Report • 18.06.2018

Reduce web page load time – Methods at a glance

Part 2 of the topic series: Mobile optimization

In the first part of our series, we talked about the challenges of a mobile web presence and analysis tools as outlined in the "Modern Mobile Web Technologies" guidelines of the German Federal Association of the Digital Economy. In this second part, we summarize the action points the BVDW recommends to optimize your website’s speed and performance.

The 3-Second Rule

Although the user/customer is king, Google is emperor. Both emphasize the time aspect. If website load speed is too slow (more than 3 seconds), whether it’s a mobile site or not, the user will abandon the site or Google will penalize the website, respectively. That’s why one of the main factors for an excellent mobile-friendly web presence is page loading time. Meanwhile, it is often pushed to its limits, especially in online stores thanks to multiple displayed images and other large files.

Yet website optimization doesn’t have to be costly and elaborate. Even small changes and updates to the existing system can have a great impact.

Here is a list of starting points for you:

  1. Browser Caching
  2. CDN
  3. Compression
  4. Images
  5. Resources
  6. Prefetching

Browser Caching:

Browser caching (storing data from recently downloaded web pages) is a relatively quick fix to optimize your website’s loading speed. However, this method must be used with caution to be able to display all web content for the customer/visitor despite caching.

"It is important that generally all file formats can be defined in the browser caching, but this can also lead to problems, for example in the case of files that are subject to frequent changes, since the user's browser does not load the changed version of the files ."(BVDW)

To prevent this from happening, there are two recommended methods. The first way is to cache after the latest change (as soon as the website loads new elements, the server resends them to the browser). The second method is caching based on durability. That means the server determines how long certain elements are stored by the server. This is especially recommended for static elements such as logos, videos, and the source code.

Although this reduces web page load times less than if you cache the whole web page, the user still stays up to date, which is crucial for online stores (sales, new products etc.).

Content Delivery Network (CDN):

A CDN is a system of globally distributed and Internet-connected servers that deliver web content no matter the speed of the server and Internet connectivity. CDN should be mandatory for every online shop. After all, even if a website boasts ideal load speeds in theory and all conditions are ideal, the browser performance can still fail due to a poorly performing or slow Internet connection. CDN provides global Internet connectivity, making worldwide access to the website possible.

Compression:

A fast, if not very elegant solution is compression, meaning the reduction of existing files. Without great technical effort, the file sizes of images, videos, and the source code can be compressed (essentially everything that the browser has to refresh). Though this often involves information loss, it is insignificant and negligible as it is not detected by most users. This will help boost your Google page speed rating relatively quickly. You must be mindful of the respective settings of the various content management systems to prevent too much data loss caused by compression.

Images:

Images are very important in mobile settings since they quickly grab the viewer’s attention. They are essential to make a website attractive but are also crucial to boost sales. But look out: multiple images and large image sizes slow down site loading. A style guide or other proven tools like the before mentioned content delivery network can help in this case, especially when it comes to reducing material without quality loss.

Resources/CMS:

For quite some time, plugins were a great way for non-professionals to work with a website and optimize the backend based on their own objectives. However, these handy plugins use up vast amounts of resources (server and browser in equal parts). This is where script integration can help. It ensures that the content stays the same, while it improves loading speeds and frees up resources.

Prefetching:

Prefetching is a mechanism of preloading (in the browser) of certain links of a website the customer might visit. It’s not the landing page that is preloaded, but rather the next target link the user is likely to click. Having said that, this approach only gives the impression of a fast website. After all, it’s not the actual site that is faster, it’s just the fact that it is simply already waiting in the wings and ready for action. 

Needless to say, speed is not the only aspect you should be working on. There are many other ways to create a better mobile shopping experience for your customers. Find out more in the third installment of our series.

