Ways to Improve Website Load Time for E-commerce Businesses

Code snippet of an e-commerce website Text reads: Importance of website loading time for small ecommerce businesses
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    With many e-commerce websites today, a lot of shoppers have an issue with slow-loading e-commerce websites. If you own a small e-commerce business, you need to take website load time for your e-commerce store seriously. Online shoppers will leave your store for another e-commerce store if don’t have a fast-loading e-commerce store. 

    Research by Aberdeen Group showed that a one-second delay in page load time could result in a 7% conversion loss and 11% fewer page visitors. If the e-commerce store earns $50,000 a day, a one-second page lag will result in more than $1 million in sales loss for the year.

    In this article, we will discuss what website load time is and how it can affect your small e-commerce business. We will also discuss how you can improve your e-commerce website speed and load time.

    Key Takeaways

    • If you want to succeed as a small e-commerce business owner, you need to prioritize the performance of your sales page.
    • Before you decide to optimize your website speed, you need to get a fuller picture of your website’s performance and know how to go about the optimization process.
    • A slow-loading website can lead to poor conversions, so if you want to keep making sales on your online store, make sure it is optimized for customer experience.

    What is Website Load Time?

    Website page load time in e-commerce is the average amount of time it takes an e-commerce sales page to load on your mobile or PC screen. It is the page load time that is calculated from the time of initiation i.e. the time you clicked on the sales page to the time of completion i.e. the time the page fully loads on your screen. This happens in milliseconds.

    Website load time in e-commerce is determined in two ways. They include:

    • Visitors Network Latency and Your Website Server
    • Browser Time

    Visitors Network Latency and Website Server

    The swiftness of the visitor’s network can affect how fast the e-commerce page will load. A poor internet connection will slow down how fast your e-commerce website loads.

    Another thing that could affect the e-commerce website load time is your site’s server. How swiftly do static assets like images and text load? This is another aspect to consider.

    Browser Time

    This is how long it will take for the browser to parse and load the site to the visitor.

    Your small business e-commerce web page can have a different load time on different platforms (e.g. Chrome, UC Browser, Edge, etc., and in different countries. If your site data center is only located in the UK and you sell to international customers, they may experience longer load times than those in the data center location. But if you have different data centers in major parts of the world, this will drastically increase the page load time.

    Why is Website Load Time for E-commerce Businesses Important?

    Your site’s speed is important to your e-commerce business. If you want to succeed as a small business owner, then you need to make your online store worth visiting. Some small business owners make the mistake of focusing on paid or ad marketing only and neglect their website’s performance and speed. It is very important for you to pay attention to the performance of your sales page. 

    You can choose to host your small business e-commerce website on reputable hosting platforms like Shopify and Amazon, or you can build your site from scratch with the best e-commerce website builder for small businesses available. Whichever choice you go for, make sure your number one priority is to make the webpage load faster.

    What is the importance of having a fast-loading page? The following are some of them:

    • Conversion
    • Loyalty
    • SEO Ranking


    The faster your e-commerce sales page loads, the lower the bounce rate and the higher visitors convert into customers. Increasing your load time by one second will increase your visitor-to-customer conversion rate by up to 27%. 


    Loyalty is important if you want your business to succeed. You don’t want to seek new customers every time. You can also form loyal relationships with old customers. One of the first impressions online visitors will have about your store is your website. If it loads fast, you have more chances to retain and turn them into loyal customers.

    An infographic by Skilled in 2016 showed that the majority of visitors or new customers to e-commerce sites are more likely to repeat their purchases if you have a fast-loading web page. To have an effective customer retention strategy, you need to invest in increasing your site speed and reducing page load times.

    SEO Ranking

    SEO plays a huge role in helping businesses grow today. It goes beyond including high-ranking keywords on your webpage. Your e-commerce sales page architecture and its UI/UX design must be unique and enable the page to load faster. 

    Google, the most popular search engine in the world makes up over 91% of the industry. You can get your small e-commerce business discoverable on Google with a fast-loading site. In fact, as of 2021, websites with fast-loading pages are more likely to be discoverable on Google than slow-functioning ones.   

    Important Statistics About Website Load Speed and Small E-commerce Businesses

    • “The average mobile web page takes 15.3 seconds to load.” – Google Research
    • “Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer” – Unbounce
    • “The highest e-commerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0-2 seconds.” – Portent
    • “By compressing images and text, 25% of pages could save more than 250KB and 10% can save more than 1MB (which contributes to page load times).” – Google

    How to Improve Your Website Page Load Speed

    As already mentioned, you have a choice to host your e-commerce website on hosting platforms or build it from scratch. While it is easy to host your online store on platforms like Shopify, Wix, Big Commerce, etc, there is the possibility that you can’t include just any feature on it. Adding more videos, customer reviews, or live chat features to the store can slow down its speed and lower your SEO ranking. So, building from scratch can be a better idea.

