How to improve site speed of my ecommerce store

Site speed: The ecommerce conversion killer

Speed kills. Slow speed that is. If it’s taking too long for your pages to load, then your ecommerce site is going to miss out on conversions.

Slow page loading has a real negative impact on the customer experience and your volume of website traffic.

And Google has made speed a ranking factor in page searches. Site speed really is an ecommerce conversion killer: it affects users searching for, visiting and using your site.

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How does slow site speed impact ecommerce conversion rates?

According to Google’s published research, bounce rate probability increases massively beyond three seconds.

Between one and three seconds, the bounce rate is 32%, but between three and five seconds, it leaps to 90%.

Simply put, faster is better.

A business can lose around 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over four seconds to load.

This is a very real and pressing issue for ecommerce sites. The same research that shows that over 50% of mobile users will leave a site that takes over three seconds to load also indicates that the average mobile site takes 15 seconds to load.

Many ecommerce sites aren’t fast enough to retain the customers they attract.

How important is speed compared to other factors when it comes to conversions?

Ecommerce site design and speed are closely connected. The more content a site contains, the more a potential customer has to navigate their way through it. Where a site contains too many elements, it becomes slow and bloated.

The customer journey needs to be as smooth and as clear as possible. Less really is more.

 It’s one thing to make your site attractive, and to clearly present what you’re selling, but you must make it easy for the customer to buy from you.

This includes enabling streamlined guest checkout and payment, and optimising your site so that it will load quickly and display images correctly on all devices.

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What Causes Slow Ecommerce Sites?

There are several major factors that can affect site loading times.

One we’ve already touched on, which is what the site contains. It may be tempting to include lots of extensions and plug-ins, but these can slow your site down.

Page size will affect speed. Obviously, images are vital for displaying what you’re selling, but you need to optimise them. And you should be balancing the use of images with the need to minimise your web pages.

Fonts can also be an issue. A custom font may add website appeal, but it can also increase load times.

Critically though, there is the basic issue of your platform. Your content management system (CMS) should be designed specifically for ecommerce purposes.

A dedicated ecommerce CMS will be far better suited than a blogging or general purpose CMS.

How Can You Increase Your Site Speed?

Obviously, you can address some of the issues we’ve raised above, for example your ecommerce site design and content.

You should also be using a reliable web host, to ensure minimum disruption to your users.

But a key element is your ecommerce platform and how well it functions on a fundamental level. Site speeds will vary depending on the ecommerce platform you choose; some legacy platforms have become bloated and slow over time, while others become bogged down by the plugins necessary for a fully functioning store.

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Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform

We designed the Aero platform to be lightning fast; sites built on Aero consistently achieve sub 1.5 second load times that have resulted in dramatic increases in conversion rates

This gives you a highly competitive site speed from the start, and means that your ecommerce site has the essential foundation it needs to function efficiently as a sales vehicle.

Website visitors don’t waste time waiting for pages to load. This applies throughout the customer journey. If, for example, your checkout page is slow to load, you risk your customers abandoning their shopping carts.

Site speed as a critical conversion factor applies across the broad spectrum of online stores.

We’ve helped established fashion retailers such as Psyche and Designerwear increase their conversion rates significantly by switching to our platform.

Increased speed can help your store generate increased revenue, and an improved performance overall.

For more details about ecommerce platforms and sites, what works, and what doesn’t, please follow Aero on LinkedIn.

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