Josh Carter

As Blue Triangle's Director of Marketing, Josh enjoys sharing ways businesses can improve digital experience and revenue. He is also an avid swimmer, runner, cyclist and drummer.

Blue Triangle’s January 2019 Release: New Features, Metrics, and Improvements

The Blue Triangle team was hard at work over the holiday season getting ready for our January 2019 release. And boy, did they deliver.

Here’s what the January 2019 release includes:

New Features (broken out by product)

Real User Monitoring

Find revenue opportunity by device and page – instantly.
The speed of your site matters to your revenue. See where speed improvements will bring you the most revenue, now in one view – down to every device and web page.


Attribute revenue gain or loss to a performance change.
This used to live on the last screen, but we thought it deserved more love.


New Dashboard – RUM Performance Detail
Instantly trend and analyze the performance of every page on your site on one dashboard. If you have multiple dashboards, you can cycle through them at a set interval.


Learn More

Tag Governance

Trend the performance first and third-party domains and their resources
Chances are, over 60% of your website is comprised of third-party domains and their resources (like JavaScript tags and CSS files).

Measuring domain and resource performance is critical to have proper Tag Governance. Blue Triangle now shows you all your domains, the pages they’re loading on, and the resources they are loading.



Learn More

Synthetic Monitoring

New Dashboard – Synthetic Performance Detail
We built this for Real User Monitoring, so why not Synthetic Monitoring too?

Synthetic Monitors Log
Go ahead and yawn…but you’ll thank us when you have multiple people managing your synthetic monitors.


Learn More

New Metrics

We added 3 new Google Lighthouse metrics to our platform, giving you more ways to analyze your site’s performance. The definitions below are provided by Google.

Time to Interactive
Measures how long it takes a page to become interactive. “Interactive” is defined as the point where:

  • The page has displayed useful content, which is measured with First Contentful Paint.
  • Event handlers are registered for most visible page elements.
  • The page responds to user interactions within 50 milliseconds.

First Contentful Paint
The time from navigation to the time when the browser renders the first bit of content from the DOM. This is an important milestone for users because it provides feedback that the page is actually loading.

First Meaningful Paint
The paint after which the biggest above-the-fold layout change has happened, and web fonts have loaded.

Improvements

Filters
You can now quickly add or remove popular filters at the top of each page. And the main filters list now slides in instead of popping over so it won’t impede your view. Pretty cool, right?

Dashboard
The KPI Date Comparison Dashboard Widget now has 2 new panels – Onload and Time to DOM Interactive. Track performance and revenue side-by-side!

A note of thanks

To our customers who provided us with feedback prior to the release – thank you! We look forward to continue working with you in the future.

Not a Blue Triangle customer? Click here to learn more about our platform.

Blue Triangle’s January 2019 Release: New Features, Metrics, and Improvements

The Blue Triangle team was hard at work over the holiday season getting ready for our January 2019 release. And boy, did they deliver.

Here’s what the January 2019 release includes:

New Features (broken out by product)

Real User Monitoring

Find revenue opportunity by device and page – instantly.
The speed of your site matters to your revenue. See where speed improvements will bring you the most revenue, now in one view – down to every device and web page.


Attribute revenue gain or loss to a performance change.
This used to live on the last screen, but we thought it deserved more love.


New Dashboard – RUM Performance Detail
Instantly trend and analyze the performance of every page on your site on one dashboard. If you have multiple dashboards, you can cycle through them at a set interval.


Learn More

Tag Governance

Trend the performance of first and third-party domains and their resources
Chances are, over 60% of your website is comprised of third-party domains and their resources (like JavaScript tags and CSS files).

Measuring domain and resource performance is critical to have proper Tag Governance. Blue Triangle now shows you all your domains, the pages they’re loading on, and the resources they are loading.



Learn More

Synthetic Monitoring

New Dashboard – Synthetic Performance Detail
We built this for Real User Monitoring, so why not Synthetic Monitoring too?

Synthetic Monitors Log
Go ahead and yawn…but you’ll thank us when you have multiple people managing your synthetic monitors.


