Tips and Tricks · 4 min read

Use Dev Tools to see the impact of performance on conversions

Hanna Woodburn
Posted July 25, 2018
Use Dev Tools to see the impact of performance on conversions

Website performance was once solely the domain of the engineering team, and only when a mission critical page broke and customer complaints started rolling in was any action taken. This perspective is changing, however, as teams across the business recognize the need to understand how performance impacts the bottom line.

For instance, website performance influences revenue through things like conversion rates, shopping cart size or abandonment, customer loyalty, brand awareness, and other KPIs. At a high level, this is why Chief Revenue Officers care about performance. They want to know if something is broken and preventing customers from checking out, or if slow speeds are throwing a wrench in their revenue targets.

In marketing we have similar concerns. Traditional APM or front-end monitoring solutions provide visibility into how our website is performing over time—and are certainly critical for our engineers—but they don’t provide the user’s context or their experience, which is what you care about most as a marketer. And it’s why we use FullStory’s new Dev Tools to optimize performance for conversions.

Dev Tools to analyze the impact of performance on conversions

We know that slow loading pages impact conversions, but how might page speed impact our users? FullStory is a SaaS product, so we FullStory marketers want potential customers to give it a try through a free trial.

To understand the impact of performance on this conversion path, we search in FullStory for users who visited our pricing page, had a first contentful paint (“FCP”) time of over 3 seconds, and gave us their email address to sign up.

Looking at the resulting funnel in FullStory, we see 15% of the people who visited the pricing page experienced a FCP of more than 3 seconds. Even though it only impacts a fraction of our users, what’s alarming is when we look at how many of the affected users convert: 7%. Yikes!

Event Funnel showing 7% of users converted

This seems really low, but how does it compare to people who had faster FCP times? Changing the search parameters to look at users who had FCP time of less than 3 seconds we see conversions jump to 16%. This simple analysis confirms page performance materially impacts our most mission critical pages.

Event Funnel with 16% converted

So what do we do next? Returning to FullStory, we dig into these slow pages further by filtering by device type. As expected, the slower sessions were more likely to be found on mobile devices. And additional analysis reveals desktop users with subpar FCP timings were mostly located overseas where slow Internet connections are likely culprits.

From performance replay to performance results

From within a replay of a particularly slow session, we can check the Network tab for any intel about other causes, such as unoptimized images. If there was something lurking there, we could create a note or JIRA ticket and share it with one of our marketing developers to take a look at.

Using the data revealed by FullStory Dev Tools, we’re able to make informed decisions about optimizing our most essential pages—and the broader user journey. For instance, we can build a case for improving the mobile experience. Or keep an eye on how a page is performing in certain geographies.

Context you can take to action

FullStory’s Dev Tools give you the context of session replay, the data you need to improve (with page speed metrics, network requests, and error logs), and the ability to search on all of it to see how many users are affected. For CROs and others who care about generating revenue, this information helps identify areas of user struggle and take action to ultimately improve conversions.

If you're new to FullStory, start your free 14-day trial of Dev Tools and replay performance so you can improve it.

And if you're already a FullStory customer on a paid or free plan, you can request a Dev Tools trial to see how it works for your team.

Hanna WoodburnFormer Product Marketing Manager

About the author

Hanna Woodburn was previously a Product Marketing Manager at FullStory.

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