Web 3.0: The Battle Between Performance and Personalization

In the evolution of successful web businesses, two mega-trends are on a collision course:

1.   The demand to deliver a truly personalized cross-platform Web 3.0 experience and

2.   The ever-increasing user expectation for website performance.

To drive user engagement and monetization, personalization is essential; but the additional processing required to deliver this personalization increases website latency and has the potential to significantly degrade the user experience.  It’s not only personalization demands that threaten the performance of websites. Leading edge technologies such as shopping tools, interactive games, social media apps and videos are proving useful in their ability to drive sales and enhance brand image, but they also run the risk of impacting your site’s performance.

Site performance is critical because brand loyalty will only extend so far in terms of retaining your users. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that the average impact of a 1-second delay meant a 7 percent reduction in conversions. That might not sound like an enormous amount but when you consider that for a $150,000/day ecommerce site, a 1-second delay translates to nearly $4.0 million in lost revenues annually, the effects are significant.

The Gomez Peak Time Internet Usage Study conducted by Equation Research on 1500 consumers (February 2010) confirms the negative impact of poor performance:

•      At peak traffic times, more than 75% of online consumers left for a competitor’s site rather than suffer delays

•      88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience

•      Almost half expressed a less positive perception of the company overall after a single bad experience

•      More than a third told others about their disappointing experience

That is in addition to the marketing resources wasted by attracting customers to your sight only to frustrate (and lose) them during the act of purchasing and then have many of them tell others about their bad experience.

What a dilemma! There is competitive pressure to deliver a truly personalized Web 3.0 experience, but doing so can result in poor web performance and negatively impact the user experience. This may make the adoption of these technologies less than compelling.

In the Web 2.0 world Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) offered some relief by doing much of the heavy lifting for popular websites. A CDN would cache and serve the frequently requested large files across distributed networks.  Unfortunately the same model does not work with the unique or personalized content that is at the center of this dilemma. By its very nature, Web 3.0 content is often unique and therefore can’t be cached. A different solution is needed.

Enter the site acceleration services now being offered by a small number of leading CDNs. Web application services look at the process of delivering content to a user holistically and look for ways to improve the delivery of that content. Like CDNs, acceleration services use a distributed architecture with POPs (points of presence) around the world to improve connectivity through proximity, but that is where the similarity ends. Dynamic site acceleration (DSA) services improve delivery by maintaining persistent TCP (transmission control protocol) connections, pooling connections, compressing content and improving DNS (domain name system) resolution. In effect, acceleration solutions create an expressway for personalized web content.

Does your business struggle with this dilemma?
Are you questioning the performance of your site and wondering how much more successful you could be at converting visitors to customers if it was responding more reliably and responsively?
If so, then investigate Acceleration services and you may find it offers a very compelling ROI.
The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team