Those days when patience was considered a virtue have passed long ago. In this fast pacing world where people prefer to shop on eCommerce websites rather than visiting stores because ‘they don’t have enough time’, the opposite is true actually.
The consumers are growing impatient and why shouldn’t they?
We are not in the 90s anymore where dial-up connections were the thing and people were willing to wait up to 8 seconds (trust me that’s a lot). The patience level of 21st century tech-savvy users is not even 3 seconds. So, if your e-commerce website page does not load in 3 seconds, there is a really high probability that a user will abandon it immediately.
Perhaps you are already aware of the fact that how much 3 seconds can make a difference in the competitive world of e-commerce community. Maybe you already know that how much slow load time is affecting your business.
But if you are facing difficulty in figuring out what should you exactly be doing or instructing your dev team to do in order to make your website speed optimized (without compromising on the look and feel of the website, of course), we want to make things easier for you. As a website designer, I have gathered some tips and guidelines for you to make things running (faster) so that you never lose on any of your customers again because of the load time factor.
But before we get started on that, here are a few statistics by Gomez.com and Akamai from research conducted on online shoppers, that might help you get a clear image about what the slow load speed of your website could be doing to your business:
So to ensure that your business website does not end up being among the ones which are listed under the figures mentioned, we will discuss some techniques that would boost up the loading speed of your portal.
And if the size of the page is large, the first thing you need to check is if the images that you are using on your website optimized or not. Though you might feel that a PNG image will look better (because of its high quality), it is best to use JPEG images on a website to facilitate faster loading. In fact, the JPEGs that are optimized at 70% quality look as good as the PNG files.
‘The more, the merrier’ is a saying of yesteryear, and it certainly does not apply in the world of internet where people have so many websites to check out and so less time at hand. Remember! You have actually invested a lot of your financial and non-financial resources to ensure that you appear on the top of the search engine. So, don’t on those efforts and your loyal customers just because you want to add up everything on your website.
For instance, the social media widgets from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and advertising certainly add few seconds of load time to your page. Consider alternatives like investing in paid sponsored posts if you want to increase your social media following and make sure you are not flooding your website with ads just to earn extra.
Your job does not end by ensuring that the web pages are not too large in size while your team is deploying the website. It’s equally important that you keep on monitoring the load speed of your website from time to time as you cannot ignore the fact that a website is an update regularly, especially an e-commerce website as there are new products coming in regularly while old products go out of stock.
In fact, to make the testing easier for you, there are many tools like Google’s Page Speed Insight, Pingdom and Yahoo’s YSlow are available on the web to perform the entire diagnosis on your command. If even a single page on the website is taking more than 3 seconds of loading time, you know that your dev team needs to work on its improvement.
According to a study conducted by ComScore, a website’s 60 percent traffic comes from its mobile website. Thus, if your website is not responsive to the mobile devices of different sizes then it means you are losing out on a huge portion of your potential revenue. Also, Google will not show your website on its mobile browsing results if it is not optimized for smartphones’ screens.
Remember, that the task does not end with making it responsive for the phones. You will have to do a proper testing on devices of different screen sizes to be assured that the web pages are loading as quickly on the mobile phones too. After all, you cannot always assume that the consumer is having a broadband connection on his phone and the slower speed of internet should not affect the loading speed of your business portal.
Larger the size of the target audience you have more will be the expected traffic on your website and thus more will be the requirement of the server capacity on which you are hosting your website. The issue arises when retailers don’t realize that their popularity and traffic have significantly increased but they are still using the shared or a smaller server.
Don’t be a reason for your own failure or decreased sales during the peak times like holidays or sales while your competitors benefit from the same strategies just because you forgot to get your server’s size increased to meet the requirements from a smaller server (hard disk storage, RAM, CPU speed). Because when the traffic is more and your server is overloaded, it will increase the load time even if you have tested your website for everything else.
It has been observed that the most common reason for users to quit using a website that they have been using regularly or to not feel interested enough to browse the products on a portal that they are visiting for the first time is generally that it takes too much time to load a page. So, if you eliminate this one reason you can actually win over a lot of your lost and potential customers!
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