The statistics are in: faster-loading speeds = happier customers = more conversions. We’ve said it before, and online shoppers agree. As browser speeds continue to accelerate, customers expect faster performance. Sites with loading times over 3 seconds can expect bounce rates of 40%… or worse.
This is why so many e-commerce businesses use a content delivery network (CDN) for website speed optimization. A CDN hosts typically heavy content elements of a page such as images and stylesheets, reducing the page’s loading time and thus boosting its performance.
The benefits may seem obvious. Your shoppers love all those high-resolution full-color product images, and by hosting them in the CDN, mobile and non-mobile browsers alike will load them in a fraction of the time.
But there’s much more to a content delivery network than meets the eye. Here are three business benefits of using a CDN that might surprise you.
Higher SEO Ranking
Fast-loading web pages aren’t just important to customers. They’re important to Google.
Google’s algorithms adapt to the pace of the evolving web. In addition to evaluating websites based on content and relevance, the speed at which a site’s pages load constitutes a major element in determining its page rank.
Improve your site’s speed, improve your rank. In that way, when you use a content delivery network you significantly strengthen your SEO efforts.
Google actually makes website speed optimization easier with a free PageSpeed Insights tool. You just have to enter your URL to get an analysis of your website’s performance along with suggestions for optimization.
More Sales Than You Think (A Lot More)
The benchmark of all things e-commerce, Amazon, discovered that they lost 1% in sales for every 100 milliseconds of latency on their website.
To put that in perspective, Amazon generated almost $178 billion in revenues in 2017. So, even a 1% loss comes out to 100 very expensive milliseconds.
This isn’t just the case for e-commerce, either. Google (who, as we just mentioned, loves fast websites) takes a whopping 20% drop in traffic for every extra half-second a search page takes to load.
Now obviously Amazon and Google are titans at the top of their respective games, and even they have to play by website speed optimization rules. But look at it the other way around, and you’ll get an idea of just how much your conversions can skyrocket when you put a premium on fast pages and use a content delivery network.
Picture this: you’re shopping for office supplies, and the first site you’re browsing is taking forever to load. So you do what anybody else would do… you abandon the site and look for another one.
The next web store you visit loads in a snap. You place your order and it’s processed right away (because, like all smart businesses, they have an ERP-integrated e-commerce solution).
Now the question is, when it’s time for you to order more office supplies, where are you going to go? Back to the site with the slow pages? Of course not. Odds are, you’ll be returning to the business that provided good service the last time.
Just like you, online shoppers (both B2C and B2B) remember where the speed is.
While website speed optimization is only one factor in the overall user experience, it’s by far one of the most important. When two web stores offer the same products at the same prices but load at different speeds, nine times out of ten, customers will buy from the faster site.
And when you use a content delivery network, you can be the faster site.