What web performance means to car manufacturers

December 08 2014 By Posted in Expertise

Together with our partner, Computerworld, this month we will be looking at performance benchmarks within the car manufacturing industry within the Czech Republic. This study will highlight the performance challenge experienced by the car industry.

 

The web performance race

ip-label measures this months showed that Skoda website is on average 2 times slower than Hyundai and 3 times slower than Toyota Peugeot Citroen. These results were calculated when accessing every website homepage 24/7 over a period of 3 weeks from a high speed internet connection located in Prague. How important is this difference in response time for the car manufacturer business line? Well… it might be … a lot!

Just like bank and insurance, the automotive industry is gradually undergoing its own digital transformation. When you think about Internet and the car, the first idea that’s coming to mind is the so called “connected car” i.e. a car where you are able to read emails or connect to Facebook even while (someone else is) driving. Apart from this iconic and well-known example, the Internet is also transforming many more things in the car industry and one of these is the way you are going to buy your next car.

As a recent Cap Gemini study points out, “the majority of consumers (97%) use the Internet for researching vehicle features, drivers’ satisfaction levels.” And the car manufacturer corporate website is one key place in this search for information: If the pages are lightening fast, chances are high that you will enjoy the experience more and thus spend more time comparing options and readings specs than if they are painfully slow. So yes, all in all, a fast website somehow means more car sales at the end of the year.

 

On your marks, get set, GO!

Benchmarking the top three Czech car makers’ websites, you realise that this idea still has some way to go. TPCA seems to care for the digital natives. It provides a very fast website whose homepage loads in 2,4 seconds. Hyundai online presence is also rather good at 4,3 s on average. However, if you look better, some days are not as good as others with performance sometimes as slow as 5 or even 10 secs. Finally, with an average of 8,1 secs Skoda is more than three times slower than TPCA. So the Czech national Champion could do better with its online presence. Why is it so?

 

Cars Performance Graphics

 

A first part of the answer is Skoda bigger homepage: You need to display 5 to 7 Mb for Skoda when TPCA and Hyundai just requires you to load between 1 and 3 Mb. Having a streamlined front end would certainly help it to display faster.

That’s just a part of the answer … For a few years now, Google and Yahoo have largely shared with the community their internal web optimisation techniques. Browser compression and caching can strongly improve any page performance. These techniques would greatly improve the Plzen giant homepage response times. For instance, there are more than 50 objects/requests that could be stored by the user browser and would only be loaded once per user and not once per visit … So next to reducing page size, it is equally beneficial to fully draw advantage of available browser techniques.
Can we quantify potential benefits of optimising page performance in revenue terms? Various studies show that a 1 sec delay leads to 7% in conversion for an (e-commerce) website. In the present case, optimisation could generate up to 20% more pages views for some of the studied websites. It would be sad not to give it a try…even more so when you know that it usually can be achieved without any additional cost…

 

Sources:

 

Article published in partnership with http://computerworld.cz/

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