PAGE load times are critical in reducing rates of what is referred to as "shopping cart abandonment", one of the biggest concerns still facing online retail businesses today.
But for most website owners, abandonment in all forms are generally undesirable. Such was the case with Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, which recently hired the expertise of Akamai to bring down high abandonment rates of its website in countries like the US, Japan and China.
After having different versions of its website analysed and fed to an Akamai-developed "dynamic site accelerator" system, the luxury fashion brand reported a reduction in page load time to less than 1.5 seconds from over 8.5 seconds prior to implementation.
By decreasing page load times, Dolce & Gabbana said it successfully lowered site abandonment, which, in turn, helped increase e-commerce conversion rates (the percentage of visits to a website which result in a "conversion" which in this context is either a sale, or a lead of some kind, typically related to the number of visits or sessions).
Akamai, a Massachusetts-based company that oversees content delivery networks spread across 71 countries, formed an alliance with Swedish giant Ericsson that was announced during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year. The tie-up bore fruit to the Mobile Cloud Accelerator, a service Ericsson says can reduce the time it takes for web pages to load on mobile devices.
"A delay in page load time leads directly to a decrease in conversions, fewer page views and a decrease in customer satisfaction," Ericsson said in a media release. "Mobile phone users are unlikely to return to a website that they experience problems accessing, and even more unlikely to recommend the site to others, making the quality of mobile content delivery business critical to content providers."
Following subsequent trials with Indonesia's Telkomsel, the results were announced at this year's Mobile World Congress, during which the Swedish company claimed that page load times on the network the biggest in Indonesia with a base of more than 107 million customers were reduced by as much as 70 per cent.
One of Akamai's core businesses is to cache content within a country so users don't have to "stream" information.
So "if you go to Youtube, there's no need to stream all the videos to Singapore or Brunei if the content is cached in Singapore, where Akamai has a server," explained Calvin Yeo, a senior consultant at Ericsson, during a post-Mobile World Congress media briefing at Radisson Hotel late last week.
"That improves the quality of experience. Last year we had a trial with Telkomsel, and we announced the results during the MCW in Barcelona (this year). This year we'll be looking to start engaging more operators in this region to discuss the Mobile Cloud Accelerator," said Yeo, adding that no timeline has been set for regional deployment.
It is worth noting growth trends driving businesses in a hyperconnected world: Gartner projects the cloud services market to grow more than three times by 2015 to US$177 billion, while Cisco predicts that more than 90 per cent of Internet traffic will be video in two years' time.
Hence, such a service would be a warm welcome in Brunei, where faster page loading times would be unreservedly cherished by data-hungry users, businesses and content providers alike.
It is a chance too for telecommunications operators to monetise over-the-top traffic, and, more importantly, increase their capacity to deliver good experiences to end-users. The Brunei Times
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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