Since its outbreak, COVID-19 has created a shift in countless areas of our lives. As these lines are being written, all but eight states are under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place mandates, leaving more than 310 million Americans to create newly confined routines. To avoid crowds and adhere to the regulations, consumers are turning to delivery services for an easy, safe way to purchase a variety of goods.
A number of companies have already announced large-scale hirings to keep up with the increasing demand of deliveries across America. Known examples include Amazon and Instacart, but they aren’t the only ones to see spikes in demand. Food delivery services are obviously seeing an influx of sales, but what is less obvious is the increase in demand for Beauty products while most Americans are confined to their homes. Beauty companies are currently seeing a 13% month-over-month increase in online revenue over March, and approximately double its sales year-over-year on April 1. These increases are a reflection of skincare products, hair care, and clean beauty products trending up.
The increase in demand for personal care products opens the door to services delivering these products straight to your door, such as Dollar Shave Club, Billie, and Birchbox. These services offer skincare items, hair care supplements, and other self care products, which are seeing increased demand at this time. However, an increase in demand does not guarantee a purchase. Only those who deliver a compelling experience will win the inflow of online shoppers.
Unfortunately, all three beauty subscription services have fallen short in one crucial aspect of any online experience: website speed.
Dollar Shave Club loses their category advantage with a low Lighthouse score of 3
Dollar Shave Club, Billie, and Birchbox are three popular subscription-based services delivering personal care products right to their customers’ doorstep. With a delivery process in place, products consumers love, and an uplift in demand, you’d think these three are set up for success during this period. Unfortunately when testing the mobile performance of their sites, they fell flat. Dollar Shave Club, Billie, and Birchbox receive low Lighthouse Performance Scores of 3, 11, and 7, respectively.
Why is this important? A Lighthouse Performance Score essentially shows you how Google perceives your site in terms of speed, which impacts your organic ranking / SEO. The score is a weighted sum of speed metric percentiles that ranges between 0-100. Your score is calculated relatively, compared to the performance of all of the sites in Google’s dataset. Based on the Lighthouse scores listed above, the search giant classifies all three websites as slow. Without optimizing for speed, these businesses will lose rank and visibility, especially as demand and competition increase.
The key to winning online
The key to winning online is speed. Today, both mobile and desktop website speed impacts a website’s entire digital strategy, from SEO to traffic to conversions to revenue. This is how, for example, a mid-sized home and decor retailer, Annie Selke outranks Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock, Pottery Barn and other multi-billion dollar competitors for key phrases. What Annie Selke has, and the others do not, is an instant eCommerce website on Layer0.
Search engines and consumers favor fast experiences. Before the impact of COVID-19 was even felt, 70% of consumers said website speed affects their willingness to buy. Amazon has even calculated a one-second delay in page loads could cost the giant $1.6B in annual sales. We, ourselves, found that eCommerce websites see an average lift of 15-30% in conversions and 32.1% boost to organic traffic, when they break the 1-second barrier.
As stay-at-home orders are prolonged, consumers are becoming even less forgiving. The companies that meet and exceed consumers’ need for speed will be the ones to capitalize on the opportunities brought forth in these crazy days. Those that do not, will lose their opportunity to sell.
Guaranteed sub-second experiences
At Layer0, we sweat the small stuff—like milliseconds. Our flagship product, Layer0, let’s companies deliver sub-second eCommerce websites. The XDN helps companies to launch new experiences faster, iterate more often, and deliver instant eCommerce website, regardless of network quality. Lightning fast websites, more iteration, and reduced DevOps is exactly what you need to get ahead of your competitors in this difficult period.
Venus Fashion, a womens’ apparel retailer, sees more than half of its pages load in under 320ms and a Lighthouse score of 80, placing it in the 90th for website performance. The sub-second site is driving substantial revenue growth, with conversions up by 24% with Layer0.
Layer0 guarantees sub-500 millisecond median page loads through a combination of cutting edge tech. This includes portable frontends built for speed, AMP and server-side rendering, and an intelligent CDN that streams and caches dynamic content at the edge so that your site remains 5 seconds ahead of the shopper.
With this pandemic upon us, we understand that time is of the essence. We offer two options to quickly help you increase your competitive advantage. We can get your site down to 1-2 second median page loads in just one week with the XDN Starter, or your site can break the 1-second barrier with the XDN Full, that guarantees sub-second page loads, in a matter of weeks.
If investing in website speed was not a priority for you before, you can see now—with millions of Americans doing their shopping online—how crucial it is to provide a superior customer experience.
If your experience falls flat, so will your sales. With eCommerce trends constantly shifting, it’s imperative you prepare your website to meet customer demands and beat search engines’ algorithms. Join industry leaders in upgrading their website stack for an enhanced customer experience.
To remain competitive now in the years to come, schedule a consultative conversation today with a website speed expert. Let’s get your site instant.