One of the most common questions we hear is this: “what’s good e-commerce site performance?” The short answer is: it depends. The longer answer is more helpful: it depends, but there are some good baselines and rules of thumb that can help you get started.
Studies show that the slower your site is, the more your visitors will leave, the more shopping carts will be abandoned, and the lower your conversions will be. The correlation between site performance and revenue is well-established.
We’re assuming that you’re testing your site’s performance in all the key areas - page load, adding items to a shopping cart, completing checkout, and so forth. We’re also assuming you’re doing that regularly and consistently.
Our recommended best practice if you haven’t already performed load tests on your site is this: first, run a full set of tests to establish baseline performance.
However, there’s where our frequently asked question comes in: what’s good e-commerce site performance? Once you’ve set your baseline, how do you know if it’s good enough? Here, again, the short answer: ask your manager (hint: the answer will be “make it faster.”). The longer answer: studies show us a good place to start.
A recent study reports that for most sites, a page load time of two seconds is the absolute maximum that’s acceptable. If it takes longer than that you’re going to start losing visitors quickly. For example, a site load time of 3 seconds means you’ll lose half (half!) of your visitors compared to a 2-second load time.
For an e-commerce site, load time needs to be even faster. 100 milliseconds (ms) is the baseline page load time, and faster is even better. Even the 100 ms delay costs 7% in overall conversions.
That’s why we recommend continual load testing and improvement. Every improvement results in real revenue. You can optimize code, streamline external API calls, and accelerate database access.
No matter what you’re building, you can start with those general rules of thumb and optimize from there.
A bunch of good stats, if you want to analyze more.