Nothing drags down online sales like a slow website. Heading into a massive surge in online shopping this holiday season means that site load time will be a real concern when it comes to user experience.

With an anticipated 33% increase in online sales during the 2020 winter holidays, merchants on the Shopify Plus platform are most likely looking at record website traffic levels. Just as businesses need to prepare fulfilment, shipping, and other logistics, they also need to prepare their online user experience for the wave of demand.

In addition to the holidays, as brands prepare for more eCommerce sales growth in Q1 2021, they’re looking for ways to optimize revenue. Increasing site speed is often the first (and easiest) step towards increasing conversion on your website and moving more customers through the path to purchase.

In this article you’ll find out all the reasons why site speed is important and the steps to take in order to optimize it.

Why site speed is important

Site speed is one of the largest factors contributing to user experience, with 66% of shoppers saying they will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. With high amounts of website visitors this season, in addition to extended promotion periods pulling shoppers in many different directions, it’s important to ensure that your online store not only meets expectations, but also provides an easy and efficient path to purchase.

The needs for a fast website don’t just stop at the holidays, though. As your brand prepares for Q1 2021, optimizing site speed will be another step towards achieving your revenue goals. A brand’s conversion rate is only as good as its user experience, and if you’re looking to increase this metric in 2021, fast site speed is one essential component.

How to increase site speed

1) USE SITE SPEED TOOLS

For brands on Shopify, measuring your site speed and identifying elements that impact page load time is a simple and easy first step. YOTTAA, a leading eCommerce acceleration solution provider, has a fast-working and free RAPID inSITE tool that allows brands to quickly assess their website’s speed.

With the inSITE app, your brand can see an inventory of all third party integrations and visualize their performance, as well as violations. This will help to identify any causes of slow-downs, and provide recommendations to make improvements.

After identifying your trouble areas, you’ll need to install an acceleration tool like YOTTAA’s RAPID CTRL. This type of solution will sequence third party integrations to their optimal positions and reduce performance violations.

Along with alleviating any site speed issues, implementing this tool will allow you to gain actionable analytics and insights on all the elements of your website that can potentially affect the site speed and load times.

If you’re interested in learning more about your site’s current standing, BVA is currently offering free performance assessments. You can reach out to us about it here!

2) PERFORM CONTINUOUS OPTIMIZATION

Like most features of your website development, a site speed tool will lead to customization needs and updates over time. When BVA’s team implements the solution, we perform ongoing optimizations in conjunction with the acceleration technology in order to ensure it consistently provides value.

Once you’ve implemented a site speed tool and have access to the analytics that will help you use it, it becomes important to maintain as your website content changes and apps go through upgrades. Site speed is just one element in optimizing your online store’s user experience, and it should be an integral part of your overall strategy across platforms.

Furthermore, site speed tools aren’t a one-shot type of solution. For most brands, it takes continuous effort and learning to keep your site consistently optimized. BVA’s commerce strategy and technology teams have experience leveraging YOTTAA as a key component of our clients’ tech stacks, and use our understanding to approach site speed optimization with a holistic viewpoint and the goal of a seamless customer experience.

How BVA approaches site speed

In an effort to help our clients optimize their online stores and provide the best possible shopping experience, BVA has partnered with YOTTAA. Their rapid assessment and site speed tools are an affordable and comprehensive solution to address website speed and optimize the shopping experience.

Through our strategic partnership, the BVA team has first-hand knowledge and wide experience leveraging the YOTTAA solution and collaborating with their experts. BVA’s team of website developers facilitate the YOTTAA implementation process, and are enabled to add customized changes as needed, along with providing strategic recommendations.

Please feel to reach out to us here if you are interested in having us complete this free performance assessment on your brand’s website!

Megan Holett Megan Holett is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at BVA. Her role involves bridging the gap between sales processes and agency marketing through content creation and other initiatives.