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Your Load Speed Is Costing You Money

If your site has load times in excess of a second, you're not achieving the conversion rate you're capable of- and that means you're leaving a lot of money on the table. There is up to a 2% drop in conversion for every additional second spent loading1. This strong relationship is illustrated in the graph below.

(Source, WalmartLabs2)

Interesting Data-Points from WalmartLabs3

How Much of a Difference Does it Really Make?

Consider this: if you are generating $500,000 in revenue with an industry median conversion rate of 5%4, and an average order of $455, improving your conversion rate to 6% could mean an increase in $100,000 worth of a revenue- a 20% increase!

Loss of Conversions from Increased Bounce Rates

The adverse relationship between page load speed and bounce rate has been explored in many studies6 7. The following chart demonstrates that bounce rate increases as page load time increases:

(Source, Section8)

This chart is consistent with Google’s statistics for mobile. The chart below depicts how bounce rate increases when you start from a website with a load time of one second.

(Source, Google9)

Google has identified a relationship so important, that as a result, they have invested into developing technologies to improve e-commerce website performance- and have even patented a process for doing so 10.

Faster Page Loads Lead to More Pages Viewed Per Visit

We not only see a relationship between bounce rate and page load speed, but additionally, total number of pages viewed. More pages viewed means a higher chance of conversion. This intuit consistently reflects the exponential drop off in conversion found by WalmartLabs as the page load time exceeds one second.

(Source, Section 11)

A New, Faster Platform: Hermes

Dissatisfied by the existing solutions in the e-commerce space, we decided to create our own engine called Hermes. We're already using it with one of our clients (having migrated them from WooCommerce), and have managed to reduce their page load time from 5 seconds to 1 second.

The chart below shows the average load times for several platforms (lower is better). As is shown in the chart, Hermes offers over 14x the performance of our closest competitor in this test.

Test Method

The tests were conducted on a single computer with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 and 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM. All software was installed locally to mitigate network effects.

The software used to serve WooCommerce and Prestashop was Apache 2.4 and MySQL 57. WooCommerce and Prestashop were installed with default settings, and no additional modules.

The Safari profiler tool was used to gather load time data in milliseconds. We loaded a single product page on each platform using one of the demo products/pictures provided. The results are averaged over 50 page loads.

Summary: Why are we so fast?

We had to tweak many parameters of how the web server functioned to achieve our performance gain. The facilities to make these changes were not available to us on the existing e-commerce engines/platforms, which prompted us to create our own.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about the Hermes e-commerce engine, please check out the product page.

Hermes Product Page

References

  1. Palmer, J. W. (2002). "Website Usability, Design, and Performance Metrics," Information Systems Research, 13(2), 151-167.
  2. Shneiderman, B. (1998). Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
  3. US Patent US2016/0352804A1 issued to Google

  1. Cliff Crocker: A Modern Approach to Performance Monitoring. https://www.slideshare.net/cliffcrocker/a-modern-approach-to-performance-monitoring 

  2. Cliff Crocker of Walmart Labs: Real User Monitoring. https://www.slideshare.net/devonauerswald/walmart-pagespeedslide 

  3. Cliff Crocker of Walmart Labs: Real User Monitoring. https://www.slideshare.net/devonauerswald/walmart-pagespeedslide 

  4. Median conversion rate of 5% according to Marketing Sherpa. https://www.marketingsherpa.com/1news/chartofweek-07-29-14-lp.htm 

  5. Average order size based on Amazon's average order size of $45.00. Information provided by Ryan Douglas, a former Amazon engineer. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-average-order-value-on-Amazon-com 

  6. Section: How Page Load Time Affects Bounce Rate and Page Views. https://www.section.io/blog/page-load-time-bounce-rate/ 

  7. Think With Google: Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/data-measurement/mobile-page-speed-new-industry-benchmarks/ 

  8. Section: How Page Load Time Affects Bounce Rate and Page Views. https://www.section.io/blog/page-load-time-bounce-rate/ 

  9. Think With Google: Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/data-measurement/mobile-page-speed-new-industry-benchmarks/ 

  10. Patent: Decreasing Website Load Times To Increase E-Commerce Conversion Abstract: A computer-implemented method and computer program product for serving a web page comprises determining, by a computer, an actual load time of each of one or more web pages requested by a user; comparing, by the computer, the actual load time for each web page to a predetermined maximum desired load time specific to each web page; and if the actual load time for any of the one or more web pages is above the respective predetermined maximum desired load time, serving, by the computer, a lighter version of a subsequent web page requested by the user.

  11. Section: How Page Load Time Affects Bounce Rate and Page Views. https://www.section.io/blog/page-load-time-bounce-rate/