Benchmarking site performance using your competition will give you a good idea where to start — and what numbers to beat.
A “benchmark” is a starting point you can use to know if your business efforts are working or not. You can also use benchmarks to set those business goals in the firstplace. For example, benchmarking website performance metrics using your competition will give you a good idea where to get started — and what numbers to beat.
Which Metrics Should You Track When Benchmarking Your eCommerce Website Speed?
Site speed benchmarking is a useful analytical tool you can use to assess the scale of your site's competitive advantage or disadvantage.
Let’s use site speed as an example. A fast-performing website provides a competitive advantage in many ways. Site speed benchmarking is a useful analytical tool youcan use to:
It is recommended to benchmark against two segments. The first is within your industry — with your direct competitors who are vying for your customers —in order to see what your customers are experiencing and expecting. The second is within your eCommerce platform, such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud or Shopify, in order to evaluate where your site’s performance falls within your platform’s expected performance levels.
Below are described as the best practices for benchmarking against competitor sites:
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Another common benchmarking tool is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It’s useful to run competitive benchmarks in order to gain context to interpret your site’s results. Spoiler alert: the majority of eCommerce sites score very low on PageSpeed Insights, particularly on mobile:
By comparing benchmark metrics, you can start setting goals for each metric for your own website - whether it is close the gap if you are behind, or maintain the gap if you are ahead. The following metrics reflect site performance:
In addition to benchmarking your competitors, it’s highly recommended to check your site’s performance against other sites that utilize your current eCommerce platform. This provides another context for interpreting your site’s speed and setting goals. For example, Salesforce Commerce Cloud sites can run faster than Shopify sites.
While you are doing the competitor benchmarking, you can use a tool such as builtwith.com to see what eCommerce platform other sites are using. Alternatively, you can askyour eCommerce platform for other example customer sites.
eCommerce sites are constantly changing and improving, and since one 3rd party can add500ms of page load time, it is critical to regularly monitor your site speed and benchmark. On a practical level, it’s recommended to benchmark quarterly ideally, and annual at minimum. This will ensure you are staying informed on industry shifts.