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How Yottaa is Solving the eCommerce Website Performance Problem

The top eCommerce sites in the world are 22% slower than they were last year.

That’s bad.

Because a customer’s ideal page load time is less than 3 seconds, and today’s top eCommerce sites take on average 7.25 seconds.

The reason? Websites are becoming more complex. At Yottaa, we see it every day. eCommerce sites in particular are heavier and more interactive, as they attempt to support third-party integration and add powerful visuals.

Below, we investigate this issue and how to prevent poor eCommerce performance. Keep reading to learn:

  • The impact poor performance has on eCommerce
  • Why eCommerce sites are so much slower than the average
  • How Yottaa is solving today’s eCommerce challenge

Today’s tech and user expectations

Often there is the assumption, naturally, that as technology improves the performance of your website will automatically follow suit. But what this new technology allows people to do online doesn’t change the composition of a website. New technology generally adds to existing site features, rather than replacing them; It’s still made up of the same asset types that need to be thoroughly thought out.
At the same time, users expect faster, safer, and more accessible website experiences. This means quick-loading pages, a simple purchase process, and 100% security. They are ready to purchase at any point in time, from any device, in any location, and many eCommerce providers aren’t as prepared.

Poor performance causes poor user experience, but also results in higher web development and operations cost, lower site conversions, poor rankings for organic and paid search, and insufficient infrastructure and scale for traffic spikes. And for many eCommerce sites, poor performance stems from too much content, unoptimized files, and chatty assets.godiva homepage performanceGodiva, for example, represents modern eCommerce sites that rely on numerous and heavy components:

?2.3 MB of content
?209 assets
?54 javascripts
?29 HTML files
?67 domains

The content complexity shown below breaks down site, which is comprised of numerous kinds of assets. This contributes to a Time to Interact (overall page load time) of almost 6 seconds. Worse, for small businesses that don’t have a Godiva-level website buget, a site like this would take substantially longer to load.

godiva slow speed

User Experience

40 percent of website visitors leave site after 3 secondsBusiness owners wouldn’t hire a slow, unresponsive sales rep to support your company, so why would an eCommerce website be any different? Ultimately, it’s definitively about the customer (user) experience. Users want to access information immediately; they want ease-of-use; their time is valuable. And while these complaints don’t often come directly from the customer, but website metrics don’t lie. Around 40% of website visitors will leave your site after 3 seconds; 80% of those will not return. Fifty-one percent of shopping cart abandonment is credited to slow pages. From there, the modern consumer will also share their negative experience with friends and in onlinereviews.

Loss in Conversions

ecommerce revenue loss
The proof is in the profit: every additional 1 second added on to load time results in a 7% loss in conversion (Aberdeen Group). At that rate, for an eCommerce site making $5,000 a day, a 1-second delay would mean $127,750 a year in lost revenue.
Downtime is even worse. A few hours of downtime a month adds up to whole days of downtime per year, and thousands in lost revenue. An unhappy customer isn’t inclined to complete a purchase, and a customer that can?t access the site simply isn’t able to purchase – this can mean big loss, in revenue, lifetime customer value, and brand loyalty.Aside from lost customers and lost revenue, the secondary costs of flagging customer satisfaction includes increased customer maintenance cost, more support calls and emails, and more PR damage control.


Competitor Advantage

competitor advantage
It’s been proved that visitors will turn to competitor websites after a negative website experience. Average shopping cart abandonment numbers are high enough already (~70%): add an unclear purchase path and a slow, error-riddled site, and the result is an unsustainably low conversion rate.
If a competitor’s site is even 1 second faster or is easier to access through mobile devices, they have the advantage. For these reasons, smaller companies assume their sites can’t compete with the “big guys.”

How the Ecommerce Industry is Performing Today

The eCommerce industry adapts quickly to digital advancements, but too often websites emphasize style over function. To examine how these developments affect performance,Yottaa tested the user experience on hundreds of eCommerce sites.ecommerce sector site speedWhen it comes to the most important baseline metric – Time to Interact – the Mass Merchant sector (the big guys) had the fastest overall at 5,895 msec (5.895 sec). Yet this is still almost 3 seconds slower than the average user expectations.

The average for the whole field is 6-7 seconds. Some sectors, like Office Supplies, Automotive Parts, and Jewelry, top 8+ seconds. These numbers reflect home page performance. The numbers are even worse on image-heavy secondary pages, such as catalog and product pages, or within shopping carts, where a higher level of interaction is required.Most eCommerce sites are growing. What we’re starting to see is an inability for site performance to scale alongside site growth.

Why are eCommerce sites slow?

ecommerce sector website performanceMore components means more risk of slowdowns or errors. Today’s eCommerce sites have more components than ever before: a successful page load now depends on the execution of dozens of assets, the appropriate treatment of dozens of images, and numerous requests to unpredictable third party domains.A quick look at our data confirms that eCommerce sites rely on complex components and interactive features to provide the right brand identity and engaging customer experiences. But on average, they are 100KB larger, and have almost double the number of assets and domains delivering content. So these components actually degrade the customer experiences they?re supposed to create by slowing down performance. And while many browsers can render for speed, they can only handle so much when it comes to weighed-down sites. The more content, the slower the site (for more Yottaa data on the eCommerce industry, reference our blog post – eCommerce and Website Performance: A Look Into the Industry).

