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Speed the key to a great ecommerce site

11/29/2012 | Internet hosting |

This year is set to be the biggest feature period yet for ecommerce business and, while there is a huge amount of money to be made by offering products and services online, it's important you have a good website if you're to make the most of this. Recent research has clearly shown the great potential for firms to get involved with ecommerce this year. Recent figures from IBM Benchmark for the US' Cyber Monday event suggested sales for the peak day were up by 30.3% compared with last year.

But if you want to take a slice of the market, you need an effective website. According to Econsultancy's newly-released Ecommerce Best Practice Compendium, having a fast site is one of the best things you can do to boost your chances. The website highlighted research performed by TagMan with online retailer Glasses Direct that measured the page loading speed of the site against sales conversions. It found this peaked at between one and two seconds per page, while for every extra second beyond this a site takes to load, conversion rates fell by 6.7%.

Additionally, page load time for visitors who didn't convert were an average of three-to four times higher than for those who made a purchase. This highlights the need for web server solutions that can deliver a consistent high-quality experience to users, particularly during times of peak traffic when some sites may be overwhelmed by the volume of information they are being asked to process at any one time.

But thinking carefully about your site design can also play a role in this. Econsultancy observed there are several features - such as large images and video content - which can bring great benefits to product pages and make them more appealing to users. However, you need to be careful not to go overboard with these, as too many large elements could have the effect of making your pages bloated and slow to load.

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