Site speed is an incredibly important and often overlooked factor in eCommerce. Having a slow loading site can affect your Google Search rankings, bounce rates, customer satisfaction and conversions. There are plenty of ways you can get around this problem, from using a good eCommerce platform such as Pypa Commerce to focusing on mobile optimization.
Let’s look at some of the most important reasons why you need to think about site speed when running an eCommerce website:
Because it affects User Experience (UX), site speed is a Google Search ranking factor, so the faster your site is, the higher it appears in the SERPs and vice versa. Google refined this ranking factor further in 2021, when it introduced Core Web Vitals, splitting it into three categories:
This means that you need to think all the more carefully about site speed.
Site speed is a particular issue with mobile devices (pages take 87.84% longer to load on mobile). This is a big deal for eCommerce because most online shoppers are now using mobile devices.
Slow loading leads to increased bounce rates as shoppers get frustrated and search elsewhere. Not only does this prevent customers from buying anything, but high bounce rates also negatively affect your SERPs as they tell Google that searchers haven’t found what they were expecting on your site (fast loading pages).
One of the biggest reasons for trying to improve your site speed is it’s terrible UX (which in the case of eCommerce means it affects customer satisfaction). There is proof that slow loading eCommerce sites affect customer satisfaction: apparently, a slow loading website causes as much stress as taking a math test!
Obviously, low customer satisfaction affects repeat visits, but it also affects something much bigger…
Slow sites have a terrible effect on your conversion rate. Even a 1 second delay will decrease conversions by 7%. The effect is even more pronounced on mobile devices. In turn this means …
Lack of conversions from slow loading means less money. While in the less extreme cases, it may not sound like much, this can make a big difference to your bottom line, whether you’re a small or large business.
It’s not just the direct loss: All of your hard work and money spent on advertising and lead generation will go down the drain, if customers immediately bounce from your slow loading site.
There’s a lot of competition in eCommerce; so if customers don’t like your slow site, they’ll go elsewhere.
However, the opposite also applies: A shocking number of eCommerce sites have bad loading rates, especially for mobile, so if you work hard at optimizing your site speed, you’ll come out ahead of your competition.
Fortunately, the problems that are causing your site to run slow are easily diagnosable and easily fixable:
First, find out if your site is actually too slow by checking your site speed (and the speed of individual pages). You can do this by using Google PageSpeed Insights. Then, you need to take steps to actually improve your site speed…
A good eCommerce platform, such as Pypa Commerce, will have the ability to automatically optimize your site speed. Using a reliable hosting service is important too (e.g. Pypa Commerce is hosted on Google Cloud) and some hosting providers like Kinsta and Cloudflare offer automatic page speed optimization. Of course, having a good hosting network is not enough, you still need to…
In order to get your site’s speed up, you need to fix slow loading elements. Here are some of the worst offenders:
As one of the main issues is mobile site speed and most online shopping is now done on mobile devices, it makes sense to focus on mobile optimization. This could include implementing responsive design if your site doesn’t already have it, or improving existing responsive design.
Checking your site speed regularly is a good idea as it means you can quickly pick up issues with your site’s quality before they start to impact your conversions.
Thinking about site speed can pay off, increasing your conversion rate and SERP ranking. Most of the problems with site speed are quickly fixable, making fine-tuning your site for speed a no-brainer. It’s easy to optimize your site speed with the help of a good eCommerce platform like Pypa Commerce–Register for the Beta today!
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