“We need to go faster! Dump all extra weight — I don’t care what it is. We won’t miss it if we’re dead!”
You know the movie scene. Our heroes are being chased, the bad guys are rapidly gaining. Everything not bolted down gets dumped — luggage, food, fuel, etc. Our heroes escape to live another day, only to realize they tossed something essential, dooming them to an even more desperate situation.
A recent Internet Retailer article, Follett and Dell Move Into the Top 10 Fastest Desktop Sites, calls to mind this scene. It recognizes Follett Corp.’s great achievement in speeding up their eCommerce website’s home page. But what’s lost behind the headline is the sacrifice required to get there. According to the article, Follett “cut its number of hosts, items, and overall page size, plus made changes to redirects, images, and scripts” in order to hit top speed.
In other words, they dumped everything.
It inspires the question: when is faster not better? We all know that without speed, an eCommerce business is dead. Research backs this up, showing that after three seconds of waiting for a page to load, more than 50% of visitors will leave the site. And then conversion rates begin to plummet. But if the push for speed causes you to remove the calls, images, and third-party services that create your great customer experience, you could actually lose customers. Higher speed with lower conversion? Tough one to explain to the board of directors.
There are smarter ways to increase website speed. Take into account the following guiding principles when optimizing your website for faster load times.
1. Third-Party Services are Awesome
2. Speed Done Can Be Undone
3. Timing Is Everything
4. Speed and Experience Can Coexist
Follett has a beautiful home page, and might not have sacrificed anything to get so fast. But for many others, the easy way to speed up the eCommerce website is to cut services and features on every page. This is a knee-jerk reaction that could jeopardize your conversion rates and isn’t necessary. Next-generation acceleration technologies (like Yottaa) enable eCommerce websites to automatically sequence their website content to deliver faster page load times while preserving the third-party services your customers and marketing teams love.
So if you are being chased by higher website performance standards, don’t throw anything off the ship just yet. Instead, throw on some afterburners with the right eCommerce acceleration technology that will win that race without sacrificing a thing.