Ecommerce Website Optimization: Speed

 In Ecommerce

Page loading or time, or website speed, is an often underrated factor in website optimization. However, the speed of your website is a critical component to overall user experience and even search engine rankings. And these valuable seconds – even milliseconds – can mean even mean the difference between a sale and website abandonment.

Consider that a 1-second delay in page load time yields 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a7% loss in conversions (Aberdeen Group)

Below we will share some insights into speed expectations, how it can affect your bottom line, and a couple of practical tips for improving your website’s speed!

How Fast Should Your Website Be?

What are visitors expecting when they visit your website? And what is the longest wait they will endure? Consider these statistics (ConversionXL):

  • 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes 3 seconds or more to load.
  • According to this scientific study tolerable waiting time for information retrieval is approximately 2 seconds. Adding feedback, like a progress bar, can push tolerable waiting time to 38 seconds (so if your site is slow, add progress bars or equivalent).
  • A site that loads in 3 seconds experiences 22% fewer page views, a 50% higher bounce rate, and a 22% fewer conversions than a site that loads in 1 second. While a site that loads in 5 seconds experiences 35% fewer page views, a 105% higher bounce rate, and 38% fewer conversions.

How a Slow Website Can Affect Your Bottom Line

In the competitive online world, being at the top of search results is critical! A fast website may rank higher in SERPs because Google and other major search engines take website speed into consideration in their ranking algorithms. (If you are using paid search, a slow loading page could lower your quality score)

In addition to having implications for search ranking, website speed also impacts overall user experience associated with your ecommerce website. According to KissMetrics:

  • 40% of shoppers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the site again.
  • 52% of online shoppers state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
  • A 1 second delay (or 3 seconds of waiting) decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.
  • 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.

Overall, a slower page response time results in an increase in page abandonment. Which, ultimately, is lost sales for your business!

3 Speed Tips For Your Ecommerce Website

Looking to improve your website speed? Below are 3 basic tips to get started. We will discuss these tips in more detail in future blog posts.

  1. Choose a good website host: hosting is the foundation of your ecommerce website, and therefore, the first place to start when thinking about building your website. Consider server stability, access, and more in addition to price!
  2. Optimize images: oversized images take longer to load! Therefore, it is important to keep your images as small as possible. Also, crop your images to the correct size before uploading, instead of using the width parameter to size.
  3. Gzip compression: According to Yahoo, “Gzip is the most popular and effective compression method currently available and generally reduces the response size by about 70%. Approximately 90% of today’s Internet traffic travels through browsers that claim to support gzip.”‘
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Lindsay Brown
Lindsay Brown is Operations Director of the Small Business Center of Excellence (SBCoE). Lindsay is Director of Digital Marketing and a partner at Modern Marketing Partners. Lindsay specializes in startups of all types, along with experience with technology brands. She is Google Analytics and AdWords certified, earning a Bachelor of Science from the Illinois State University.
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