August 12, 2010, 6:34 PM

E-retailers report higher conversions with Akamai site-acceleration technology

Home Depot says it has boosted conversion rates by 30% with Akamai’s site accelerator.

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Retailers that use Akamai to speed up delivery of web content nab higher conversion rates than those that don’t, the content delivery network says.

Akamai Technologies Inc. compared the retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide using its services versus those that do not and found Akamai customers experienced a 33% higher conversion rate on average. Akamai says it works with 260 retailers on the Internet Retailer Top 500 list.

Content delivery networks such as Akamai are designed to make web pages load faster. Such networks operate servers across the country—and the world—that deliver site data to consumers nearby, so that, for instance, a consumer in Boston is accessing data from a server in that city, and not from the retailer’s data center in Los Angeles.

The HomeDepot.com, No. 39 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it has experienced a 30% increase in conversion rates since it began using Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator service. Dynamic acceleration delivers changing, non-cacheable content such as inventory more quickly to retail web sites by serving it to web site visitors who request it via a nearby Akamai portal.

"Today's consumers demand a fast, engaging and secure online shopping environment when searching for a product online. We see a direct relationship between online revenues and site performance and, therefore, we have to ensure our site performs well and loads fast," says Michael Cooper, vice president online operations, HomeDepot.com. 

Bidz.com, No. 125 in the Top 500 Guide, says it has experienced a three-fold improvement in page response time since it implemented Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator.

 “Critical to our online success is the ability to attract the most promising buyers to our site while ensuring that our customer’s browse-to-buy experience is smooth, reliable and quick,” says Leon Kuperman, president and chief technology officer, Bidz.com.  “Akamai is accelerating the dynamic transactions on our site and improving our site performance.”

Akamai Technologies accounted for 62% of content delivery network revenue in 2009, versus 9.5% for No. 2 Limelight Networks Inc. (http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/05/17/limelight-bids-more-e-commerce-business), according to market research firm Tier1Research.

Akamai last month made a big play in the mobile realm with its acquisition of Velocitude, a company that specializes in transforming web content to render properly on mobile devices. Akamai says it is out to make it easier to process m-commerce burst sessions, such as finding a store’s location in less than 30 seconds.

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