When Every Second Counts

When it comes to end user experience monitoring, every second literally counts and sometimes even it’s about fractions of seconds. When it comes down to it, you can actually quantify the loss in dollars and lost users.

In fact, in a recent presentation by Bojan Simic from Trac Research, he reported that when Bing slowed down by just 2 seconds of response time, it lead to a 4.3 percent drop in revenue and usage. If that’s not enough to make you stop and take notice, then consider this: When Google lost 400 milliseconds, it lead to a 0.59 percent in revenue and usage.

End User Experience Monitoring Implications

The implication is clear, even very small delays can result in money out of your pocket and that means slow downs equal lost revenue. Trac conducted a survey of 300+ members of the Trac community and readership of which 39 percent were small businesses, 35 percent were medium-size and 27 percent were larger businesses.

They found some interesting data points including that the key time is approximately 4.4 seconds of delay before business starts to decline, which actually seems a bit optimistic. 4.4 seconds would seem like an eternity in Internet time. But regardless of the actual timing, respondents report that it costs a web site $21,000 on average for every hour of down time and $4100 on average for a slow-down.

A lot of factors come into play here of course including how slow is slow, how profitable your web site is and so forth. If you are in the middle of a big holiday push and your site goes down, it’s going to cost you a lot more than if it happened on Saturday night at 2 am (depending on what you sell of course).

The somewhat good news is that according to the survey that revenue-generating web sites are 10 times more likely to have slow-downs than outages. If the other numbers are to be believed that means your losses would be far less, but even those slow-downs, while often inevitable on some level, have to be viewed as a challenge for your organization, especially when you consider that Simic reports that organizations could be losing twice as much revenue to slow-downs than they do from down-right outages.

These numbers show the importance of end user experience monitoring, but more importantly they show that even modest slow-downs can have a tremendous impact on visitor experience and ultimately on your bottom line.

Connecting End User Experience Monitoring to $$end user experience monitoring

While it might not be easy to simply look at the numbers and decide what to do about it, you are not monitoring in a vacuum. You’re conducting end user experience monitoring for a reason and that’s to understand the impact of your slow-downs on your organization and ultimately your visitors. That means, you must look at the numbers as more than just a point in time, but as an opportunity to fix a problem, a problem that these number show cost you money.

That’s why organizations like Google, Yahoo!, eBay and other large web properties are constantly looking for ways to shave load time because these companies understand at an elemental level that seconds truly count, and what’s good for these companies is good for you too. End user experience monitoring is the first step towards shaving that load time.

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