From the merchants’ point of view, slow pages mean slaughtered sales.
From the customers’ point of view, slow pages mean only one thing.
If you are not Amazon, you don’t get to have slow pages.
Average load speed
In 2016, the average load time is 5 seconds for a page size of 3Mb. That’s simply too slow when the optimal speed must be between 500 milliseconds to 2 seconds.
What are the causes of slow pages?
Slow speed is the result of obesity.
The following factors make your page gain weight: Unoptimized images, flash, ads, and bulky code. They are the bandwidth-consumer culprits.
Unoptimized images are those that you stubbornly want to keep in full size. My diet tip: eat the same food, but eat less. Keep your images, but tweak them and make them smaller.
Flash is bulky software. It looks great, but most of its files are large; and flash has compatibility issue with some mobile devices. My diet tip: consider putting this beefy flash off your plate.
Too many ads frustrate people and slow down website loading speed. It can take only 1 slow ad for customers to call it quit. My diet tip: Cut down on your favorite desserts. Consider which one should be kept and which one should go.
Bulky code creates hindrances. My diet tip: try to condense your code and eliminate white spaces.
And the consequences
It’s simple. Slow pages and you lose sales. Amazon has found out that conversions dropped 7% with every 1 second delay. This means you lose sales in 2 blinks of an eye.
You lose sales through page abandonment and word of mouth. Dissatisfied customers tell others about their bad experience with your page, and you know what goes down from there. Customer loyalty also decreases with your speed.
Site speed also hurts search engine optimization. Since 2010, speed has been included as a factor that has the power to affect page rank, both on desktop and mobile devices.
With mobile Internet usage being on the growth, it is important to make sure that there are not much of a difference between browsing a website on desktop computer and browsing a website on a mobile device. Slow pages simply means sales going down. With more than 1 billion pages to choose from, you don't stand a chance against your competitors if you loading speed is slow.