The Otto Group’s speed race helps consumers reach content more quickly

Across the group’s subsidiaries, mobile pages now load 11% faster for better user experience.

A global corporation with over 50,000 employees, the Otto Group comprises more than 120 subsidiaries such as myToys, Hermes, SportScheck, Bonprix, Shopping24, and OTTO. To enhance user experience across the portfolio, the Otto Group launched a Mobile Page Speed Race.

“Mobile is the main channel through which our customers access our services. We’re constantly working to optimise usability as a whole and load times in particular,” says Daniel Krantz, the company’s Head of Digital Excellence. “We wanted to bring together employees who are familiar with the technical approaches to identify and establish examples of best practices. The Page Speed Race allowed us to increase awareness of mobile speed throughout the group.”

The initiative had buy-in from Otto Group’s Board of Directors, which helped underline the importance of fast load times on business results. “The goal was to improve the performance of mobile sites,” affirms Sebastian Klauke, who serves as the Otto Group’s Chief Digital Officer, “because improved loading speed correlates significantly with lower bounce rates and better conversion rates.”

Open to all companies within the group, the race took place over a three-month period. To standardise the results so all participating companies could be compared, the race measured one homepage, one category page, and one product page for each shop. Measurements were taken every 24 hours at the same time using the same server.

When it came to improving mobile load times, the participating companies achieved consistently good results. The point at which the browser displays the first content on the screen (known as First Contentful Paint, or FCP) improved by an average of 11%. The largest companies in the Otto Group boosted their FCP by an average of 20%.    

“Improved loading speed correlates significantly with lower bounce rates and better conversion rates.”

One of the subsidiaries participating in the race was Shopping24, which focused on optimising its sales channel Wohnklamotte.de. The site’s results demonstrate how faster load times can positively affect engagement. By implementing changes such as lazy loading of images and reworking CSS and JavaScript files, Wohnklamotte.de’s FCP improved by 42%. In turn, the bounce rate dropped by 20% on the homepage and by approximately 34% on category pages, while the conversion rate improved by approximately 13% on category pages. Average pages visited per session increased by 25% and  average session length improved by 15%.

Across the Otto Group, the Mobile Page Speed Race has produced important findings that have been shared across companies and departments. Many of the learnings will now be incorporated into the group’s internal best practices. “We definitely have some ideas for building on the results of the race,” Daniel says. “Our mobile sites require constant optimisation, not just a one-off campaign.”

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