As any website development company can tell you, developing and maintaining an ecommerce platform can be a tricky thing. There are 101 things that can go wrong, and if your site isn’t perfect, especially leading into Christmas, consumers will start looking elsewhere.
The technology underpinning your site needs to be cutting edge if you want to stay at the top of your game, so if your site is trending at a lower rate than usual it could be time to take a long hard look at the underlying causes. Research shows that the internet as a whole is actually slowing down, with ecommerce sites in general falling in speed by as much as 14%. Consider then that one-quarter of online visitors abandon a site if it takes more than four seconds to load and the outlook begins to look a little bleak.
So, what could be slowing your site down? Begin by heading over to this site (//tools.pingdom.com/fpt/) and using their website speed test. If your load time is longer than 3 seconds, there’s a good chance it could be decreasing your sales. If you’re suffering from slow speeds, it could be time to get onboard with a CDN, or content delivery network. These will give your website a boost in speed by storing things like images in vast network servers dotted around the globe. Simply enable the CDN server closest to the place you call home, and you should see an uptick in speed and search engine ranking in no time.
Excessive 404 errors are another thing that can plug up traffic. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting half a minute for a page to load only to find you’ve been patiently waiting for a 404 error. Squash these annoyances using Google Analytics to check your URL structure and pin down problem pages to increase your speed.
Finally, think about optimising your images. Bulky, slow-loading images can cripple a page’s loading time, so look into ways you can compress your images without compromising their quality. Also, if your site is full of images you don’t need – duplicates, outdated banners and photos – remove them. Keep it simple, keep it clean, and your speed should begin to climb.