November 29th, 2021 | 3 MIN READ

Why Page Load Time Matters

Written by Pranav Bahadur

Pranav Bahadur is a Product Marketing Manager at Elastic Path living in the Boston area.

Have you ever been frustrated by an online shopping experience? Clicked on a link while scrolling social but abandoned it because the product page loaded too slowly? Increasingly, customers expect convenient and seamless experiences when buying online.

These expectations can have a surprisingly impactful effect on your brand's bottom line.

When it comes to eCommerce, an often-neglected aspect is website performance. How fast your website loads directly impacts your customer experience and outcomes. Is your website doing all it can to encourage purchases, or is it causing your brand to leave dollars on the table?

Does it Matter to Your Brand?

Over the past couple of years, you've undoubtedly heard about the increasing use of mobile to make purchases, both for B2C and B2B brands. Flashy stats and presentations often lead to knee-jerk reactions like setting up a mobile channel but fall short on delivering an experience that will help your brand convert more sales.

As ever, the numbers don't lie. Here are a few stats to consider:

  • “When pages load in less than 4 seconds they win 59% of the conversions, and those that exceed the four second mark experience 58% of the bounces” - eCommerce Speed Hub

  • Each second of a buyer’s journey matters, ‘the Site Speed Standard benchmark data proves that reducing page load time by just 1 second results in a 3 – 5% conversion lift’ - eCommerce Speed Hub

Before your customers can make a purchase, ensuring they make it through the door is essential to making a sale with the probability of a bounce increases 90% as mobile page loads go from 1s to 5s.

Another added benefit is that your site speed directly impacts where you will rank on search. A few years ago, Google even announced it as an update, yet a significant number of retail sites still have poor load times.

"Sixty-four percent of all online retail is from mobile, but conversion rates on mobile are only half that of desktop. That's more people browsing, but fewer people buying... In fact, we've seen that companies who commit to great mobile design are seeing 32% increases in revenue. And, get this, up to 400% improvement in conversion rates. " - Adrienne Clem, Director of Search Ads Growth and Optimization at Google.

Check out our mobile commerce guide to learn more.

This isn’t to say that mobile experiences should be the be the sole focus of your page speed optimizations. Providing seamless experiences across channels is a crucial benefit of a cloud-based Headless Commerce platform like Elastic Path; it's a perfect fit for your website's scalable, near-instantaneous performance.

To learn more about how a Headless Microservices-based cloud platform, check out our guide to Headless commerce here.

 

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What Site Speed Should You Target and How Do You Get There?

The holy grail of website performance is simple: a page load time of 3s.

Two of the usual culprits for lagging performance are large images (file size), and the architecture used to build your site (from poorly designed coding to back-end systems like your eCommerce platform).

Thankfully, there are a plethora of resources to help guide you on your optimization journey. We recommend Google's PageSpeed insights tool to start. The tool helps determine where you stand, and how you can start to make improvements.

Optimizations will be an ongoing process for your IT team, however, it’s great to have the peace of mind that your eCommerce platform can help support your journey to stellar performance.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what an Elastic Path powered site performs like.

Versus a not-so-great performance on other Headless Commerce platforms.

Ready to switch to an eCommerce platform that helps rather than hinders your website's performance? Chat with us today to see how Elastic Path can help your brand.

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