Black Friday’s here to stay, but brands need to consider how they can reap the biggest benefits. Luckily, an inbound marketing campaign can capture this initial interest and turn shoppers into repeat customers. Growth driven design can also help with something that goes over a lot of retailers’ heads: optimising their website to nurture leads, improve conversions and boost overall site speed.
With £1.15 billion expected to be spent online (up 15% on 2016), Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent incredible opportunities for retailers to boost their profits, sell some stock and generate a massive spike in consumer interest in a very short period of time. But how can website speed influence all this?
In fact, site speed is incredibly important. Recent research in the E-Retail Performance Report 2017 suggests that over half of the UK’s retailers don’t have sites that are optimised and ready for the opportunities that Black Friday and Cyber Monday can provide in the short-term. This doesn't bode well for many brands, which are lacking websites that can function as part of a long-term lead generation, sales and growth strategy.
Unfortunately, in the survey looking at performance metrics, 54% of the nation’s top online retailers rated ‘Poor’ - significantly when looking at page loading speed times. By the survey’s standards, a ‘Poor’ rating requires webpages to take approximately nine seconds to load. To some, that may not sound like much at all, but in sales and marketing terms, nine seconds is a pretty big ask.
People are used to immediate online convenience from fast internet connections, data on the move, and smartphones designed to put the entire online world into the palm of their hands. More than half of web users across the globe expect a website to load in two seconds or less, with many getting frustrated and abandoning sites after the third unresponsive second.
Those figures might sound quite astonishing, especially to older retailers with more physical experience, but it’s a sign of the times and a reflection of the demands of today's online shoppers.
A slow site can have pretty serious sales ramifications, too. Poor-performing sites will lose 29% of all potential customers thanks to laborious loading times. The outlook isn’t much better for those just under the nine-second mark either; those rated with ‘Fair’ site performance (taking between six and eight seconds to load) also risk losing out on approximately a quarter of all potential customers, according to the E-Retail Performance Report.
In fact, a huge 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from that site again in the future. Meanwhile, a one-second delay in page load times could see a 7% reduction in conversions, according to Hubspot. This shows just how much pressure retailers are under to optimise and maintain their site’s performance, in order to improve overall sales potential and realise their growth ambitions.
With only 2% of the UK's top online retailers having a site that loads in under four seconds, this also represents an excellent opportunity for smaller brands with loftier growth ambitions to build and maintain a site designed and dedicated to customers, helping them find whatever they need as efficiently as possible.
No site or business is ever the same, but working with an inbound marketing agency can help to implement efficient and highly effective lead generation and nurturing workflows to match your unique growth ambitions.
Inbound marketing can also take a holistic approach to web design. Growth driven design (GDD) is HubSpot's answer to traditional website woes. A simple launchpad website makes it quick, simple and cost-effective to get your business online. From there, you can begin measuring, analysing and testing what works best for your visitors, once again minimising risk and maximising results.
GDD's focus on continual development can also help to improve website speed, performance and conversions. All this can allow you to attract better leads, capture more relevant data and build relationships with customers that truly matter to your success.
Black Friday or otherwise, GDD can not only improve the performance of your site, but also improve the perception of your overall brand in the eyes of consumers, as a place where their needs are fulfilled as quickly as possible. Find out how we can help the performance of your website and overall conversions, speak to the Six & Flow team today.