When it comes to online, speed matters – a lot – and fast-loading pages are of critical importance when it comes to e-commerce in particular. In fact, speed matters so much that, without quick load times, you may unwittingly be driving away customers and losing sales.
One need only look at the online e-tailer, Amazon, to see just how much of an impact slow-loading pages can have on margins. In 2017, a study found that for every 100m/s of latency, the firm lost 1% in sales – yes, you read that right, 1% for just 100m/s.
The truth is, in the digital age, your customers (prospective and existing) demand quick load times and, if you don’t satiate those demands, you’ll alienate users and potentially drive them away, never to return.
The Need For Speed
If you’re finding your site is failing to convert visitors into confirmed buyers, there’s every chance your shopping process or load speed is to blame. Below are a few tips you could try to improve the overall shopping experience and improve load times.
Check Your Page Load Times
It should go without saying that one of the primary reasons for slow load times is inflated pages. The heavier your page is in terms of graphics, scripts, fonts, and plugins, the longer it will take to load in the user’s browser. You should regularly review your site’s image sizes and think about converting older image formats into the new WebP standard. Also, don’t forget about performing an audit on the fonts and scripts, as these can have a massively detrimental effect on your page load speeds.
Think About Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If you aren’t already using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your pages, you should be. With a CDN in place, your pages will be stored on a network of computers around the world which can massively reduce load times by sending pages from a server that’s closest to the user. It’s also worth noting that a CDN will improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as your site will perform better in all the common speed metrics used by search engines to test site load times.
Speed Up Your Client Onboarding/Verification Processes
While e-commerce has brought tremendous benefits to retailers, unfortunately, the problems caused by cybercrime have grown disproportionately quickly. Online criminality is a problem that faces that all firms operating in the digital realm. As well as making sure you partner with a trusted security firm and payment gateway operator, you should also take steps like KYC verification which can speed up the client onboarding process while also protecting you from fraudulent activity (or work with a company that uses KYC procedures). One of the primary reasons for customers abandoning the shopping process is being faced with lengthy security checks and form-filling – unfortunately, the very same checks that are required for all e-tailers to maintain their own protection.
Change Web Hosting Services Or Providers
It’s human nature to look for ways to cut overheads, and, very often, new e-com startups look to reduce costs by choosing cheaper hosting solutions that simply aren’t fit for purpose as the venture grows. If you’re on shared hosting, consider moving to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or even dedicated hosting solutions to reduce loading times.
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