The need for site speed

2 min read
November 8, 2021

Today, eCommerce leaders share a few common goals: to differentiate their brand, attract new consumers, create highly loyal customers, and generate new revenues and profits. 

It’s no easy task. To accomplish these goals, they must keep up with emerging new trends in eCommerce and provide the very best online shopping experiences possible. While there are many different variables that go into creating ideal shopping experiences, one component stands out as a critical must-have: building the fastest websites possible.

Brands that ignore site speed, especially mobile sites, are missing out on a real opportunity to improve their business, especially in terms of valuable benefits faster sites can deliver:

  1. Faster sites help consumers navigate the entire experience–from opening the home page to selecting the right product–and ensure more people actually reach checkout.

  2. Faster sites have lower bounce rates. Google recently found that a 0.1-second improvement helped retail brands improve their bounce rates by 0.6%. 

  3. Faster sites also encourage consumers to stay longer and make additional purchases, critical in increasing basket size and generating higher revenues and profits.

Site speed statistics 

In fact, site speed has a direct–and positive–correlation with the eCommerce metrics that tend to matter most, including conversion rates, average order value (AOV), customer loyalty, and ultimately, total sales.

Let’s take a look at key site speed statistics in a number of important categories.

Real challenges …

  • 47% of visitors expect web pages to load in two seconds or less (Kissmetrics).

  • 57% of consumers will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to open. Of those 57% who leave, 80% will never return (SmartInsights). 

  • 40% of consumers say slow speeds will cause them to visit a competitor’s website instead (Neil Patel).

  • A one-second delay in page load times results in a 7% reduction in conversions (Kissmetrics).

… But real opportunities

  • A 0.1-second site improvement in retail led to an 8.4% increase in conversions and a 9.2% increase in AOV (Deloitte’s “Milliseconds Make Millions”).

  • Improving site speed by just one second per page load increases mobile conversion rates by 5.7% (eCommerce SpeedHub).

  • Mobile sites that loaded in two seconds or less had a 15% higher conversion rate than the average mobile site (Google).

  • Shoppers who experience fast mobile page loads consume more than twice the number of pages as those who wait for slower pages–critical since deeper visits are more likely to convert. (eCommerce SpeedHub).

  • 95% of mobile users said a fast website would influence them to come back again (Google). 


The chance to differentiate

  • Today the average mobile web page takes 15.3 seconds to load (Google). 

  • The average U.S. retail website takes 6.3 seconds to display mobile content–more than double consumers’ expectations (Google).

  • As of July 19, the average mobile website has doubled in size in less than four years–a trend that is likely to continue (HTTP Archive). 


What is the best way to improve site speed?

Headless commerce is a proven way to create lightning-fast websites in order to meet and even exceed consumers’ expectations. Through the use of progressive web applications (PWAs), eCommerce teams can provide a user experience that is similar to a native mobile application. 

Most importantly, PWAs can have a significant impact on site speed and mobile-first functionality. Disruptors are building PWAs to capture the ROI that site speed improvements can generate while unlocking the future-proof potential of the modern commerce stack with Nacelle.

For example, Nacelle customer, Ballsy, decreased its page load speeds from 15.8 seconds to 1.4 seconds with a new headless PWA–leading to a 28% increase in conversions. 

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