E-Commerce Sales and the Need for Speed

Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

E-commerce sites need to be speedy in order to keep their customers happy. Here's what you need to know about site speed and page load...

 

No matter what kinds of sales, promotions or content you have on your website, if the page isn't loading fast enough, you're losing customers. User experience and satisfaction, as well as search engine rankings are all impacted by your pages' load times. E-commerce businesses and sites need to be speedy in order to keep their customers happy and their revenue stream going in the right direction. Here's what you need to know about site speed, page load time, and your business's bottom line.

Related: Get the infographic, "The Need for Speed," to find out how to optimize your site for speed.

The Impact of Delayed Page Load Time

If you optimize the speed of your site, you'll be able to optimize your website for better conversions, rankings and user experience. Delayed load time means more than you've probably considered. While you think customer satisfaction may the item taking the biggest, think again. Your page views and conversions (eek!) will also feel the impact. A 1-second delay in page load times means:

  • A 7% reduction in conversions (Tweet this!)
  • An 11% reduction in page views
  • A 16% reduction in customer satisfaction (Tweet this!)

If page views and revenue are focuses for your website, and they should be for those in e-commerce arenas, page load time should be a focus for your IT team anytime you make a change to your site design.

Related: Business Blogs Generate 5x More Site Traffic, Unless Poor Design Is Driving Them Away

Ways to Improve Site Speed and Decrease Load Time

Even if you're not running an e-Commerce site, but are looking for ways to increase the speed of your site, there are a number of ways you can do so. While some of these steps may require a more technical hand, working with your site developer or webmaster could be a first approach. Here are just four of the many ways you can improve site speed and decrease page load time.

  • Optimize images. While dimensions are a major factor in terms of quality, compressing the images to reduce their file size is one route you can take to increase load time significantly without diminishing the user's overall experience.
  • Minimize JavaScript use. JavaScript overuse can have a dramatic impact on your pages' load times. Take a look at where you're loading it, how you're loading it and which JavaScript framework you are using.
  • Increase server bandwidth. The more traffic your site receives, the greater the need for increased server bandwidth. If you don't have adequate bandwidth, your visitors could experience slow load times or be unable to access your site.
  • Leverage browser caching. By instructing your browser to cache a copy of files that don't change often, you won't have to worry about as much about the impact on load speed from your browser dynamically generating the same page time and time again.

These items are a bit technical. There are tools or IT services providers that can help you accomplish these things at relatively low costs. Just be sure to shop around and measure before and after results.

Related: Velocity 2013: Web Performance Takeaways for SMBs (Part 2)

While a one-second slower load time may not seem that significant, it can mean the difference between a customer staying on your site and converting or them leaving and turning to one of your competitors. For every second or half-second you knock off of load time, you'll be able to improve customer confidence in your site and business. There are number of techniques and technical tools you can apply. If you're unsure where to start, use the above suggestions as a starting point.

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