Is a slow website killing your business?
Hands up anyone who likes to wait for ... well, anything? No takers? Of course not, because nowadays we can’t cope with waiting. We can get ice cream in under an hour with Amazon Prime Now, instant unlimited music from Spotify, all-you-can-eat movies from Netflix, super-fast contactless payments, and even instant hot water for your morning brew. As consumers, we no longer have patience. No wonder we’re less good at queuing than we used to be.
And - shocking I know - as business people we’re exactly the same. We don’t suddenly become more patient just because we put on a suit. Instant gratification is what we want, and if your business can’t deliver it, we’ll find one that can.
For your business, this means you need to be able to give people the information, products and support they want quicker than ever before. Your website is a key part of that, and it’s important that it doesn’t let you and your customers down.
Consider these points
- Gone are the days when website visitors would stick around for your fabulous but oh-so-huge background image to load. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, they’ll be on their way back to Google in no time.
- Visitors are using more mobile devices than ever before. More of your prospects and customers will be looking for information when they’re out and they’ll want the fastest possible experience.
- Google cares about speed. They always have, but recently they’ve introduced a new technology called AMP which gives lightning fast pages on mobile devices. We’re already creating AMP sites, and you should be thinking about it. A faster site will feature more frequently and higher up in search results, meaning greater visibility, more clicks, more leads, more business.
It’s easy to improve your page speed, although remember it should be an ongoing process. Tools such as Google Page Speed Insights and GTMetrix will help you identify where you should improve. Pay attention to them, because if you don’t, your business will suffer.
It's not just your website
This “impatience” culture has a bearing on the rest of your business too. Here are some other areas where a high-speed business could race ahead of their competitors.
Done is better than perfect
Time to market is critical, and you can take advantage of your customers’ impatience to ship your products early. Many successful Kickstarter projects show how an unfinished prototype can gain enough market traction to fund further development. Gather feedback, iterate the product and get rich quickly (maybe). But remember Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, and make sure you test just enough before you release. No exploding phones, please.
Smart IT lets you succeed or fail quickly
Integrate your IT systems intelligently throughout your business and out to your suppliers so that you have a real-time view of how things are going. Gather as much data as you can, and be rigorous about analysing it. Learn to identify what’s important to the success of a project, measure it often and act quickly if it’s failing.
Get your product to people fast. If it’s an virtual product (software, music, licence keys) then it should be in people’s inbox immediately. If it’s a physical product get it to people as quickly as humanly possible. Research shows that customers are willing to pay more for same or next day delivery, so do everything you can to offer it.
Keep on top of support
Email is slow…. use Twitter, Facebook Messenger and AI-connected tools to talk to your customers in near real time. But remember, it’s public and probably there forever.
Want to talk?
We design and build amazing software and website products, and we love getting our teeth into challenging projects. Contact us today to see how we can help accelerate your business through intelligent use of technology.