Setting up Site Speed Reporting

Thinking about site speed and performance for your Shopify store should get you excited. While the idea of investing time and money may make you cringe, the impact on eCommerce sites directly correlates to conversion and bottom line. Now we’re back to exciting!

If you’re still unsure wether or not to invest into site performance improvement, here are some insightful stats from industry leading CDN service provider Akamai:

  • A 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent
  • A two-second delay in web page load time increase bounce rates by 103 percent
  • 53 percent of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load

Source:
Akamai Online Retail Performance Report: Milliseconds Are Critical
 Akamai April 19, 2017

How to measure Progress, the Apples to Apples Way

Before you jump into making major development changes, you should first set up a proper way to measure progress. There are hundreds of ways to measure site speed…

…as well as hundreds of ways to interpret the results. There’s calculated site speed, which testing tools use to grade your site, and interpreted site speed, which your customer perceives as to how fast and responsive your site is. While the former might help SEO and please the higher-ups, the latter impacts bounce rate and conversion. Make sure to establish your goals accordingly.

Find a measurement tool with consistent results. We currently use the Pingdom Subscriber Account (pingdom.com) as they average out a full week’s site speed analysis to create more consistent results.

When you’re measuring your progress, make sure you are testing the same factors like page load, size, number of server requests, against the same types of pages including the homepage, product listing page, product page, using the same measurement technique. In our case, we’re using Pingdom weekly averaged reports. This will help normalize your data significantly. If you’re curious, try sending your site through several different online site speed tools to note the difference in results.

Creating a Site Speed Budget

What exactly is a site speed budget? In simple terms, it’s the measurable performance limits and goals you set for your site in the long term. Measurable limits include page load time, the number of server requests, and the total page size. Just like the stock market, your site speed will jump up and down in the short-term, but the long-term trend line should be sending you in the right direction. This is where a Site Speed Budget is important. It will help you make sense of your results in the long run, and helps you catch pitfalls along the way. There are plenty of resources online that show you how to write such a report, such as the one below.

Key CDN – How to make a Performance Budget

With eCommerce sites, it’s useful to compare several sections of your site like the Homepage, Product Listing Page, Product Page, and Checkout. When creating the report, it is useful to add columns for critical (a low performing speed that should not be passed), budget (a realistic site speed goal to attain), and stretch goal (a lofty goal to aim for).

Sticking to your Budget

Let’s say you created your budget, but due to some new features deployed to your site, performance takes a dip. Here are three options that will help you get back on track. Try to be strict with these, they’re not always easy to enforce.Don’t Break the Bank on your Budget. Optimize, Delete, or Hold

  • Optimize: Optimize an existing feature or asset on the page
  • Delete: Remove an existing feature or asset from the page
  • Hold: Don’t add the new feature or asset

Make Reporting and Recommendations part of your Routine

Since you now have reporting on lock, and a solid site speed budget to reference, you can leverage this new setup to perform regular reviews. In our case, we add a task every two weeks to review current standings, compare them to the last report, and make recommendations for improvements.

Reports will be easy to pull, and will set you up for the following abilities:

  • Identify current averaged site speed
  • Pinpoint any downswing in performance
  • Review recent deployments that might have had an effect on performance
  • Make new recommendations for improvements
  • Evaluate costly features that could be sacrificed
  • Celebrate wins!

Now that you have a budget, a proper way to track, and a plan to report on your findings, it’s time to start making improvements. As the second part of this series, I will be highlighting specific actions you can take to help improve site speed and performance for your Shopify store. Stay tuned!

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Razy 18/05/2019 0 Comments

Facebook Remarketing – 4 Myth About It

Facebook remarketing strategies are often overlooked by retailers who may be uneasy about using Facebook advertising.

The platform has had its fair share of scandals and many retailers have subsequently had many misconceptions regarding the platform and how it uses data, so we fully understand that many retailers are wary.

However, whilst there are many valid concerns about using some features on Facebook, there are also some common myths that we hear often. Here are 4 myths about Facebook remarketing:

Myth 1: Remarketing Is Too Expensive for My Store

Remarketing is actually an incredibly effective strategy in improving your ROI.

You can target existing customers, website visitors and those who’ve added to cart specifically. These targets are naturally more likely to convert compared to cold audiences – ensuring a high ROI.

While Facebook advertising may seem expensive initially, it is in fact a cost effective way to optimise your store in a number of different ways, including helping to expand your customer base, increasing website traffic and boosting conversion rate.

Myth 2: Remarketing Will Drive Away My Customers

Customers don’t like to be bombarded with too much at once, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re targeting customers with a limited number of ads at a time.

According to a study taken by eMarketer, 30% of consumers show a positive reaction to remarketing ads, while only 11% felt negatively about them.

