How to Hurt Your Online Sales: Let Your Website Load 3 Seconds Longer

By Rigor C. Arellano

What could happen in 3 seconds? A 10-percent drop on your online sales, apparently.

This is according to research made by Dynatrace, which says that many customers will abandon a shopping website if it doesn’t load within three seconds.

Impatience and irony

John Rakowski of AppDynamics said that consumers who are accustomed to “lightning fast speeds through the use of tools such as Google search” have higher than ever levels of expectation. “A slight glitch can leave them feeling disgruntled,” he added.

Sadly, despite the general increase in internet speeds worldwide, websites have actually become slower from last year said the company, pointing out causes like third-party connections to social networking sites and chat functionality.

Globally, the average page load time has gone from 4.2 to 4.5 seconds. In the U.S., website response time has increased up to half a second from 2015.

And while we can work on the ugly tolls of technology like impatience and forgetfulness through healthy means later, here are a few things you can start doing now to catch up with faster loading times and save your site’s potential loyal customers:

  • Look into CDNs

If you’ve ever wondered why larger websites load faster despite their rich content, it’s partly because they use CDNs or content delivery networks. This service delivers a website’s static files like images and CSS to servers that are near a user’s physical location. Less data travel time, faster website loading.

  • Loading is fine, when cache is good

Be sure that when users visit your site, it leaves a cached version of it on their computer. Remember those static resources like images? Browser caching means they are stored in your user’s device so that your web page will load on their end faster. Unless the cached version is changed, it will save a lot of time requesting data from your servers, and thus, the more efficient loading time. (Want to know more about browser caching? Learn how here.)

  • Get a new image format

Save bandwidth by having photos of different sizes and resolutions on your site. Either you can have your photo editor to have it optimized for the web or use tools like Adaptive Images and similar programs to help.

New image formats like JPeg XR can lighten your image’s weight between 20%  to 50%. images actually take up 61% of a website’s page weight on a desktop computer according to the HTTP Archive.

  • Poor plugins, poor performance

As the age-old question for many goes, “Substance or style?” While plugins can bring new features and make your site look cooler, if they cause your website to not perform then, you might already know the wise answer.

More plugins equate to more loading time. So be sure to have a list of all the plugins you have and see if some duplicate functionality or simply isn’t doing its intended job or giving you your desired results. It will also add simplicity to your site, and can even leave a better impression on your customer’s online experience. (For more tips on faster page loading, check out this article.)

Weighing things down

Providing a rich multimedia experience to your customers via your website’s new features or solid-looking images can definitely do your businesses’ branding and even online reputation good. Who doesn’t want an outstanding piece of digital land on the World Wide Web after all?

But given that online users, particularly shoppers, are becoming more time-conscious, you might want to consider soon applying more efficient page loading strategies.

With that said, having a mobile version or an app of your online shopping store can now be considered a must. Essentially, with wireless networking travelling at new velocities than before, your items will load much faster on a mobile device, what with smaller-sized content to process and all.

Thinking of having a mobile version or an app of your online shopping store? It can do a lot for your business; in fact, it can now be considered a must. With wireless networking reaching new velocities, your items can be seen much faster on a mobile device, what with smaller-sized content to download and all.

The internet after all has long been considered as the “information superhighway.” And now we see that its commuters are becoming wearier of any waiting time, and it’s growing by the second. Now could be a good opportunity for your business’ website to catch up. Or later. Oh well. Time is ticking.