But before you crack out the champagne to toast the winners, let’s take a closer look at what’s not revealed in the report:
- The report includes no disclosure of the financial investment in the systems delivering these super-fast performance and response times. We all know that it costs money to throw hardware at a performance problem or bottleneck. Perhaps these companies just spent loads of money to make it into the top-ten. Or did they employ #wpo practices to optimize the sites?
- Although the report doesn’t include directly observed qualitative assessment of the websites, it does reference a 2010 study of a 57% abandonment rate for sites with over 3-second page load time. Specifically absent is any reference to the conversion rate measured by these top-ten websites during the timeframe of Strangeloop’s testing in November. Is slower more profitable?
- Aside from pointing out that the page sizes are getting bigger and more complex, it would be helpful to understand the efficacy of the end-user experience. Was the extra size worth it? Is bigger better? Did customers notice the upgraded experience?
- The “repeat view load time is 20% slower” means that while #wpo techniques work to improve the the initial loading of a web page, there is less attention to the repeated loading of the same page. Does this indicate a misaligned optimization for browser caching? Did any websites require repeated loading as part of their shopping cart processing?
- “The average page load time is 10.0 seconds. (Median load time is 8.4 seconds.)” According to the 3-second threshold listed above, our E-commerce industry’s average conversion rate is considerably less than 30% – nowhere near our full potential.