The difference between a Site Performance Assessment (SPA) service and and a Competitive Benchmark is that with a Performance Assessment we test the performance and availability of your website against your internal requirements, our best practices and, if available, results from previous assessments.
A Competitive Benchmark compares the performance of your site to the performance of your competitors or any other company that you feel you could learn from. Here the objective is not to identify performance issues on your site but to analyze where you are different. Key Performance will measure the performance of a number of pre-defined (comparable) customer journeys over a four week period to identify important differences in performance, tools, technology and approach and present these to you in an on-site presentation.
This means that a Competitive Benchmark is a perfect way to set or validate your internal Service Level Agreements or those that you have with your main service providers or hosting company. Recently we did a Competitive Benchmark for a European fashion retailer who was experiencing a gradual drop in conversion rates. Their internal SLA was set at a 3.5 second response time for 'light' pages and 5 seconds for heavier product pages. Our Benchmark showed that the 4 competitors that we analyzed were all significantly faster and more stable. This information was enough reason for the business to launch a major performance improvement initiative before the introduction of their new collection.
Ideally a Competitive Benchmark is repeated once or twice per year (and against the same competitors) to provide you with a good understanding of how you are doing and what the others are up to. If you would like to have more frequent information, then we can always add measurements from selected competitors to your web performance monitoring. This way you receive this information in real time, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Some of our clients use this information to rapidly launch special promotions whenever competitors are having performance problems which is an interesting way to use competitive information for immediate revenue generation!