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  • Writer's pictureRick Kenney

S.O.S: Save One Second

Site speed has operated in the shadows for years. Merchants will nod heads approvingly when discussing performance, but far too rarely does Intention turn to action. In these go-go days of digital tech, site speed is the bridesmaid, losing out too often to other new shiny tech baubles.

But, when we know the score -- the benefit of site speed -- it is impossible to ignore how critical a fast site experience is to you and your shoppers.

We analyzed the shopping activity of more than 25 billion page views tracked across the YOTTAA community -- in total, comprising more than 5 billion shopper sessions -- with one aim: what is the value of 1 second? What benefit do merchants see from faster page loads? Undoubtedly, faster loading sites provide merchants with three gifts.

Gift #1: Conversion rate lift

On mobile, a 1 second improvement in average page load time across the session lifts conversion 5.7%. Remember, mobile conversion rates typically trail desktop rates for a variety of reasons, not limited to shopping intention, and context (is the shopper in a store?). With faster loads, though, mobile sites begin to perform better. The higher uptick of mobile conversion is a slight glimmer that the mobile conversion gap may actually be close-able.

Meanwhile, desktop shoppers also respond well with faster page loads across the session, as conversion rate rises 3.3% for every second faster.

While faster appears to be better, there’s more to this story, which brings us to...

Gift number 2: Lower bounce rate

Slow to load pages are trampolines, bouncing shoppers off your site. 1 second of page load improvement helps reduce bounce rate by 12% on mobile and desktop.

With reduced page load time, shoppers give brands and retailer more at-bats; more chances to merchandise, to inspire, and to keep the journey going. And that brings us to the final gift...

Gift #3: More page views

Shoppers view about a half page more per session in these marginally faster sessions - a bit more on desktop, .52 pages, a bit less on mobile, .38 pages. And, this extra page is meaningful to your shopper relationship. Given that 2/3rds of page views are either category pages or PDPs, you earn a chance to impress and connect with the shopper. Simply put, shoppers view more pages per session when sites load faster.

Putting it all together, 1 second delivers nearly 6% conversion gain, reduces bounce by 12% and is the gateway to a deeper shopper journey.

All that, because of a second.

Want more site speed insights? Check out the Site Speed Standard.

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