2024 eCommerce Tech Buyers’ Guide Evaluates the Impact of 650 Third-Party Apps on eCommerce Sites

Sixth Annual Guide Conducted by Leading Lights Reveals Over 50% of Third Parties Negatively Impact Site Performance and Conversion

Yottaa, Inc., the leading cloud platform for accelerating digital commerce experiences, today announced the publication of the company’s annual eCommerce Tech Buyers’ Guide designed to help retailers research and evaluate technologies to understand the impact they have on overall site performance, shopper engagement, and conversion.

Third party technologies. Apps. Tags. Cartridges. ISVs. In eCommerce, they are known by many different names, but their aim is the same: to make digital commerce sites more engaging and profitable. Third parties promise a better experience, traffic gains, or simply operational efficiencies. And, with site traffic slipping and per-visit spend up, adding third parties can help eCommerce teams make the most of every visit. But left unchecked and unoptimized, third parties can be destructive to the site experience. The cumulative impact of dozens of third parties, and the marginal value of adding more, drags site performance, bounces shoppers, and lowers conversions.

The 2024 eCommerce Tech Buyers’ Guide, which was conducted by Leading Lights, a leading eCommerce industry research firm, examines the site performance impact of 650 of the most widely adopted eCommerce third parties. The data in this report was collected over the course of a month (December 2023) representing 14 billion page views from nearly 2,000 eCommerce sites. Site performance violations of individual third parties were used to create Performance Impact Ratings (PIR) for each third party evaluated in the report. Using these PIRs, a color code of red, yellow, and green was assigned to third parties across the most frequently adopted eCommerce technology categories. Slower loading third parties are labeled red, neutral are yellow, and faster loading technologies are green.

“Shouts for consolidation of the technology stack rang through the eCommerce ecosystem in 2023. It was going to be a reckoning – brands and retailers would discard droves of third-party technologies in the name of cost savings. But the purge never materialized”

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Below are some of the key findings from the 2024 eComm Tech Buyers’ Guide:

  • Third Parties Reduced Their Impact, But Still Cause Significant Delays  In this year’s report, most third-party technologies earned slightly better PIR scores when compared to last year, migrating from a red score to a yellow score. That said, with over half of third parties in the yellow and red, there’s still a long way to go. Left unchecked, these third-party technologies stifle site performance, and slow page loads resulting in more bounces and lower conversions. Data from the report shows that 50% of third parties negatively impact site performance.
  • 3X Difference Between Fast & Slow Third Parties – Slow loading “red” third parties cause nearly three times the site performance impact of faster loading “green” third parties. When unoptimized and unchecked, red third parties can push sites into the “poor” category for Google’s Core Web Vitals key benchmark for page performance, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
  • Death By A Thousand… Apps – With many eCommerce sites carrying 50+ third party technologies, the page performance impact contributed by third parties adds up quickly. Even just a few high-impact third parties can shift LCP ranking significantly.
  • Optimization = Faster Sites & Higher Conversions – To realize the full potential of third-party technologies, each must be optimized to limit the negative impact on site performance. Findings show that shaving just 1 second off page load time by optimizing the loading of 3rd parties decreases bounces by 9% and increases conversion by 6%.

“Shouts for consolidation of the technology stack rang through the eCommerce ecosystem in 2023. It was going to be a reckoning  brands and retailers would discard droves of third-party technologies in the name of cost savings. But the purge never materialized,” said Rick Kenney, Managing Director of Leading Lights and author of the 2024 eCommerce Tech Buyers’ Guide. “Instead, third party technologies remain central to the shopping experience, a critical element of the eCommerce stack. This year’s eCommerce Tech Buyers’ Guide analyzes the impact that third party technologies have on eCommerce site performance, with a focus on Google’s widely adopted page site performance metric, Largest Contentful Paint.”

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