As a chief marketing officer, your top priority is building awareness and driving growth and revenue for your eCommerce business. However, in today's digital landscape, a slow or vulnerable website or application can quickly hinder those efforts. Over half of today’s online shoppers expect a web page to load in three seconds or less. Of course, speed won’t matter if your site is completely inaccessible – and customers’ personal information is in jeopardy.
According to Google, the probability of a visitor bouncing increases by 32% if page load times go from one to three seconds. Additionally, that probability increases to 90% if page load times go from one to five seconds. It goes without saying that the longer your web visitors have to wait to see your content, the less likely they are to stick around and make a purchase.
And what about security?
The average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high last year of USD 4.35 million with breaches accounting for the majority of enterprise downtime. In retail alone, the average cost of a data breach was USD 3.3 million a year. At this point, for most organizations, it’s not if a cyberattack is going to occur, but when.
What these numbers don’t include is the potential damage to your brand’s reputation and to your customers. According to research from PCI Pal, 83% of consumers will stop spending with an organization immediately after a security breach - and over 21% of those consumers will never return.
So now that we’ve laid out the facts and the stats, how can you ensure that your marketing efforts won’t be derailed by performance and security issues?
Speed is a critical factor in engaging and retaining potential customers. By improving website and application load times, you can reduce bounce rates and improve customer experience.
Start by looking at your Core Web Vitals (CWV) to measure your website performance and discover ways to improve your page scores. We explore some tips and techniques to do this in a previous article here.
Leverage a content delivery network. Content delivery networks (CDNs) offer massive network capacity and reduce latency to mere milliseconds to virtually every connected device and internet user on the planet – significantly improving website and application performance. CDNs can also provide added security benefits by distributing traffic across multiple servers and mitigating distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and bot attacks close to the source - more on that later.
Implement predictive prefetching. A typical web page begins loading an element after a user clicks. The user clicks on a product image and waits while the product page moves from a data center to their device. This takes 3-5 seconds on average. Edgio uses predictive prefetching to load pages in milliseconds. This technique anticipates what content will be relevant and likely to be requested next, and begins loading it before a customer even clicks. When they do, content is ready and displayed in the blink of an eye.
Women’s fashion retailer, AKIRA, leveraged both Edgio’s CDN and Predictive Prefetching, among other Edgio solutions, speeding up its mobile site by 71% and improving first page load times from nearly five seconds down to just north of one second. This led to a 37.25% lift in mobile conversion rate year-over-year. Read AKIRA’s Story
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, there are several things you can do to protect your eCommerce business from cyberattacks without compromising performance.
Keep all software and systems up to date with the latest security patches, and implement advanced web application & API protection services (WAAP) for all your web-facing applications to mitigate application vulnerabilities that can be used by the attackers as a backdoor into your critical systems and data.
Remove malicious traffic before it reaches your application by implementing an advanced bot management solution to detect and monitor bot traffic and mitigate the bad ones. Recent studies report that nearly half of internet traffic today is from automated clients, aka bots. Some good bots are essential to the functioning of an online business (i.e. SEO bots, chatbots, and social media bots), however, there are also large amounts of bad bots that could cause severe damage to an organization. From denial of inventory, price scraping, scalping, credential stuffing, and more - bad bots not only degrade speed and availability but disrupt customer experience and negatively impact your bottom line.
By utilizing an edge-enabled WAAP solution with rate limiting, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), India’s leading stock exchange group, reduced origin offload by more than 75%, cut infrastructure costs by more than 50%, and improved application performance by 30%. Read BSE’s story.
Protect your network, applications, and origin using an edge-based DDoS protection solution. DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, attacks have become the number one security threat representing 46% of attacks, according to the 2022 Verizon DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report). You can also thwart direct-to-origin attacks with a dedicated high-capacity DDoS scrubbing solution.
On June 27th, 2022, Edgio stopped a huge 355.14 Mpps (million packets per second) DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack that targeted a major eCommerce customer. The size of this attack places it at 44% of the largest DDoS attacks publicly disclosed. Another massive attack was mitigated just a couple of weeks prior. Read more.
Educate and train employees to help protect against attacks like phishing scams. The 2022 Verizon DBIR also found that the human element continues to be a driving factor in 82% of data breaches – so it’s important to have a strong security awareness and training program in place for your entire organization.
Further, eCommerce businesses must comply with various legal and regulatory requirements to ensure that they protect their customers' data and privacy. By prioritizing security, businesses can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid costly legal and reputational repercussions. Plus, when users feel that their data is secure on your website or application, they are more likely to trust your brand and continue using your products or services.
This may sound like a lot of layers that could potentially cause more harm than good, but with the right security and performance solutions, eCommerce businesses can address the latest cybersecurity threats, keep web apps and APIs fast, and win revenue and loyal customers.
Edge-enabled, holistic security solutions, like Edgio’s, are built on an extensive, globally distributed platform and provide comprehensive protection across networks and applications without a single point of failure or performance bottleneck. The benefits of an edge-enabled holistic security solution are
Massive scale and resiliency to ensure uptime during your biggest sales events
Real-time performance and security analytics
Real-time threat detection and global site updates to keep customers' personal information protected
Faster and more secure customer experience
Edgio WAAP workflow protecting eCommerce websites and applications.
Additionally, security solutions that provide easy integration and automation can enhance IT workflows and enable quick deployments of security updates to keep up with the latest threats. Platforms like Edgio’s provide developers with a single pane of glass with visibility and control to manage their application performance and security.
By implementing these strategies, you can improve the performance and security of your website and applications while driving growth and revenue for your eCommerce business. Don't let performance and security issues hold you back – accelerate your growth with Edgio today.