Is your user experience as fast and smooth as it could be? Or are customers bouncing away before they even have a chance to see what you offer?
A slow website can cost you dearly in terms of conversion rate and ROI. Even a one-second delay in loading time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
While the user experience should always be a top priority, it’s especially important for eCommerce websites. After all, if the speed of your site turns off potential customers, they’re not likely to buy anything from you.
This blog post will show you how to boost your Shopify site speed and why it is important for eCommerce businesses. From there, we’ll give you some actionable tips to help improve your site speed and keep customers coming back for more. Let’s get started.
Why Is Shopify Site Speed Important?
For eCommerce success, website speed is critical. The shoppers will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Some perks of having a fast website are:
1. Search Engine Rankings
To improve your website’s ranking in SERPs, website speed is a significant factor. The loading time of your eCommerce store will affect your SEO rankings because Google uses site speed in its algorithms. If you have a fast website, it will improve your chances of appearing higher in SERPs.
2. User Experience
User experience is essential for any website, but it is especially crucial for eCommerce sites. If a website takes too long to load, shoppers will likely leave the site and find a competitor that can offer a better user experience. The conversion rate will also be lower if the website is slow.
3. Sales and Revenue
A fast website can lead to more sales and higher revenue. If a shopper has a positive experience on your site, they are more likely to make a purchase. A slow website will result in lost sales and revenue and damage your brand’s reputation.
4. Customer Retention
A fast website leads to customer retention. If a shopper is satisfied with your site’s speed, they are more likely to return in the future. A slow website will cause shoppers to leave and never come back. While it is essential to have a fast website, it is also essential to maintain your site’s speed.
5. Competitive Advantage
A fast website gives you a competitive advantage. In today’s competitive market, every second counts. If your website is faster than your competitor’s, you are more likely to win the sale. A slow website will give your competitors an edge and put you at a disadvantage.
Few Tips to Speed Up Your Shopify Store
Several factors can affect the speed of your Shopify website. Below are some tips to increase the speed of your store:
1. Image Optimization
For visual appeal, it’s important to have well-placed images of each product in an online store. However, high-resolution images can often slow down page load speeds significantly. Image quality shouldn’t be compromised, though, for speed. Try these tips for optimizing images:
- Use Lossless Compression: It refers to a data compression method where original data can be entirely reconstructed from the compressed data. This is in contrast to lossy compression, which only allows for partial reconstruction. Before uploading images to your website, use tools like JPEGmini to compress them.
- Resize Images: Image size depends on the dimension and quality of the image. So, it’s best to upload images of the exact dimensions required for that page. For example, if the home page banner dimensions are 1500 X 500, you should upload an image with those dimensions. Shopify recommends 2048 X 2048 for product images so that quality isn’t lost when someone zooms in. However, if you use multiple high-resolution images, it may slow down the page. In that case, 800 X 800 images will work fine and help speed up your Shopify site.
- Use Compression Apps: If you’ve already uploaded images to your website, various Shopify apps can help compress the images in your store. This will help improve your site’s speed.
2. Use A Fast And Responsive Theme
The theme you choose for your Shopify store can greatly impact how fast your site loads. A good rule of thumb is to choose a theme that has been tested and is known for being fast and responsive.
Make sure the theme has been updated recently. An outdated theme can cause your site to load slowly. Your theme should also be designed for mobile devices. More and more people are using their mobile phones to shop online. If your theme is not designed for mobile, it will take longer for your pages to load on a mobile device.
Also, avoid themes that are overloaded with features. The more features a theme has, the slower it will load. Choose a theme with only the features you need for Shopify speed optimization.
You can test your theme’s speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for existing Shopify stores. This tool will give you a score for your mobile and desktop site. A good score is anything above 80. If your theme scores below 80, consider switching to a faster theme. Or, you can hire a Shopify expert to optimize your theme for speed.
A fast and responsive theme will help your Shopify store load faster and give your customers a better experience.
3. Optimize Shopify Apps
You need to look at the third-party apps you’re using and see if any of them can be uninstalled. Apps often add their code to your website’s code, slowing things down. If you don’t need an app anymore, get rid of it to help improve your site’s speed.
Usually, the injected code from an uninstalled app is not removed automatically. To prevent this code from slowing down your Shopify store, you must remove it manually. Excess code on your website can lead to slow page load speeds.
