Red light green light - Measuring the performance of apps

Red light green light - Measuring the performance of apps

Measuring the performance of third-party tech/apps across ecommerce sites is fast becoming a popular topic. The action of measuring these apps has even been given its own rating acronym – PIR which means Performance Impact Rating.


A PIR rating measures apps by allocating colours such as a red, yellow/orange, or green colour to each piece of tech. For example, a red colour rating means that the third-party has considerably impacted the online store’s overall performance negatively.


In the forever expanding ecommerce space, third-party apps are what online businesses owners are increasingly adding to their stores to make them more flexible and experimental. Today, these apps are becoming hugely popular, with more variety coming in at lower costs, helping to integrate more to ecommerce sites than ever before. And with online retailers wanting to integrate more of the latest tech to make more sales and increase business, now is the time to start monitoring the kind of effect third-party apps are having on user experience, speed and overall online store performance. 


PIR is now measured by category. Let’s say when an online retailer sets up a new online store, they often hold high hopes with this transition. When an online retailer sets up, for example on Shopify, the anticipation is real and indicates they want the move online to really pull its weight and contribute to an increase in sales and general business expansion. 

As the area of ecommerce has steadily grown so has accompanying innovation/tech, some in the form of third-party apps created to enhance a shopper’s online user experience from the start and search for a product, right through to checking out at the cart screen.

In saying this it’s notable to point out that not all third-party apps are built the same, with some making a huge impact on the retail site’s overall performance and some only a small amount. So, this is where we can say that because some online stores have integrated with many third-party apps, it’s important to review by category (not including the third-party apps that have been already programmed to load optimally right through the platform).


If certain categories demonstrate a negative PIR, the colour shows up red which means that it has a large negative impact on the site performance within a category. When the colour is green then the negative impact on how the site is working is less. The categories in red are considered stronger technologies with more complex capabilities which make a customer’s user experience better/smoother.

A stronger third-party will take its time to load because the complexity in its nature means it’s doing many things simultaneously as it loads up. For example, gathering data and rearranging content on a webpage and so forth. None of these things are easy to do and will sup up data readily to complete these tasks. 

However, when third-party apps are properly optimised brands are free to choose these apps, irrespective of how they may impact the online store’s performance, and still generate an awesome user experience. Good optimisation of third-party tech will also reduce page speed loading times by 27 percent.

To further explain a PIR rating by category, we can list some of the ecommerce categories that affect product performance negatively.

In the red (in order from greatest impact to less)

  • Tag management 
  • Personalisation
  • Channel expansion

In orange 

  • Commerce search
  • Ad tech
  • Analytics
  • Customer service 
  • Marketing automation 

 Heading into lighter green colour

  • Processing 
  • Social media
  • A/B testing 
  • Conversion utility
  • CDP reviews 
  • Customer reviews
  • Loyalty 

Darker green 

  • Influencer marketing 
  • Security
  • Commerce utility 
  • Coupon and deals – browser plugins


As third parties add in different features and ways they work, they affect an online store’s performance. A third party’s way of staying the same or increasing its way of working while balancing trying to keep the online store performing optimally is one of the most top things that can help an online business reach its full potential. 

For third parties that create a negative effect on an online store’s performance, the glee over how it has enhanced the customer purchasing experience isn’t as amazing if the store is behaving poorly. Alternatively, the third parties that actually enhance a site’s performance, make any other benefits to the site a very good thing. In 2022, compared to 2021, the third parties that were negatively impacting on how an online store was working upped their PIRs.