Frontend Performance of your Magento eCommerce Website: Why does it Matter
Those of you who are eCommerce merchants and administrators or are associated with the eCommerce scenario in one way or the other, will understand that a faster website and a better performing frontend holds better potential of converting customers than a slow one. Yes, speed is one of the major factors that controls the behavior of visitors who are drawn to the website in an effort to either gain more information or buy a product or service. You will have noticed from your experience that:
a.) people usually do not like a slow website.
b.)They will not wait for all eternity for the website load.
c.) If it exceeds the maximum threshold that their patience permits, then they will just go away.
This maximum time that visitors can show their patience has reduced over the years to just 2 seconds now. Yet, according to recent statistics, they will not wait for more than three seconds for a website to load. Just as in the real world, people hate to wait while trying to strike a deal in the virtual world. In the real world, people hate to wait in queues, so the online medium is where they can easily vent there frustration in the online world by abandoning the website or shopping carts and move on.
Thus, loading time is directly related to customer satisfaction. Statistics have it that a one-second delay in loading time relates to a corresponding 7% dip in conversions. Leading eCommerce players in market such as Amazon discovered that 100 ms of latency cost them a corresponding one percent decrease in revenue. Hence the issue of frontend performance has become extremely important to resolve, given the fact that websites are becoming slower with each passing year.
Thus, despite all the clamor for faster websites and better internet technology along with better frontend performance, why is it that websites are getting slower? One of the main reasons is that websites are getting more and more complicated with each passing year. The bigger screens and bigger images means that a chunk of the web-page size consists of just images.
On the other hand, mobiles are gaining an upper hand when it comes to browsing popularity. In recent times, mobile (i.e. smart phones plus tablets) overtook desktops as the preferred device for browsing the internet. In fact as much as 55% of traffic comes from mobile. However, many users are under the impression that mobiles should be capable of loading websites much faster. However, that is not possible due to network constraints.
In the world of mobile devices, bandwidth is not the constraint, as the constraining factor is the latency, which is the time required for a request to travel from the device browser to the server and back. Latency is an important factor when it comes to wired connections, so it acquired paramount importance on mobile networks, which could be within the 100-1000 ms RTT range. This is the factor that is hitting mobile speed, thereby rendering it slow.
You need to understand that speed is directly related to conversion factor which makes it your competitive advantage. You should treat speed as a part of your store’s feature which is even more important than the best designed page on your website or your check out process. Also focus on content and make sure you put only what is required on a device where screen real estate is limited.
Finally, ensure that various performance parameters such as requests, loading time as well as page weight are achievable and that you enlist them as the most important goals, which you should adhere to if you want to succeed in the game. Hence, your goal would be to reduce the HTTP requests, file sizes, and latency amongst other factors.