Ottemo Blog

Why Website Speed Matters for Your E-Commerce Site

by Gavin Smith

Posted by Gavin Smith on Jun 29, 2016 5:49:24 PM

Online shoppers--a growing number of whom are working from mobile devices--want fast, responsive sites that work on a variety of devices and platforms. Other must-haves for online shoppers include trusted e-commerce platform support, convenient shopping cart procedures, and speed. These are not merely wishes; they're make-or-break functions. Without them, consumers abandon e-commerce sites and choose the competition instead.

What are Page Load Speeds and Why Do They Matter?

Page load speeds refer to how quickly each page on your site loads for the user. If a shopper clicks a link for an individual product, how fast does the specific product page load? Consumers have high expectations when it comes to page speeds -- surveys indicate that 47 percent of online shoppers expect pages to load within two seconds. At four seconds of load time, you lose 25 percent of computer-based consumers, and 46 percent of mobile users say they won't wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load.

Slow pages load speeds don't just impact the consumer for a single visit to your site. Approximately 80 percent of online shoppers say they won't revisit websites that have been slow in the past. The bottom line is this: if your pages aren't loading within a couple seconds, you're not maximizing your revenue.

Faster Websites Mean More Conversions

Faster websites don't just keep consumers on your site. They increase sales and conversions because individuals are more likely to continue browsing your site if pages load quickly. Retail wisdom says that users who browse longer are more likely to see something that prompts them to make a purchase. Even if they don't make a purchase on their first visit, if they enjoyed using your site, they'll return to make a purchase later.

This isn't common-sense conjecture, but a fact proven on one of the largest eCommerce websites in the world. Amazon analysis indicated that 100 milliseconds of site latency -- a microscopic loss in speed -- led to a 1 percent loss in sales. Amazon isn't the only online retailer to note this phenomenon; Walmart estimates that shaving a second off of page load speeds on its site would increase conversions by 2 percent.

Google Likes Fast Sites

Like consumers, search engine crawlers -- the digital bots that index your pages in search engines such as Google -- don't have all day to wait for page load speeds. If they spend too much time indexing pages that are slow to load, they might not visit other pages on your site as quickly as they could. That means delays in getting your pages indexed in the search engines, which leads to less overall organic search traffic. You can optimize bot time on your site by reducing the number of slow pages and blocking bots from pages that aren't traffic-centric. If a consumer doesn't need to be able to find it in search, a bot probably doesn't need to crawl it.

Switching to a Speedier Platform

Slow e-commerce websites are losing a large number of sales and conversions daily because they aren't getting all possible traffic, and when users do find the site, they are likely to abandon it before making a purchase. Save your bottom line by upgrading to blazing speeds on the Ottemo Platform. Check out our demo store to see the fast page load speeds for yourself.

Topics: conversion, mobile commerce, ecommerce speed, platform, page load speed, ecommerce, digital commerce, shopping, website speed, website, performance

Gavin Smith