Case Studies: Chapter 7 – Fashion brand

Major fashion brand increases revenue by improving performance on mobile

As we already know, the slower the performance of an experience, the more visitors abandon and the more revenue is lost. So, even if an experience is designed to be very intuitive, and there are no errors, just slow speeds by themselves can be enough to spoil everything. Therefore, speed analysis and optimization must be done proactively, especially before new experiences are released.

The Challenge

The fashion brand in this case study was in the middle of releasing a new Product Display Page (PDP), so they needed to understand whether the design and implementation were performing well.

Step 1: Assess speed proactively with synthetic monitoring 

If they had already released the experience into production, they could use Real User Monitoring (RUM) to understand the performance that users are seeing. But, by that time, it’s already too late. That is why RUM goes hand in hand with Synthetic Monitoring. It enables brands to scan experiences before they go live.

The clothing brand found that the speed of the new PDP on mobile devices was much slower than their performance goals. It was also slower than competing sites. Therefore, it needed to be improved to avert bad experiences and SEO rankings.

Step 2: Which low-hanging fruit can improve speed?

Speed is often a balance between rich, engaging content vs. lightening up pages to display faster. But before going to the “atomic option” of reducing content designed to engage customers, it’s always good to have a look first at whether the technical implementation of the page is blocking or slowing the display of the page in unnecessary ways. The automated page insights from the brand’s synthetic monitoring tool helped here.

It turned out in this case that load time was slowed down primarily due to scripts, images, and DOM elements – many unused or used inefficiently.


Image: Page insights example from synthetic monitoring



Step 3: Action the technical improvements for speeding up

By simply cleaning up the implementation of the new PDP, removing unused DOM objects, compressing images, etc., the brand sped up the display of the page to below 3.5 seconds.


Results and value 

As we already saw earlier in the book, every second in improvement is associated with conversion rate gains. The team in our case study estimated that improvements averted a loss of half a million in revenues per month.


The moral of the story


RUM and Synthetic Monitoring are best friends. And it pays for digital business teams to be best friends with their Performance Team colleagues. There is no need to spin up giant A/B tests and redesigns when the most obvious culprit of lost business is slow performance due to technical glitches.