Ecommerce firms are losing billions due to slow-loading sites

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(Image credit: Future)

Businesses in the UK are losing roughly $80 billion in unrealized sales every year due to slow-loading websites. This is according to a new report from Fasthosts, based on a poll of 1,500 UK residents.

With lockdown measures still being enforced across the country, people are conducting most of their shopping online, Fasthosts claims. Almost two-thirds (60%) of UK consumers have shopped online more frequently since the coronavirus outbreak.

The growth of ecommerce represents a huge opportunity for digital businesses, but many are missing out due to slow-loading websites. 

Of the 1,500 respondents, more than half abandon an online purchase if the website loads too slowly, the report states. What’s more, just under half never return after a poor experience, making winning trust an even bigger challenge.

Boosting site speed

In order to make sure they don’t miss out on potential revenue, e-retailers are encouraged to scale and optimize the images on their websites, compress pages as much as possible, make sure they’ve enabled browser caching, tighten up on the code and upgrade their web hosting platform. 

According to Fasthosts, optimizing images is one of the best ways to optimize a website and decrease load times. Images should be uploaded in the appropriate format, which usually means steering clear of .BMP. Furthermore, e-retailers could add gzip compression to their pages, reducing image size without compromising on quality.

Businesses that get plenty of repeat visitors are encouraged to enable browser caching, which reduces the load time on the next visit. 

Unlike on desktop, users are happy to give websites a little more leeway on mobile, the report concludes. On the mobile platform, visitors are happy to wait a few seconds longer for the page to load, before deciding to abandon their basket. 

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.