When we talk about improving or replacing a website's theme, the first thing that usually jumps to mind is the "look and feel" of it. Business owners usually look for a clean layout, the right fonts, designs and colors that reflects the brand's values in the right way and leaves a good impression on the customers. Well, of course the visual aspect of your online store is important, but it's not the only factor to look for or to try improving when it comes to your online store's website theme. It turns out that there are multiple other factors that you need to make sure the theme is optimized for. And when it comes to eCommerce websites, these factors directly affect your sales. In today's blog post we'll be discussing one of the most important factors in your website's theme that can be costing you a lot of money. It's loading speed!
Is it that crucial?
In answering this question let's take a quick look at the numbers. According to a recent survey done by Akamai and Gomez.com, 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less. 40% of them abandoning the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. A one second delay in the loading speed translates to around 7% decrease in your website's conversion rates. According to Neil Patel
If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year
And it turns out that 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with a website's performance (including slow-loading web pages) are less likely to buy from it again. That's around 8 out of 10 customers.
Starting from the algorithm that runs the website theme, the website structure all the way to the size of the graphics used, your website's theme does affect the loading speed and consequently your traffic and sales. If you're ignoring this when choosing, developing or optimizing the theme, it's costing you a lot in lost sales.
What to do about it?
In terms of optimizing the theme for faster page loading, there are so many contributing factors that you can fine tune. We'll talk about a few of them here.
Choose fast and reliable hosting service: Although shared hosting and cheap plans might seem to be costing your business less, in reality they might costing a fortune. Crashing websites and slow web pages, especially in high-traffic and high-transaction periods, simply drive customers (And sales) away.
Decrease the number of quick-view pop up windows: According to Shopify's article
Often quick view pop-up implementations (either built into the theme or from an app) will pre-load all of the information from an entire product page, just in case a visitor clicks the “Quick View” button. That is an enormous amount of data to be loaded, especially on a collection page where there might be 20 or 30 product thumbnails.
Compress and reduce images: It can be banners, product images, all the way to the logo and the button thumbnails. When it comes to website themes, visuals can take up a lot of space. That's why you'll need to compress your images using special tools to decrease their size, thus increasing the web page's loading speed. You can use TinyJPG or TinyPNG for doing this.
There are a long list of other aspects to work on when it comes to optimizing the website theme for faster loading. So if your website isn't already optimized for fast page loading, it's better to turn to an expert to do that, since there are many contributing factors and details to it.