Learn More

New Metrics

We added 3 new Google Lighthouse metrics to our platform, giving you more ways to analyze your site’s performance. The definitions below are provided by Google.

Time to Interactive
Measures how long it takes a page to become interactive. “Interactive” is defined as the point where:

  • The page has displayed useful content, which is measured with First Contentful Paint.
  • Event handlers are registered for most visible page elements.
  • The page responds to user interactions within 50 milliseconds.

First Contentful Paint
The time from navigation to the time when the browser renders the first bit of content from the DOM. This is an important milestone for users because it provides feedback that the page is actually loading.

First Meaningful Paint
The paint after which the biggest above-the-fold layout change has happened, and web fonts have loaded.

Improvements

Filters
You can now quickly add or remove popular filters at the top of each page. And the main filters list now slides in instead of popping over so it won’t impede your view. Pretty cool, right?

Dashboard
The KPI Date Comparison Dashboard Widget now has 2 new panels – Onload and Time to DOM Interactive. Track performance and revenue side-by-side!

A note of thanks

To our customers who provided us with feedback prior to the release – thank you! We look forward to continue working with you in the future.

Not a Blue Triangle customer? Click here to learn more about our platform.

Why your site needs a Content Security Policy (CSP)

A Content Security Policy (CSP) can help protect your site from data breaches caused by cross-site scripting (XSS) and formjacking attacks. A CSP also prevents client-side malware from injecting unwanted ads on your website.

What is a Content Security Policy (CSP)?

A Content Security Policy (CSP) is a browser security standard that controls what domains, subdomains, and types of resources a browser can load on a given web page.

It is implemented via an HTTP header, but a CSP can also be placed on a web page using a <meta> tag. CSPs are compatible with most modern desktop and mobile browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera, and Safari.

Here’s the first line of bluetriangle.com’s CSP header:

Content-Security-Policy: default-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval' *.cloudfront.net *.btttag.com *.googleadservices.com *.googletraveladservices.com *.adroll.com *.cloudfront.net everesttech.net

…and the Meta Tag

<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval' *.cloudfront.net *.btttag.com *.googleadservices.com *.googletraveladservices.com *.adroll.com *.cloudfront.net everesttech.net ... />

Why you need a CSP

CSPs are used to detect and prevent certain types of attacks, including:

Formjacking &
Cross-Site Scripting

If a hacker injects code into your checkout pages, a CSP automatically blocks the code from sending your customer’s payment information to the hacker’s domain.

Browser Hijacking
& Ad Injection

Client-side malware causes unwanted ads to appear on your users’ browsers. A CSP prevents these ads from loading when affected users go on your website.

Unauthorized
Piggyback Tags

One tag could also be loading multiple tags from vendors you have not authorized. A CSP eliminates this security risk.

The credit card skimming attacks at Ticketmaster UK, British Airways, Newegg, and thousands of other sites could have been prevented with a properly implemented CSP.

How common are CSPs?

Unfortunately, not in the slightest.

Only 6.9% of the 1,114 websites we are measuring in our Industry Benchmarks have a CSP header in place.

Here’s the breakdown:

INDUSTRY SITES MEASURED SITES WITH A CSP HEADER % WITH CSP HEADER
Retail 968 69 7.1%
Media 45 2 4.4%
Hotels 36 0 0%
Banking 29 2 6.9%
Travel 26 2 7.7%
Airlines 10 2 20%
TOTAL 1114 77 6.9%

Based on the conversations I’ve had with eCommerce security leaders, the lack of adoption is attributed to 3 key factors:

1. CSPs are hard to build
Before a CSP can be built, you need to determine what domains and subdomains have access to your website and what resources they’re loading (e.g. JavaScript, CSS, PHP). Without the right analytics tools, getting this data is a manual and tedious process.

You can start creating your CSP as soon as you’ve determined what domains, subdomains and their resources are allowed to have access to your website. This process can take days or even weeks.

2. CSPs are tough to manage
Once you’ve built and implemented your CSP, someone needs to manually update it with every website release and stay on top of any CSP violations that are reported in the browser console log. Again, this is a tedious process and requires a monitoring solution that can notify you when content is blocked by the CSP.

