You know the phrase by Benjamin Franklin that goes, “Time is money”?
Well, a slow average page load time is like losing money.
You don’t like the sound of that, do you?
Customers are demanding faster websites, especially on mobile.
A slow page speed will cost you traffic and sales conversions. Studies show that a page that takes longer than six seconds to load loses about 1 of every 2 visitors.
As digitally connected as our world is today, it’s understandable why consumers demand a quick and easy online shopping experience.
The good news is that improving your page load speed isn’t rocket science.
I looked at 20 product pages from big-name e-commerce brands to see how they rate in terms of page speed. The results will help you better understand average page load time standards and see if they match page load time best practices.
Let’s see what may be causing visitors to click away and how to remedy that.
Page Load Times and How They Impact Consumer Behavior
Get your phone out and type up your favorite place to go that’s near you. (Was it your favorite restaurant?)
Let’s play a quick game: Count how many seconds their site takes to load.
Was it less than eight seconds?
If you exited out, it probably took too long.
And that’s what you don’t want.
Tooltester reports that the average page load time is 2.5 seconds on desktop and 8.6 seconds on mobile, based on their analysis of the top 100 web pages globally.
If your site takes more time than usual to load, it impacts your conversion rate, ranking, and traffic.
Source: Blue Corona
According to Bidnamic research, conversion rates can drop by 17% for every second increase in load time, possibly costing you money and leads from customers who do stay on your site.
An Unbounce survey reveals that almost 70% of consumers admit page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.
It’s time to get faster.
I’ll show you what our data collection showed us about average page load time.
What Our Data Shows Us About Page Load Times
Our methodology involved using the Google PageSpeed Insights API within Screaming Frog to analyze the average page speed of major e-commerce sites.
We went to 20 different high-profile sites within the e-commerce space to see how well their product pages stack up in terms of page speed.
Note that in this case, we specifically focused on the biggest names in the industry, versus purely the top performers in the SERPs. This was done in order to understand what the average page load time would be for those large names in the e-commerce space.
Also, take into consideration that we used Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures how long it takes a page’s primary content to load, as the metric for success on page speed.
So, how did the different URLs work out? Take a look at the table below:
Of our analysis, 100% of pages analyzed failed LCP and Time to Interactive (TTI) score, according to Google standards:
- 12 of the 20 pages (60%) analyzed were under 10 seconds for LCP
- 2 of the 20 pages (10%) hover in the “needs improvement” area for LCP
- 18 of the 20 pages (90%) were noted as poor for LCP
- 2 of the 20 pages (10%) just missed the passing cutoff for TTI
What We Learned From Our Data
Of the 20 sites, we analyzed brands like Adidas, Nike, Asos, Gucci, Warby Parker, Louis Vuitton, and Apple.
Since 100% of these pages failed LCP and TTI, we think it’s important to note that some of these brands sell luxury goods and are household names. This gives them a little more margin for error than your average player in the e-commerce space.
This also shows that, no matter how large of a brand you are, there’s still room for improvement in user experience on your site.
One way to edge out big brands within your industry is to ensure that your pages load quickly to help improve the user experience and decrease bounce rates.
But we found this is not the end all be all, but just one part of the puzzle to help create a master-class SEO campaign as part of your holistic marketing efforts.
How Can You Reduce Page Load Times?
Now that you see how page speed affects your bottom line, you can work on improving your page load times.
To reduce the wait, follow these page load time best practices:
- Compress and optimize your images: Not only does this enhance the appearance, but you won’t be slowing your page down by storing so much content.
- Clear your cache: This helps take away the work needed to load a page in a visitor’s browser. When you use a web browser, it saves data from websites in its cache and cookies. Clearing them resolves issues like page loading or formatting on websites. Learn the best way to clear your cache here.
- Remove unnecessary plugins: Sometimes plugins aren’t helpful and can bloat your site. Make sure you remove the ones you aren’t using (and you can test this in your staging site first).
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): This can increase website performance by providing content from servers closer to the user than the origin server. Images transfer much faster with this method. Cloudflare, for example, is a well-known CDN.
- Remove unnecessary redirects: Too many redirect links can cause slow loading speeds. Removing them can be a quick repair for a slow site.
You can even look to your hosting solution to optimize site speed performance with built-in page speed resources.
Every second counts.
So, use these page load time best practices to ensure you provide a good user experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some page load time best practices include:
Compressing and optimizing your images
Clearing your cache
Removing unnecessary plugins
Using a CDN
Removing unnecessary redirects
You want to hit under three seconds. Most websites are under seven seconds in load time. However, Google’s recommended page load time for e-commerce sites is two seconds or less. When pages load slowly, users are less interested in sticking around to find out if you can meet their needs.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is great for checking page load time. It provides recommendations on how to improve the load time of your website—all you have to do is enter your URL to get started.
I hope you see how poor page speed is one of the biggest mistakes that will harm your e-commerce site.
They say first impressions are everything, and often your site is a customer’s first impression of your brand.
When load times go up, e-commerce conversions go down.
You don’t want your shoppers to bounce.
Keeping up with your site’s page speed ensures you see the conversions you covet.
It may not seem like such a big deal, but it goes a long way with your site visitors.
It doesn’t take much effort to find the solution and optimize your site’s speed.
Think of it like this: Improve website performance, improve your brand.
Is your site meeting the average page load time? What did you do to improve load times on your site?