4 minute read
With slow websites costing retailers $2.49 billion in lost sales each year, it’s clear that speed is an important factor in the amount of friction online shoppers experience. While page load time is the main source of this friction, there are are a number of other possible sources as well: speed of payment options, time required to read copy, time it takes to fill out a form, scrolling time, or speed of delivery.
You may be wondering, does a second or two really make that big of a difference? Indeed, it does. Google found that a difference of just half a second in load time resulted in a 20% drop in traffic.
Let’s explore some ways retailers can satisfy consumers’ need for speed.
How Checkout Speed Impacts Behavior
Before we get into ways to speed up the checkout, let’s cover how checkout speed impacts shopper’s behavior.
Website load time can be a major influence on overall customer satisfaction with the shopping experience. In fact, 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less and an additional 1 second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.
What’s more concerning is that checkout speed can also have a fairly significant impact on revenues. That’s because 79% of shoppers that are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to return and 52% of online shoppers say that quick load times is important to their site loyalty. A different study found that 57% of shoppers will abandon a webpage that takes more than 3 seconds to load and 80% of those people will never return. What these numbers suggest is that having a fast and well-functioning website will help to increase sales and encourage customer loyalty.
How Retailers Can Rev Up Their Checkout
There are a few different types of speed for retailers to consider when it comes to their checkout:
- How fast the webpage loads
- How fast a customer can get to the ‘Thank You’ page
- How fast the product gets delivered
How Fast the Webpage Loads
Page load time plays a big role in conversions. To illustrate just how important load speed is, Amazon calculated that a page load speed of just one second costs them around $1.6 billion in sales annually.
There are a number of ways you can help to minimize load time. For instance, Yahoo notes that 80% of a page’s load time is spent parsing out the HTTP requests required to render the page. In other words, the majority of the load time comes from things like images, carousels, Flash, scripts, and so on. While there is nothing wrong with having these things on a webpage, you should be conscientious about having too many and be sure to optimize whenever possible.
For instance, if you have a picture that is 2500 x 2500 pixels but only shows up as 720 x 720 then a bowser is having to do more work than is actually needed. Optimizing images before you upload them will avoid this extra work and help to keep load time to a minimum.
There are plenty of helpful resources out there for how retailers can reduce load time, but here is a short list to get you started:
- Enable GZIP compression
- Optimize CSS
- Reduce the number of plugins
- Ensure above-the-fold content loads first
You can learn more about the load speed of your own pages with the help of Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
How Fast a Customer Can Complete an Order
How long does it take a customer to pay you? The speed of your payment options is an important factor in how long it takes customers to complete an order. By offering customers a streamlined payment method, retailers can get more customers through the checkout by sparing them the hassle of a lengthy checkout form. Cutting down on the amount customers have to type is especially helpful for converting mobile shoppers because it saves them from the frustrations of typing on a small screen.
Another way for retailers to improve this type of checkout speed is by waiting until after the customer has completed the payment before asking them to sign up. Asking customer to become a member before they begin the checkout causes around 30% of users abandon their cart, so wait until they have finished checking out.
But don’t do away with membership entirely. By allowing customers to create a profile, you can speed up return purchases by storing and recalling their information such as name, email, and shipping address.
How Fast the Product Gets Delivered
Shipping and delivery options are another important type of speed when it comes to online shopping. A UPS Online Shopper survey found that 28% of shoppers have abandoned a cart because the estimated shipping time was too long.
Pure-ecommerce retailers can explore adding a same-day delivery option with the help of services from Amazon, Google, and Uber – but these are only available in a select few cites throughout the U.S.. Retailers that also have a brick and mortar location can speed up delivery by allowing customers to buy online pick up in-store, also known as click-and-collect. This allows customers to take advantage of the convenience of online shopping while saving them from the days or weeks of waiting for their purchase to be delivered.
Now Hustle Up
Patient may be a virtue, but apparently no one told online shoppers.
By speeding up the checkout process retailers can help to reduce the friction associated with a slow checkout and increase the number of customers that make it to the end.
P.S. Enjoy this post? You’ll love Plug a Leaky Cart: How to Reduce Cart Abandonment