Vistage Research Center

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Your website’s silent sales killer [webinar]

Watch the webinar “Your Website’s Speed & Security Might Be Sabotaging Your Sales.”

Imagine for a moment that you have a brick-and-mortar retail store, and you spend a lot of money on advertising and promotions in order to drive sales. It’s a steamy August day, and business is booming. The store is so busy the checkout line goes out the front door and around the block.
Therein lies the problem—you only have one check-out, one point of sale (POS). Because you can’t meet customer demand quickly enough, people waiting in line are actually leaving and walking to your competitor’s store across the street.

What do you do?
The answer is obvious. Do a quick and dirty cost-benefit analysis. If the value of prospective customers defecting to your competitor is greater than the cost of adding another checkout or point of sale station, you add another station.

There’s an invisible sales killer lurking in your business
Let me tell you what’s not obvious—you may be experiencing almost this exact same challenge. It is happening right now, but unless you are in retail, you can’t see it. You can’t see it because it’s happening online—it’s happening on your website.
And it doesn’t matter whether you actually sell things via your website or whether your site is simply something that indirectly supports your business.

Slow websites kill sales
Amazon found that if their website took just one second longer to load, they would lose $1.6 billion in a year. Why? A faster site means happier customers, which means more sales. If a product page takes too long to load, customers are quick to abandon their carts. Similarly, Walmart found that for every one second of site speed improvement they made, conversions increased by 2%.

Think this doesn’t apply to your business?
I travel the country speaking to Vistage groups about the importance of competitive analysis, which today, is digital. So I know what some of you are saying: “This doesn’t apply to me because our company doesn’t sell things on our website. We’re not in e-commerce.”
Candidly, you’re wrong. This does apply to you. It doesn’t matter whether you make sales directly via your website. The fact is, people are making decisions about your business—whether to hire your firm, buy your products, accept your job offer, etc.—based on your website.

The faster your website is and the more quickly it helps your visitors accomplish their goal—even if their goal is research—the better. When website speed goes up, conversions go down. A conversion isn’t necessarily a sales transaction. A web conversion can be anything you want a visitor to do while they’re on your website—download a whitepaper, sign up to receive your email newsletter, submit their resume for an open position, etc.

No matter what industry you’re in, your website is one of your company’s most valuable assets—period. During my Vistage workshops, I show each attendee their website’s speed vs. their competition. Many are shocked to see just how slow their website is compared to their key competitors’. Talk about an “aha” moment.

Take action
So, who is in charge of your website’s speed? What expectations have you given them? When is the last time you saw a benchmark report—your site’s speed vs. your competitors’? Site speed is a silent but undeniable killer if not monitored properly and managed on a continual basis.

Read more: Analyze your website’s mobile presence


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