When it comes to site speed, your Shopify store can never be too fast—and it could always be faster!
For ecommerce stores with millions of competitors, it is important that your store stands out. A great way to do this is to improve user site experience by ensuring your Shopify store loads quickly.
Your Shopify site speed is a measure of how fast your page loads and responds. While you can control your Shopify site speed by regularly optimizing it, some factors—your customer's internet connection, devices and location—are out of your control.
While you can't directly influence these factors, you can prepare for them by building a Shopify store that responds quickly.
Site speed is a measure of how fast your page responds in the best or most ideal environment.
According to ThinkWithGoogle, 53% of online shoppers will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. While it is easy to look at 3 seconds as the benchmark for a good website, ShopifyPlus recorded that 47% of online shoppers expect a site to load in 2 seconds OR LESS!
So, what should your aim be? According to SpeedBoostr, a Shopify site can load in as little as 0.99 seconds. Yup, just one second. Now, I wouldn't want you to get fixed on speeding up your Shopify store to one second. It is important to take the little steps. Reducing your site loading time by just one second could increase your conversions by 7%.
Even a one second delay is bad for SEO and translates to your Google ranking. Google has admitted to considering loading and site speed when ranking search results. As proof, rank six was noticed to be 20% slower than the article awarded rank one.
Even Shopify acknowledges that slower sites are often associated with higher bounce rates.
A faster Shopify store equals fewer bounce rates, higher conversions and more post-purchase upsells using CartHook Post-Purchase Offers.
Some factors that determine site speed are out of your control. On the flip side, there are many tactics you can use to improve site speed, ranging in difficulty. Some may be quick fixes, while others may require the expertise of a speed optimization agency.
If you are a go-getter and want to do it yourself, here are a few ways to improve your Shopify site speed on your own:
1. Optimize images: Unoptimized images are largely responsible for slow loading Shopify sites. Optimizing images isn't just about cropping them to size. In fact, cropping them slows down your site, because each time your page loads, it first loads the full images, then processes it down to its cropped size, a process which adds to the waiting time.
To properly optimize an image, upload it in the correct format, most preferably a .jpg. Second, resize the image before uploading it, not after.
2. Make good use of AMP: Automated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a software that optimizes site speed on mobile devices. Since most online shoppers use their mobile phones, it is a worthwhile investment that improves your Shopify store's loading speed.
With AMP, your Shopify store loads even faster on mobile, improving user experience and conversions.
3. Reduce HTML requests: Think of HTML requests as questions that your site asks before it loads. In other words, it is how browsers communicate with the world wide web every time a user opens your Shopify store. Too many requests will lead to a longer loading time and decreased conversions.
4. Select themes carefully: Another major speed eater in your site is the Shopify theme. When choosing a Shopify theme, it is essential to check for its speed and compatibility with your website.
It is also important that you keep your theme up to date to prevent it from backtracking your site speed progress. As a tip, before installing a Shopify theme on your store, be sure to duplicate your current theme, run a speed test before and after installing the theme to see how it affects your speed before finally updating your current theme to the new one.
We've heard that it's good for your page to be fast, but how do you know where you stand in the first place? Knowing your Shopify page speed before and after optimization will help you gauge your progress. Keeping a close eye on it will also ensure your Shopify store maintains high speeds for extended periods.
Speed test tools are commonly used for this purpose because they are easy to use and hassle-free. There are many test tools available, and each has unique characteristics and limitations.
For example, Shopify's speed test tool offers a comparison of your website with similar websites. The most popular speed test tools are:
Both Shopify and PageSpeed Insights provide results on a scale of 0 to 100, while TestMyStoreSpeed shows a more direct comparison of your site to the standard.
With Shopify, a score of 50% means you are better off than half of your competitors, with PageSpeed Insights, a score over 80 is great.
If you want a much faster store, your best bet is hiring a world class Shopify development agency like EcomExperts. For many, 80 might be a good Shopify speed, but EcomExperts would get your site speed to 90+, making it one of the fastest Shopify stores ever.
When optimizing your Shopify site speed, it is important to note that loading time isn't the only factor impacting page speed. Page speed is impacted by every action taken on your page. A slow site could influence your customer's satisfaction, and by extension, your conversion, and bounce rates.