Case Studies

Reduced Load Times Lead to Lower Bounce Rates for FEMSA

Natasha Lasensky

FEMSA came to PINT for help as its site had extremely slow load times that were hindering the user experience. PINT resolved this by using static site generation for pages not being edited in a CMS. The results were immediate with start render load times decreasing by 58.8%, and over time, bounce rates decreasing by 23%.

FEMSA began operations in 1890 by starting a brewery in Monterrey, Mexico. FEMSA is a global leader in the beverage and retail industry merchandising renowned brands of soft drinks, juices, bottled water, and energizing beverages. With such a wide variety of retail brands, it is crucial to FEMSA that its website has the best user experience possible in order to connect customers with its products.

Client:FEMSA
Location: Cuajimalpa, D.F., México
Industry: Beverages
PINT Services: Digital Transformation, Digital Consulting, Systems Integration, quality assurance, security consulting
Technology: Custom PHP script, cURL, Drupal

Screenshot of the FEMSA site on a desktop computer.

Challenge

Before PINT started work on the site, users going to www.femsa.com were being met with 7.295s start render load times. This was especially painful for FEMSA website users because they were experiencing this slow render and load time not just on initial site load, but on every page of the site! Users tend to abandon sites if they don’t load within 3 seconds (source) and FEMSA was failing that benchmark, consequently losing out on customers because of it.

Clearly, FEMSA needed to make the site easier to use and to reduce user frustration by lowering the page load times across the site. However, this need was complicated by the requirement of a slow-rendering Content Management System (CMS), Drupal, which FEMSA’s content-creation team needed to retain.

Solution

PINT converted the FEMSA website into a partially static website while still allowing adding, editing, and deleting content through the Drupal CMS, which the FEMSA team knew well.

PINT used the iron triangle of software development to determine the importance of scope, resources, and time. With time being of the utmost importance, our approach was to create a hybrid version of www.femsa.com that contained both static and dynamic content. All dynamic content was still being pulled from FEMSA’s CMS, but start render load times decreased drastically due to the quick delivery of static assets.

We used Google Analytics to determine the pages with the most traffic and converted those pages into static pages first. The benefits of this conversion were noticed within the first day of the project by frequent website visitors. Start render load times dropped drastically from 7.295s to 3.002s – a 58.8% decrease.

In addition, to avoid impacting the live server, we ran a copy of the site in a local virtual machine (Vagrant Box), against which we ran a custom PHP script to generate the static pages.

Results

FEMSA’s site gained vast improvements in load times and decreased bounce rates for the site.

  • Start Render Load Time for the entire site went from 7.295s to 3.002s.
  • Total Load Times for the entire site went from 11.367s to 8.709s.
  • Bounce Rates for the entire site went from 48% to 36%

Web Page Test Results – Before PINT:

Before results for FEMSA including two Fs and 3 As.

Web Page Test Results – After PINT:

After results for FEMSA including 5 As.

Reduced load times have also helped increase the number of pages per session by 11% as users can now navigate easier and faster between pages. PINT satisfied FEMSA’s business-critical technical issues while successfully maintaining the content creation team’s familiar workflow through the Drupal CMS.

If you want to get more out of your web presence, let us know.

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