3. CSPs are incredibly complicated
Most CSPs are dozens of lines long. And even for the more technical, the documentation can be a bit overwhelming. Specifying the resource types that are authorized to be loaded by domains and subdomains is very complex and leaves no room for error.

Implementing a CSP Manager

A CSP Management solution like Blue Triangle’s can help you automate the process of building and managing your Content Security Policy.

We have a step by step process to eliminate the chaos. We inventory your domains, provide a streamlined process for you to approve them, and automatically build your Content Security Policy. Then our solution helps you easily update your CSP and alert you as soon as there are violations.

Blue Triangle adds a neccessary layer of security, mitigating your risk of a data breach stemming from malicious first or third party code.

Here’s how our CSP Manager works:

1. Inventory your domains.
We start off by identifying what first and third-party domains are loading on your site. See who owns the domains and what pages they’re loading on.

2. Determine what domains are allowed.
Now that you know what domains are loading on your site, quickly create a whitelist of approved domains, as well as what type of files they are allowed to call.

3. Auto generate Content Security Policy (CSP).
Once you approve the whitelist, Blue Triangle automatically generates a comprehensive CSP that you can deploy in seconds.

4. Deploy CSP and stay secure.
Your CSP blocks any unknown or malicious domains from accessing your site. We’ll even notify you as soon as there are any violations to your CSP.

Not ready to block? Then stay in alert-only mode.

Ready to implement a CSP?

A Content Security Policy can protect your site from a variety of attacks, including credit card skimming and ad injection. Without a CSP management solution, creating and building one is a manual and tedious process. Blue Triangle can help.

Cyber Monday 2018: The Fastest and Slowest Retail Websites

Shoppers are spending more online this holiday season than ever before:

Thanksgiving Day: $3.70B (up 28%)
Black Friday: $6.22B (up 23.6%)
Cyber Monday: $7.9B (up 19.3%)

And unfortunately, many retailers couldn’t handle the uptick in orders on Cyber Monday, leaving a plethora of frustrated shoppers.

J.Crew’s outage on Black Friday is estimated to have cost the company over $700k in sales.

Site outages kill revenue. And while not as severe, slow websites do too. Notice how conversion rate decreases the slower the page loads:


Collectively, the top 500 eCommerce sites slowed down by 8% on average between Sunday 11/25 and Cyber Monday. The IBM Digital Analytics outage that caused slower page speeds for many of their customers on Black Friday happened again on Cyber Monday.

This report is based on Home Page measurements run by Blue Triangle’s Synthetic Monitoring.

Rank the speeds of the Top 500 eCommerce sites Black Friday – Cyber Monday.

Page speed by vertical

Every retail vertical experienced slow-downs between Sunday 11/25 and Cyber Monday.

Major retailers

The nearly 7-second Victoria’s Secret slow-down was due to the IBM Digital Analytics (formerly Coremetrics) outage that impacted their load time on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Who slowed down?

The sites in red indicate those impacted by the IBM Digital Analytics outage on Cyber Monday.

Who sped up?

Stay up to date

Blue Triangle is working with major retailers like The Home Depot and Lenovo this holiday season to ensure peak performance and optimal revenue.

See where the top 500 retailers stack up weekly: Access the Retail Digital Experience Index

Should you have any questions, comments or concerns, please send me an email: josh@bluetriangle.com.

Read the other reports:

Black Friday 2018: The Fastest and Slowest Retail Websites

Black Friday online sales reached $6.22B. That’s a 23.6% increase from last year.

But with the increase in shopping activity, many retailers experienced website outages and slow-downs, including Lowe’s, Walmart, and J.Crew.

Here’s what shoppers saw when they visited Lowes.com at certain points Black Friday:

Collectively, the top 500 eCommerce sites slowed down by 6% on average between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

To make matters worse, IBM Digital Analytics (formerly Coremetrics) had an outage on Black Friday that caused website slow-downs at major retailers, including Dillard’s, Victoria’s Secret, and Tractor Supply.

