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Latency; a deadly killer for your mobile conversions

Tony Adams, Cogeco Peer 1

Poor mobile website performance is a revenue killer. This is already well understood in the desktop world. One leading global online retailer calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. Google calculated that, by slowing its search results by just four tenths of a second, it could lose eight million searches each day which means millions fewer ads served up.

An optimised infrastructure and network are the foundations upon which lightning fast speed and next-to-zero latency is built

These figures point in one direction. Dealing with latency is critical in driving customer engagement and enabling an organisation to leverage the growing numbers of people using mobile devices to shop and transact online.

In short, performance is paramount and an optimised infrastructure and network are the foundations upon which lightning fast speed and next-to-zero latency is built. Achieving this level of speed requires a bespoke approach to the underlying infrastructure, and one which takes account of factors such as traffic volumes, geographical location of customers and frequency of traffic peaks.

A good infrastructure partner will take it as a given that not all customers are the same and a tailored approach is required for each. For instance, would a cloud-based service be more suitable than a physical platform? This is a broad issue and one that needs careful evaluation, weighing up relative performance, scalability, connectivity and other factors.

Important considerations

Drilling down into the nitty gritty of latency, there are several further important issues you need to consider such as server optimisation and database configuration. Depending on which platform you are using, whether Magento, Hybris, WebSphere or some other, the operating system, server hardware and databases should be optimised to deliver peak performance.

Firewalls also need to be optimised and configured correctly so they don’t slow down traffic whilst also keeping you totally safe. Similarly, load balancing needs to be considered and architected correctly to distribute peak loads across application and database servers. Added to this is the need for protection against distributed-denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) to keep you up and running in the event of an attack.

Infrastructure optimisation should be a key component of any mcommerce strategy and by factoring the points mentioned above into your mcommerce plans, you’ll be sure of developing a mobile website that is lightning fast, easy-to-use and one that keeps customers coming back.

Key takeaway

Mobile shoppers tend to have less patience. Focus on latency, platform optimisation and load balancing to combat slow loading sites.