as a result of the work done by Bill Scott and his team.
Web Performance Optimization improves user and business metrics. WPO also decreases operating costs by reducing hardware requirements and bandwidth, which in turn reduces carbon footprint. It’s a win on all fronts. We’re going to see even more case studies on the positive impact of performance optimization, and as a result, the interest in learning more about this field will continue to grow. In addition to speaking at Øredev, Fronteers, and JSConf.eu, I’m organizing a few other performance meetups in the next few months. Watch my blog for announcements.