Author: Nora Petig; iXtenso – Magazine for Retailers

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile payment service
20.08.2018   #mobile payment #customer satisfaction

Mobile payment service

Mall of America® welcomes chinese consumers

CITCON, the leading cross-border mobile payment and marketing company announced today its partnership with Mall of America®, the nation's largest entertainment and retail complex. The CITCON cross-border mobile payment solution will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Absen LED free-standing centrepiece
16.10.2018   #led technology #led lighting

Absen LED free-standing centrepiece

Korean shopping mall sets new retail standard

Situated in Northwest Seoul, Starfield Goyang is the third and latest Starfield mall to open on the outskirts of the South Korean capital, and Starfield’s new shining star. As the largest indoor shopping theme park in Korea’s ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Top-Toy strengthens stores with digital initiatives...
02.10.2018   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Top-Toy strengthens stores with digital initiatives

Digital initiatives to boost the stores and ensure competitiveness

A highly competitive market with frequent campaigns such as Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas puts great demands on retailers. This is also the case with Top-Toy, the leading Nordic toy group, which operates the Toys "r" ...

Thumbnail-Photo: RFID tags with features for the cashierless store...
29.10.2018   #mobile payment #payment systems

RFID tags with features for the cashierless store

Customers can unlock products on their own thanks to smart tags

China and the U.S. already feature cashierless stores but things are coming along in Europe, too. Several startup companies want to eliminate long checkout lines and advertise better retail security tags. We took a closer look at these ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovative in-store solution for Dublin university...
10.10.2018   #epos systems #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk

Innovative in-store solution for Dublin university

APG Cash Drawer with Retail Solutions installs SMARTtill Cash Management
Technology

APG Cash Drawer, a fast-growing global manufacturer of cash management solutions, announced today their SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer has been installed in Dublin City University’s (DCU) new Londis store as part of its goal to maximize ...

Thumbnail-Photo: No-checkout store of the future: Successful retail projects...
06.08.2018   #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk #payment systems

No-checkout store of the future: Successful retail projects

Fine-tuning of the major rollouts has also started in Germany

Robots as sales consultants, REWE’s self-checkout at the neighborhood store or digital price tags. Slowly but surely, customers get used to and increasingly accept these innovative supermarket concepts. But are customers ready to take the next ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New cash management solutions for the convenience sector...
08.11.2018   #cash management #cash handling systeme

New cash management solutions for the convenience sector

APG Cash Drawer partners with MSP Systems

APG Cash Drawer, a fast-growing global manufacturer of cash management solutions, announced today its new partnership with MSP Systems, a leading EPOS technology provider for the convenience sector in the UK.  MSP is now offering the SMARTtill ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Waiting in checkout lines
15.08.2018   #customer satisfaction #digitization

Waiting in checkout lines

A turnoff to European shoppers

For many European shoppers, waiting at checkout lines any longer than five minutes is too long, according to retail study by Adyen. Shoppers are looking for an experience that satisfies three fundamental demands: convenience, context and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Marketing automation: The USP of the online world...
25.09.2018   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Marketing automation: The USP of the online world

How to successfully develop a personalized sales approach almost automatically

Every day, marketers grapple with a mixture of database, web analytics, communication, workflows, and CRM synchronization. Processes today can be summarized, analyzed and optimized with the help of marketing automation - for a personalized sales ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Make room for innovation: Cloud services for agile businesses...
05.10.2018   #data warehouse management #software as a service (SaaS)

Make room for innovation: Cloud services for agile businesses

Implement your retail pilot projects faster than ever. Interview with SAP retail experts.

Leaner, faster, more useful: Cloud solutions help analyze customer information and make meaningful use of it. Ralf Kern and Achim Schneider of the Industry Business Unit Retail at SAP reveal which retailers no longer want to do without the cloud and ...

Supplier

Superdata EDV-Vertrieb GmbH
Superdata EDV-Vertrieb GmbH
Ruhrstr. 90
22761 Hamburg
AURES Technologies GmbH
AURES Technologies GmbH
Maisacherstr. 118
82256 Fürstenfeldbruck
Verifone (UK) Limited
7 Cowley Business Park, High Street
UB8 2AD Cowley, Uxbridge
CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen