Regardless of an excellent product range and fantastic online deals, your slow ecommerce website can give your valuable visitors a poor user experience and potentially drive your customers to your competitors losing you customers and revenue.

Some interesting stats from Ecommerce Week to mull over:

  • Ecommerce websites that have a huge catalogue of products can be up to three times slower than the industry standard, potentially causing users to get frustrated.
  • Amazon reported that for every 1 second of delay, they lost 7% less conversions. Longer delays will mount up to lost revenue.
  • A third of British online shoppers will abandon a mobile site if it doesn’t load within three seconds

Several years ago Google announced their intention that website speed would have an impact on search ranking, which makes sense. A poor performing website results in a poor user experience and those websites who offer poor user experience certainly deserve less promotion in search results.

To add to these facts, in our experience web builds are becoming ever more complex. Technical integrations, huge SKU ranges, mobile and tablet device compatability, the latest front end design overlays, high resolution images and the threat of security attacks will all contribute towards less than optimal site speeds. Your chosen web developers and hosting providers need to be at the forefront of the latest technologies and able to deploy them to give your website’s performance an edge in today’s market place.

Whether your considering a brand new web build or looking to upgrade and enhance your current ecommerce site, here’s a few pointers to help create the foundation for great website performance.

Start with User Experience and put it at the heart of your website design. Use whatever intelligence you have available to build up a story of how people will or currently are interacting with your site and use this information to create a smooth streamlined online experience that is a pleasure for your customers to use.

Keep it simple. Simplicity is absolutely key. If you look at some of the best performing websites, the steps that take you from browse to buy is intuitive and stripped down, subtly funnelling you through to the end goal. Focus on the absolute essentials for the customer journey.

It’s a good idea to look at performance budget, based on page weight, requests and loading time. Limiting these factors will make you think more carefully about what you are putting on your website, preventing you from overloading your website with unnecessary content.

Optimising your mobile store for fast loading times is essential. Traffic to mobile stores continues to grow and mobile conversion rate optimisation is a big opportunity area for many online businesses. Disabling unnecessary desktop features for mobile, removing banners and some imagery all will help to offer a faster mobile experience.

Your developers should recommend the steps to optimise your website by reducing files sizes, http requests and latency while also optimising the critical rendering path.

Optimise image size across all pages.

Adding progress bars can make visitors wait for loading more tolerable.

Some suggestions from Google are to ensure the critical rendering path, DNS look-up, HTTP request, server response time and TCP connection take no more than 200 milliseconds for a successful one second page load.

Avoid cheap hosting solutions that may use overloaded servers that will result in above average down-times and slow loading speed.

Consider migrating to Magento Enterprise if your sales are approaching £1million/$1.5million USD for better site speed, performance and scalability.

A fast, streamlined website will make a significant difference to your ecommerce conversion rates and your ability to rank highly on search engines. One of the key factors in a successful ecommerce website is it’s ability to load within 1 second and maintaining a page speed score of over 80 on all pages. Optimising your site for speed will be one of the best investments you can make in your online store this year.

Interested in improving your website speed? Contact Williams Commerce on 0116 326 1116 or 0116 326 1116, or email us at [email protected]