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Latency: Don’t Let It Affect Your Ecommerce Website’s Bottom Line

Published May 11, 2017 by 100TB Team

Greg Linden, a former software engineer at Amazon, once said that every 100ms of latency cost the internet giant 1% in sales. Amazon in 2016 made net sales of $136 billion, that means that just 100 ms of latency could have cost the business $1.36 billion. Those milliseconds count.

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Ecommerce websites need to pay close attention to the speed their website delivers data to shoppers. It’s a well-worn truism that internet users are impatient and disloyal. Even a split-second delay will cause users to switch tab, click something else and forget all about your ecommerce site. Not ideal when the market is so flooded with competitors just waiting to steal a site’s customers. In circumstances such as these don’t leave your customers waiting at the door.


Are your response times destroying your business?

It is also worth considering that since 2010 Google has placed a lot of emphasis on the speed at which a website loads when considering how to rank it. This could be carried out in a number of ways, it could be a straight up analysis of how quickly a website responds to requests, but it could also take into consideration bounce rates of a given site.

It is a well received sentiment that a slow loading site will result in people bouncing off it and back to the search results. Google looks at this carefully as it sees a bounce as a bad user experience and will penalize a site accordingly. So not only will users be switching off from a site if it doesn’t load quickly but Google will actively reduce its search visibility if this is the case.

Ignore latency at your peril.


Affecting Latency For Ecommerce

There are many incremental changes a webmaster can make to give the appearance of a faster site, but latency is at the top of the site speed food chain. A webmaster can look at dynamically loading imagery to give the semblance of faster loading. They can look at caching which will effectively cut load times for return visitors, or they could look at streamlining the plugins their site uses as loading these can seriously hinder the speed at which a website loads. But each of these issues all eventually lead back to the speed at which a site can deliver data to the end user. To effectively decrease that a webmaster must look at latency.

There is an eternal trade-off between a stunning website and the speed at which it loads. As developers and designers of websites, it is easy to overlook page load times in favor of a visually pleasing website. But a website is a developer’s hard work, and they’re often willing to ignore its shortcomings. Unfortunately, a user is less likely to do so, particularly when it comes to loading times.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with latency is to look at where the website is hosted. Consider first and foremost where your consumer is. If they live in the UK it is important to ensure that your website is hosted in the UK. This will reduce the distance data needs to be sent and can see noticeable reductions in latency. If you’re in the market for a scalable and reactive ecommerce infrastructure, check out the 100TB ecommerce services.


Don’t rely on WordPress alone when dealing with e-commerce demands.

It is also important to consider the content management system (CMS) used for a given site. WordPress is widely regarded as the best ‘fits-all’ solution to a website. But this isn’t strictly true when it comes to ecommerce. WordPress is designed for a content based website, be that a blog or company site. But it doesn’t effectively handle the strains of ecommerce. For that task, the best CMS solution is Magento.

A webmaster should also look to minimize the amount of HTTP requests made. This means streamlining the elements on your website. The more times a site has to request information from its server, the longer it will take to load these elements. Reducing the number of elements and the size of these individual elements is a sure-fire way of increasing the speed of a site.

The importance of latency extends beyond just the world of gaming and has tangible and real world effects. To highlight this, take the Obama administration who were in 2011 seeking re-election. They claim that a reduction in page load times from five seconds to two seconds resulted in an increase in their re-election coffers of $34 million. Latency has real world consequences and webmasters will ignore it at their own financial detriment. Low latency means more money for your business.

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