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How Website Speed Affects Online Stores

As online stores enjoy three times the market growth of traditional physical stores, many business owners opt for selling their products online. Going online offers opportunities to serve a wider audience while minimizing costs. Sometimes, these opportunities pay off and we see a simple bookstore become one of the world’s largest companies.

So how does website speed key into this? Well, despite the benefits, owners need to address certain issues when running an e-commerce website. Speed is one of them.

A fast website can bring in many customers, but a slow one makes for a poor customer experience. We will consider ways website speed can make or break an online store.

The first is its effect on traffic. Not only do slower websites perform poorly in Google’s search rankings, but they also drive visitors away. Research compiled by hostingtribunal.com shows that 54% of visitors leave a page that takes over 3 seconds to load. Moreover, most visitors remember and avoid slow websites.

Website speed has a particular effect on e-commerce websites though. More than half of internet users claim website speed is important for their loyalty to the store. Not only will dissatisfied users avoid slow stores, but 43% will try their luck at a competitor’s website.

This directly affects profits. One second of added delay usually means a 7% decline in conversions.

Checkout is where speed is the most important. 46% of visitors say checkout speed determines if they will come back to a store and 44% worry if it takes too long. In fact, 18% will abandon a transaction due to delays during checkout.

Now, customers rarely abandon their carts in brick and mortar stores but it’s common in online stores. 2 seconds of delay can cause abandonment rates to rise to 87%. Globally, stores miss out on $18 billion of potential revenue each year due to abandoned shopping carts.

Obviously, a fast online store can rack in incredible profits. Likewise, a slow store can turn away all the customers. So improving load times is in everyone’s best interest.

If you’d like to know more, read the infographic below for the essential facts about website speed and its effects.



Sarah Nelson

After years of studying literature, Sarah discovered her true love; marketing. She is a firm believer that educating small business owners about marketing empowers them to make smart business decisions. When she's not busy saving people from marketing faux pas, you can find her reading or slaying pixel demons in far off lands.

We build small business websites

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