Online Retailers Need to Work on Website Performance: Report

Online retailers need to work hard to match the levels of experience expected by customers, according to a recent report. 

The report, Website Experience Trends That Are Shaping Online Retail, was produced by Martech Alliance in partnership with Siteimprove, using benchmark data from the top 50 online retailers in Australia and New Zealand. 

Like elsewhere around the world, Australia and New Zealand experienced an acceleration in digital transformation, and a huge shift online from consumers. 

The worldwide marketing for ecommerce grew by 27.6% during 2020, and accounted for more than 16% of all retail sales. The shift online, much of which will remain permanent when life returns to normal, underlines the opportunity for retailers. 

Overall customer experience, including website experience, can provide the competitive edge for retailers. A site that is easy to use and accessible whatever device visitors use, and which is easy to buy from is more likely to thrive. 

In addition, a strong on-site SEO strategy ensures that your site can be found by customers, something which is essential when consumer demand is high. 

An effective approach to SEO makes your site more discoverable in the search rankings, and brings more potential customers to you, while a reliable, easy to use, and accessible website means you can convert and retain more of these new customers.

The benchmark data from the report finds that sites have plenty of room for improvement across three key measurements: 

site improve stats

The DCI score here is the overall score for the top 50 retailers across the other three categories. These are: 

  • Quality assurance. A measurement of site experience which covers aspects such as load speed, reduction of errors, and security. 
  • SEO. How well optimised sites are for search engines. This covers basic on-page SEO and performance measured against Google's Core Web Vitals ranking signals, which crossover into UX and site performance. 
  • Accessibility. With almost one in five Australians and 25% of New Zealanders living with some form of disability, inaccessible websites could be excluding millions of potential users and customers.

The report looks into some of the common mistakes made by retailers across these areas, and looks into how retailers can improve website performance. You can download the report here