A surge of transactions or a flood of sudden traffic can be deadly for any e-commerce site. Not only will this affect the loading time of your page and your overall site speed, but this can also severely affect a brand’s image in the eyes of the customer.
No matter the e-commerce platform or your brand loyalty, you have to prepare for such sudden surges. Google is working on an update for websites with strong speed performances.
For e-commerce sites, the stakes have become higher than ever. An AI powered business analytics tool can help you direct your efforts in the right direction. We have put together this guide to help you retain your customers and have spectacular site performance.
1. E-Commerce Platform
Choosing a reliable and well made e-commerce platform is the first step to making your site load faster and perform better. As a customer, you should talk to the e-commerce platform support and very thoroughly cover the improvements that you would like to see in your site.
Whether you go with Shopify or woo commerce etc. It is vital to retaining your customers that the e-commerce platform is responsive to your needs and resolves issues quickly if anything arises.
2. Fast and Reliable Hosting
According to Google’s mobile page speed study, the bounce rate of a site gets worse every second the page takes to load. During high traffic and transaction days, your hosting and e-commerce platform choice can and will affect your site performance. Big brands like lululemon, j.crew etc also experience crashes of up to 60 minutes on black friday sales. Imagine the opportunity cost of every second your website is down.
When looking at hosting look out for memory and bandwidth limits and whether they can be increased in peak season of sales. The peak user load the server can cater to in numbers. We recommend asking your e-commerce platform provider to prepare with you for any unexpected traffic during peak sales season.
3. Use of CDN’s
A Content Distribution Network or Content Delivery Network is a group of servers spread across the globe. It distributes the load of the content delivery to the server nearest to the visitor. Eg. a person living in the USA will load the website on US servers. A person in canada will load the website from their canada servers. More and more e-commerce platforms are moving towards multiple CDN options. Overall CDN’s reduce your cost and improve performance by twice as much as a non CDN website.
4. Decrease Image Size and Number
Using a lot of images in the form of carousels can significantly reduce your website performance. The problem is not the display of the image, it’s when a higher resolution image is pulled from the product page. Which causes the browser to spend its energy on reducing the size and causing your website to load slower in the user device.
The solution is to talk to your e-commerce platform about built in image size parameters and upload images according to that or test your website with different image sizes. If none of these work just take out standard images sizes for loading sites faster from the internet and voila. This also includes easing up on your hero images.
5. Reduce Redirects and Broken Links
The total weight of a webpage is 50-75% images. As the number of images and their quality gets higher it makes your website aesthetic but that much harder to load over low internet speeds. The solution to this is to compress the images without losing the quality by using softwares like tinyong or tiny jpg etc. Also you can work on reducing the number of images as well. Keep in mind that every image used is another request for http. Look for solutions like sprites which consolidate images together limiting the server image requests.
Once your website is up and running it is vital to sit and talk to your team about optimization of your site. The data and tools we have shared can massively help you build your presentation and case for optimization. Moreover, be sure to talk to your e-commerce platform for more suggestions and a clear idea of what’s to be expected. Let us know in the comments what solutions have you tried and have worked for you for optimization.