This report is based on Home Page measurements run by Blue Triangle’s Synthetic Monitoring.

Rank the speeds of the Top 500 eCommerce sites Black Friday – Cyber Monday.

Page speed by vertical

Nearly every retail vertical experienced slow-downs between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Major retailers

The Victoria’s Secret website slowed down by a whopping 89%.

This was due to the IBM Digital Analytics (formerly Coremetrics) outage that impacted the website’s load time between 9:00am EST and 4:00pm EST.

Who slowed down?

The sites in red indicate those impacted by the IBM Digital Analytics outage.

Who sped up?

Stay up to date

Blue Triangle is working with major retailers like The Home Depot and Lenovo this holiday season to ensure peak performance and optimal revenue.

See where the top 500 retailers stack up weekly: Access the Retail Digital Experience Index

Should you have any questions, comments or concerns, please send me an email: josh@bluetriangle.com.

Read the other reports:

Thanksgiving Day 2018: The Fastest and Slowest Retail Websites

A record-breaking $3.7B was spent online on Thanksgiving Day. That’s up 28% from last year.

Traffic was up 40% from Wednesday for Blue Triangle’s retail customers.

Blue Triangle retail customer traffic: 11/21 – 11/22

But the uptick in traffic comes with a cost: more site outages and slower page speeds.

Fortunately, unlike last year, there were no major website outages on Thanksgiving. That said, many websites, including The North Face, Bebe, and 1-800PetMeds.com slowed down significantly on Thanksgiving.

In the retail environment, a website slow-down can make the difference between a won or lost sale. Marketing dollars spent getting people to a website are wasted when customers leave your site because of site speed issues.

The graph below from Blue Triangle’s Real User Monitoring demonstrates that a slower site can lead to a lower conversion rate:

Speed matters, especially during the holidays.

This report is based on Home Page measurements run by Blue Triangle’s Synthetic Monitoring.

Rank the speeds of the Top 500 eCommerce sites Black Friday – Cyber Monday.

Page speed by vertical

Vertical Thanksgiving Day Page Speed (sec)
Flowers/Gifts 2.99
Automotive Parts/Accessories 3.09
Books/Music/Video 3.23
Sporting Goods 3.43
Hardware/Home Improvement 3.47
Office Supplies 3.51
Specialty 3.87
Housewares/Home Furnishings 3.95
Computers/Electronics 3.96
Apparel/Accessories 4.01
Health/Beauty 4.06
Jewelry 4.14
Toys/Hobbies 4.19
Mass Merchant 4.45
Food/Drug 4.77

Major retailers

Site Thanksgiving Day Page Speed (sec) Vertical
W.W. Grainger 1.27 Hardware/Home Improvement
Apple 1.71 Books/Music/Video
Wayfair 1.94 Housewares/Home Furnishings
Gap 2.32 Apparel/Accessories
Home Depot 2.53 Hardware/Home Improvement
Etsy 2.54 Mass Merchant
Staples 2.54 Office Supplies
Amazon.com 2.87 Mass Merchant
Groupon Goods 2.9 Mass Merchant
Dell 2.94 Computers/Electronics
Sears 3.27 Mass Merchant
Lenovo 3.81 Computers/Electronics
Kohls 4.00 Apparel/Accessories
Nordstrom 4.06 Apparel/Accessories
Newegg 4.87 Computers/Electronics
Costco 4.91 Mass Merchant
Best Buy 5.17 Computers/Electronics
Williams-Sonoma 5.68 Housewares/Home Furnishings
Target 5.83 Mass Merchant
Office Depot 6.51 Office Supplies
Macy’s 6.56 Apparel/Accessories
QVC 6.95 Mass Merchant
Lowe’s 7.12 Hardware/Home Improvement
CDW 7.49 Computers/Electronics
Victoria’s Secret 7.68 Apparel/Accessories

Who slowed down Thanksgiving Day?

Who sped up Thanksgiving Day?

Stay up to date

Blue Triangle is working with major retailers like The Home Depot and Office Depot this holiday season to ensure peak performance and optimal revenue.

