Holiday E-Commerce Tip: Check Pixel Impact

Holiday E-Commerce Tip: Check Pixel Impact

In the midst of holiday craziness, I wanted to share a quick tip because I see this problem affecting so many e-commerce sites right now. Improperly implemented third party pixels can decrease site performance and cause pages to load incorrectly.

If you’re a retailer of any scale you almost definitely haveĀ  a lot of third party pixels on your site. You might be using these pixels to:

  • Measure site interaction (Analytics)
  • Track user behavior
  • Build targeting / remessaging pools
  • Recommend products
  • Run better paid search or display campaigns
  • Find errors or usability issues
  • Run A/B or multivariate tests

While these pixels can be of incredible value they can cause your pages to load or render slowly when implemented incorrectly. I was browsing for gifts earlier today and saw two (huge!) retailers affected by poor implementations of the same pixel. The result was a hugely negative impact on my experience as a user. The search results pages appeared to load completely and were blank for over three seconds. Only when I watched the status bar in my browser did I notice the page hadn’t fully loaded; it was waiting on a response from a third party pixel. Yikes.

Technically, slowdowns like this happen because a pixel is implemented in the “wrong” place. There are a lot of rules for pixel implementation, but here’s my biggest test: if a third party is slow to respond and that slow response causes the page to render slowly, it isn’t implemented correctly. This is likely to drive lost revenue.

If you see a problem with a pixel implementation, don’t just remove the pixel! This can cause even greater revenue losses. Often these pixels assist in driving revenue. You want to work with your development team to implement the right way. Third party pixels should have no impact on load time.

If you’d like some help evaluating if your site has this issue, e-mail me, and I’ll be glad to help.