We look at how performance affects shoppers as they move throughout the purchase funnel. Since the shopper journey can be quite nonlinear, we looked at micro-conversion rates for the cart (converting from initial browsing pages to cart page), the checkout (converting from cart pages to checkout), and the purchase page (checkout pages to purchase).
Load times have a varying impact on movement down the last few funnel stages. The largest dropoff is in shoppers going from browsing pages to cart, and anything more than a second of wait time will highly impact the number of shoppers who proceed to the cart stage.
There is a higher tolerance for page load times for shoppers who have made the commitment to go to the checkout and then make the purchase, but the checkout is not a place to ignore when it comes to the shopper journey, as we have seen with the results of A/B testing.
A/B testing performance
We A/B tested faster performing Progressive Web Apps (PWA) against the slower responsive versions of websites. The results differed depending on if the PWA was implemented across the entire site (home to checkout) versus just part of the site (home to cart, with checkout still being responsive).
The conversion rates increased across the board when the full journey PWA was compared to the responsive site. However, when retailers only implemented a PWA experience from home to cart, the results weren’t as positive.
Provide a fast, unified experience
Shoppers expect a unified customer experience. If they get a fast, app-like experience up until the cart, then the slower responsive checkout experience, the slow performance can be even more apparent (and unpleasant).
A great way to think about this is to visualize shopping in a physical store. Retailers need to strategically merchandise the products, optimize the sales team and fitting room experience, and make sure the journey to pay is efficient.
It’s the whole shopping experience that matters, not just one part of it — and it’s the same thing online. You can’t optimize only one part of the site and expect it to have an impact on the whole experience.
For more insights on performance, download the full 2019 Q1 Mobile Commerce Insights Report.