Additionally, some apps add new elements to Shopify web pages. You should try to restrict these elements to pages where they are necessary. For example, if an app provides floating trust badges, you should only use them on product pages. This is because that is the only place where they are needed. Don’t use them on other pages, as this will slow down your store.
4. Reduce HTTP Requests
Reducing the number of HTTP requests your page makes is one of the most effective ways to reduce loading times. There are a few ways to do this:
- Combine and inline your CSS scripts: This means combining all of your CSS into a single file and then including that file directly in your HTML code. This eliminates the need for separate HTTP requests for each CSS file.
- Minimize The Use Of Design And Functional Images: Every image on your web page makes an HTTP request. So, minimizing the number of image files can reduce loading times. You can do this using CSS sprite, which combines multiple images into a single file.
- Convert Images To Base64 Code: Converting images to Base64 code eliminates the need for separate HTTP requests. This can reduce loading times but can also increase the page size.
- Limit The Number Of Social Buttons: Social media buttons are often image-heavy and can make a lot of HTTP requests. Limiting the number of social buttons can reduce loading times.
5. Minimize Redirects And Broken Links
If your Shopify website is loading slowly, it may be due to too many redirects and broken links. The easiest way to minimize these issues is to avoid unnecessary redirects and fix broken links.
You can apply 301 redirects in Shopify by using the built-in „URL redirect” function. This will help to improve your website’s performance and speed. To find and fix broken links across your website, you can use free tools like Broken Link Checker. Minimizing redirects and broken links will improve your website’s overall load time and improve user experience.
6. Migrate The Tracking Codes
You can use a tag manager like Google Tag Manager to remove the tracking codes. This will allow you to manage your website’s tags in one place and asynchronously load the code so that it doesn’t block the rendering of your site’s content. Your code will still be executed, just not until after the content has loaded. To do this, follow these steps:
- Add the Google Tag Manager code to your site’s header or body.
- Find the tags you want to migrate and add them to Google Tag Manager.
- Set up the triggers for when each tag should fire.
- Publish your Google Tag Manager changes
- Remove any apps that you added via Google Tag Manager.
- Test your new tags to make sure they’re working properly.
- Consider moving other tracking pixels, such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Facebook, to Google Tag Manager. This will keep your site’s code clean and uncluttered.
- Verify that your site’s speed has improved by checking its PageSpeed Insights score.
Use Google Page Speed Insights To Test Speed And Site Performance
After you’ve made changes to your Shopify store to improve speed, you’ll want to test those changes to see if they have the desired effect. Google PageSpeed Insights is one of the best tools for this purpose.
Just enter your URL into the tool, providing you with a report on your page’s speed and performance. This tool will analyze your website and give you a score out of 100. The higher the score, the better.
You should aim to get a score of at least 80 for mobile and desktop versions of your site. By analyzing the results of your PageSpeed Insights report, you can identify any further changes you need to make to improve speed.
The tool also indicates factors that are preventing your page from loading faster. These can be unoptimized images, render-blocking resources, or inefficient code. By addressing these issues, you can further improve the speed of your Shopify store.
Test your site’s speed regularly to ensure that it performs as well as it should.
1. How To Design An Optimal eCommerce Checkout Flow?
To ensure an optimal eCommerce checkout flow, you need to make sure your pages are designed for easy navigation and fast loading times. You should also offer various payment options to make it easy for customers to complete their purchases.
2. Is There A Way To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Try to reduce shopping cart abandonment by offering various payment options, designing easy-to-navigate, fast-loading web pages, and providing fast loading times. You can also offer discounts or free shipping to encourage customers to complete their purchases.
3. How Speed Impacts Shopify Sales?
Faster loading times can lead to increased sales as customers are more likely to complete their purchases. You can improve your site speed by optimizing your images and accelerated mobile pages, using a content delivery network, and minifying your code.
Optimize Your Speed And ROI With Blue Owl
Being a Shopify-partnered agency, we’ve optimized the speed for many eCommerce stores on this platform. Many underestimate its role in driving conversions and organic traffic, but if potential customers wait too long for pages to load, they will likely leave without making a purchase. We can help you check your site speed and make the necessary improvements. From optimizing product images to compressing files, our team will help you make your Shopify store as fast as possible. We’ll also install apps that can improve loading times, such as lazy load images for products. Whether you’re starting a new store or want to improve your existing one, we can help you achieve your desired results. Get started with Blue Owl today!