See where the top 500 retailers stack up weekly: Access the Retail Digital Experience Index

Should you have any questions, comments or concerns, please send me an email: josh@bluetriangle.com.

Read the other reports:

Customer Success Story – U.S. Auto Parts

When you find millions of dollars in opportunity sitting on your websites, you take it. That’s exactly what Sheng-Te Yang and his team at U.S. Auto Parts did.

About U.S. Auto Parts

U.S. Auto Parts is a leading retailer of aftermarket auto parts. The company owns three eCommerce brands that contribute to a +$300M revenue stream.

Sheng-Te Yang is US Auto Parts’ Senior Director of Engineering. He manages a 200+ person technology team responsible for the entire company’s eCommerce development.

But don’t let Sheng-Te’s technical title fool you. He is focused on driving revenue and is successfully bridging the gap between IT and the business.

The Problem

Sheng-Te was tasked to improve performance on their CarParts.com and Auto Parts Warehouse sites. However, the company had a challenge calculating exactly how much load times affected their online revenue, or which areas of the site had the highest revenue opportunity.

Finding a Solution

Sheng-Te and his team had experience with performance monitoring tools like New Relic, AppDynamics, and WebPageTest. These tools found a laundry list of website issues, but never gave the revenue perspective needed to budget and prioritize fixes.

Enter Blue Triangle.

Blue Triangle helps online businesses optimize digital experience where it matters most to revenue.

How it Works

Step 1: Prioritize Optimizations

Quantify where additional revenue opportunities exist, down to an accurate dollar amount on every web page.

Step 2: Find & Optimize

Identify page-level enhancements that will directly improve digital experience and revenue.

Step 3: Validate

Measure the business and performance impact of optimizations immediately.

Note: Although optimizations were made on the Auto Parts Warehouse and CarParts.com websites, the focus of this case study is Auto Parts Warehouse.

Step 1: Prioritize Optimizations

To find revenue opportunity, the Blue Triangle tag was easily deployed via Tealium Tag Manager. No coding. No configuration. No custom events.

“Without any configuration, Blue Triangle found revenue opportunity throughout our sites, allowing us to prioritize our efforts on the areas with the greatest ROI. That was amazing.”
-Sheng-Te Yang, Senior Director of Engineering at U.S. Auto Parts

Within a week, the Auto Parts Warehouse revenue opportunity dashboard came to life.

The company was missing out on thousands of customers because of slow performance. This is evident in the conversion rate by page speed curve below:

They had to act quickly, starting with the Shopping Cart Page, then the Home Page.

Step 2: Find & Optimize

Shifting gears – improving the digital experience

Knowing the pages with the highest revenue opportunity, the technology team went to work.

Removed third party content

The team identified and removed extraneous third party content from the Shopping Cart and Home Pages, including two payment gateways (Visa and Amazon).

Moved third party content

Although some third party content was removed, there was still work that needed to be done since it was taking over 9 seconds just to experience the Shopping Cart and Home pages.

The DOM Interactive (the yellow line in the graph below) is the metric browsers report to signify this moment.

Content from Amazon, Google, and ResellerRatings was holding up shoppers from experiencing the site. Content non-essential to the initial loading of the page.

The solution was simple: defer the loading of non-essential content.

In other words, the team changed the content order so that critical business content (like the “Buy it Now” button) was loaded first.

The result?

The time to experience the page (DOM Interactive) improved by 4 seconds!

Optimized back-end code

Two files critical to the construction of the pages’ HTML were loading slowly due to back-end issues. These were delaying the rest of the page from loading.

After some back-end code optimizations, load time for these files improved by 35% and 49%, respectively!

Step 3: Validate

By following Blue Triangle’s roadmap to revenue, U.S. Auto Parts was able not only to improve page speed but also quantify the dollar value of the improvements they made.

Customer experience improved.
Revenue improved.

“We were able to identify and realize incremental revenue opportunities in just 2 months with Blue Triangle.”
-Sheng-Te Yang, Senior Director of Engineering at U.S. Auto Parts