July 14, 2022
The more efficiently a website loads, the better it is for a brand’s bottom line, according to a new report from software company Contentsquare.
Ultimately, consumers do not like waiting for anything, especially for a website to load, with Google even reporting that as a page load time goes from 1 second to 5 seconds, the probability of a visitor abandoning the site increases by 90 percent. Luckily, several luxury brands have implemented quick and efficient websites, including Montblanc and Cartier, which received top rankings on the Fast 100 list.
“Not only does Google reward websites for having a fast loading speed, but it also rewards for higher engagement and click-through, and for lower bounce rates,” said Robin Allport, head of website performance at Contentsquare, in a statement.
“Having a faster website helps with all these metrics, and should be non-negotiable for a successful online experience.”
The Fast 100 ranking stemmed from Contentsquare speed analysis technology using YouGov’s most popular brands from the fourth quarter of 2021, selecting the most popular brands across luxury, home goods/furnishings, specialty retail, fashion and grocery.
A quick delivery
Consumers will contemplate abandoning a brand’s website — and in turn, a purchase — if the site does not load quickly, is not responsive or is difficult to operate. Contentsquare’s Fast 100 report listed the United Kingdom’s most popular websites according to their site performance.
Thirteen brands listed in the report exhibit a loading time of under 1.0 seconds, with the fastest speed coming in at 0.26 seconds which is sizably shorter than the recommended 2.5 seconds.
Seventy percent of the websites tested loaded in under 2 seconds, which is below the target metric for site speed.
Too many moving images or blocks of text can be confusing and cause negative impacts on brands. Sudden image moves or text changes can be referred to as a cumulative layout shift.
Six brands came in joint first place for having the lowest CLS, including Italian fashion house Versace, Argos, Peacocks, Greene King, WH Smith and Issey Miyake. All first-place brands have a CLS score of 0, reflecting that no parts of the pages were shifting as they loaded.
Four of the top ten brands listed in the Fast 100 came from the luxury sector.
German luxury goods maker Montblanc came in number one; Richemont-owned jeweler Cartier ranked third; French fashion house Saint Laurent came in seventh; French fashion label Jean Paul Gaultier came in at number eight.
The top five brands with the highest performing sites overall included Montblanc, Co-Operative Group, Cartier, Farmfoods and Whole Foods Market.
Cannot ignore reality
As time goes on, more research emerges showing just how damaging slow site speed can be for brands.
As consumers double down on ecommerce, luxury brands and retailers must be cognizant of site speed as a critical factor in converting a sale.
According to 2021 findings from cloud platform and optimization services company Yottaa, has released new data after measuring the experience and conversion impact of site speed across an array of ecommerce sites. Its Site Speed Standard benchmark indicates that an expeditious website experience can pay off for brands (see story).
Yottaa also found in 2019 that 90 percent of shoppers have left an ecommerce Web site because it did not load as quickly as expected. While high-quality imaging is crucial to luxury brands and retailers, slow site speed greatly impacts consumers’ user experience (see story).
“Site performance greatly impacts the customer journey and is a key factor in the overall customer experience,” said Duncan Keene, UK managing director at Contentsquare, in a statement.
“Poor website speed can completely derail an otherwise inspiring digital experience, and with the global bounce rate at 50 percent across industries, it has never been more important for brands to make a good first impression.”