Remarketing campaigns only target customers who have engaged with your store in the past, and so they are actually more likely to interact with ads as they will already be familiar with your brand.

As long as you monitor the frequency of the ads that are being shown, and turn off any that are reaching the same customers over and over again, you shouldn’t drive away any customers.

Myth 3: Remarketing Will Take Up Too Much of My Time

Setting up specific audiences, catalogs and tracking pixels can take up your time, but this is only necessary when first setting up the campaign.

Once this is all set up, products shown will be dynamic and specific to each customer, and will be automatically updated regularly – meaning you’ll spend less time as the campaign goes on.

So while it may take time to set up initially, once your ads are up and running they’ll be updated regularly.

There is also the option of working with a marketing / optimisation agency who can help set up, launch and run your remarketing campaigns for you, which will save you time.

Myth 4: Remarketing Doesn’t Respect My Customers Privacy

A rather common concern regarding remarketing campaigns is that they abuse users’ and customers’ privacy.

The truth is, whilst Facebook does store data such as IP addresses and click data, remarketing pixels do not store information such as names, ages and addresses.

Instead, pixels use cookies to target those customers who have previously engaged with your site. With the new GDPR laws, protection of users will only be further strengthened. If you’re unsure, you can ask visitors to opt in to tracking when they land on your site.

Of course, Facebook has had a few scandals regarding data, which is why it’s understandable that many retailers are cautious of using the platform for advertising.

However, as long as you use the advertising platform responsibly, your customers should remain happy.

Summary

Remarketing on Facebook comes with its fair share of concerns for many.

With a better understanding and more knowledge of how to implement effective remarketing strategies on Facebook, you will be able to utilise the full power of Facebook’s dynamic remarketing tools and features.

If you want to find out more about how to launch a successful Facebook remarketing campaign for your store, just get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to help.

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Razy 18/05/2019 0 Comments

Why Your SME Business Should Use Xero

I’m sure you’ve heard of Xero, right? Beautiful accounting software in the cloud?  But why should you be interested and why should your business be using it?

Freedom

Using cloud-based accounting software gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time and on any device.  You now don’t need a redundant old machine sat in the corner of SME business office, just to run accounts.  As it’s cloud-based, there’s no need for backups or worry over version control.

It’s also really easy to share financial information with your team, or with your accountant.  As e-Commerce Agency, we spend a large part of our day on the phone with clients discussing their businesses.  To be able to look at the same information at the same time massively enhances the value of the conversations we can have.

Full Journey

Xero integrates with some great CRM and project management tools, such as Capsule or Insightly CRM’s and Xero’s own project management tool, WorkflowMax.

Having these integrations means that you can follow the development of a lead, right through quoting and right into invoicing.  All in one integrated system.  WorkflowMax has a great timesheet function, so if you are billing by time, you can quickly convert your time into an invoice and push it out right through Xero.

Makes Life Easy

Xero has many great functions that make your accounting life really easy.  We are massive fans of having retainer income in SME business,  wherever possible.  Xero simplifies the billing process for such customers as you can automate the production and sending of invoices.  How much time will that save you when it comes to renewing annual hosting bills?

Your banking transactions with CIMB can now flow automatically into your Xero account

Xero and CIMB* bring you direct bank feeds – an automatic flow of your bank transactions into Xero that saves you time (no more manual bank statement imports!). It’s quick to categorise and match up transactions so you’ve got real-time financials at your fingertips.

Get Paid Faster

It’s so easy to raise and send an invoice in Xero that it will speed up your invoicing process, no end.  You can raise invoices as soon as you finish a job and get it emailed straight to the customer from right inside Xero.  Your customer can view and pay the bill online (with the help of paypall or billplzz).

You have an up to date snapshot of who owes you money on your mobile phone.  Have a quick check before heading into that next client meeting and you’ll know right where you are.

Xero has also introduced an automated email reminder system which sends emails to customers reminding them of overdue debt.  Warning though…if you use this, you’ll need to be on top of that bookkeeping!  No more waiting until the end of the SST year!

Better Financial Decision Making

This, for me, is the biggie!

How much better would your financial decision making be if you had track of all the key financials in your agency.  As a SME businessspecialist in e-Commerce & accountants, we’ve worked with hundreds of business over the years and one of the biggest factors in the most successful is that they knew their numbers…all the time!

Xero helps you understand your customer spend and how reliant you are on key customers.  It also has an awesome project tracking function.  You’ll be able to see at a glance, not just how much each client spends, but how profitable each project is.

Summary

As you can see, we are huge Xero fans for SME business accounting.  It makes your life easier and most importantly gives you much better decision making ability.  Check out our Xero page for more information on Xero and how we can support you in adopting it.

If you’d like to trial Xero or want to discuss more how it could help your agency, please contact us and we’ll be happy to give you the guided tour

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Razy 18/05/2019 0 Comments