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Is (lack of) Speed Killing Your eCommerce Sales?

This may surprise you, but the internet is getting faster. From the days when you had to use a phone line hardwired into your wall (it was a thing kids, look it up) to the widespread propagation of the cable modem into the age when nearly everyone carries a supercomputer in their pocket, the internet is only getting faster. Users have become so conditioned to getting immediate information that now any perceived lack of speed is viewed as a sign of incompetence, and if that lack of information is coming from your ecommerce platform, it might just be dead in the water.

29% of users say they will immediately abandon a mobile site or app if it operates too slowly, or they can’t find the information they’re looking for immediately. From anecdotal evidence, that figure seems low.How often have you asked someone if they’ve looked at a mobile site or app only to hear “I opened it, but I quit after it just sat there.” We’re all guilty of it because we’ve been conditioned to crave speed. It should go without saying: you must optimize for mobile experience or your users will very quickly transition to a competitor who offers service at the speed they demand.

Thankfully not everything is about your backend database or hosting solution, there are quite a few simple things to consider to reduce the drag in your user’s experience.

  1. The first is to eliminate as many steps as possible from the process. Large clear CTA’s can dramatically cut down on the number of people feeling frustrated they can’t figure out what to do.
  2. The second is to try and anticipate your users needs. Are you asking for them to enter an email address? Then format the field to anticipate that need to cut down on the time it takes to fill it out. Anticipating needs will make the process feel smoother to your user which leads to greater conversions.

The quality of your product is of course critical in the online marketplace, but if for reasons of convenience your customer never gets around to ordering it, there’s an old adage about a tree falling the woods that aptly applies.