Speed and Conversions: How Your E-Commerce Store's Load Times Affect Its Conversions
6 minute read
June 28, 2021

In the e-commerce industry, speed is closely correlated with conversions. An internal study conducted by Amazon found that for each additional second shoppers were required to wait for product pages to load, the e-commerce giant generated 10 percent fewer conversions. While the size of your e-commerce store may pale in comparison to Amazon, speed will still play a role in its conversions.


Cart Abandonment


More shoppers will abandon their carts if your e-commerce store is slow. Checkout processes often consist of multiple steps. According to Baymard, the average e-commerce checkout process has nearly a half-dozen steps. With long load times, shoppers won't be able to quickly navigate through these steps. They might add products to their carts, but after discovering that it takes too long to complete the checkout process, shoppers will leave without placing their orders.


Each abandoned cart is a lost conversion. As Your e-commerce store becomes slower, its cart abandonment rate will increase.Therefore, you can expect fewer shoppers to place orders. You need to make your ecommerce store fast so that shoppers won't abandon their carts.


Mobile Performance


Long load times can harm your e-commerce store's mobile performance. Your e-commerce store will perform more poorly on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices if it's slow.


Mobile shoppers aren't as patient as desktop shoppers. With a mobile device, they can shop for products while on the go.They aren't restricted to their home office where their desktop computer is setup. Rather, mobile shoppers can shop for products from just about anywhere by using a mobile device. Since mobile shoppers are oftentimes located outside of their homes, however, they may not be willing to wait a long time for your e-commerce store to load.


Long load times are amplified on mobile devices. Mobile devices support mobile broadband connections. When compared to traditional landline or Wi-Fi connections, mobile broadband connections have slower downloading and uploading rates. If a product page takes four seconds to load on a desktop computer, it may take six seconds or longer to load on a mobile device due to the slower connection.


Product Photo Rendering


If your e-commerce store is slow, shoppers may struggle to view product photos on it. Long load times can cause rendering problems with product photos. Some product photos may render flawless, whereas others may render partially or not at all. Product photos consist of crisp, high-resolution images that feature more bits of data than low-resolution images. With their data-packed format, product photos may not render correctly, especially when published on an already slow-loading product page.


Most shoppers, of course, won't buy a product without seeing a photo of it beforehand. A survey conducted by Justuno found that roughly nine in 10 shoppers say product photos are a key factor in their e-commerce purchasing decisions. With a slow e-commerce store, shoppers may not have the opportunity to view the product photos, in which case they may not make a purchase.


Social Media Engagement


Your e-commerce store may generate less engagement on social media if it's slow. Social media engagement consists of interactions between users of a social network and your e-commerce brand. For Facebook, users may interact with your e-commerce brand by commenting on its posts, sharing its posts or liking its Page. Like with all interactions, social media engagement can drive conversions.


How can long load times lead to less social media engagement exactly? For users to interact with your e-commerce brand on a social network, they must discover it. Fortunately, publishing posts with links to your e-commerce store's pages can help you connect with social media users. Facebook, for instance, may display your posts in users' content feeds. Users may see your posts after logging in to their profile, after which they may interact with your e-commerce brand. Long load times, though, may prevent your posts from showing up in users' content feeds.


Social networks won't display all posts in their users' content feeds. Content feeds have a limited number of placements for posts, so social networks must choose the most relevant and highest-quality posts to display in them. Facebook considers speed when choosing posts for its users' content feeds. If a post contains a link to a slow-loading page, Facebook may not show it.


Search Engine Traffic


Another way that your e-commerce store's speed can impact its conversions involves search engine traffic. Fewer shoppers will discover your e-commerce store in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if it's slow. It won't rank as high or for as many queries in the SERPs, resulting in less search traffic that could otherwise drive conversions.


Like social networks, search engines look for speed. They use speed as a factor when determining where websites should rankin the SERPs. If your e-commerce store is slow, they may rank it lower than some of your competitors' stores with shorter load times.


Google doesn't rank websites exclusively by how fast they load. It will consider hundreds of other factors, such as meta tags, content, backlinks, navigability and URLs. Nonetheless, Google's algorithm places a strong emphasis on speed. It rewards fast websites with higher rankings and punishes slow sites with lower rankings.


Shopper Loyalty


Finally, speed can affect conversions by increasing or decreasing shopper loyalty. Shoppers are typically more loyal to fast e-commerce stores than slow e-commerce stores. More shoppers will return to your e-commerce store in the future if it's fast. Each of these returning visits is another opportunity to generate a conversion.


Shoppers prefer fast e-commerce stores because they are more enjoyable to use than slow e-commerce stores. According to research by Hosting Tribunal, a one-second increase in load times decreases shopper satisfaction by roughly 16 percent.


Long load times can press the brake pedal on your e-commerce store's conversions. If your e-commerce store is slow, it will experience more abandoned carts, poorer mobile performance, product photo rendering problems, less social media engagement, less search engine traffic and reduced shopper loyalty. To increase conversions for your e-commerce store,you must make it fast so that it doesn't suffer from these problems.

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We're MXNEY and we're determined to fund and grow ecom stores. Our question is, should it be yours? 
Do you want your ecommerce to
get funded?
We're MXNEY and we're determined to fund and grow ecom stores. Our question is, should it be yours? 
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