How Yottaa Solves the eCommerce Challenge

With Yottaa monitoring, eCommerce users can effectively monitor websites 24/7 by setting up critical alerts on key pages, such as product catalog pages, product detail pages, customer shopping cart page, and customer checkout page. We create the ability to define and monitor the issues that matter to your business and gain 360� visibility into all factors impacting your site:


  • Server issues
  • Page errors
  • Network problems
  • 3rd-party asset issues

Yottaa customers see a dramatic decrease in Time to Interact; most sites with Yottaa load in 2-5 seconds, substantially below the eCommerce average. Our software automatically reduces asset size, minimizes server requests, and enables parallel delivery of assets and execution of scripts for a faster, cleaner page load.the yottaa impact resized 600Our eCommerce customers today see a range of web performance improvements:


1. Improved user experience

By reducing the Time to Start Render and Time to Interact, Yottaa contributes to a decreased overall page load time, giving your customers the fast experience they expect. This leads to higher conversions, longer time on site, a lower bounce rate, and increased brand loyalty.


2. Increased reliability and consistency

Yottaa automatically reduces the number of requests on a page by combining similar scripts and stylesheets. This does not change the size or composition of the assets ? they will simply be called by a single request, instead of each requiring its own. In doing so, users will have a more consistent experience no matter where they are visiting from.

3. Optimized content delivery

By intelligently rewriting asset requests, we assemble the page assets properly so your IT team doesn’t have to! Yottaa allows you to pre-fetch assets, load code components in parallel, and automatically compress images so that all of the site content is delivered optimally.
Yottaa eCommerce users see these results in hard data. eCommerce Industry Success Graphics 23

Customer Successes

Equipped with automated website optimization and 24×7 monitoring capabilities, Yottaa eCommerce customers see substantial performance gains, marketing successes and sales benefits. To ensure your site sees 100% uptime, Yottaa offloads traffic and requests to our network, leaving yours with better flexibility and less stress. We use best practices to optimize components, including minification, parallel loading, and compression, allowing a website to function with a large asset count.


PCMall is a $1.4B eCommerce Company (NASDAQ: PCM), that selected Yottaa to power its eCommerce after extensive evaluation of all vendors.


  • 35% faster load time
  • Accelerated start render time 62%
  • Reduced number of requests 68%
  • 80% of traffic offloaded to Yottaa network


LifeProof provides smartphone and tablet cases that are water, dirt, snow and shock proof. LifeProof?s rapid growth has led to challenges in scalability for the site?s web infrastructure, and lead to poor user experience, particularly for mobile visitors. With Yottaa, they got:


  • 28% faster load time
  • Consistent page load times/experiences across Europe and APAC
  • 96% of traffic offloaded to Yottaa network
  • 15% fewer assets

describe the is an e-commerce portal for the iconic cookies served at Eat?n Park Restaurants. A startup with a small team and limited buget, they turned to Yottaa for a reasonably-priced solution to slow speed and lost conversions.


  • Lowered bounce rate 10%
  • Time on site increased 30%
  • Increased average order size 18%
  • Overall increase in eCommerce revenue
  • 95% of traffic offloaded to Yottaa network

describe the imageBig Train Inc.

For over 20 years Big Train Inc. ��has provided the coffeehouse industry with signature beverage mixes. Upon launching their eCommerce presence in 2012, they turned to Yottaa to optimize their presence, which resulted in:

  • The average number of requests required to load the site decreased 41% from 132 to 78
  • Page load time 53% faster
  • Total site traffic up 100% over previous month
  • 90% of requests offloaded to the Yottaa network
  • Mobile traffic up 100% due to Yottaa mobile optimization automation


Walleye Direct’s goal is to be ?the best online freshwater-only fish market offering delivery to your doorstep for frozen fillets using the best packaging of any seafood competitor.? They chose Yottaa to help achieve this goal.

  • 30% increase in conversions
  • 76% of requests offloaded to the Yottaa network
  • Sped up pages without disrupting site functionality

How to Get Started

To start monitoring your website’s performance, try our free Site Monitor account, and you’ll get 24×7 monitoring with the ability to set up key alerts for all critical issues.
For automated eCommerce optimization, Yottaa Site Optimizer will accelerate your page load speed, reduce asset size, and ensure uptime for your website on across all devices, browsers, and locations. You can try a 7-day trial of Site Optimizer for free, on us!

Looking for more resources? We’ve got them here:

11 Best Practices to Optimize Commerce Site Performance [SlideShare]The Unstoppable Wave of eCommerce [Infographic]The ROI of Website Performance: A Resources Guide


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