The idea of site speed has often been regarded as a tech issue, and something that can be effectively countermanded by strength in other ecommerce areas, such as site layout and aesthetics, ease of purchasing, and proper analytics. However, as more and more research goes in to understanding the growing world of digital purchasing, site speed continues to rise among the priorities ecommerce executives are acting on. According to an infographic published by KissMetrics, 79% of consumers who were dissatisfied by a website’s performance are less likely to buy from it again. In an ecommerce environment where customer loyalty is of paramount importance, businesses can’t afford to think of a fast site as a “nice to have”.
What is the positive effect of a faster site?
Looking at site speed from the standpoint of retention, there is certainly a lot to be gained in terms of the savings related to customer acquisition. With an estimated cost of retaining a customer at only 10-20% of the cost of finding a new one, it makes good sense to optimize all aspects of an ecommerce operation to repeatedly delight customers. An article from The Guardian on attention spans in the digital age states, “a one second delay in page load time can result in 11% fewer page views, 16% decreased customer satisfaction and 7% lost conversions.” By extension of this principle, improving site load times by as little as a second has the potential to create significant gains. In fact, in a 2014 whitepaper released by InstartLogic, a single second of improvement was shown to improve conversions on a site by up to 2%.
What can be done to improve site speeds?
Ecommerce executives may not be well versed in the principles of optimizing for site speed. It is recommended that they liaise with their development teams in order to specifically tackle the relevant issues related to speed optimization. Google provides page speed tools that can be useful for identifying where coding can be cleaned up and redundancies removed to allow browsers to more effectively handle loading web pages. In general, executives must align goals with development teams in order to determine what is feasible, and what features on a site can be integrated within a fast loading and elegant platform.
Andrew Greissman is a digital content manager for WBR Digital. Andrew’s writing background spans genres and formats from poetry and magazine writing to website copy and press releases. When not writing, Andrew enjoys travel, good food and reading books.
Photo Credit: Paul Townsend
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