Following the “Singles Day” spending bonanza last Friday, Chinese retailers are outperforming the global competition, according to new research.
To examine China Singles Day, now the largest e-commerce event in the world, Dynatrace has been tracking and analysing the site performance and strategies of leading Chinese and international retailers.
The data was taken from the perspective of Chinese consumers, to evaluate how the best global retailers navigate the country’s unique digital landscape.
· Chinese retailers are outperforming the global competition, with an average time of 3.4 seconds before their websites become usable for Chinese customers (compared to 7.7 seconds for global retailers).
· H&M stood out amongst the global retailers; with an average time of just 2.4 seconds before customers could start interacting with its website from China.
· Lean website design is critical to success in the Chinese ecommerce market; the best performing sites have minimal third-party host integrations, lighter pages with a low object count, and are hosted locally, in China or Hong Kong.
Dave Anderson, VP Marketing EMEA and APAC for Dynatrace explains further, “Across the 20+ luxury, market and specialty e-commerce sites Dynatrace has been evaluating we can see that Chinese retailers are averaging an interactive (DOM) site load time of 3.4 seconds, compared with international players who are averaging 7.7 seconds.
“Digging a little deeper, we can see that the better performing sites are typically designed for speed. They use minimal third party hosts and keep objects in check. Page weight is also an important consideration – the lighter the better. Another fundamental, strategic decision is to host content locally or in HK.”
Interestingly, Swedish retailer H&M was one international player that ticked all the site performance boxes. H&M is allowing consumers to start interacting with their site in as little as 2.4 seconds. While speed isn’t the only user experience metric, globally consumers prefer fast sites above lots of features and functions.
Mr Anderson continues, “We know that user experience is fundamental to e-commerce success today, so retailers must be ready to tackle new markets with a localised site strategy. You can’t just replicate a site from another country, attach a local URL and assume it will work. This is especially the case in China.
“Many of us know that the more obvious site plug-ins like Facebook and Pinterest are not supported in China but there’s many other technical components that may create performance issues. You need to be careful about how you use Google APIs, YouTube, marketing automation software or cart abandonment tools. Big images, video and pop up ads also create complexity that result in a poor experience for Chinese consumers. Best starting point is to strip the site back and measure the performance of everything very closely,” explains Mr. Anderson.
About China Singles Day
With a rapidly expanding population of over 600 million internet users, China is by far the largest e-commerce market in the world, forecast to reach $1.1 trillion by 2020. In a market this large, China Singles Day has become the biggest shopping day of the year globally, with sales of $14.3 billion last year, eclipsing Black Friday in the U.S., which reached only $1.35 billion by comparison.