    But how can you improve the speed of the sales page? Here are some important steps that can help:

    1. Understand your Website’s Speed
    2. Choose a Performance Optimized Hosting Provider
    3. Build for Mobile First
    4. Optimize Your Images
    5. Use the Lazy Load Technique
    6. Reduce Redirects on Your Site
    7. Cache Your E-Commerce Site
    8. Minify the JavaScript, CSS, and HTML
    9. Use Asynchronous Loading for Your JavaScript and CSS Files 
    10. Keep Making Improvements

    Understand Your Website Speed

    Before you decide to optimize your website speed, it is wise to understand what exactly is going on. You need to get a fuller picture of your website’s performance. Some e-commerce website speed report checkers can help you with this.

    Choose a Performance Optimized Hosting Provider 

    The provider you go for can play a huge role in your site’s performance. One mistake you must avoid making is going for cheap hosting solutions because they offer low monthly rates. Cheap hosting solutions also contribute to poor loading speed. This is because you will be sharing your e-commerce site between different websites on one server.

    To avoid these, it is wise to go for efficient performance-focused solutions. These solutions provide a platform that focuses on speed and you won’t have to worry about other websites causing a lag on your page. 

    Build for Mobile First

    One rule of web development is to build for mobile devices first. Many customers prefer using their mobile phones to laptop devices. It is wise that when building your website from scratch or with the best e-commerce website hosting solutions for small businesses, you optimize for mobile devices first before upgrading or enhancing them for desktop use.

    Optimize Your Images

    Images are essential elements in e-commerce stores. Large images can slow down a website because they require larger file space. Before you upload any image to your store, you must run it through an image compressor. This solution will compress the image without reducing its quality. 

    Use the Lazy Load Technique

    What would happen if the images on your site wish to load at the same time before the page is fully loaded? This can slow down the performance of your sales page! To avoid this, lazy loading is an important technique you should adopt.

    Lazy loading involves providing images at the top of your sales page first, then slowly allowing the images to load as the visitors browse through the page. Lazy loading can be achieved with JavaScript and different open-source libraries can help with this when building your website. If you hire a website developer for this, ensure that you request for this feature to be added to your online store.

    Reduce Redirects on Your Website

    Having too many redirects on your site can affect its loading time. Every time a web page redirects to somewhere else, it lengthens the request and response of the HTTP. Eliminating unnecessary redirects can reduce your website’s loading page speed. There are some ways to reduce these redirects in WordPress. One way is by ensuring your top-level domain (i.e. this is the segment after the dot in your website) resolves with a max of one re-direction. Another is to not create unnecessary redirects when building links and more pages.

    Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    This is also known as a content distribution network; and is a network of several servers that improve your web page loading speed. CDN does this by hosting and sending out copies of your website’s static content from servers around the world. CDN works with your hosting server, not in place of it. Aside from the server that hosts your site, you can use a CDN to send copies of your website’s files to some data centers. This reduces the distance information requests pass between browsers and your hosting servers. You have different CDN options to go for. Ensure that you choose the one that suits your website optimization needs the most.

    Cache Your E-commerce Site

    Caching is an effective way to speed up your sites. Caching helps to store your website’s files and reduces the work a server does to render a web page to a visitor browser. By caching your store sales page, you lower the load time to the first byte (TTFB). There are different ways you can do this. You can read about this blog on how to cache a WordPress website for a broader explanation of how to do this.

    Minify the JavaScript, CSS, and HTML

    Minifying your website’s JavaScript, CSS, and HTML code can improve page speed. Minifying means removing unnecessary comments, characters, spaces, and other elements to reduce file size. Decreasing file size results in less cluttered web pages and cleaner code that loads your web page faster. This detailed description of how to minify WordPress could come in handy when you decide to do this on your website.

    Use Asynchronous Loading for Your JavaScript and CSS Files 

    Your website is made up of JavaScript and CSS files. These files can load asynchronously or synchronously. When the scripts load synchronously, it means that they load one at a time as they appear on the website. This method is slow as network interference or large files can stop some files from loading on time. On the other hand, asynchronous loading allows multiple scripts to load at the same time. This can speed up your website’s loading time. To set this up, you will need to eliminate some render-blocking resources. On WordPress, you can use either Async JavaScript plugins or Autoptimize to do this easily. 

    Keep Making Improvements

    Your e-commerce site’s load speed should be a major priority for you as a business owner. A slow-loading website can lead to poor conversions, so if you want to keep making sales on your online store, make sure it is optimized for customer experience. Always be ready to make improvements when necessary.


    As the above guide has shown, having a fast-loading e-commerce website comes with many benefits. It is as important as any marketing for e-commerce. It will improve repeated sales and increase revenue for your small business. This article has shown how optimizing your web page images, reducing the site’s code clutters, building a mobile-friendly website, and minifying your site can increase its speed and load time. If you want to improve your e-commerce store ROI, make sure you take your website load time seriously.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What causes your website to lag?

    A slow website is caused by different factors such as poor image optimization, inefficient CSS, hosting problems, and unsupported fonts.

    Can Your Website Load time affect SEO?

    Yes. Google can check the performance of your website through its core web vitals signals. This search engine giant ensures your website is user-friendly. Also, if your website loads slowly, the bounce rate can be on the high side. This can indirectly affect SEO.