age loading speed is one of the most important elements of good UX. What elements are worth paying attention to, how to check page load speed and how to optimise it? And also, what do Headless technology and the Composable Commerce approach have to offer in terms of speed? Find out in our article!
Time is money
Time is the currency of utmost importance in e-commerce. The faster the page loading speed, the better the shop is rated by Google's algorithm. This means more effective positioning and better search engine visibility for the site. A shop's page loading speed translates into higher user interest and, most importantly, a higher conversion rate, i.e. higher profits.
The figures confirm that in today's world, the speed of an e-commerce website is the key to a well-selling business. And vice versa - slow storefronts lose customers’ satisfaction. 46% of users dissatisfied with a site's performance will not visit it again, and 64% of online shoppers will opt for a different shop on their next purchase (LoadStorm, Econsultancy, 2021).
Why invest in speed?
The loading speed of a shop window has an impact on customer acquisition and retention. Among the main reasons why customers leave a website, slow loading ranks first. It is mentioned by 88.5% of users (Good Firms, 2019), and when page loading speed exceeds 3 seconds, there is an increasing risk that users will close the site before the page displays any content (Searchspring, 2022). 53% of visitors abandon a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load (LoadStorm, Econsultancy, 2021).
Speed is also about increasing conversions. Pages that load in 0-2s have the highest conversion rate, falling by an average of 4.42% for every additional second the page loads until 5s. (Portent, 2019). According to Google Research, mobile pages that load a second faster can get up to 27% more conversions and 36% lower rejection rates.
When does site speed need improvement?
Even if, at first glance, a page opens smoothly, there are several clear alarm signals that may indicate, among other things, poor speed parameters. These are:
- decline in the number of clients,
- increase in rejection rates,
- a decrease in the number of visitors, especially within a short time after entering the site,
- reduction in conversion rate
- lower ranking in Google search.
It is also worth investing in shop speed optimisation when the shop is to be expanded with new products, functions or integrations, increased marketing activities, such as Black Friday, during which the shop is visited by a large number of users in a short period of time, as well as the opening of a shop in new markets, which results in a sudden increase in the number of shoppers.
How do I check my website speed?
There are many tools on the virtual market for monitoring and optimising the loading speed of websites and shops. Some of the valuable and easy-to-use ones include:
- PageSpeed Insight (PSI) is a popular tool for investigating and optimising website loading times and identifying problems that slow it down. It analyses the loading time of a given page and compares it to the average of all pages analysed.
- Google Search Console is a tool for monitoring and optimising the visibility of websites in the search engine, also with a function for measuring loading speed.
- Google Mobile Speed Test is an easy-to-use, intuitive tool used to measure the loading time of mobile versions of pages. The result is presented on a 10-point scale, where 1 indicates a slow page and 10 a fast page.
- GTMetrix is a free, easy-to-use tool for the precise analysis of page loading speed. The GTmetrix score is a weighted average of two scores: a performance score (70%) and a structure score (30%).
- Tools.pingdom.com is a tool that allows you to see which elements to improve on your website for better performance.
- Webpagetest.org is an application that allows you to carry out three website speed tests: on the first, second and third opening, i.e. after cookies have been saved.
The tools presented above are intuitive to use and require no specialist knowledge. With them, you can check the page opening speed of your own website on your own.
Site speed audit
The opening speed of a shop page is also an important subject of examination in professional audits carried out by specialists. A UX audit is concerned with those elements of the shop that the customer sees and interacts with. The aim of the UX audit is to know how to improve the user experience in an e-commerce implementation in terms of shop speed and many other aspects that affect the user experience.
The performance audit aims to assess the entire technological background through which the sales platform functions. During the performance audit, an analysis of the system architecture and server environment is carried out in order to propose the measures needed for the fast and smooth operation of the shop in terms of front-end and back-end.
How do I improve my page load speed?
The table below provides a range of actions worth taking to increase the loading speed of your website:
Maximum page load speed
When it comes to page loading speed, modern technological solutions such as Headless and Composable Commerce are second to none. In the Headless methodology, a separately designed front-end allows the number of queries sent to the database to be reduced and modifications to be made without involving the back-end. This results in better performance and speed of the application also during sales peaks, which do not overload the website. You can read more about the Headless methodology in our e-book.
The Headless model is the basis for designing according to the Composable Commerce approach, i.e. a flexible, easily modifiable frontend connected via an API to a backend built from microservices. Composable Commerce, provides unprecedented opportunities for application expansion without sacrificing page load speed. Individual microservices can be added as your brand grows, new users arrive or you reach your customers through different channels (social media, mobile apps and PWAs) on different devices in an omnichannel model. This solution has been adopted by many industry leaders including: Amazon, Allegro, eBay, Zalando, Castorama, OLX, Uber or Etsy. Read more about Composable Commerce in our e-book.
Not just page load speed
Website speed is worth monitoring and optimising in order to attract increasingly demanding customers. Younger generations in particular, who have been brought up in a digital reality, expect fast, hassle-free shopping across devices. Speed is of the utmost importance in industries such as fashion, interior design, electronics, IT, beauty or B2B. The cost of neglect in this regard is high and translates into fewer customers and weaker profits.
Now that the world is increasingly online, it is not only the speed of page loading that counts, but also the speed of response to market needs. Ground-breaking modern Headless technology, as well as the Composable Commerce approach, respond to the challenge of integrating huge amounts of content, data, attractive graphics and a shop engine and, above all, can react quickly to changes to individual parts of the shop from the front-end and back-end, without affecting the current functionality of the implemented e-commerce. This makes them perfectly suited to the rule: the faster the website, the higher the profit for its owner.