Last week Richard and I attended the Internet Retailing Expo (IRX13) at the Birmingham NEC. Described as the UK’s No.1 B2B event for online and multichannel retail, the Expo saw over 150 exhibitors and 5000 visitors through its doors. Further to this, over 60 leading experts from companies such as Amazon, Facebook and eBay gave workshops and presentations.
With my roots coming from an independent electrical retail background, I have seen first-hand the effect of the digital age on retail. I was interested to learn how retailers were succeeding in the digital age and understand what their approaches were to multichannel. In particular, Bish and I were interested to see their approaches to performance testing of web and mobile applications. We both felt that the speed of these channel had to be quick in order to retain customers in this competitive market. However we were unsure how much the exhibitors understood about performance testing and the importance of application speed.
Need for speed
Radware/StrangeLoopNetworks recently reported that website page speeds in Europe are not meeting the demands of online shoppers. With a load time of 7.04 seconds, the median web page does not meet the 3-second load time that most online shoppers demand. After 3 seconds, it is suggested that at least 57% of online shoppers say they will abandon a site, and up to 80% will not return. With IMRG and numerous other sources also suggesting that online retail will continue to grow, the performance of web and mobile apps surely has to be good. With these finding in mind, we were eager to understand how important performance was to those attending.
IRX attendees noted that performance and speed were key ingredients to good web and mobile apps. However, it was not always at the forefront of people’s minds during our brief conversations. The figures from Radware and IMRG show that performance and speed are key issues for customers. It would be intriguing to hear what the guys at Internet Retail think of the matter.
Overall our trip to Brum was a great success. The staff of Internet Retail deserve a huge pat on their back for holding such a polished event, whilst the exhibitors and attendees were all very insightful.