2018’s seasonal sales failed to hit their forecasted targets as consumer concerns coupled with unsatisfactory online experiences led to an underwhelming year for many retail businesses. For those already on the brink of administration, 2018’s bleak outcome caused shock waves throughout the industry as brands struggled to achieve expected sales targets. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, there were some ‘winners’ in 2018, but how did these brands survive the sales fall?
Using the results from The Guardians recent article ‘Christmas retail: the winners and losers on the UK high street’ and our digital expertise, we decided to venture further into each brand's online successes and failures which could have saved their sales in 2018.
Together John Lewis and Mothercare represent the winners and losers of 2018’s seasonal shopping sales, but what makes them so different?
On the face of it, both John Lewis and Mothercare have clear user journeys, secure payment methods and are both optimised across desktop and mobile.
So what is the difference between them?
Delving deeper, a quick speed analysis using Google’s PageSpeed Insights may reveal why there is such a large gap in sales between the two brands.
Clearly, John Lewis wins in terms of page speed but does this really affect sales?
Customer attention spans are getting shorter and shorter as quick, fast acting websites and apps are favoured over slower ones, regardless of brand prestige. In fact, evidence shows that a 2-second delay in page load time increases bounce rates by more than 100%. With 36% of mobile users being less patient online and abandoning pages quicker due to slow loading times. For Mothercare, this is nothing but bad news, as customers abandon their site before they even have a chance to view their products or offers.
Site Super Speed
So, how can you increase your site speed and reduce bounce rates? It's simple really, conduct external web testing.
Within the last two years, John Lewis conducted external testing and clearly, the results show. Working with an external testing company means no browser blindness, no work bias and better time management for your team. This will help your internal teams become more efficient, finishing tasks that would have taken months within weeks. And let's not forget the financial benefits. A reduction in bounce rates and an increase in conversions is nothing but good news for your brand.