Study – Speedy sites satisfy shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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shopper looking at shopping cart in cloud

A single second can have a big impact on the success of an e-commerce site.

According to the Site Speed Standard, a new online benchmark that measures the experience and conversion impact of site speed on e-commerce sites from digital experience optimization platform Yottaa, every second shaved off page load time provides a 5.7% conversion lift on mobile and 3.3% on desktop, while also reducing bounce rates by 12.2% overall.

In addition, the study finds that e-commerce sessions which beat four seconds capture 59% of conversions, while sessions that trail four seconds lead to 58% of bounces. On average, Yottaa data shows the typical buyer journey takes 70.2 seconds. E-commerce sites that optimize page load times are 21% faster than non-optimized sites and cut 15 seconds off the shopper journey, leading to higher conversions.

Yottaa also benchmarked load performance of resource-rich “heavyweight” sites compared to non-optimized “lightweight” sites. Resource-rich sites take the longest to load. However, when optimized, these heavyweight sites actually load faster than non-optimized lightweight sites.

Benchmark data indicates a combination of rich third-party party features and fast site speed result in optimized heavyweight pages providing better shopper experiences and higher conversions than non-optimized lightweight pages.

Furthermore, benchmark data reveals that together, product detail pages and category pages account for more than two-thirds of all page views. These page types represent “cart-or-not moments”, as shoppers are most intimately connected to a product on them just prior to completing a purchase.

“The real impact of site speed on online brands has for too long been overlooked and under-appreciated,” said Rick Kenney, managing director of Leading Lights, an e-commerce consulting company that built the Site Speed Standard. “Data from the Site Speed Standard makes the impact of performance on e-commerce very clear: slow site speed is a conversion and experience killer, and faster sites provide a tremendous competitive edge by reducing bounce rates and increasing the engagement with the shopper to improve conversion.”

The Site Speed Standard is based on the shopping activity of more than 25 billion page views across 200 leading retailers.