Why Performance is So Important For Your Ecommerce Site

Written by Ryan Copeland

Increasing revenue is the ultimate goal for any merchant.

But that’s not something you can do in a single action. (Or something you should even attempt to ‘hack’ for a quick win). The variables that contribute to revenue growth are numerous and varied when it comes to your eCommerce site.

Increasing revenue should always be the end goal, never the starting point.

At any moment in time, optimising performance should be a merchant’s number one priority. A better-performing website acts as a catalyst for boosting conversion rates and building a more favourable brand experience for your consumers. 

The effect of that is a compound increase in revenue earned: better-performing site = increase in conversions = revenue growth.

This blog shares five reasons why performance is so important for your eCommerce site.

Long load times lose visitors 

A slow-performing site is guaranteed to cause you to miss out on revenue. If your users don’t even reach checkout, then how do you expect them to convert?

There are two things to consider here: page speed and site speed. The former refers to the time it takes the content on a specific URL to load. The latter measures the overall speed performance of your site (in aggregate). You can check your site speed using a free tool like Google PageSpeed Insights.

Cutting both page and site speed down to the lowest time is paramount. If a page takes longer than three seconds to load, more than 25% of users will click away to another search result. Users will not tolerate a painfully slow website. 

No matter how good you think it is.

Even just a one-second difference can transform how users interact with your site. Research conducted by Crazyegg finds that speeding up a page by just one second boosted conversions by 7%. So if a site makes $100K per day, just a one-second improvement could translate to an additional $7K generated per day.

Here are 10 ways you can improve your website speed:

  1. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
  2. Find a web stack built for speed
  3. Choose a mobile-responsive design
  4. Use pop-ups sparingly
  5. Decrease thumbnail image sizes
  6. Compress file and image sizes
  7. Minify JavaScript and CSS files
  8. Remove broken links
  9. Reduce the number of HTTP requests
  10. Enable browser caching

Poor user retention

Poor loading speeds are just one reason for a badly performing website. Cluttered elements, convoluted navigation processes, and unfamiliar layouts all intensify poor user experiences and so contribute to an unoptimised, low-converting site.

The result? Users leave your site and don’t return.

If customers can’t find what they are looking for and your website isn’t easy and seamless to use, then expect high bounce rates and low dwell times. Most concerning here is that all the effort, budget and resource you put into driving traffic to your website in the first place will be wasted. What you’re essentially doing is trying to fill a bath without putting the plug in. 

Reports show that 79% of customers who report dissatisfaction with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site. 

The problem we see most frequently is merchants overcomplicating their website design. 

Don’t try to be ‘different’ for the sake of it.  If your attempt negatively impacts the user experience, then you’re focusing on superficial aesthetics over usability, conversions and ultimately revenue.

Simplicity. Speed. Seamlessness.

They’re what your customers expect from your site. Users want to find exactly what they’re looking for in the shortest possible time. Build and structure your site with your audience and their needs in mind. Stand out for the right reasons.

Poor brand sentiment 

Studies of online shopper behaviour show that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. The bad news doesn’t end there though.

The effects of poor website performance on user experience aren’t restricted to that one individual user. If your website performance is bad enough to irritate your customer, then expect it to have a long-lasting and far-reaching effect.

Poor brand sentiment travels.

Users unsatisfied with the experience they have with your website at any time are likely to harbour and share with others their bad experience with your store. 

Akamai reports that 28% of dissatisfied online shoppers are more likely to develop a negative perception of the company and 27% are likely to share their disappointment with their friends and family.

This means that a poorly performing website is enough to outweigh even great customer service across other marketing channels. A damaged reputation and disgruntled customers are much harder to resolve than the technical issues of your website.

Negative SEO Impacts

It’s clear that poor website performance negatively impacts user experience. But it’s also worth noting that poor performance can harm your conversion rate even BEFORE people click on your site. Slow loading speeds stunt your searchability.

Back in 2018, Google clarified that page speed is a direct ranking factor, alongside other user experience metrics like bounce rate and page views. Google’s main objective is to provide quality content that satisfies visitor needs. Sites that fail to meet this mark and fail to provide an optimum user experience, therefore, rank lower.

Page speed is the heaviest factor here. As Moz explains, “a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.”

The more pages that are indexed, the higher the chance that you will have that individual page rank. By reducing the number of indexed pages from your site, your visibility is stunted.

It’s not rocket science to know that the less visible you are, the less traffic you drive. 

And the knock-on effect on long-term revenue continues…

Mobile page performance

In optimising your website, don’t forget that web performance should be a concern across all devices. Predictions show that by the end of 2021, global mobile eCommerce sales will hit $3.56 trillion, with 73% of total eCommerce sales coming from mobile.

It’s why most website developers (including us) choose to take a mobile-first approach when it comes to websites. 

This is made even more important by the fact mobile devices generally have slower processors than desktop computers. Mobile devices are also usually set to resize images in the browser. Both of these can slow down page load speeds on mobile in particular. 

Optimising for desktop experience just isn’t enough.

Users used to be more forgiving of slow page loading speeds on mobile. But with rising customer expectations and the expansion of eCommerce markets, merchants need to make sure they’re providing the best user experience possible. 

The solution

As we said earlier, optimizing web performance should be your number one priority. The factors that contribute to this are numerous and varied. 

Luckily, there’s a simple solution… Introducing: Hyvä Themes 

Hyvä Themes is the latest and best way to build storefronts for your Magento 2 website. It resolves the problems with LUMA (Magento’s out-of-the-box frontend framework) by removing the pain points of Magento 2 frontend development. It eliminates and replaces hundreds of individual JavaScript files and bloated libraries, with one single JavaScript framework; Alpine.js.

By eliminating the swollen architecture of LUMA and the overly complex frontend codebase slowing down performance, Hyvä Themes massively boosts the user experience.

Out of the box, Hyvä Themes provides you with scores of up to 100 out of 100 across all of Google’s core web vitals on both desktop and mobile. 

You don’t get better than that!

Ready to take your online store to the next level and supercharge your Magento 2 website’s frontend performance? 

Get in touch and let’s get started. 

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