Nobody likes waiting. When customers are looking to buy, they want all the info and they want it right away. Slow sites just won’t do, especially when they know their internet connection isn’t the problem. If they can stream entire movies on Netflix, why can’t they load a simple website?
So, if there’s a lot of lag time on your site or if the images are bulky and take too long to load, your customers won’t be happy. To illustrate this, the web hosting review experts at the Hosting Tribunal have collected some interesting statistics and created a useful infographic (below).
Let’s focus on SEO first. Unless you have some serious marketing budget, most of your traffic comes from search engine queries. However, slow website speed can ruin the way search engines estimate the relevance and value of your site.
Google’s search algorithm has been penalising slow sites for several years now. Starting this year, this affects mobile sites as well. Not only that, but slow sites sport higher bounce rates—meaning a lot of visitors find the site and leave at once. Bounce rates also bring down search ranking.
In brief, if you own an online store, load times influence the number of potential customers who find it.
However, even if Google stopped taking speed into account tomorrow, slow load speeds would still affect your profit margin. Remember how visitors leave slow sites? Well, more than half of users won’t even consider a website that takes over 3 seconds to load. That’s half of potential buyers lost right there.
To top it off, long load times displease the customers who do stay. Each second of delay brings customer satisfaction down by 16%. And every store owner knows you should keep your customers happy.
79% of dissatisfied buyers are less likely to buy from your online store again. And it doesn’t stop there. 43% choose your competitor’s website for their next stop. You can also expect negative publicity as 44% tell their friends about bad shopping experiences.
Some customers don’t even buy once. Long load times during checkout make 44% of customers apprehensive. This contributes to shopping cart abandonment rates. Just 2 seconds of delay can bring those up to 87%.
Each second added to your load times takes 7% off your conversion rates. Sure, 7% doesn’t sound too bad, but that’s only if your load times are short. What if your site takes 5 seconds to load? That’s 30% fewer conversions. And that’s not even how long the average site takes. The average load time for desktop sites is 9.3 seconds, so load speeds should give the average online store owner a reason to worry.
As you can see, maintaining the speed of your e-commerce website is essential if you want to avoid any unnecessary losses. Fortunately, optimising your website’s speed is not that difficult. Moreover, a lot of the tools that help you do that are freely available. So, if you’re interested and would like to boost your understanding of website speed, take a look at the infographic below (or click it to visit Hosting Tribunal's page).