Site speed, particularly on mobile, will be the single most important focus for e-commerce companies in 2020.
In 2017, Google delivered the industry a wake-up call with results that showed that over half (53%) of consumers abandon mobile websites that take longer than three seconds to load. In 2018, Google upped the ante, and made mobile website speed a part of the ranking algorithm. Last year, one-second became the golden standard for page-loads to meet or beat. Now 2020 is here and they are ready to publically badge sites for historically slow laod times.
Due to the emphasis Google is placing, and will continue to place, on mobile site speed, we anazlyed the performance of the Internet Retailer Top 100 (IR 100) mobile websites to give you a more in-depth picture of how top eCommerce sites perform today.
How we tested mobile site speed and performance
To perform our anaysis on the fastest loading mobile site in eCommerce, we used WebPageTest for testing the mobile browsing speed at critical points along the shopper’s journey prior to checkout. This includes measuring 1) home page load time, 2) load time from Home to Product Listing Page (PLP) and 3) PLP to Product Detail Page (PDP).
General best practice suggests a website should load in 3 seconds or less. That is quickly becoming outdated, as the best sites are now able to load in under a second. The goal here is to provide a new benchmark for fast loading mobile sites, one that meets and exceeds general expectations. All of these speed metrics are imperative for a good user experience and are therefore useful for evaluating the performance of a mobile website.
Site speed results from top retailers
On average, the IR 100 mobile homepage load times were more than 3 seconds and PLP and PDP pages took on 1.5 seconds to load when navigated to once onsite. On the other hand, Layer0 average page load time for homepage is 0.30 seconds, 0.44 seconds for mobile PLP and 0.35 seconds for mobile PDP. Meaning that websites on Layer0 are able to deliver homepages to mobile browsers 8.9x faster, navigate from the homepage to PLP pages on mobile 2.36x faster, and navigate to PDP pages 3.18x faster, than the average for IR100 mobile websites.
Distribution of Homepage load speeds for the top 100 eCommerce websites
We compared the average homepage load times websites on Layer0 achieve on mobile to that of the 10 fastest loading homepages among the leading 100 internet retailers and found that Layer0 enables speeds that are more than 4x that of the 10 fastest IR100 sites. The homepages of the 10 fastest internet retailer websites had an average page load speed of 1.4 seconds, less than half of the recommended load time but still slower than the speeds that can be achieved on Layer0.
Site speed is the new competitive battleground for SEO
Speed Index is the decisive KPI for the ranking in the leaderboard but the majority of companies lag behind the user expectations. Minimizing loading times is a permanent, process-related challenge and requires constant focus across departments and responsibilities.
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, a leading online gifting service and customer of Layer0, relies heavily on organic search traffic. The brand utilized Layer0 Platform to speed up its website for mobile. “We saw an immediate improvement in the Google Page Speed score from 56 to 99 and dramatically increased page speed to drive a considerable uplift in conversion rate,” said CMO Amit Shah.
How does your mobile website measure up?
Curious as to how your mobile site measures up to the 100 top eCommerce sites including our customers?