It is popular knowledge that customers love a fast store and site speed is the key to a successful eCommerce store. A large percentage of people prefer to skip long waiting lines by shopping online. Hence, to increase customer retention, eCommerce stores need to be fast.
A great way to ensure your Shopify store remains fast is by regularly optimizing your site speed. Google recommends that sites load in 3 seconds or less, and any second more increases bounce rates by 32%.
Knowing all of this, it becomes vital that your Shopify site speed be optimized regularly to ensure increased conversions, more ROAS, and better Google rankings. Let us consider the importance of site speed, how site speed will become a vital part of Google Search rankings, and how you can improve your site speed.
Why is Site Speed Important?
Site speed can make or break any Shopify store. Imagine trying to buy an item, but it takes forever to load every time you try to open the site. The typical reaction in this scenario is to lose interest and find a much faster store that sells the same products.
This would always be the case of any slow site, and in a world with millions of competitors, customers wouldn't hesitate to find a better store that can service their needs. Customers who are patient enough to complete their orders may never return to your store. At the end of the day, you'll realize you're losing not only new customers but existing ones as well.
By optimizing your Shopify site speed, you are not only improving your conversions, but you are also improving your customer's shopping experience and increasing conversions. Using Shopify's Online store speed report, you can learn how your store performs compared to your competitors.
If you're looking to reduce your bounce rates, increase conversions, sales, and your site's Google ranking, hire an expert Shopify speed optimization agency today!
What Affects Your Shopify Site Speed?
Now that we have identified the importance of site speed, the next step would be identifying the factors that impact your Shopify store speed. These are some of the factors slowing down your Shopify store:
As your Shopify store grows in size, it is only rational to add more apps to your store to improve user experience on your store. Adding more apps to your store causes your site speed to slow down tremendously. One reason for this is that some Shopify apps need more time to communicate with Shopify's API while others communicate with less speedy servers.
- The number and size of images and videos:
Another cause of slow Shopify site speed is large images. The more images, graphics you add to your store, the slower your store starts to get. The more images you add to your store, especially large ones, the more time it takes for web browsers to load.
Poorly optimized site images cause your site to slow down drastically, especially on mobile devices.
- Theme code:
Shopify theme files also cause your store to slow down tremendously and have been identified to be a major cause of slow site speed.
Other causes of slow Shopify site speed include:
- Third-party libraries and services
- Analytic libraries
To improve your store's speed score, Google ranking, and page loading time, it is advised that you regularly optimize your Shopify site speed. A faster store always ranks higher than competitors, and the ranking tends to reduce if said competitors improve their site speed.
How Your Shopify Speed Score is Calculated
Your Shopify speed score is calculated using a weighted average of the Lighthouse performance scores. These scores include your store's home page, your product page with the most traffic over the last 7 days, and your collection page with the most traffic over the last seven days.
To calculate the weights of each, multiple factors are considered; the relative traffic to each of these page types across all Shopify stores.
Hence, your Shopify site speed score is the average over multiple days of Lighthouse performance scores as performance scores vary between tests. An average over multiple days better represents your store's day-to-day performance. If your store is new or you just removed the password page, then your score might be less accurate. To view the score for each page type, click on the See how your score is calculated drop-down.
Lighthouse reports are run on the mobile versions of these pages. This is because 60% of sales made on Shopify stores are from mobile devices.
If you don't have a collection page, product page, or home page, or a page type has no views, then the page's score is listed as No data available. Your online store speed score is calculated using only the available pages and their weights. Your score is not negatively impacted.
To run a Lighthouse Report on the specific collection page, product page, or home page used to calculate your score, click See how your score is calculated and then click View insights. Running a Lighthouse report lets you view more detailed metrics for the page.
What Your Speed Score Means
To understand your store's speed and how fast it loads for customers, you need to know your speed score. A higher Shopify speed score represents an online store that's fast for the wide variety of customers accessing it. This means that the store would load fast for every customer regardless of their device, internet connection.
A lower score represents an online store that might not be accessible to the full range of customers that want to purchase from your store.
Achieving a high Google Lighthouse score can be tricky and harder to improve as time goes on. To determine your speed score, Lighthouse compares your online store to all types of websites, many of which don't offer the same functionality as an online store. To understand how your store is performing compared to other Shopify stores, view your speed ranking. You can then use your speed score as a measurement to help you to make your own online store better for your customers.